Get In Front! with Bay Area Dancers


Hi “Open Studio 455” Readers,

This is James Sofranko and Garen Scribner, soloists with SF Ballet, and we’d love to take this opportunity to announce a cause and project we’ve been working on together for almost a year!  We have partnered with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California to produce a one night only dance performance benefit on June 6, 2012 at the Herbst Theater.

The Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) is a Bay Area non-profit research organization dedicated to preventing cancer and reducing its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. We both feel strongly about the issue of cancer affecting us as a population and we want to use our talents and connections in the dance world to help CPIC make a difference.

The numbers are staggering: 1 out of 2 of us will have cancer in our lifetimes. With that said, 90% of cancers are preventable. We realized that the time is now to Get in Front of cancer, before it gets to us.

We thought, what better way to use our talents towards a good cause than to put on a show!  Our concept was to put together a performance that reflected the rich diversity within the bay area dance community.  The dance world is small and we know so many amazing dancers from other companies, so we decided to try and put together a performance with dancers from all over the bay area. As it turns out, it wasn’t hard to persuade them to volunteer to perform in our benefit!  It’s been energizing to see so many incredible people willing to offer their talents and hard work to this cause.  Cancer has affected everyone’s life in one way or another, so we all have reasons to Get in Front!

Our show is called The Get in Front Performance, which reflects CPIC’s mission to Get in Front of cancer.  So far, we have an impressive line up of talented dancers from bay area dance companies like Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Smuin Ballet, ODC/Dance, Margaret Jenkins Dance Company, Zhukov Dance Theater, Robert Moses’ Kin, AXIS Dance Company, as well as principal dancers from our very own San Francisco Ballet!  It will be quite an eclectic show, and a unique opportunity to support dance in our community as well as cancer prevention.

There will also be an after party above the Herbst Theater in the Green Room following the performance to continue the celebration, meet the performers and learn more about CPIC and its mission.

Needless to say, organizing such a big event has been a learning experience, but one that we have fully embraced.  Sometimes we wonder if we bit off more than we can chew, but when we think about the cause behind all the work, and the money that will be raised to continue such great research programs at CPIC, we have no doubt that this is an endeavor worth every ounce of hard work.  From all the dancers willing to perform, crew and staff volunteering, and excited fans of Bay Area dance companies, the energy and spirit behind this event will be far reaching.

We have to give a huge “thank you” to everyone who has been so generous with their time and expertise in guiding us in everything from development, programming, photography/video, administrative support and volunteers.  We’d like to thank Glenn McCoy, Tom Flynn and Helgi Tomasson for supporting us in this huge undertaking. So much of this is possible because of their support and guidance.

We will continue to blog about this event and our progress in organizing, so stay tuned for more info, and in the meantime to learn more, check out

And please mark your calendars – tickets go on sale April 11th!


-James and Garen

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  1. avatar Robin Harrigan
    Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Do you need volunteers for this event? My daughter dances with Petaluma City Ballet and what a great opportunity for the 14-17 year old set to help out on this night (or prior to the event?).

    Please let me know of volunteer opportunities and I will see what I can do to wrangle some bodies, both parents and dancers.

    Thanks for doing this! Should be an AMAZING evening all around.

  2. avatar Open Studio 455
    Posted May 15, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Hi Robin, Thanks so much for your enthusiasm about the Get in Front Performance! We already have volunteers lined up for the event, but thanks for your offer. We look forward to seeing you there – it will be a wonderful show for dance students, showcasing so many different kinds of world-class dance. Make sure to get your tickets soon, they’re almost sold out!

    Garen & James

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