The Lab

The Lab is a nonprofit experimental art and performance space located in the Mission District of San Francisco.

SFABF After Party! TURFinc Dancers, DJ Epic, and Unity

8:30pm Doors / 9pm Music and Dancing
$15 Guests / $10 for SFABF Vendors / Free for members of The Lab
* SFABF Vendors can purchase tickets at the door
Member login or guest registration

TURF (Taking Up Room on the Floor) is an acronym for a dance style that originated in Oakland, combining popping, locking, and street ballet with signature movements like gliding, an optically illusive step sourced in jazz dance and familiarized by Michael Jackson’s moonwalk. Saliently, it draws from a history of political reclamation that used dance as a strategy to take back Oakland streets. In the early 1970s groups like The Black Resurgents and The Black Messengers helped draw crowds at Black Panther rallies, creating a style now considered a mash-up of Boogaloo, Robottin’, and Struttin’ (BRS). The imperative then was to speak through bodily movement rather than depending solely on music, to use funkiness to occupy space but to command attention with the robotic synchronicity of R.O.T.C.-like struts. Now, TURF dancing is a means of memorializing victims of violence, to mime personal and social narratives, and to assert presence with the body. The freestyle animation of these stories are played out by hundreds of dancers every day throughout the city of Oakland.

Join us for a dance battle hosted by Johnny Lopez of TURFinc with DJ Epic. Oakland-based group Unity will perform their upbeat garage punk following the dance performance.