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Alma Esperanza
Cunningham Movement


Great America

(2024 World Premiere)

Date(s) & Time(s):
Sat May 4, 8:00pm, Sun May 5, 4:00pm

Duration: 20 mins w/out intermission
Location: 3316 24th St, SF, CA, 94110
Venue: Dance Mission Theater

Shared Bill with Rosemary Hannon, Miriam Wolodarski and Aura Fischbeck Dance

Ticket Information

Early Bird: $20, Advance: $25, Door: $28

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Funding Credits: These performances were funded in part by the generosity of individual donors.

Artist Information

Choreography: Alma Esperanza Cunningham in collaboration with the dancers
Chloe Nagle Cetinkaya and Raina Sacksteder

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Artist Sample Video

Alma Esperanza Cunningham Dance

Production Details

Great America
Great America reflects Cunningham’s experience as a second-generation immigrant navigating dual cultural identities with some missing parts. Cunningham documents the challenges of being American and Latin American in a world that wants you to identify with one community. This conflict is always present in Cunningham’s creative process, and in Great America, she uses this tension to allow viewers to understand her cultural experiences viscerally.

“My mom came to this country at 17 from El Salvador and only partially assimilated. When my siblings and I started school, the professionals told her not to speak Spanish at home; instead, she took us to Great America and enrolled us in ballet. Richie Valens was 17 when La Bamba topped the charts. La Bamba was one of my mom’s favorite songs, and I remember watching her dance around the house to it. This dance honors my mother and all the immigrant mothers who did the best they could with what they had."

Artist Biographies

Alma Esperanza Cunningham
In New York, Alma Esperanza Cunningham has had her work presented at Movement Research, Joyce Soho, Dixon Place, and Dance Theater Workshop (Lively Arts). In San Francisco, her work has been shown at ODC Theater, Cowell Theater, Z Space, and Yerba Buena Gardens. She has been awarded residences at ODC, Margaret Jenkin's CHIME, CUNY Purchase dance initiative, and Safehouse AIRspace. She has also been a guest choreographer at the University of San Francisco’s Dance Department. Alma has been an SFUSD public school teacher at Charles Drew Elementary in the Bayview for over a decade. She also teaches dance and somatic movement to youth in the Tenderloin and at ODC School.

She is a Luna Dance Summer Institute graduate and has been independently researching the benefit of mindful movement as a daily practice to promote embodiment, joy, and academic confidence.

“it was Cunningham’s choreography that spoke volumes for me. As in the first solo, each chapter mixed recognizable dance vocabulary with unpredictable physical activity and pedestrian tasks. Deconstructing norms and assumptions of what movement can or should ‘fit’ together, Cunningham seamlessly crafted each phrase into a choreographic stream of consciousness.” Heather Desaulniers, Critical Dance



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