Trans Choreographer Sean Dorsey Brings His Groundbreaking Show to S.F.

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Award-winning transgender choreographer and activist Sean Dorsey is celebrating the 15th anniversary of his groundbreaking dance company by returning to San Francisco for a one-weekend engagement of Boys in Trouble, starting tonight.

The emotional dance show has gained momentum among audiences in the short time it's been on the road for its powerful choreography, which puts a trans and queer lens on intersectional questions of embodiment, violence, Black queer love, whiteness, shame, and posturing.

The San Francisco engagement is part of a 20-city tour across the United States and internationally, which started last year and will continue in 2021 to Maui, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Calif., Burlington, Vt., and others. 

The first transgender modern dance choreographer to win wide acclaim in the U.S., Dorsey has long been celebrated for his powerful, deeply human dances and trailblazing activism. In the 15 years since he founded Sean Dorsey Dance, he and his dancers have had a significant impact on the performing arts landscape. 

To celebrate the 15th anniversary engagement in San Francisco, the dance company will give free Bay Area workshops, and it will travel to national conferences to speak about trans equity as well as the national expansion of TRANSform Dance, the company’s groundbreaking trans-supportive education, engagement, and advocacy initiative.

“Fifteen years ago, I never could have imagined that I would become the first U.S. trans artist to be presented by the Joyce Theater or that I’d be touring to cities across the country,” Dorsey says. “This season, as the company celebrates 15 years of creative work and cultural activism, I’m thrilled to bring Boys in Trouble back home to the bay as part of a 20-city tour. I am proud to be radically expanding our trans-supportive education, engagement, and advocacy work at this critical time when trans communities are facing escalating attacks across the nation.”

Sean Dorsey Dance is also the subject of an upcoming full-length documentary currently in production, directed by Annalise Ophelian and StormMiguel Florez, whose previous documentary Major! about pioneering Black trans woman elder and activist Miss Major was an official selection at 60 festivals worldwide and garnered more than 20 awards for best documentary. 

Boys in Trouble features dancers Sean Dorsey, Brian Fisher, ArVejon Jones, Nol Simonse, and Will Woodward; original music composed by Alex Kelly, Ben Kessler, Anomie Belle and LD Brown; lighting design by Clyde Sheets; costume design by Tiffany Amundson; and technical direction by Emily Paulson.

The show runs Thursday through Saturday at Z Space in San Francisco.

Visit Sean Dorsey Dance for more information on tour dates. 

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