This is the 14th year for the annual San Pedro Festival of the Arts, going through several transitions during that time. Joe Caccavalla was the original founder of the arts festival and he envisioned dance, music, and visual arts/ crafts to be the heart of the festival in order to foster the appreciation of all the arts. Following his death in 2012, the producers reformed as SAN PEDRO TRI ART Festival and later it took on its current title.  What sets the 2020 festivities apart from previous years is that it has moved online and will be featuring dance exclusively. The links to the festival open on September 12, 2020 and will remain open through October 4, 2020. Admission is free.

When the festival was renamed the San Pedro Festival of Arts, it moved to the Ports O’Call Village in San Pedro 8 years ago . The move attracted thousands of new attendees, performers and vendors, aiding in showcasing San Pedro as a center of art. Construction at that site forced the festival to relocate to Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles, and then to a location across from the USS Iowa, Port of Los Angeles. Last year the festival moved yet again to the Anderson Memorial Center.

The COVID-19 pandemic has, like so many events, forced its organizers to present the festival online. This year’s festival was made possible in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles graciously suggested that it could be moved to a digital platform honoring CD 15. Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County Supervisor of Supervisorial District 4, has also pledged a grant supporting this.

Emergence Dance Stage NowUpro5highres PranamyaSuri_Photo2_SujayRamagoni sean 2 hands back 300 copy
Sean Nederlof in Tonia Shimin's film "Of Stones and Water" - Photo still courtesy of the artist

The festival’s Executive Producer and Dance Director is Louise Reichlin, who is also the Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer for Louise Reichlin & Dancers/LA Choreographers & Dancers. As Dance Director of the festival Reichlin curates a diverse range of companies from a large competitive group of applicants. For the San Pedro Festival of the Arts 2020, she has brought together companies whose dance styles include ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, and specific and fusion ethnic groups.

The festival’s recent press release states that “The choreographers are all professional ranging in age this year to 79 but included are both professional dance companies and four exemplary studios or schools including a few performers under 10, so they can share their work with each other and the community. A special feature is that besides just the videos, each piece will have a short introduction by the Artist, or an interview with Reichlin, or a short verbal introduction. Editor for the online Festival is Andrew Zutta”. The works curated by Reichlin include 19 dissimilar dances from 17 companies & studios

Here is a brief description of what each group is presenting – listed alphabetically:

Akomi DanceTable For Two by Marie Hoffman and reMEmber by Anthony Aceves, Artistic Directors
Alán L. PérezWe Wear Human Skin Under All These Clothes
Barkin/Selissen ProjectThe Making of Differential Cohomology, a documentary by Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen, Artistic Directors
Brittany Woo Iceberg with dancers from the UCI Dance Department
Cathartic Art Project – Raqs Sharqui, Jill Collins, Artistic Director
Degas Dance Studio, Anacia Weiskittel, Artistic Director. Despair by Dasha Tertova and Rabbit Hole by Savea Kagan
Emergence Dance CompanyWake Up; Awaken by Cindy Heen, Artistic Director
Emergent Dance Company99.5 by Megan Pulfer, Artistic Director
Jose Costas Contempo BalletRealidad de una Fantasia by Jose Costas, Artistic Director
Kairos Dance CompanyScenes from the Female Heart by Hazel Clarke, Artistic Director
Louise Reichlin & Dancers/LA Choreographers & DancersBrandenburg from Tap Dance Widows Club and Alone 2020 by Louise Reichlin, Artistic Director
Mixed eMotion Theatrix So Now You Know Directed and choreographed by Janet Roston, Artistic Director
Pranamya Suri Alokaye, a traditional Kuchipudi work, transcribed from the Sanskit of Narayana Teertha
Re:borN Dance InteractiveSelf Disclosure from Omniscopic choreographed by Boroka Nagy
San Pedro City Ballet, Cynthia and Patrick David Bradley, Artistic Directors The Menaced Assassin by Patrick David Bradley
Tonia Shimin Of Stones and Water, a film Directed and Choreographed by Tonia Shimin.
WestMet Classical Training Fragments of a Landscape Choreographed by Allynne Noelle, Owner, performed by her students


What: San Pedro Festival of the Arts


When: The links to the festival open on September 12, 2020 and will remain open through October 4, 2020.

Cost: Admission is free.

For more information on the program and companies, please click HERE.

For more information on the producing company, please click HERE.

By Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Louise Reichlin Dancers/Los Angeles Choreographers & Dancers in Circle – Photo courtesy of the company.