With their fifth collaboration, Howell and Dawson continue their journey of bridging jazz and contemporary ballet. Borrowing from the title of Howell’s just-released jazz album, Coming of Age—MANGAKU, this program features the world premiere of MANGAKU, an ensemble work for nine dancers with live musical accompaniment from Howell and guest artists. Rounding out the program is Floating in Mid Air, another Dawson-Howell collaboration, a work which received its premiere at San Francisco’s Bayview Opera House earlier this year.

Dawson works in the contemporary ballet idiom, characterized by balletic grammar mixed with lissome spines, thrusting rib cages and swerving limbs. Dawson has a snappy vibe, and his confident choreography is at its best when showing off the speedy athleticism and muscularity of his dancers.

—Mary Ellen Hunt

Referring to Richard Howell: I have the deepest respect for his musical abilities. He walks in the same path as the great ones: Joe Henderson, Don Myrick to be mentioned in the same light. I have great belief in his talents. He will continue to make contributions in the time to come.

—Maurice White
Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

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Regular admission: $25–65

Students, teachers, seniors: 10% off regular admission.

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About the artists

About Richard Howell
Aptly described by KQED as a jazz “Jedi Master,” saxophonist, award-winning composer, producer Richard Howell is a Bay Area treasure. His latest album, Burkina, was named one of the best recordings of 2016 by The Mercury News. Howell calls his sound “Bridge Music,” defining it as a unique jazz pathway that celebrates diversity, joins differences and links through a sonic connection.

About dawsondancesf
Founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Gregory P. Dawson, dawsondancesf breaks down the barriers placed on classical ballet, and brings to light the strength and beauty that artists possess within themselves, allowing them to explore their voices through choreography and vision. Through this process, artists transform themselves, audiences, and the world of dance that surrounds them.

Photo: Devi Pride Photography