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Galerķa, SFMOMA, and YBCA Present: "Inhabitant"

March 14-15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014 - Saturday, March 15, 2014 | 7:00 pm

Galería de la Raza is pleased to partner with SFMOMA and YBCA for Inhabitant, a site-specific dance performance, on the 24th Street corridor & BART Plazas on March 14 – 15, 2014. Performances begin at sundown (approximately 7pm).

Studio 24 at Galeria will serve as a residency incubator from February 25 - March 13 in preparation for the performance.

A reception will occur on Saturday, March 15 at Galeria after the performance ends at the 24th Street BART station (approximately 8pm).

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Please gather at one of two entry points by 6:45pm: LA TAQUERIA (2889 Mission St) or ARIZMENDI BAKERY (1268 Valencia St).  Audience members will receive a program there and be led to the performance site at 6:50pm.

In this outdoor dance event, the performers blend in and out of the crowd and passersby are invited to join in, drawing attention to the everyday encounters and movement of people through the site that creates a shifting lightscape beginning at dusk and continuing through nightfall. Created by choreographer Sello Pesa, conceptual artist Vaughn Sadie, and the Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre, a collaborative dedicated to exploring sociopolitical concepts through movement, Inhabitant was first performed in Johannesburg at the border of a developing arts district called Maboneng. Conceived for an urban space charged with shifting economies and changing demographics, here it plays out on the streets of the Mission District. Sites include Brava Theatre, Galería de la Raza, the corner of 24th and South Van Ness, and the 24th St BART station (which is the location where the culminating performance portion will take place). Visit SFMOMA for more info about the series here.


About Inhabitant

In conjunction with the upcoming exhibition, Public Intimacy: Art & Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) plan to bring Inhabitant, a site-specific dance performance, to San Francisco in March 2014.  A project of the Johannesburg-based Ntsoane Contemporary Dance Theatre, the performance takes up an urban space charged with shifting economies and changing demographics.  For the performance in March, this site will be the Mission District of San Francisco.

In its Johannesburg debut performance, Inhabitant occurred at the border of a developing arts district called “Maboneng” and the migrant neighborhood surrounding it. The dancers blend in and out of the crowd, demonstrating the different types of encounter one can find at the site. It’s often about the juxtaposition of commuters with street merchants, new neighbors with old, and established businesses with people lacking homes. The piece builds from these small interactions to a central political speech drawing on key issues in the neighborhood.  A “real” official often plays this role and helps to draft the remarks.  A final component is light, as the performance starts at dusk and continues until night falls.  Local merchants are employed to join the Company in creating a shifting light scheme for the piece, as the political gathering ends and the dancers disperse into darkness. 

You can see examples from the Johannesburg performance here.  A brief look at a presentation in Istanbul is here.


About the troupe: 

Ntsoana work site-specifically across Africa and Europe, developing dance performances that engage the social issues and artistic interests important to a place. They never work in a traditional theater setting. Made up of choreographer Sello Pesa, visual artist Vaughn Sadie, and dancers Humphrey Maleka and Brian Mtembu, Ntsoana present their performances as a kind of research into the sidewalks, houses, and intersections they use as a stage. Learn more about the Company and its work here. Their San Francisco performance in March will mark their American debut.  


About the exhibition:

The exhibition, Public Intimacy: Art & Other Ordinary Acts in South Africa, will be on view at YBCA from February 22 through June 29, 2014. The show foregrounds artists' explorations of interpersonal relationships, everyday encounters, and other small gestures of social life in South Africa.


About the series:

A symposium session in tandem with Clinics and Projects (parallel sessions) about Anti-Eviction Mapping will occur at Galeria de la Raza from 5:30pm-7pm. Info is here.


Photo courtesy of
Galería de la Raza: an Interdisciplinary Chicano/Latino Space for Art, Thought and Activism
2857 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 click here for directions to galería