Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.


PUSHfest at ODC 2018 Press Release

PUSH Dance Company (PUSH) announces the 5th Annual PUSHfest Dance Festival, featuring the new work Codelining by Artistic Director Raissa Simpson, September 28-30, 2018.


MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Carbonara, 415-845-9994 or marycarbonara@gmail.com



September 28-30, 2018 at ODC Theater in San Francisco
Tickets: $15-$30 or $50 Festival Pass; 415-863-9834 or www.pushdance.org/festival

SAN FRANCISCO, May 29, 2018 — PUSH Dance Company (PUSH) kicks off its thirteenth home season with PUSHfest, a mixed genre showcase of dance works by mid-career to emerging choreographers aimed at gathering wider audiences, September 28-30 at ODC Theater. This new season will feature a new installment of  Codelining by Artistic Director Raissa Simpson (a multi-year project to be premiered in 2020) and a world premiere work by company members Courtney Hope and Hien Huynh.  Celebrated local choreographers Alleluia Panis, Luis Valverde and Anupama Srivastava and SF debuts by visiting companies and artists from St. Louis, Milwaukee and Santa Barbara.

PUSHfest ensures the visibility of new artists and those mid-career choreographers interested in having more conceptual conversations,” says Simpson.  “Since its inception five years ago, PUSHfest has evolved  from a dance festival disseminating diverse works into multi-generational and mixed discipline dance festival.”   With the return of PUSHLab, a performance workshop for pre-professional artists, Simpson continues her educational partnership with Alonzo King LINES Dance Center. For eight weeks, PUSHLab participants will immerse themselves in a creative process culminating into a co-collaboration between company members Hope and Huynh.

Additional performance highlights for PUSHfest 2018 include a group work by returning choreographer Kameron N. Saunders, the 2016 PUSHfest Audience Choice Award Winner, commissioned by the Milwaukee-based company  SueMo: A Dance Experience; a solo work by longtime Lula Washington Dance Theatre performer Bernard Brown;  and the San Francisco debut of Santa Barbara Indy Award winning choreographer Weslie Ching.  (See below for complete lineup.)

PUSHfest 2018 Promo Video: https://vimeo.com/271964564

New Installment of Simpson’s Codelining

Raissa Simpson’s Codelining is an exploration of access, gentrification, and the digital divide painting a striking visual collage and resonant soundscape through dance and wearable technology. This new work merges dialogues between Simpson, students from Bayview Opera House and We Inventing the Real or WIR (www.daevron.com), a technology and media collective invested in using new media tools to explore social justice issues.  In collaboration with WIR, Simpson will build a multimedia dance performance that integrates motion capture, wireless sensors and projection mapping onto moving surfaces, allowing the live interaction of media with the dancers and yielding a unique performance each night.  

With Codelining, Simpson again investigates the tech industry — redlining, gentrification, the digital divide and the real or perceived barriers between artists, technologists and African American communities.  Codelining builds off of Simpson’s shared investment in struggles for equity and access, particularly for San Francisco’s African American population.

“I wanted to deal with the different points of tension with technology on a more human basis,” she explains.  “African Americans participate in the creation of content to media and technology, particularly in terms of cultural spaces and social justice, while technology companies perpetuate income inequality and dramatic shifts in demographics.  As a result, African Americans are leaving the Bay Area more than ever.”

Over the course of developing the project, Simpson will facilitate and document conversations between her company about redlining, gentrification, the digital divide, and the real or perceived barriers between artists, technologists, and communities of color. These dialogues will form the basis for specific audio and visual elements that will be woven into the the new media production.

About PUSH Dance Company

Described as “emotional and kinetic” (SF Bay Guardian), Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company (founded in 2005) has performed to critical acclaim while building upon the philosophy that pure movement and intellect can coexist with a commitment to outreach and dance education.

