The dance group Te Mana O Te Ra returns to theSan Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival.

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The San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival — known as the largest, longest-running and most comprehensive event of its kind in North America — is now in its 41st year, celebrating the vibrant diversity of the Bay Area and beyond with hundreds of world dance troupes and music performers.

So you’d think, by now, they’ve had representation from every cultural corner of the globe. Apparently not.

At this year’s two-weekend event — July 6-7 and July 13-14 at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall — several new groups are joining in, some with which even the co-directors were unfamiliar.

The Mexican folkloric dance group Los Lupeños de San José will be performing at the Ethnic Dance Festival. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival)

“We’re really excited about the lineup this year,” said co-director Māhealani Uchiyama in a phone interview. “In addition to our usual stunning and beautiful dances from groups that represent cultures from India and Mexico to the Middle East, Venezuela, Tahiti, Peru, the African continent, China and more, we have — for the first time — a Pan-Afro urban drumline group with university-style majorette dance, which has never been in the festival before.

“We’re really excited about the lineup this year,” said festival co-director Māhealani Uchiyama.

“And we have a group that focuses on the ring shout of the Gullah people of North Carolina,” she said. “We’ve read about it and heard about it but haven’t had a chance to see and experience it yet. It’s very ethereal, very beautiful and I’m so excited about that.”

In association with Cal Performances, two different programs will be presented each weekend, beginning at 3 p.m. In all, 28 world dance and music groups, including nearly 500 local artists, will perform. There will be eight world-premieres and nine groups will make their festival debuts.

“Come for both weekends,” Uchiyama said. “Each weekend is unique. The first weekend we will start off recognizing the land we’re actually occupying with a welcoming and a blessing in the Ohlone tradition.”

World premiere works will be presented by Ballet Folklórico Nube de Oro (Mexican folkloric-Durango), Cunamacué (Afro-Peruvian), Gâta Bantu (Congolese traditional), Guru Shradha + Antara Asthaayi Dance + Navia Dance Academy (Indian Odissi, Kathak and Bharatanatyam), Los Lupeños de San José (Mexican folkloric-Mestizo), Nicole Maria + Georges Lammam Ensemble (Egyptian belly dance), Parangal Dance Company (Philippine folkloric-Yakan), and Tara Catherine Pandeya (Contemporary Tajik and Uzbek Neo-Shashmaqom).

The Afro-Peruvian dance group Cunamacué will present new works at the Ethnic Dance Festival. (Photo by Tom Ehrlich)

Uchiyama has a theory about what’s kept this event going strong through the decades.

“I think it’s because it’s a festival of us,” she said. “It’s ‘This is who we are, and isn’t it amazing?’ It’s a look at the beauty that is this region. You have diversity in different parts of the country, but here we really celebrate it, we want to learn about each other’s traditions and experience them. And to be able to see everything in one venue where everyone is so supportive of each other’s cultures — it’s a special experience.”

Zellerbach Hall is at Bancroft Way and Dana Street in Berkeley. Tickets are $28-$78, www.sfethnicdancefestival.org.