Artistic Director, Sarah Bush’s devised dance-theater work has been commissioned by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Berkeley Art Center, Axis Dance Company, Destiny Arts Center, and SF Movement Arts Festival at Grace Cathedral. Her work has been presented by A.C.T., Z Space, SF International Arts Festival, National Queer Arts Festival, Global Women’s Rights Forum, West Wave Dance Festival, and at the Wilsey Center for Opera, Dance Mission Theater and Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts. Sarah has held residencies at Dos Rios, Berkeley Art Center, SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts, and Shotwell Studios. Sarah is the recipient of the 2019 Della Davidson Prize, a Dance Europe Critic’s Choice selection, and awards from Curve Magazine and Bay Area Dance Watch.
“Sarah’s unique choreography and style has inspired me so much in the way I view womanhood in dance. The stories she creates are relevant and emotional. I appreciate all that she and her image-changing company do.”
– Andrea Spearman
Allen Temple Baptist Church Praise Dance Ministry, Director
A. Spearman & Company, Founder/Choreographer
Sarah Bush creates her inimitable style of movement by combining years of training in ballet, modern, hip hop, jazz, and contact improvisation. She attended the University of Utah’s Modern Dance Department for two years on the prestigious Elizabeth R. Hayes scholarship. Sarah received a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from San Francisco State University. Since 2007, she has been the Artistic Director of Sarah Bush Dance Project (SBDP), a contemporary dance company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. SBDP’s repertory includes Un-Changing Nature (2019) Spirit & Bones (premiered 2018), Homeward (premiered 2017), This Land (premiered 2016), and Rocked By Women, (premiered 2011).
Sarah has held residencies at Berkeley Art Center, Dos Rios, SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts, and Shotwell Studios. Her work was featured in Women on the Way Dance Festival, the 23rd & 24th seasons of the West Wave Dance Festival at Z Space, the inaugural PUSHfest at ODC Theater, Dance In Revolting Times (D.I.R.T.) at Dance Mission Theater, Oakland Ballet’s East Bay DANCES, San Francisco Movement Arts Festival at Grace Cathedral, Summer Performance Festival (SPF9) at ODC, Concept 23 at the SF War Memorial Performing Arts Center, and the San Francisco International Arts Festival at Fort Mason. Sarah has been awarded the Della Davidson Prize (2019), Bay Area Dance Watch LiveBlessays Award (2015) and Leader of the Month (May 2014) and is the recipient of Curve Magazine’s Dancer/ Choreographer Award (2010).
San Francisco Chronicle Dance Critic Rachel Howard called Sarah Bush “a force to be reckoned with.” Sarah has been interviewed for articles in SF Chronicle, SF Bay Times, The Monthly, East Bay Express, The Daily Californian; and on KQED’s “The Do List”, and KALW’s “Open Air” and “Out In The Bay” radio programs.
In addition to her work with SBDP, Sarah is a member of Krissy Keefer’s revolutionary Dance Brigade; has danced with hip hop company New Style Motherlode; been a guest performer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; and performed in the NBC/Lionsgate TV show, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”, choreographed by Mandy Moore (of La La Land). Sarah has choreographed commissions for Axis Dance Company, Destiny Arts Center, Mona Khan Company, and Dance Brigade’s SummerFeast at Dos Rios. Theater choreography credits include Shelley Doty’s “We3” at Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor and The Kilbane’s rock opera “Weightless” at ACT’s Strand Theater. Sarah served on the Izzie Awards Committee in 2018.
Sarah serves as an artist in residence in schools and offers private lessons and group classes in San Francisco and the East Bay.
View Sarah’s resumé
Dance is the vehicle through which I move in the world. It is the language I use to explore ideas, express emotions and tell stories. Dance is the tool-kit with which I am equipped to honor, celebrate, inspire, educate, entertain, and enhance lives and to positively impact society. I create dances that show strong, emotional, well-rounded women – dances that inspire all women to feel better about our place in the world.
I believe it is the role of the dancer to perform with the truest, rawest emotion possible to not only receive a rich and satisfying performance experience, but also act as catalyst for the audience’s full range of human emotion.
My dance and art background is a dichotomy, informed in equal parts by fine arts and pop culture. My father is a visual artist, my mother a lover of the written word. I was raised on classical music and MTV. I was an NBA cheerleader and have a Bachelor of Arts degree in modern dance. I have trained in many different styles and have always maintained a balance of flavors in my study, practice and performance. I move easily between hip-hop and modern dance circles. I grew up in churches, creating and delivering liturgical dance, which continues to influence my work. Both liturgical dance and go-go dancing in nightclubs have given me an appreciation for how best to connect with an audience as a group and as individuals.
GRANTS and AWARDS
• Artist Residency at Dos Rios (2019)
• Della Davidson Prize (2019)
• Blum Family Foundation (2011-2019)
• Meriama Fund (2017-2019)
• Dancer Residency at Berkeley Art Center (2018)
• Open Meadows Foundation (2018)
• City of Oakland’s Cultural Funding Program (2015 & 2016)
• Zellerbach Family Foundation (2006, 2011, 2014, 2016)
• Artist Residency at SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts (2016)
• Clorox Company Foundation’s Arts Mini Grant (2016)
• Bay Area Dance Watch, LiveBlessays Award (2015)
• Bay Area Dance Watch, Leader of the Month (May 2014)
• Bernstein Family Foundation (2012)
• Queer Cultural Center’s Creating Queer Community Grant (2011)
• Recipient of Curve Magazine’s Dancer/ Choreographer Award (2010)
• Artist In Motion Residency, Shotwell Studios (2007-2008)
• Elizabeth R. Hayes Scholarship, University of Utah, Modern Dance Dept (1997)