SAMMAY (Samantha Peñaflor Dizon) is a Bay Area-based choreographer/producer and interdisciplinary performance artist of Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Bikol descent born and bred in Carson, CA/Tongva Territory and now reclaiming space in San Francisco, CA with honor and gratitude to the Ohlone. She holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Sociology and minors in Dance & Performance Studies and Global Poverty & Practice from University of California Berkeley. SAMMAY is a kinetic storyteller who engages her body as a vessel for spiritual intercession and envisions a future in which our indigenous traditions co-exist with(in) our urban landscapes. When she is not deep in creative collaboration, she is either facilitating writing or movement workshops or teaching through San Francisco Ballet's Dance in Schools and Communities Residency Program in San Francisco Unified School District.
SAMMAY has performed in the works of Jack Gray, Rhodessa Jones, Alleluia Panis, Kim Epifano, and has been featured through Diego Rivera Art Gallery, RAW Artists, and Dance Mission Theater’s D.I.R.T. - Dance In Revolt(ing) Times Festival among others. SAMMAY has taught throughout the Bay Area and was a guest artist through Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU where she taught for DANCES WITH WOLVES: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Master Class Series and performed in the first ever Indigenous Dance Forum in April 2016. Her desire to discover global bodymindspirit connections and uncover the secrets left behind by her ancestors has also led her to Brazil, Philippines, Cuba, and New Mexico for Dancing Earth Summer Intensive led by Rulan Tangen. In September 2016, SAMMAY traveled to Unceded Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver, BC, Canada) where she performed and presented at the Third International Babaylan Conference.
SAMMAY is a three-time recipient of the "Presented by APICC" Artist Award which has enabled her to produce, choreograph, and curate for URBAN x INDIGENOUS at SOMArts Bay Gallery. In 2016, she was a part of the inaugural cohort of the CrossOver Collaborative Residency at Red Poppy Art House curated by Zena Carlota Pearl and Amara Tabor-Smith; the Featured Artist for APAture 2016: Here presented by Kearny Street Workshop; and Performing Diaspora 2016 Artist-in-Residence at CounterPulse. She made her short film debut as Charm in Flip the Record (2017) written and directed by Marie Jamora.
Presently, SAMMAY is a Resident Artist with Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center of San Francisco working towards URBAN x INDIGENOUS IV; Company Member with Nicole Klaymoon's Embodiment Project in creative process for their latest full-length street dance theatre work ANCIENT CHILDREN; and is in the beginning stages of a long-term collaboration with José Navarette, Debby Kachiyama, and Byb Chanel Bibene in which the four artists will look at "disappearance" in their respective ancestral lands.
Founder / Producer of URBan x INDIGENOUS
Founded in January 2015, URBAN x INDIGENOUS (UxI) is a multi-disciplinary, inter-generational convening of artists, activists, incubators, scholars, and community members who seek to honor our ancestors and embrace our complex cultural identities.
Her choreography is a unique blend of Hip Hop, urban dance, and contemporary movement with African diaspora influence - inspired by the desire and longing to (re)connect and (re)vitalize our relationship with the earth and each other.
SINGER / SONGWRITER
Sammay will finally be pursuing one of her lifelong dreams this 2017 - to record her first EP. Singing is her first love and she is excited to bring you a new sound interlaced with story - stay tuned for the release by the end of this year.
Known as 'Ms. Sammay' to her students - she has taught for various teams and studios in Northern California as well as within Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, USF's Performing Arts & Social Justice Department, and San Francisco Ballet School's Dance in Schools and Communities Program.