This weekend, Los Angeles-based choreographer Maria Gillespie will make her San Francisco debut with her dance company, Oni Dance, at CounterPULSE. A few years back, the Los Angeles Times deemed the company “fearless”, and The New York Times has described her as “one of [Los Angeles’] most respected artists.”

What: Oni Dance presents Exquisite.Corpse and Wasteland (arrival

When: Friday-Saturday, June 25-26, 8PM

Where: CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission Street, San Francisco

Tickets: $20 general/$16 students and seniorsonline

A West Coast transplant with East Coast roots, Gillespie moved to LA in the mid 90s and quickly begun making strides, presenting work all around town. She’s taught at UCLA and CalArts, and is currently working on her MFA in choreography at UCLA.

But Oni Dance–what in the world does that mean? Gillespie culled together some dancers and traveled Tokyo, presenting her choreography at a dance festival. The experience was so positive that in 2005, she formed her company, which included these dancers. To honor the “inspirational trip to Japan,” she called the company Oni “after a goblin character from Japanese mythology, which is a symbol of transforming human weaknesses into beauty and courage.”


the author

Becca Klarin writes about dance. Her first stage role was at the age of four, where she dressed in a brightly colored bumble bee tutu and black patent leather taps shoes. She remembers bright lights and spinning in circles with her eleven other bees, but nothing more. Becca also has an affinity for things beginning with the letter "P", including Pizzetta 211, Fort Point, pilates, parsvakonasana, and plies.

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