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San Francisco's Fresh Meat Fest Goes Virtual to Celebrate 20 Yrs
This year is the 20th anniversary Fresh Meat Festival, San Francisco's multi-disciplinary arts festival of trans, gender-nonconforming, and queer performances.
To celebrate, the queer performance festival will be offering two weeks of free online performances, from June 18-27. This year will feature 40+ groundbreaking transgender, nonbinary, queer, Deaf, disabled, and BIPOC artists and ensembles.
The line-up encompasses Latinx bachata, voguing, modern dance, ballroom, bomba, and hip-hop; opera, mariachi and choral singing; folk-punk, trans-Americana, and contemporary/R&B music; solo theater, poetry, comedic storytelling, and more.
The 2021 Fresh Meat Festival will be presented two segments, one live, and one available on demand.
The festival starts with #superFRESH Friday June 18, Saturday June 19, Sunday June 20 (all 5 PM PDT) viewable on YouTube Live. It will feature world premieres of six commissioned works by BIPOC trans/nonbinary/queer artists, and other new and current works.
#reFRESH follows (June 21-27 on-demand via Vimeo), with five programs featuring past performances from the previous two decades of Fresh Meat Festival, including rare and exclusive archival footage.
Below are some of this year's amazing performers:
Sean Dorsey Dance
Sean Dorsey is Fresh Meat's founding artistic director and an award-winning transgender choreographer. He's thrilled to be celebrating the festival's 20th-anniversary. "We’ve expanded the festival to two weeks, commissioned new work especially for our anniversary, scoured the archives to bring you gorgeous past performances, and are offering the entire festival to online audiences for free!" He says. "We are especially excited about our FRESH WORKS! artist commissions -- these premieres are exquisite, powerful, innovative, and breathtaking. We can’t wait to share them with the world!”
One of the performances headling the festival will be that of Dorsey's own dance troupe, Sean Dorsey Dance performing a portion of The Lost Art of Dreaming, which envisions trans and queer futures, disrupting long-entrenched constructs that deny LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people the space to imagine — let alone create — our own futures.
Dandy is a creative partnership designed to celebrate and elevate the Black cultural landscape of Seattle, WA. Liberian-born David Rue and Seattle native Randy Ford employ art, dance, fashion, and pop-culture as forms of activism, story-telling, and joy-centering. They curate events like A Dandy Affair, SAMRemix (Rue), and QUEEN STREET Festival (Ford). You can follow them on IG @davidrue212@randybaby1
Vanessa Sanchez and La Mezcla
La Mezcla is a multidisciplinary San Francisco-based dance and music ensemble rooted in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous traditions. Founded in 2014 by Vanessa Sanchez, their work brings together Tap dance, Son Jarocho, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms to bring to life the often ignored histories and experiences of communities of color. Through elaborate rhythmic arrangements and choreography, La Mezcla cross musical genres and dance styles.
Watch them (below) on a KQED segment:
Antoine Hunter, also known Purple Fire Crow, is an award-winning African-American, Indigenous, Deaf, disabled, choreographer and dancer who also produces Deaf-friendly events, and founded both the Urban Jazz Dance Company and Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival.
J Mase III
J Mase III is a Black/trans/queer poet based in Seattle, who authored And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer’s Reflections on Grief, Unemployment & Inappropriate Jokes About Death. Currently, he is head writer for the theatrical production Black Bois and is co-editor of the #BlackTransPrayerBook.
Toby MacNutt a queer, nonbinary-trans, disabled multidisciplinary dance, artist, author, and teacher. Much of their work is informed by their own experience with fluctuating and multimodal disability, gender fluidity, and queer identity. They address themes of embodiment and relationship.
Taller Bombalele was founded in September 2014 by Julia Cepeda, the granddaughter of Puerto Rican Bomba Patriarch Don Rafael Cepeda Atiles, and Denise Solis, founder and director of Las Bomberas de la Bahia (an all-women’s Bomba ensemble). Bomba is a traditional dance and musical style of Puerto Rico that originated from African slaves on the island’s sugar plantations. Taller Bombalele performances include percussion, song, and dance,
Jahaira and Angelica
Angelica Medina and Jahaira Fajardo are the directors of In Lak’ech Dance Academy, in Oakland CA. In December 2015 they placed 1st in the Latin Ladies Same Gender Division, at the World Latin Dance Cup. Jahaira made history as the first Bachata female leader to become a World Champion. In 2018, they returned to to WLDC as pros and placed first in the Bachata Couple Pro Cabaret division. The Lak’ech Dance Academy produces the Queer Latin Dance Festival.
Shawna Virago is is a trans rocker who twists folk, punk, and twang rythms while belting out deeply queer and trans stories through her lyrics. One of the nation’s first out transgender women to perform and tour nationally, Virago has been a leadingvoice for the trans community since the early 1990’s.
Ah Mer Ah Su is the musical project of interdisciplinary artist Star Amerasu, whose music and art are centered around her experiences living loud and proud as a queer black trans woman.
Tajah J is a formerly-incarcerated, black transgender multi-media artist, activist, and singer/songwriter.
Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi
Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi is a Black Nigerian, Cuban, Indigenous, American performance artist, choreographer, and award-winning playwright. Co-producer of Long Wharf Theater’s Black Trans Women At The Center: An Evening of Short Plays.