About This Artist


SAMMAY is a choreographer/producer and interdisciplinary performance artist of Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Bikol descent. She defines her body as a “tool of resonance” for spiritual intercession and envisions a future in which our indigenous traditions co-exist with(in) our urban landscapes. Sammay is the founder of URBAN x INDIGENOUS: an inter-generational multi-disciplinary arts festival and was a guest artist through A/P/A Institute at NYU for the first ever Indigenous Dance Forum curated by Jack Gray. She has been featured through Diego Rivera Art Gallery, Red Poppy Art House, and Dance Mission Theater’s D.I.R.T. – Dance In Revolt(ing) Times Festival among others. Her desire to discover global bodymindspirit connections and uncover the secrets left behind by her ancestors has led her to Brazil, Canada, Cuba, and the Philippines. She is a two-time recipient of the “Presented by APICC” Artist award, part of Crossover Collaborative Residency inaugural cohort, and the APAture 2016: Performing Arts – Featured Artist. To follow her journey, visit www.sammaydizon.com.


Collaborator bios

Baltazar Jonnel Dasalla:

Raised in LA and educated in the Bay, Baltazar Jonnel Dasalla aka Balt/y is a young pinxy artist exploring his cultural heritage in a postmodern world. As a multimedia artist, Baltazar’s artwork is a reflection of his “jack of all trades” mentality, creating pieces on paper, on the screen, or on the body. In his most recent work, Balt has been digging deeper into his cultural roots researching traditions of the pre-colonial past and imagining them into modern adaptations. In the future, he hopes to continue his artwork as a form of documenting and preserving his family’s narratives. Balt has assisted Sammay in producing URBAN x INDIGENOUS for the past two years at SOMArts Bay Gallery; this will be his fourth project as costume designer for her dance theatre work. To learn more, visit www.baltazarjonnel.com.


Gregory Manalo:

Gregory Manalo has been creating art since VHS and cassette mixtapes at his childhood home in Oakland, CA. At the age of 12 he cut his teeth on homemade kung-fu films and skateboarding videos. Today, he continues to pursue his passion for storytelling as a videomaker for Discovery Digital Networks, AOL, Sephora, and the Travel Channel to name a few. Manipulating light and sound to tell compelling stories – Gregory aspires to create films that uniquely reflect the Filipino-American experience. This will be Gregory’s second time collaborating with Sammay; their first foray is available online “Close to You: A Dance Film.” To  preview some of Gregory’s work, visit www.ManaloPictures.com.

JoAnna Ursal:

JoAnna M Ursal is a first generation Filipina-American choreographer and performer whose work has been presented at national festivals including the DIRT Festival in San Francisco, Harvest Works Festival  (NYC), Moving Current Festival (Tampa FL), Spoken Soul Festival, Inkbu8, and Museum of Contemporary Art (South Florida)  and Allegro Ballet in Houston Texas. Holding two masters degree in Dance Education and Choreography, she has served on faculty at various universities including Miami-Dade College, Jacksonville University and Union College and currently enjoys a thriving dance practice directing and producing creative projects regionally, nationally and internationally and collaborating with artists from all disciplines.

Josh Icban:

Joshua Icban is a composer/musician/performer born and raised in Vallejo, CA.  His work utilizes multigenerational sounds and techniques to compose  living reactions to the world he has experienced and been exposed to.

He has worked with Bay Area groups such as Awesome Orchestra, Cellista, the San Francisco state Gospel and Afro Cuban Ensembles and Bindlestiff Studios as either a performer or arranger.

He received his undergraduate degree in Jazz performance from San Francisco State in 2014 and is currently enrolled in the graduate ethnomusicology program at Cal State East Bay where his research focuses on Fil-Am music in the bay area diaspora.

Solitaire T. Mana-ay Miguel:

Hawai’i-born, San Francisco-based, queer, Pilipinx-American Early Childhood Educator, Performer, Zine-Maker and Video Editor, Solitaire integrates video for creative expression and documentation as a Teacher, and has facilitated a Video Arts Workshop for teens at College Track in the Bayview. They have studied at California Institute of Integral Studies, City College of San Francisco and Bay Area Video Coalition. Their work has been produced for Grace Cathedral, Kearny Street Workshop, SF Zine Fest, Codame Art and Tech Festival, Boys and Girls Club and showcased at D.I.R.T. Festival, Festival of the Moving Image and URBAN x INDIGENOUS.

Archived Events

Performing Diaspora 2016

SAMMAY & dana e. fitchett

Blog Roll

  • Eulogy for Lola Cion

    I will never forget the moment I met you. Really met you. It was just 2 ½ years ago. I was 22 years old and although I had visited you when I was three and again when I was sixteen… I really never met you until I was 22. I had just returned from Mindanao… […]

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  • self-portrait

    the days are much longer here. we wake up early. we sleep early and into the night. we dream wild dreams that feel too real but ought not to be. or else. or at least that is the summary of what occurs therein. it’s good to hear mom’s boisterous laugh. it breaks to hear her cry for her mother. my grandmother. in my dreams […]

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