Nina Haft & Company dances at Park[ing] Day

•September 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Nina Haft & Company dances at Park[ing] Day

Park[ing] Day Dance Festival is Sept. 20th

•September 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Nina Haft & Company, in collaboration with visual artist Lauren Elder and Berkeley High School, present an Art Carnival, with free dance and games all day in downtown Berkeley.  Find us in front of 2201 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, near the corner of Allston Way. We are one block from BART and near several bus lines.

Park[ing] Day is an international public art event created by Rebar/SF. All over the planet, folks are occupying parking spaces, making prime open space in our cities available for everyone’s enjoyment.

Over 100 professional and student artists are participating this year in Nina Haft & Company’s Park[ing] Day Dance Festival.

Nina Haft has been working for the past 2 weeks with dancers from Berkeley High School on choreography about City Living. Lauren Elder has been working with students from California College of Art to design our ‘park’.

Art Carnival – open 9am – 11am and 12n-2:30pm.

9-11a           Art Carnival open for games!

11-11:30a   Berkeley HS Dance Production class performs

12n-2:45p   Art Carnival open

3-3:15p        Berkeley HS Advanced Dance Lab class performs

3:15-4:30p  Dance Rehearsals

4:30-5:15p  Professional Dance Company concert with:

Nina Haft & Company; Dandelion Dancetheater; Dana Lawton Dances; Troy Macklin; Jennifer Stern; Melanie Cutchon; and special guests.

To begin with the ending already in sight…

•March 28, 2013 • Leave a Comment

To begin with the ending already in sight...

Nina Haft & Company presents a dance performance about appetites and desires, April 26-28 in Berkeley. For more info and link to purchase tickets, visit

Park[ing] Day Dances for 2012

•September 16, 2012 • Leave a Comment


We are gearing up for Park[ing] Day Dances 2012
Please join Nina Haft & Co. on Friday, September 21st….we’ll have so much fun!!!

Scroll down for performance times in our ‘park’…..

Park[ing] Day is an international public art event that encourages people to take back public space in our cities. For one day all over the planet, artists and other creative spirits ‘rent’ parking spaces and turn them into parks – places for everyone to enjoy. This event was created in 2005 by REBAR, a visionary SF design group. For more info on Park[ing] Day, maps of Park(ing) Day parks near you, and more, visit:

Nina Haft & Co. and friends will be at 2201 Shattuck Avenue, near the corner of Allston Way in downtown Berkeley. We have a wonderful lineup this year, and an exciting new addition to our program this year: Lauren Elder (Bay Area environmental and installation artist) is working with her students at California College of Art to design our ‘park’ with recycled and reused items. We’ll have a lifesize game of Jenga for you to play with, and much more. At Berkeley High School, Miriam Stahl’s students are making original T-Shirts for performers to wear.


Friday September 21

Berkeley High School DANCE PRODUCTION


Jenga games in the park!

Dances by Nina Haft & Company, Dandelion Dancetheater, Aura Fischbeck,
Dark Faith Dance Company, Krystal Bates and special guests

Nina Haft & Co. and FEDM premiere this.placed

•March 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Nina Haft & Sue Li Jue premiere this.placed, an evening of dances about what the body remembers. ODC Theater (3153 17th Street in San Francisco) – March 2 at 8p, March 3 at 3p and 8p, and March 4 at 3p. See below for a Directors’ Statement and a list of the wonderful artists we are collaborating with on the show. We hope to see you there!


Nina Haft & Co. Dancers Peiling Kao and Sarah Keeney in this.placed. Photo: Pak Han

Choreography: Nina Haft and Sue Li Jue, with the dancers; Scenic Design: Lauren Elder; Video: Ian Winters; Music & Sound: Matt Payne; Lighting Design: Tony Shayne; Costume Design: Keriann Egeland; Text: Britta Austin; Dramaturgical Assistance: Rebecca Novick.

Dancers: Masataka Aita, Josie Alvite, Lisa Bush, Claire Calalo, CSUEB Dance Touring Company, Nhan Ho, Corissa Johnson, Rebecca Johnson, Peiling Kao, Sarah Keeney, Carol Kueffer, Edmer Lazaro, Jill Randall, Frances Sedayao, Linnea Snyderman and Amanda Whitehead.

From the Directors of this.placed:


When Sue and I first talked about sharing a show, we each had something in mind for a ‘next project.’ I wanted to dive headlong into the writings of local author Britta Austin, whose work sparked my appetite for composing in short form. Britta’s deeply embodied words literally ripped my senses, fears and desires right out onto the studio floor.

