Photo: RJ Muna
ODC/Dance (Oberlin Dance Company) is a contemporary dance company founded in 1971 by artistic director Brenda Way. ODC relocated to San Francisco in 1976 and was the first dance company in America to build its own home facility in 1979 from which it still operates. ODC comprises a world class contemporary dance company, a community theater organization, and a school.
ODC’s comprehensive programs continue to offer opportunities in and access to contemporary art-making for more than 6,000 artists and students and 50,000 audience members annually. The company has been widely acknowledged for its fusion of ballet and modern techniques and for their numerous groundbreaking collaborations with writers Leslie Scalapino and Rinde Eckert; actors Bill Irwin, Geoff Hoyle and Robin Williams; and visual artists Wayne Thiebaud, John Woodall and Eleanor Coppola.
Repertory and Awards
The ODC/Dance Company’s three resident choreographers, Brenda Way, KT Nelson, and Kimia Okada are considered among America’s major contemporary choreographers. Over the last three decades, Way, Nelson and Okada have created a movement vocabulary known for its lyrical athleticism and intellectual depth. The company’s repertory of over 120 works includes commissions for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, San Francisco and Oakland Ballets, Los Angeles and Santa Fe Operas, Walker Art Center and the Festival des Etoiles among others. Awards include five Isadora Duncan Dance Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship for Ms. Way, and a Tony nomination for Ms. Okada. ODC was “Best Dance Company” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian
for 2005 and 2006 and the San Francisco Business Arts Council’s choice for Exceptional Non-Profit Arts Organization—2004
Composed of eleven world class dancers, ODC/Dance performs its imaginative repertory for more than 50,000 people annually. ODC/Dance presents two three-week home seasons at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which feature new and repertory work and the family production of The Velveteen Rabbit. The company also tours for 6-10 weeks. The touring roster has included the Kennedy Center, Spoleto Festival, Jacobs Pillow, and the Joyce Theater, as well as Europe, Australia, Southeast Asia, and regions across the former Soviet Union.
The ODC School/ Rhythm and Motion Dance Program
The ODC School and Rhythm and Motion Dance Program offer a weekly schedule of 180 classes for all ages and skill levels that encompass a range of global and dance workout classes. In conjunction with the Theater, the school provides several mentoring programs for emerging and mid-career choreographers and was the first organization in San Francisco to offer a modern dance curriculum for children. Through tuition scholarships and educational outreach, the school strives to provide opportunities for Bay Area Youth. Classes include ballet, rhythm and blues and much more.
The ODC Theater
The ODC Theater is the site of over 150 performances a year involving nearly 1,000 local, regional, national and international artists. The theater sponsors significant curatorial, educational and mentoring opportunities, including a comprehensive, three-year residency program that offers presentation, development and advocacy subsidies for emerging and mid-career artist in the San Francisco Bay Area.