October 15 2016

A Celebration of Aztec Traditions | YERBA BUENA ARTWALK
In partnership with The Mexican Museum, Yerba Buena Walk and Yerba Buena Night 2016

Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum (2016). Photo: MP+D

For the Yerba Buena Art Walk 2016, the Museum of Performance + Design partners with The Mexican Museum for A Celebration of Aztec Traditions, an afternoon of joyful engagement around a traditional live performance by Tezkatlipoka Aztec Dance and Drum, a festival of hands-on art activities for people of all ages, and themed pop-up exhibits including Aztec performance videos from our archive. Join us for this unique partnership!

The Yerba Buena Art Walk features 14 different museums, galleries and institutions that are partnering today to open their doors for FREE. Experience the art heart of downtown San Francisco in the Yerba Buena neighborhood as you wander the blocks between Market and Harrison, Second and Fifth Street soaking in art, culture, music, dance and performance and cutting edge exhibitions of all sorts of art. https://yerbabuena.org/artwalk/

Follow the conversation #yerbabuenaartwalk


September 29 2016

Therapeutics in Museums and the Arts
A panel discussion in partnership with Bay Area Museum Professionals

The Roots by Latifa Medjdoub (2016)

Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals examines programs with a therapeutic benefit. 

Latifa Medjdoub- artist (http://latifamedjdoub.com/pages/the-roots)
Cecile Puretz- Access and Community Engagement Manager, Contemporary Jewish Museum 
Sadie Harmon- Director, Performing Arts Institute, Stagebridge
Rachel Kadner- Parenting & Community Partnerships Manager, Habitot Children's Museum 
Sylvie Minot- Executive Director & Founder- Syzygy Dance Project 


July 16, 17, 22, 23 2016

Nothing is Sacred?
An absurdist tragicomedy in six acts set in present day San Francisco
Written by Yula Paluy

Nothing is Sacred?, Yula Paluy. Photo: Jamie Lyons

Nothing is Sacred? looks at the stories we tell ourselves and others while living precariously between digital immediacy and distance, between the homeless and the newly rich, between loneliness and love, between what seems right and what seems wrong, between disease and wellness, and, ultimately, between the sacred and the mundane. 

Integrating sound, movement, and video art, with theater, live music, and ritualized consumption of food and drink, the play suspends expectations about traditional narrative structure while exploring in depth the breaking and making of meaning in our connections to the self, the body, other people, and the transcendent. At times, audience members are invited to be accomplices in this act of meaning-making.

All performances at 8pm; doors open at 7pm; cash bar; performance duration: 1.5 - 2 hours; no intermission but breathers between the acts. MP+D is fully accessible. Performance space includes a mix of seating and standing room. Audience beware/rejoice: zero nudity but some sexual content.

Written and directed by Yula Paluy
Visual art by Jamie Lyons
Movement art by Muriel Maffre
Sound art by Derek Phillips
Live scores by David Boyce (sax), David Ewell (string bass), and Richard Howell (sax) 
Performers: Marcel Barraza, Renu Cappelli, Joe Cha, Ariane Fehrenkamp, Daniella Furman, Ludovica Labruna, Yula Paluy, Abhay Sukumaran, Evelina Szkutnik
Child voice actors: Marea Ewell and Elijah Paluy


June 18,19, 2016

Archive Live
A durational performance
In collaboration with Collected Works

Archive Live, The Collected Works - Photo: Nick Berger

The Museum of Performance + Design collaborates with San Francisco theater collective The Collected Works to develop and perform a new site-responsive performance based on materials found in the Museum's performing arts archive. The project brings together artists devoted to creating theatrical performances within non-traditional environments and a rare collection representing the rich history of the San Francisco performing arts. It aims to present an innovative response to bringing an archive to life while redefining the boundaries of theater-making and dramaturgy.