Coming into this project with Nina I knew I wanted to restage a recent work, one inspired by orphan girls in China who turn to each other to create family. This vision expanded into a suite of short works about the undeniable and emotional memory of the body. Discussions with Nina were so engaging, and the prospects — exciting. I knew the partnership would be one of both professional and personal growth.

Pretty soon we both realized that we were both making work about place, the formative places where we are born, tested, transformed and rooted. These places still live inside our bodies and shape everything about us. We created this.placed by sharing a common lens, and by cheering each other on through all that happened next. We also shared months of showings, feedback, conversation, design meetings and good council from our advisors. It really does take a village to make a show, and we could not have done this without each one of our dancers, supporters and collaborators. Thank you for joining us on this journey!

Reporting back from the Middle East: opening of T:HERE

•June 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Opening night of T:HERE is just days away, and I am amazed at all we have accomplished. Nina Haft & Company’s new friends and colleagues Ziad, Jehad, Nadeen and Dalia are now part of our journey – when we arrived in the Middle East, we only barely knew where we were… We all carry places inside of us. All 12 dancers, as well as Ziad and myself, carry Palestine inside of us in some way. For some of us, it is where we were born. For others, it is a place we long to return. For the rest of us, it is a place that teaches us about what it means to be Jewish or Filipino, or Italian, or any number of things, while calling America home.

Nina Haft & Company dancers made new friends when we visited Amman, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Jerusalem. It has perhaps taken coming back ‘home’ for us to put into context all that we saw. We saw great wealth as well as poverty; toney suburbs and trash-lined ghettoes. From taxi drivers to dance festival directors, everyone we met was in love with the land. Plainly put, I would never want my family to live the way people end up in the refugee camps. These families are waiting to go home. They have been waiting for 63 years; these are some of the oldest refugee camps in the world. There is poverty, blight, exhaustion, limited opportunities, staggering unemployment and the impossibility of dancing at the weddings of friends and family. Yet everyone dances! Dance and music and coming together is a daily and nightly priority, and we immediately knew we spoke a common language there.

Yes there is hardship, but there is also humor, resilience and resistance. Each generation keeps the family home, village, country and dream of going home alive. This is the art of living, the artist’s work — to keep home alive and within reach at all times, in the heart and mind.

Nina Haft & Company made T:HERE because we promised our friends in Palestine to share what we saw with you. This is our journey.

T:HERE is in it’s first incarnation. The piece weaves together photographs that the dancers took with contemporary dance and Palestinian folkloric dance (dabkeh). In a short time we have pulled together from a wide range of perspectives on aesthetics, politics and process. For the Nina Haft & Company dancers, learning the basics of dabkeh has resulted in new movement, new rhythms and new sore muscles! But that is not all we have learned. We stand with our new colleagues in resisting oppression and the Israeli Occupation of Palestine. With Arab Spring and the opening of the Rafah border crossing, we celebrate all who raise their voices and risk everything for freedom.

Our piece is still taking shape – please come see it this weekend! We perform T:HERE for TWO NIGHTS ONLY: June 3 and 4. We welcome your responses and feedback.

T:HERE a dance travelogue by Nina Haft & Company
June 3 – 4, 2011 at 8pm
SF International Arts Festival
Southside Theater, Bldg. D, Fort Mason Center, SF
Tickets:  [Use “HAFT” for online ticket discount]

Home. Exile. Resistance. An invitation, a landscape, walls, borders and checkpoints. A young life cut short, a funeral. New understandings of resilience in the face of oppression and Israeli occupation. In 2010, Nina Haft & Company traveled to the Middle East, where they met the Palestinian people striving for the right of return to their homes and land of origin. This is our journey.

Dancers: Josie Alvite, Lisa Bush, Rebecca Johnson, Carol Kueffer, Edmer Lazaro, Mo Miner, Juliana Monin, Frances Sedayao
Guest Artists: Jehad Al Shamarkheh, Nadeen Elshorafa, Dalia Marina, Frank Shawl
Direction: Nina Haft, Ziad Abbas

Nina Haft & Co. Bites the Big Apple!

•March 19, 2011 • 1 Comment

We are making our first appearances in my old home town. Come see the lovely Jill Randall perform A Dance To Remember on Friday, March 25 at 12:15pm and 12:45pm in Washington Square Park near the fountain and gate. These performances are FREE. We’ll be there with Suzanne Beahrs and her dancers, among others. This is in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. For more info on the Triangle Fire Coalition:

Also this weekend, we are one of four terrific companies performing in the Gowanus Guest Room Series at the Gowanus Arts Building, 295 Douglass Street in Brooklyn, NY. Buy your tickets in advance, the venue is intimate (i.e. small!): We are performing Debris Flows, a quartet inspired by a California ‘natural’ disaster, and Dead on the Road, a triptych of dances inspired by road kill, Red Riding Hood and the BP Oil Spill. Come on out and see a really great show, and support our debut in NYC.