Hailed by Dance Spirit Magazine as “reflective contemporary choreography,” Simpson’s work has been performed in more than 50 venues across the country, including Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance Emerson Festival, Links Hall in Chicago, Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech, Joyce SoHo, Washington Ensemble Theater, Evolve Dance Festival in NY, Los Angeles Theater Center, Black Choreographers Festival, UC Davis, Sacramento State, Stanford University, SF State University, Santa Clara University, ODC Theater, Museum of the African Diaspora, Renberg Theater, and other venues.   

Simpson has been honored with the Magrit Mondavi Award, ChoreoProject’s People’s Choice Award, BADw’s Choreographer of the Year 2012, and the African American Theater Alliance for Independence (AATAIN). She has held residencies at the Bayview Opera House, Garage Artspace, Zaccho Studio, African American Art & Culture Complex, and Margaret Jenkin’s CHIME.

PUSH and Raissa Simpson have received support from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Arts Commission, Grants for the Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation,  CA$H, Dancers’ Group Lighting in Dance Award, SF Foundation, ODC Theater’s Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, and generous individual donors.

Tickets for PUSHfest 2018 are priced at $28 in advance, $30 at the door, $15 for seniors and students, or $50 for a Festival pass to both programs. A 10% discount is available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets and Festival passes can be purchased online at www.pushdance.org/festival starting July 1st, 2018.

PUSHfest 2018 Promo Video: https://vimeo.com/271964564

Hi-Res Photos are available for download at:  www.pushdance.org/photos

Company Website:  www.pushdance.org

PUSHfest 2018 Program Information

PROGRAM A:  Friday September 28, 8pm & Sunday September 30, 4:30pm

Raissa Simpson, PUSH Dance Company (San Francisco)

Hayley Bowman, Hayley Bowman/Collaborators (San Francisco)

Denice Simpson Braga (Antioch)

Ashley Gayle & Noah D. James III, Visceral Roots Dance Company  (Richmond/Oakland)

Alyssa Mitchel (San Francisco)

Alleluia Panis, Kularts (San Francisco)

Jessica Recinos, Rising Rhythm Project SF (San Francisco)

Anupama Srivastava, inSyncKathak Dance School (Fremont)

Luis Valverde, Valverde Dance (San Mateo)

PROGRAM B: Saturday September 29, 8pm & Sunday September 30, 7:30pm

Courtney Hope & Hien Huynh, PUSHLab  – World Premiere

Bernard Brown, bbmoves (Elk Grove)

Weslie Ching (Santa Barbara) –  Bay Area Premiere

Cherie Hill, IrieDance (Richmond)

Lissa Resnick, No Strings Attached Dance Company (Lafayette)

Jocelyn Reyes, Reyes Dance (San Francisco)

Agatha “Agatron” Rupniewski, IRON LOTUS Street Dance Company (San Francisco)

Martha L.Z. Pamintuan & Kao Vey Sebastian Saephanh, LV Dance Collective (San Francisco)

Kameron N. Saunders, SueMo: A Dance Experience (St.Louis/Milwaukee) – Bay Area Premiere

Ayo Walker, LJ Boogie and Company (Sacramento)

For complete Artists Interviews and more information, go to www.pushdance.org/festival.




“Ambitious” – The New Yorker

“Pushing the standard.” – SF Chronicle

“Sleek and sexy.” — SF Guardian


PUSH Dance Company Presents

13th Home Season and Fifth Annual PUSHfest Dance Festival

Featuring two different programs of local and visiting artists over three evenings;

Codelining  (excerpt)  – Choreography by Raissa Simpson;

World Premiere by Courtney Hope and Hien Huynh


Program A:

Friday September 28, 8pm

Sunday September 30, 4:30pm

Program B:

Saturday September 29, 8pm

Sunday September 30, 7:30pm



ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street, San Francisco, CA  94110



$28 in advance, $30 at the door, $15 for seniors and students

$50 for a Festival pass that includes both programs.

10% discount for groups of 10 or more

Tickets and Festival passes can be purchased online at www.pushdance.org/festival

BOX OFFICE:   415.863.9834 or www.pushdance.org/festival

MORE INFORMATION:   www.pushdance.org/festival


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MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Carbonara, 415-845-9994 or marycarbonara@gmail.com