What to expect:

Four actors and one sound artist from The Collected Works will research and activate materials from our archive through performance. Guided by pre-determined rules, they will explore our stacks and pull materials from our diverse collections. These materials will be intermittently activated by the performing artists through speech, movement or play. Through this real time activation, impromptu narratives will form invoking people, places and histories of the past, and evoking new connections, situations and conditions of human and dramatic interest. Through the durational performance, journals, correspondences, rare books, programs, unpublished manuscripts as well as recordings and visuals from the archive will accumulate in the performance space leaving a visual incremental trace of the remnants of history and the passing of time.

Audience members will be immersed in an environment charged with history and have an extended, novel and three- dimensional experience of words, sounds and images from our archive as re-imagined and brought to life through the artists' performance methodology, actions and use of space. The durational performance will accommodate a wide and diverse audience and allow for those in attendance to come and go and experience the transformation of the site and of the performers's engagement on their own time and over time. Archive Life will take place on twice on June 18 and June 19, and will offer a different performance experience each night. Paid admission will give you access to both performance nights.

This project is funded in part by the Zellerbach Family Foundation and W & F Hewlett Foundation


June 11, 2016

Humoring Your Performer
A performance workshop with Moshe Cohen

Humoring Your Performer invites all performers (clown, actors, dancers, musicians, puppeteers, etc. ) who wish to dig deeper into the expression of humor in the performance venue to enter the clown zone and explore the absurdities and ludicrous impulses living inside them. The workshop is an opportunitiy to revisit, reinvent, invigorate, connect with and enjoy areas that are familiar and discover new facets of what one may call one's clown world. In this workshop, authenticity, mindfulness, lightness, fun and funny will be integrated with intuitive expressive explorations, alone and in improvisations with others. Expect to be actively clowning: being, exploring, enjoying, opening, expanding, condensing, embodying as a way to deepen and expand your humorous expression. Along with fun and laughter, the workshop develop capacities in active presence, in-the-moment listening, interaction, connection and capacities in sharing positive humor. 

Moshe Cohen is a master teacher, performer and actor in the world of the funny. His teaching methods evolve from his performing experience, and from his collaborations teaching with Zen masters. Moshe's 35 year performing journey has crossed the stages of all sizes: in festivals such as Anjos Do Picadeiro (Brazil), Winnipeg Children's Theater Festival (CAN), Barcelona Olimpiada Cultural, and Les Accroches Coeurs (France), as well as theaters such as Guanzhou Civic Theater (China), Teatro Jordi Isaacs (CA, CO), Klein Komedie (Amsterdam) and Theater Artaud (aka Z Space, San Francisco). Moshe has also played a pioneering role in the world of social clowning. In 1995, he founded Clowns Without Borders in the U.S. organizing and participating in many projects, and played a catalyzing role as international ambassador leading to the creation of CWBI., the international federation of Clowns Without Borders chapters.

"I have found that audiences, both mature, and young audiences are far more interested in a performer ‘being’ in their clown world, than playing at clown" says Moshe. "What is most alive in us are our feelings. To play them with humor, to fill an imaginary world with absurdity, levity, actions gestures and logic based on those feelings is indeed the challenge of clown. To share this world with an audience, to offer a sense of complicity and emotional connection, is what touches audiences, and, perhaps, for performers, puts us closer on our pathways of purpose."

Moshe's pedagogic Methods:

1. Creating/Developing Personal Clown Character based on personal energies & humoristic impulses
  • Performers use walks, body shapes, and impulses to music to shape emotional expressions that compose the vocabulary of the   Performers Clown world.
  • Developing the Dynamic Range of these expressions from most subtle to most dynamic.
  • Developing physical and vocal gesture and movement vocabulary stemming from expressions.
2. Develop Listening Skills in Audience and Performance Partner Relationships. Working within the framework of the clown’s relationship to audience, performers use improvisation to develop ability to build humorous expression in relation to audience response.
  • There is focus is on developing rigor: responding to the impulse yet limiting one’s generosity.
  • Developing Connectivity . Working in duos and trios to find unity in movement/walks/actions
3. From the Butoh dance world, work with connection with space, allowing for exploration of humor at a slower velocity without losing any of the intensity or spontaneity. This largely enriches the tableau of expressive opportunities.

