April 10-11, 2015

Half and Halves

An exploration in dance of the little-known cultural and artistic legacies of Punjabi-Mexican communities founded in California in the early 20th century inspires the collaboration of Duniya Dance and Drum Company and Ensambles Ballet Folklórico de San Francisco in “Half and Halves: A Dance Exploration of the Punjabi-Mexican Communities of California.”

The production, featuring new original material, returns to San Francisco for two nights, April 10-11, 2015, at the Jewish Community Center’s Kanbar Hall. “Half and Halves” is presented in association with Arts & Ideas at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

In the early 20th century, men from Punjab, India arrived in California to work on farms. Discriminatory immigration laws prevented them from bringing their wives from India, so many married Mexican women. This exciting performance, featuring 25 dancers and live music, brings together vibrant Punjabi Bhangra and Mexican Folklorico dances to explore themes related to farming life, marriage, immigration, and racial and ethnic discrimination. Choreographers Joti Singh and Zenon Barron also explore dance in this performance that does not neatly fit into one genre or another, drawing inspiration from the complex cultural identities of these communities and the issues and challenges they faced.

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This performance is made possible by the generosity of the Zellerbach Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Fleishhacker Foundation, and the San Francisco Grants for the Arts Hotel Tax Fund.


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