Nina Haft & Company dances on Park[ing]Day

•August 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Friday, September 17 is Park[ing] Day, and we’ll be dancing and hanging out in our ‘park’ on the southeastern corner of Addison and Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley that day. Park[ing] Day is a world-wide public art event created by Rebar, an SF design group that helps people to rethink public space. As registered participants, we’ll be building a park in some parking spaces (with ‘rent’ paid in full, of course) on Friday, Sept. 17 while others do the same all over the planet. Come visit Nina Haft & Company with Berkeley High School Dancers at 10:15 and 11:15am. At 12:15pm, NH&Co. premieres excerpts from our upcoming home season. FREE and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the City of Berkeley Department of Public Works, City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, and Berkeley High School’s AHA Program.

My mental camera

•May 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

from Rebecca (Johnson), May 11, 2010 – We met at Nina’s house on Sunday around 4pm. We shared pictures and videos from the tour. With 8 people, we had over 2,500 photos and at least 5 hours of videos from our flip cameras. But there were many moments that I chose, and we chose, not to have our cameras. Moments captured with just our eyes, ears, bodies and minds. No technology involved. In thinking about this incredible trip, there were moments that just begged not to have camera to capture, but just a person to capture what happened and to make meaning. The act of blogging has seemed overwhelming since my return, but I realized that maybe putting some of my own “mental camera” into words would be a place to begin – a list, not poetic, but simply moments in time:

  • My first view of the wall in Ramallah from the bus seeing the Banksy balloon girl
  • Up close with machine gun armed man at the Allenby crossing from Jordan into Israel
  • Nachos in Ramallah with Eyhab at the Tropicana hotel
  • View of the Adios bar from the stool with hours of conversation, understanding, connection
  • Shawarma in Amman before the Citadel
  • My feelings on the roof of the building at Aida refugee camp as Areej explained the stories of people there and the place: life-changing moment
  • The Rocky Hotel on the morning of Sunday, April 25th
  • Funeral procession through the streets of Ramallah on Sunday, April 25th
  • The hotel gym/spa in Amman where Lisa and I met two women from Iraq in the jacuzzi
  • Arriving at Bet Anisa in the cab in Ramallah on the night we performed at the festival – much later that evening – and finding my crew there for celebration
  • Rocky Hotel lobby…cards and speaking French with Compagnie Vent de Sable
  • Inventing Ruby Red Alert with Frances just after the fireworks in Amman
  • Loving spending time with my roomie Lisa Bush throughout the entire trip in every moment – dream come true
  • Looking for al kamandjati in Ramallah with Nina, Nancy, Frank & Lisa
  • Talking with Lina at the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence in Amman
  • Dancing on the program in Amman and again in Ramallah with our Norwegian superhero friends
  • Turkish bath in Petra, talking with Becky about her next life adventures on the warm stone table at the Turkish Bath in Petra
  • Being on this trip with Nina Haft: my mentor, the love of my life, my inspiration, my friend, the artist I admire with all my heart who, without, my life would not be as it is today
  • 5th floor patio at the Rocky Hotel in Ramallah on Rabi’s birthday night and into the next morning; singing I will never forget, meeting Marion, talking with Nisreen
  • Dancing everywhere we danced: an honor, a privilege, a coming of age for my 37-year-old self, a delight, a lesson, a heartbreak, a life-changing experience
  • Coming home to those who I love, to Jacob, to Oakland, a wedding, my family, Jacob’s (and now my) family, my dance family and all that has made and makes life here amazing and a gift

There is no way to sum this up. My heart is in Ramallah and my mind is full of the people I met all over the Middle East – from this region – and from so many other places. Grateful is only a single word that can begin to sum up my feelings now and I hope to find many more words and expressions that can inform life here, so that I may share the grace, generosity and learning that came from this experience. xo, rebecca

i belong

•May 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Post by: Frances Sedayao – For the children of Aida and Ibdaa, and all children of the world, young and old

i belong

thoughts of desert lands
and salty seas linger
my heart belongs to you

to the mothers and fathers
women and men i belong to you
to the old and young
i belong
you, removed and imprisoned
i belong
beautiful dark angel of the land
in your hands i belong
to you who only know strife
i belong
to the olive trees relinquished from
the land, to you i belong

to the cause of people who long for home
i belong

in your homes i belong
for your songs in the wind
your hand prints on the lands
and your dances in the seas
run through my veins
and i am happily captured

to you who long for home
to your RETURN
for your RETURN
i belong

-fsedayao 6May2010