4. Developing performance material & clown turns for solo, duo/trio and groups through improvisation, workshop performance, developing elements of story, work with objects.


March 17 - June 4, 2016

Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin

Photo: MP+D

Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin displays a selection of iconic choreographic scores and performance videos from the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design by California dance pioneer Anna Halprin. Vibrant in color and elaborate in design, the scores provide essential information on performances Halprin created between the 1960s and 1980s and represent a record of her creative activity. A self-activated participatory Sensory Tour especially created by Ms. Halprin for the occasion accompanies the exhibition and is available as a take-away score for the duration of the exhibition. 

Anna Halprin is a seminal American dance figure of national and international renown and is one of MP+D’s most researched subjects. Halprin’s ground-breaking work in choreography and participatory performance is documented at MP+D through 65+ linear feet of archival materials and 47 original dance scores. Spanning over 30 years, Halprin’s choreographic scores represent visual and instructional mappings of the temporal, spatial and participatory dimensions of the performances she imagined and produced. They also make visible her visionary process and creative framework while keeping a permanent record of her artistic activity.

The exhibition displays 21 scores ranging in dates from 1959 to 1987 including scores for Five-Legged Stool (1961-62), Esposizione (1963) and Procession (1964). Also featured in the exhibition, and on loan from Anna Halprin, will beCity Dance ‘78 (1978), a large 14’-6” x 3’-1/4” felt tip marker and ink on paper scroll representing choreography by Anna Halprin and the San Francisco Dancer’s Workshop for a performance that premiered on June 10, 1978 at various locations throughout San Francisco. The scores on display will be contextualized with performance photographs and videos from MP+D’s collection.

Exhibition curated by Elliot Mercer and Muriel Maffre, MP+D. The exhibition is a programmatic partnership with California Historical Society.


May 19, 2016

Artist Tour with Anna Halprin of the exhibition Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin

Anna Halprin will lead an artist tour of the exhibition Mapping Dance: The scores of Anna Halprin, providing insights into her work and process of creation. This is a walking tour of the exhibition presenting 21 of Anna Halprin's scores and related videos and is a unique and rare opportunity to learn from the seminal artist about her scores, collaborations and performances. Space is limited.


May 1, 2016

Celebrating Ballet on Film:
Our Salute to the Artistry of the Artists of San Francisco Ballet

An Event co- sponsored by Susan Dosetter and Alison & Michael Mauze

Join the Museum of Performance + Design, San Francisco Dance Film Festival and dancers from San Francisco Ballet for an evening of short dance films and reception to benefit MP+D and SFDFF, two organizations that help capture, promote and preserve dance.

This special evening features short dance films, screened at SFDFF, that were created over the years with and by artists from San Francisco Ballet and salutes the creative spirit of a unique community of artists who have made a thrilling leap from the stage to the screen, including the following

Julia Adam | Dores Andre | Sean Bennett | Joan Boada | Kimberly Braylock | Frances Chung | Diego Cruz | Daniel Deivision-Oliveira | Sasha De Sola | Damir Emric | Dana Genshaft | Jordan Hammond | Tiit Helimets | Ellen Rose Hummel | Davit Karapetyan | Madison Keesler | Maria Kochetkova | Muriel Maffre | Johnathan Mangosing | Pascal Molat | Gennadi Nedvigin | Garen Scribner | Damian Smith | Christopher Stowell | Sarah Van Patten | Joseph Walsh | Lonnie Weeks | Quinn Wharton | Vanessa Zahorian | Wanting Zhao

Seen through the lenses of SFDFF and MP+D, dance films uniquely re-imagine what dance performance can be today while defying the ephemeral quality of the art form. SFDFF and MP+D are thrilled to celebrate in this way the artists of San Francisco Ballet and their contribution to the growing field of dance on film.

