Even though the pandemic shows no signs of waning, many performing arts companies have chosen to push forward with long-postponed work. It’s been two years since the San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest took place in person, but the event returns next week in force for its 24th annual presentation. 

Officially founded in 1999, the festival is the brainchild of Bay Area teacher, dancer and choreographer Micaya. Having been voted Best Dance Instructor in a San Francisco Bay Guardian readers’ poll, Micaya been organizing successful dance events and performances in the Mission District since 1993. After years of producing events that sold out and grew beyond their original small scale, Micaya created the SFIHHDF as a way to show the artistry and influence of hip-hop as a dance form. It’s the first such festival to do so.  

Although hip-hop takes prominence, the range of dance styles in the festival represent a diverse collection, including modern, salsa, merengue and Afro-Cuban. Proper hip-hop styles include b-boying, breaking, popping-and-locking, whacking, boogaloo, clubbing, housing and urban choreography. 

The festival not only hosts thousands of international dancers each year, but also covers the travel and lodging expenses for every performer and troupe. 

The artistry is expected to be the sole focus when the festival – divided into two programs in four performances – takes over the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre from Nov. 11-13. Routines range from well-known troupe favorites to commissioned world premieres unique to the festival illustrating influences of politics, gender and race.  

This year’s roster includes local dancers from San Mateo (Krazy 8), Oakland (INQ), Vacaville (Bliss Dance Company) and San Jose (Playboyz Inc.), with one troupe (Compagnie THT) boasting members from France and Norway. 

The festival will also see the in-person return of its annual fundraiser taking place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 at the Brava Theater in the Mission, which will include a premiere screening of the short film “Juggernaut,” featuring the all-youth Feline Finesse dance troupe, before moving on to a festival awards ceremony. Tickets are $25-$40.  

Other events include raffles, “an interactive graffiti art mural project” and a Kids Freestyle Circle for the youngest dancers to strut their stuff.  

The 24th Annual San Francisco International Hip Hop DanceFest runs Nov. 11–13 at Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, 3301 Lyon St., San Francisco. Tickets are $45-$55. Visit www.sfhiphopdancefest.com . 

Charles Lewis III is a San Francisco-born journalist, theater artist and arts critic. You can find dodgy evidence of this at The Thinking Man’s Idiot at https://thethinkingmansidiot.wordpress.com/project-type/journalism/.