Dance Sampler 2018Christopher Salango and Nimat Laila Shabazz rehearse for the upcoming Sacramento Dance Sampler. (Sacramento State/Craig Koscho)

They come from dance companies throughout Northern California, each bringing a taste of their work to share and be enjoyed as part of the annual Sacramento Dance Sampler, held as part of Sacramento State’s Festival of the Arts (FoTA).

This year’s Sampler will be held at 2 and 7 p.m. April 14-15 in Solano Hall Dancespace 1010. Tickets are $12 at (916) 278-4323,, or at the door.

The concerts serve two purposes – to generate interest in Sacramento’s growing dance scene, and to build community among audiences and participating companies.

This year’s participants include the Linda Bair Dance Company, Midtown Stomp, Dynamic EnerG, Yemaya Salsa and more. Music ranges from jazz to orchestral to electronica with dance styles to match.

Bernard Brown, a Sac State assistant professor and founder of Bernard Brown/bbmoves, is presenting two numbers,

One of them, “Come.Unity,” features five dancers – three women and two men – with music by Flying Lotus and Knxwledge. “It looks at how social justice moments are moved, organized, and mobilized through virtual means,” Brown says.

His second piece, a one-man performance, looks at how certain groups continue to get knocked down, Brown says. “But the marginalized continue to persevere and get back up,” he adds. It features Steven T. Gordon’s song “Leaning In.”

Sacramento Dance Sampler was created eight years ago by Theatre and Dance Interim Chair Lorelei Bayne and is based on a similar event she witnessed while living in New York City.

“I felt the Sacramento community was ready for something like this,” Bayne says.

The concert is usually a raw and unplugged presentation, meaning just a bare minimum of lighting and other support. But Bayne says production manager Drew Lenox and equipment technician Zac Cahoon were able to give the production a little more color this year, making the event even more special.

More information on the Festival of the Arts is available here. For more information on Sac State’s Theatre and Dance Department’s events and programs, visit or call 916-278-6308. For media assistance, call University Communications at 916-278-6156. – Craig Koscho