Proceeds from this special evening will be shared equally between the Museum of Performance + Design and San Francisco Dance Film Festival and will go towards advancing their complementary missions. All donations are fully deductible to the extent of the law.

San Francisco Dance Film Festival is an international platform for the presentation and development of dance-based films. Its purpose is not only to celebrate the best dance films from around the world but to also encourage and assist Bay Area choreographers and filmmakers in the creation of new dance works created for the screenwww.sfdancefilmfest.org


March 17, 2016 - 5pm
Sensory Walk Performance

Sensory Walk, 2016 by Anna Halprin, Elliot Mercer and Brian Collentine. Photo: Jamie Lyons

Anna Halprin will initiate a participatory sensory walk performance from the California Historical Society at Mission St. and 3rd St. to the Museum of Performance + Design at Folsom and 5th St in celebration of MP+D's exhibition opening of Mapping Dance: The Scores of Anna Halprin. Expect a series of musical sensory experiences accross the Yerba Buena Gardens area imagined and cued in by Anna Halprin. The score of the sensory walk will remain available to the public as a take away at MP+D and CHS from March 18 through June 4, 2016 and can be used for a self-guided activation of the walk.


March 1, 2016
Chopin, Robbins, Ballet
Revealing the marvel of Jerome Robbins ballets to Chopin Music
by Guy Baum

In his lecture Chopin, Robbins & Ballet, Guy Baum will delve into the choreo-musical relations of Jerome Robbins’s Chopin ballets, specifically looking at Dances At A Gathering, In The Night, and The Concert. Using video and live musical excerpts from these ballets, Baum (https://youtu.be/dWY6fYJHRwI) will give audiences an in-depth and unique look at Robbins’s infusion of abstract stories, classical ballet and mime elements, while dealing with the challenge of visualizing Chopin’s music. This lecture is proposed in conjunction with San Francisco Ballet’s performances of Dances At A Gathering, March 16 – March 22. Guy Baum (MA) is a Ballet Studies expert, a cultural critic and the former head of the community department of The Israel Ballet. He is joined by SFB's Company Pianist Natalya Feygina. Duration 1:30hrs.


On view through Feb 15, 2016
The Roots
An interactive Participatory Installation by Latifa Medjdoub

The Roots. Latifa Medjdoub (2015). Photo: M.Maffre

The Roots is a site-specific installation designed to engage the public with the notions of movement, space and history. Spanning the whole open space of the archive, the installation is an aleatory open-ended structure that evokes the passing of time and the inter-workings of life. As an interactive, kinetic sculpture,The Roots disrupts our reality and enliven our senses. 

Immersed in a web of felt wool sculptural elements, participants are challenged to activate critical and creative thinking while exploring and altering their configuration. From the aesthetic pleasure to the novel experience, The Roots deepens our sense of kinesthesia in response to a given environment and the others within it while recharging creativity and well-being. Suitable for all ages and any number of participants.


February 10, 2016
An Evening with the Amazons

Join us and discover arias from Ars Minerva's upcoming modern World Premiere of The Amazons in the Fortunate Isles by Carlo Pallavicino, a Baroque opera last performed in Venice in 1679. Forgotten music, a surprising plot, wine, amuse-bouches and love of opera will be the magical ingredients of this whimsical gathering.

Céline Ricci, Mezzo-Soprano, Ars Minerva Founder & Artistic Director 
Dereck Lam, Harpsichord, Ars Minerva Conductor & Historical Keyboardist


Oct 5, 2015 
Mia - A Dancer's Journey

Join us on October 5 for the premiere screening of the LA Area Emmy-winning movie about legendary ballerina Mia Slavenska at the Kanbar Theater, Jewish Community Center for the kick-off event of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival! Event co-presented by San Francisco Ballet and Museum of Performance + Design.


