Kim Epifano has a 30-year history as an award-winning choreographer, director, performer, vocalist, educator and collaborator. Erasing the boundaries between dance, theater and music, Epifano is acclaimed for her interdisciplinary, site-specific works that welcome new and diverse audiences to the world of dance and create bridges of cross-cultural understanding.
Following a career with two of San Francisco’s most influential dance companies, Dance Brigade and Contraband, she founded Epiphany Productions in 1997. Through Epiphany, her works have been presented around the globe, including commissions/presentations by Tunisia’s Mad’Art Carthage International Dance Festival, Switzerland’s TanzOlten Festival, Mexico’s Parallelos 32 Company and Ireland’s Croi Glan Integrated Dance Company. International recognition includes receipt of Mexico’s top award in its bi-annual dance competition for a piece commissioned by the US/Mexico Fund for Culture.
Interested in creative and oftentimes unusual partnerships, Epifano has produced over 20 full-length works with a wide array of collaborators. Productions range from Speaking Chinese, an international project with collaborating artists from China and the United States, to Fears of Your Life, a multimedia collaboration with differently-abled dancers from San Francisco’s AXIS Dance Company. She has co-presented the Mission Street Dances with ODC and participates in local collaborations such as Baile en la Calle: The Mural Dances highlighting San Francisco’s historic Mission District murals and Island City Waterways a historic performance tour of Alameda with Rhythmix Cultural Works.
In 2004 Epifano launched the celebrated San Francisco Trolley Dances, an annual outdoor festival produced by Epiphany featuring site-specific dances by local choreographers along MUNI trolley lines. Now one of the city’s largest cultural events, Trolley Dances is credited with diversifying Bay Area dance audiences and supporting the development of Bay Area choreographers.
Throughout her career Epifano has been deeply involved in bringing children into dance. For the past 30 years, as co-director/co-founder of The Mudd Butt Mystery Theater Troupe, she has brought American children to Turkey, Vietnam, Ethiopia, India, Nicaragua, Indonesia and other countries where they create site-specific performances with local communities. She is also in her 4th year of residency at the Bessie Carmichael Elementary School in San Francisco, located in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods.
Epifano’s contribution to the field and to San Francisco’s cultural life has been widely recognized. In addition to multiple Isadora Duncan Awards, a San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Artists Award and other local recognition, in 2014 she received a Choreographer Commissioning Award from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The new piece, Last Blue Couch in the Sky, will be presented by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2017. She has also garnered numerous residencies, including a CHIME mentorship with Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, a Sandbox Series residency at ODC and an ARC Residency at Paul Dresher Studio.
Epifano’s work has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, Kenneth Rainin Foundation, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Irvine Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, Creative Work Fund, San Francisco Arts Commission, Bernard Osher Foundation, Walter and Elise Haas Fund, Puffin Foundation, Fleishhacker Foundation, Wattis Foundation and others.