Watch: If Cities Could Dance

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Forget the stage, the spotlights and the velvet curtain. The choreographers and performers at the center of KQED’s new video series, If Cities Could Dance, don’t need any of the above. Give them the streets of Oakland, the corners of Detroit, the plazas of San Jose and the parades of New Orleans, and they’ll reflect their urban surroundings in their graceful, powerful movements.

Each episode in the series -- running every Tuesday from April 10 to May 28 -- captures the dancers’ personal stories and their deep-rooted relationships to their community. Fighting cultural erasure, gentrification and the silencing of their collective voices, they claim their space with extended arms, high kicks and joyful spins. In open-air markets and on empty train tracks, they twirl and pop, vogue and cartwheel, all in the celebration of dance styles unique to San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Baltimore and Portland.

Join us as we travel across the country, meeting the artists who dare to imagine what it would look like if their cities could dance. - Text by Sarah Hotchkiss

If Cities Could Dance is supported by a special grant from the Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation