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San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival Auditions 

When: Sat., Jan. 12, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 13, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 2013
Price: $10, free for kids 12 and under

The Bay Area is a destination for multicultural dance, and the perfect home for the world-renowned San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, now in its 35th year. A highlight of the annual dance season, the festival draws so much local and international talent that two weekends of auditions are required to narrow the field for the official festival. For the bargain price of just $10, you can watch the tryouts on Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13, at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Ave. at Dana St., Berkeley), a two-day smorgasbord of surprises that might include classical Indian dance, Southwestern trick-rope dancing, Spanish flamenco, Middle Eastern and Mexican dance, hip-hop, and dozens more. The performers will be in full costume and many will have live accompaniment. But only a few will make the big show (to be held in June), so catch them while you can. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $10, free for children 12 and under. 415-474-3914 or

— Claudia Bauer


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