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Dance and Performance Art for Your Calendar: ODC, CounterPULSE, and Ethnic Dance Fest

From Suicide Barrier. Pictured: Iu-Hui Chua and Tammy Ho. Photo Credit: Kathryn Balasingam

Kick off the summer with a dose of high art. ODC and CounterPULSE offer premieres of edgy works while the 33rd Ethnic Dance Festival brings worldly culture back to the Bay Area for its annual series.

June 3-5: Suicide Barrier: Secure in our Illusion
Butoh master and multimedia artist Ledoh teams up with video artist Perry Hallinan to contemplate the contemporary "age of anxiety" and "collective safety" in the world we live in today. Sound heady? It is. But here's the kicker: the piece takes its title from newly added wall and net on the Golden Gate Bridge (designed to catch bridge jumpers), meaning it will be nothing short of powerful movement and imagery.
$15-$18; ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., odctheater.org

June 3-5: CounterPULSE Goin' Gaga
Inspired by the intergenerational dialogue among queer artists, this new production by Anne Bluethenthal and Dancers questions the ascendance of queer and the decline of feminism. It's an exploration through the lens of pop culture, played out through music, dance, and text. The real draw: the performance involves body paint and also includes a second program billed as "50 random acts of dance," in which the company picks a site, arrives inconspicuously, performs, and leaves. Now that's a social experiment worth watching.
$15-$20; CounterPULSE, 1310 Mission St., counterpulse.org

June 3 – July 3: Ethnic Dance Festival
Boasting 15 world premieres, 50 companies, and 750 world dance and music artists over the course of five weekends, the phenomenon that is the Ethnic Dance Fest takes over the Bay Area. With that much diverse talent coming through SF, it's no wonder the annual festival has become a cultural institution. Highlights include Theater Flamenco, Ballet Folklórico, Bal Anat, the African Heritage Ensemble, and the return of the native Ohlone peoples to the Bay Area. 
$18-$58; Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft Way and Telegraph Ave., Berkeley; YBCA, 701 Mission St., worldartswest.org