Jun 27, 2015
A performance with music and dance by Alessio Silvestrin
Preceded by FPS #14 
Presented in Partnership with The Collected Works

Constellation, Alessio Silvestrin (2015). Photo: Jamie Lyons

Alessio Silvestrin visits the Museum of Performance + Design following a month-long residency at the Conservatory of Dance in San Francisco. Hailing from Japan, this alumn of William Forsythe exposes different creative aspects in relation to the cycle of the year in a multi-faceted program of his own music and choreo-graphy as well as additional music from Karlheinz Stockhausen. Silvestrin's painting will also be on display. 

Constellation program:

for two toy pianos and toy gamelan
Music, video and dance performance: Alessio Silvestrin

Music: Karlheinz Stockhausen
Piano: Alessio Silvestrin

Music: Karlheinz Stockhausen
Video and dance performance: Alessio Silvestrin
Pawukon refers to the Balinese traditional calendar, which is made of 210 days cycle and applies the structure of Balinese music scale. Klavierstück IX presents strongly contrasted ideas with rhythmic proportions governed by the Fibonacci series. Tierkreis - 12 Melodien der Sternzeichen (Zodiac - 12 Melodies of the star signs) by Karlheinz Stockhausen is one of the best known contemporary compositions written between 1974 and 1975. Originally designed for carillons, the series consists of twelve melodies, each corresponding to a sign of the zodiac. In Seiza/Seiza (Constellation/Seating), Silvestrin connects with various aspects of traditional Japanese culture and the music of Stockhausen through an arrangement of Tierkreis by Silvestrin for 2 toy pianos and 4 rin and 1 mokuso, traditional Japanese percussion instruments.

Preceding Silvestrin's performance/concert will be Franconia Performance Salon #14 featuring film & live performance by Derek Phillips, Rebecca Ormiston, Renu Cappelli, Tonyanna Borkovi, Yula Paluy, Jamie Lyons, and Michael Hunter, with additional performers.

FPS was created by Collected Works to share sketches or segments of works in progress, drink some wine, and talk about the work. Don't come expecting a "show" (no fancy hats!) but rather a piece of something in process that you can respond to with feedback.


May 21, 2015
Ritual 7: words
A conversation between Anna Halprin and Shinichi Iova-Koga on score-making and artistic legacy, moderated by Ellen Sebastian-Chang
Presented in partnership with inkBoat

This event is part of 95 Rituals, a performance project by Iova-Koga’s company, inkBoat, commissioned and presented by Dancers’ Group/ONSITE. 95 Rituals pays tribute to the work of legendary choreographer Anna Halprin and is part of many celebrations that are taking place to honor Halprin's 95th birthday (July 13). Visit 95rituals.org to learn more about the project's series of free site-specific performances.


April 16-June 20, 2015

Latifa Medjdoub:Sublimated Masks 
Presented in partnership with The Collected Works       

Sublimated MasksLatifa Medjdoub (2015). Photo: MP+D

The Museum of Performance + Design continues its exploration of the body in performance with Latifa Medjdoub: Sublimate Masks, an exhibition of costumes and fiber sculptures created by French artist 
Latifa Medjdoub for the revival of Jean Genet's play 
The Balcony by Collected Works in February 2015.
 The exhibition conveys the universe of Genet's landmark play as 
materialized through Medjdoub's elaborate 
designs and the theatrical vision of Collected Works' 
directors Michael Hunter and Jamie Lyons.

Jean Genet's play tells the story of a revolutionary 
uprising in the streets of an unnamed city. Most of the
action takes place in an elite brothel or "house of 
illusions," where clients act out their fantasies of 
institutional power. They play judges, bishops, and 
generals as their counterparts in the "real" worl  d 
struggle to maintain their authority. By staging Genet's 
play inside The San Francisco Old Mint, Hunter and 
Lyons invoked the building's own identity as a 
stronghold of power through the city's history, further
 blurring the line between reality and illusion.

