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Dancing in thin air: Bayview-based choreographer brings Aerial Arts Festival to San Francisco

photo by Carla Brava, Resized and Cropped
BANDALOOP dance company, participants in the SF Aerial Arts Festival

Joanna Haigood makes site-specific and aerial dance. Her dances take place outside, or on specially built structures, or even suspended by ropes and harnesses high above the ground.

She’s been making work like this for her company Zaccho Dance Theater for over 30 years. In 2014, she founded the San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival, which showcases all kinds of performance that take place off the ground and above our heads.

Haigood: The idea of getting on a swing and feeling the air on your skin and through your hair, it's something that we all reach for.

The second biennial San Francisco Aerial Arts Festival takes place this weekend at Fort Mason Center. 

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.



Jen Chien was the managing editor for Crosscurrents and KALW News from 2016 to 2018. She has been a contributor to All Things Considered, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, BBC/PRI’s The World, Making Contact, SF Public Press, East Bay Express, New America Media, and KPFA in Berkeley, where she took part in the First Voice Apprenticeship Program. She is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Emerging Journalist Award from the Society of Professional Journalists of Northern California. She holds a BA in American Studies from Smith College, and an MA in Interdisciplinary Performance from New College of California. Before entering the field of journalism, she had a successful career as a professional dance and theater artist, teacher, and massage therapist.