In Oakland’s ever-changing landscape one thing remains constant: our love for dance and movement. Oakland is home to award winning dance companies and a plethora of street performers. Whether you’re a spectator or a participant you’re bound to find some entertainment out and about in the Town.
Turf Dancing: Turfing is a street dance that was created in the early 2000's by a group called the Architeckz. The acronym stands for Taking Up Room on the Floor and the West Oakland group started the movement as a means to shed light on social justice issues happening within their communities. Turfing represents a cultural movement in Oakland meant to encourage expression through art and dance.
AXIS Dance Company: The Axis Dance company is the nation’s most acclaimed ensemble of disabled and non-disabled performers. Their mission, to change the face of dance and disability, is accomplished through three pillars of activity: artistry, engagement, and advocacy. Collaborating with high profile choreographers AXIS engages dancers of all ages and abilities to perform contemporary pieces. They’re not only a dance company but an advocacy group for those often overlooked in the dance world. AXIS has toured over 100 cities across the world and appeared twice on FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance. Head over to their calendar to see where they are performing next.
BANDALOOP: Based in Oakland, pioneer of vertical dance BANDALOOP was founded in 1991 by Artistic Director Amelia Rudolph. Artist-in-Residence on the Great Wall of Oakland, BANDALOOP seamlessly weaves dynamic physicality, intricate choreography and climbing technology to turn the dance floor on its side. BANDALOOP re-imagines dance, activates public spaces, and inspires wonder and imagination in audiences around the world. BANDALOOP tours nationally and internationally, teached youth and adults at its West Oakland studio, and has performed live for over a million people. BANDALOOP will be activating twice during Oakland Art Month during Fiesta Sin Fronteras and a week of open rehearsals May 22-26 outside the Henry J Kaiser Center. BANDALOOP is supported by the Oakland City Council and funded by the City of Oakland's Cultural Funding PRogram. Click here to see other upcoming performances and classes! @bandalooping | bandaloop.org
Oakland Ballet Company: For more than 50 years, Oakland Ballet Company has served Oakland and the East Bay by keeping the tradition of ballet exciting, vibrant, and accessible. Founded in 1965 by Oakland native Ronn Guidi, and currently under the direction of Graham Lustig, Oakland Ballet Company celebrates half a century of beautiful dancing, dedicated training, and an enduring commitment to arts education in the East Bay! Make sure to catch their new Spring Repertory Performance, kicking off May 31st.
SambaFunk! : Their mission is to preserve, connect and present African Diaspora culture: music, art, dance and drumming, to underserved communities of color in ways that address severe health issues. The goal of SambaFunk! is to raise the collective consciousness and vibration on planet Earth around issues that affect everyone. They offer weekly classes in Oakland at Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, please check their schedule here.