Sac State celebrates 25 years of Sacramento/Black Art of Dance


Tony Nguyen

Sacramento/Black Art of Dance, which will perform in the University Theatre in Shasta Hall beginning on Feb. 22, is a retirement celebration for African-Caribbean Dance, Choreography, Dunham Technique Professor Linda Goodrich. The product will also be Goodrich’s final performance with the show. (Photo courtesy of Theater and Dance Department)

Carlo Marzan

Sacramento/Black Art of Dance will be celebrating its 25th anniversary from Feb. 22 to 26 at the University Theatre in Shasta Hall.

Professor Linda Goodrich founded S/BAD as a club in the PE department in 1992. Goodrich said that it was intended to give students “access to doing black concert dance in America.

“I pulled from my classes different dancers who trained with me and we performed at least twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring,” Goodrich said. “When we moved (to the theater department) we did the same thing, then the department took us on as a company and put us on the season and we’ve been going strong ever since.”

(Photo by Carlo Marzan)

With aesthetics from dancer and choreographer Katherine Dunham, S/BAD choreographer and assistant director Nicole Manker said that the company is rooted in the movements from African Diaspora along with black concert dance.

Pieces in the show range from gospel,  hip-hop and Afro-Mexican and utilize ballet, modern and contemporary dance styles.

This anniversary performances will also celebrate Goodrich’s retirement after 27 years of teaching at Sacramento State.

“It means a lot to see that black concert dance can thrive within a university setting,” Goodrich said. “There are models for that all over the United States and to know that there is a model here at Sac State is very wonderful.”

Goodrich has done a lot for S/BAD and the black dance community to make the company feel almost like a family, Sac State Dance graduate Valeria Herrera said.

“She’s one of those people you just don’t want to disappoint in life,” Herrera said. “I really care for her and I just want to learn from her.”

Company members old and new will be in attendance for the performance and pay tribute to Goodrich for what she has done for them and the dance community in Sacramento.

“Aside from Dr. Goodrich and myself, the rest of the choreographers are all professional(s) who have had a long and rich connection to Dr. Goodrich,” Manker said. “With the show we really wanted to pay homage to her life through dance because without her, S/BAD wouldn’t be here.”

Almost 20 alumni of the company who danced with Goodrich in the ‘90s will also be performing in the concert to celebrate the anniversary.

“I just want to make sure that Dr. Goodrich knows how much she’s appreciated (and) how much we honor and respect her,” said Lorelei Bayne, the vice chair of the dance department. “We work really well together and she’s going to be sorely missed.”

Goodrich will be performing for the last time in the show she brought to life on Feb. 26, the last day of the performances.

“I just hope that the campus community comes out and really sees this,” Goodrich said. “Like I said, this is my retirement swan song and I know a lot of people on this campus so I hope they come out and support us.”