ODC is a groundbreaking contemporary arts institution with longstanding roots in the San Francisco community. The organization was formed by Brenda Way in 1971 as a collective of artists at Oberlin College in Ohio where the name ODC originates (Oberlin Dance Collective). Adventure, a certain irreverence and the joy of moving were key ingredients to the core philosophy of our founding members. In 1976, the sixteen dancers, painters, writers, photographers and musicians of the collective bid farewell to Ohio, piled into a big yellow bus and came west to San Francisco to find a context for their artistic vision and social ideals.
Now one of the most active centers for dance on the West Coast, we are unique for our fully integrated program vision and far-reaching impact. Our two building campus features eight studios, 2 performance venues and several office suites, is home to a world-class dance company, a professional, pre-professional, and recreational dance training program, a Healthy Dancer’s Clinic, and a nationally regarded presenting venue.
Operating in San Francisco's Mission district for 40 years, our programs and numerous neighborhood activities have contributed to community development, stability and access to creative art-making. Presenting, co-presenting, scholarship, work exchange, apprentice, sponsorship and rental programs are all here to serve the large professional dance, music and theater communities in San Francisco.
We are proud to have been the first modern dance company in America to build our own home facility in 1979. In September 2005, we opened our 33,000 square foot performing arts training center, the ODC Dance Commons, half a block from our cornerstone facility, the ODC Theater. In Fall 2010, the completion of ODC Theater culminated a successful two-year, $9 million renovation and expansion campaign that concludes ODC’s extraordinary, decade-long $20 million effort to realize a national center for contemporary dance and performance on the West Coast.