Forging new opportunities through alumna Khala Brannigan and Sidra Bell Dance New York

SAN FRANCISCO | module presented by Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program and LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican. A company apprenticeship program with LBTP.

This January, the Training Program looks forward to our week-long residency with Sidra Bell and her Sidra Bell Dance New York (SBDNY) company dancers. The SAN FRANCISCO | module is a shared series of workshops with Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program (LBTP) and LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican. SBDNY will also be conducting a new apprenticeship program with a group of LBTP dancers, enabling these individuals to create with the company during the afternoons. The product of one week’s work together will informally be shared in a studio showing Friday, January 20th at LINES Dance Center, Studio 1 at 5pm. The following week, on January 25th, alumna Khala Brannigan has invited LBTP to perform this constructed work with the Bay Are Dance Collective at SAFEhouse Arts.

photo of Khala as an LBTP student in Sidra Bell’s work

Khala Brannigan of Bay Area Dance Collective has been actively creating work, collaborating and performing in the San Francisco community. She received funding from the Zellerbach Family Foundation, which enabled a commission for Sidra Bell to come and make work on the Collective dancers. During Khala’s time in the Training Program, Sidra Bell created one of several memorable works for LBTP titled Complex Heaven, and Sidra’s process and language served as an inspirational tool that Khala embraced and continued to seek out. Due to our collaborative efforts, Sidra can bring her entire company which includes another lovely artist and LBTP alumna, Madison Wada. Having these guest dance artists join us will be invigorating and enriching and provide a fresh perspective!  It is this type of exchange – these connections that continue to evolve and grow between the program, the alumni, and the many phenomenal artists that come through – that LBTP continues to cultivate and deeply cherish.

Learn more about Khala Brannigan, Sidra Bell and their continued work with LBTP below (plus info on our other fantastic alumni achievements and how to become a part of the LBTP family by auditioning this season!)…


Khala Brannigan, lead artist of Bay Area Dance Collective is a LINES Ballet Training Program alumna of 2011-2013. Since graduating, Brannigan has been choreographing original works in the Bay Area in collaboration with local poets, musicians, and video designers. Her work has been included in West Wave Dance Festival, Summer Performance Festival and San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

Bay Area Dance Collective was was founded this year in hopes of allowing emerging artists in the Bay Area to experience multiple approaches to art making with emphasis on what has been done before us historically and culturally. BADC has brought jazz musician Adam Starkopf on board to collaborate with the collective, exploring the intersection between improvisational and choreographic structures. The collective consists of dancers Khala Brannigan, Courtney Armani, Amelia Eisen, Shareen DeRyan, Robyn Gerbaz, Amy McMurchie, Claire Fisher and Liv Schaffer. Most are alumni of the LINES Ballet Training Program and BFA at Dominican. On January 25th and 26th, BADC will premiere works by Khala Brannigan, Sidra Bell of Sidra Bell Dance New York, and original compositions by Adam Starkopf at SAFEhouse Arts with funding from Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Khala Brannigan has brought Sidra Bell on board for her unique approach to process and product, offering an environment that will conjugate the artists of Bay Area Dance Collective.

“Sidra Bell really impacted my growth during the LINES Ballet Training Program. An approach to movement that felt so foreign yet so familiar at the same time. I wanted the current students of the Training Program to experience the tenacity that Sidra’s work has to offer, as well as the members of my collective.” – Khala Brannigan


Brannigan creates this “collective” method to prioritize cross-disciplinary collaboration and accessibility for diverse communities, joining together to celebrate the necessity of live performance in San Francisco. These two multi-perspective performances will foster a community with individual voices speaking as one. BADC is committed to building a sustainable, artistic platform through collaboration.

“…An evening of contemporary dance performance by a choreographer whose work was brand new to me; someone who has great ingenuity and promise in the areas of design, concept, composition and direction. In the years to come, Brannigan will definitely be a choreographic force to watch.” – Heather Desaulniers, Bay Area dance critic



Sidra Bell Dance New York has had a beautiful longstanding partnership with Alonzo King LINES Ballet Program with both the Training Program and the BFA Program. Bell has created multiple works for the schools and also selected dancers from both programs for professional work in New York City. Currently Madison Wada from the graduating class of 2015 with LBTP is a company dancer with SBDNY. We are ecstatic to be returning with all of our dancers to work with both programs in workshops and with a special apprenticeship program where dancers will create with the company. Thank you to Karah Abiog, Marina Hotchkiss, and Greg Dawson for this amazing opportunity.

Special thanks to Khala Brannigan (LBTP alum) and SAFEhouse Arts for making Bell’s residency in San Francisco possible. Bell will spend mornings with her company creating a new work that will premiere in the spring of 2017.


“It has been a joy to have Madison as a company member for the past two seasons. LBTP instilled her an abundance of curiosity and love for her craft.” – Sidra Bell

“Returning to LINES not as a singular dancer, but with a company is a fantastic, warm, humbling feeling. It’s like bringing your loved one home to meet your family for the first time.”- Madison Wada


In addition to the successes of Madison Wada and Khala Brannigan, there were many alumni accomplishments throughout 2016.  Here are just a few of our alumni and companies the that they’ve recently joined:

Rachel Fallon with Hofesh Shechter Company starting in January 2017

Marcus McCray with Ballet X in Philadelphia

Giordan Cruz with Visceral Dance Chicago

Megan Wright with Stephen Petronio Company

Katlin Bourgeois with Dance Works Chicago 

Cameron Lasater and Madison Otto with dawsondanceSF

Asha Benjelloun with tinypistol starting in February 2017

Alumni, apologies if we do not know about your current whereabouts and therefore have not acknowledged you, but please know that we are incredibly interested in hearing from you and would love to share the news!



If you are interested in auditioning for the Training Program, please visit our website now and find out how to audition and which cities we will be for our audition tour!


Audition season will end on April 1st, 2017.

We welcome you and hope to see you there!

Cover photo and Khala head shot by Khala Brannigan, photo of Khala in Sidra’s work by Cody Perkins; Bay Area Dance Collective group photo by Sungyeon Joo; Sidra Bell’s head shot by Philip Habib, Sidra Bell’s company photos by Cesar Brodermann; Audition photo by Quinn B. Wharton