With a complex layering of soft textures, Medjdoub's designs expose the dimensions of reality and illusion, and reveal Genet's concern with metatheatricality, role-playing, and the glorification of the image and its reflection. Tending towards exaggeration, they represent and amalgam of internal desires and external realities, ultimately presenting the idea of the costumes as a sublimation of character. The exhibition stages 45 costumes and fiber sculptures by Medjdoub including the key characters of Irma, the Queen, the Bishop, the General, the Judge, the Police Chief, St Theresa the Horse, Rosine, the Thief and the Envoy. Still photographs and video footage by Jamie Lyons bring the remembrance of Collected Works's performance and complete the installation.

Born in France, Latifa Medjdoub has been living and working in San Francisco since 2000. Her work's most consistent theme is the mixing of genres, tools and techniques, an approach perfectly suited to her continued exploration of the phenomenon of social mixing and hybridization that continually redefine global culture and communities. Trained at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Appliqués et du Textile of Roubaix, France, Medjdoub collaborated with leading artists including Philippe Guillotel, Yvonne Sassinot de Nesle, Christian Lacroix, Gabriella Pescucci, Marina Draghici and directors Philippe Découflé, Yves Angelo, Marcel Maréchal, Raul Ruiz, Chris Terrio. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Textile and Fine Arts, Roubaix, France; Cheongju Art Center, Korea; De Cordova Museum, MA; Santa Fe Art Institute, NM; National Building Museum, DC. (latifamedjdoub.co).

Collected Works was founded in 2012 by a group of directors, actors, and designers, most of whom met in the PHd program in Drama at Stanford, where they worked under the guidance of Carl Weber. Collected Works explores a collaborative model that coalesces classic texts, physical performance, and sound and design elements in 
unconventional spaces with the goal to inspire audiences to 
form personal relationships with the characters within the 
performance and the places in which they perform. 


March 23, 2015 
San Francisco Arts Medallion 2015
Honoring Frederica von Stade 
Palace Hotel

The Board of the Museum of Performance + Design takes great pleasure in announcing that Frederica von Stade will
be presented with the San 
Francisco Arts Medallion 2015 for her outstanding leadership in the arts.

Frederica von Stade is well known to audiences around the world and is one of the most beloved musical performers of our time. Throughout her stellar career, she has won numerous awards and honors including being appointed Officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France and being honored at the White House by President Reagan. In addition to her professional music career, she has given tremendous support to schools, conservatories and other performing arts organizations.

Past Arts Medallion Honorees include Stanlee Gatti (2005), Gordon Getty (2006), Diane B. Wilsey (2007),
Mr. & Mrs. George F. Jewett, Jr. (2008), Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. (2009), Nancy Hellman Bechtle (2010),
Delia F. Ehrlich (2011), Roselyn C. Swig (2012), John Goldman (2013).


January 30-April 11, 2015
instant love: simple moments of magic and memory in offstage sketches, snapshots and selfies

Instant Love (2015)

The greater part of a performer's career is spent offstage in company of one's peers, before or after performances, in rehearsals and in dressing rooms. It is made of simple moments filled with expectations, hopes, fears, gratitude, joy, and a fascination for the extraordinary.

While impermanence and make-believe reign on stage, camaraderie and a keen sense of self permeate what is happening offstage. At the end of a performance, the curtain comes down and performers wash off their make-up. Yet, intimate feeling of belonging, lightness, and fulfillment remain alive among performers.

Pulled from the collection of the Museum of Performance + Design, this series of sketches and photographs illuminates the other face of performers and reveals the magic and memory that linger in these moments of shared community, incongruous realities, and reclaimed identity, when the clamor of applause has vanished and the curtain has not risen again.