SAMMAY (Samantha Peñaflor Dizon) is a choreographer/producer and interdisciplinary performance artist of Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Bikol descent who envisions a future where our indigenous traditions co-exist with(in) our urban landscapes. Born and raised in LA County/Tongva Territory and now a settler in San Francisco/Yelamu, she invokes performance ritual through activations of the body for intercession and believes her role as kinetic storyteller and healer is ancient medicine from her maternal lineage. SAMMAY is the Founding Artistic Director of URBAN x INDIGENOUS and is a resident artist at API Cultural Center. She has been featured through Diego Rivera Art Gallery, Dance Mission Theater, Red Poppy Art House and has worked with The Medea Project, Kularts, Dancing Earth, and Epiphany Dance Theater, among others. Presently, SAMMAY is a company member of the Embodiment Project - exploring the school-to-prison pipeline, restorative justice, and healing through their latest work, “Ancient Children.” She is a three-time recipient of the “Presented by APICC” Artist Award; Featured Artist for APAture 2016: Here; and Performing Diaspora 2016 Artist-in-Residence at CounterPulse.
SAMMAY was a cultural ambassador for the first ever Indigenous Dance Forum in New York/Lenapehoking in April 2016 directed by Jack Gray and is a part of the global movement towards reindigenization through indigenous contemporary arts collective, I Moving Lab. Upcoming projects include “H.O.L.Y. (Hate Often Loves You) CITY” to premiere in June 2018 at URBAN x INDIGENOUS V: Unite The Tribes and “BUSCARTE” - an intercultural investigation and creative collaboration with José Navarette, Debby Kachiyama, and Byb Chanel Bibene exploring disappearance across respective ancestral lands. SAMMAY holds a BA in Media Studies and Sociology with minors in Dance & Performance Studies and Global Poverty & Practice from UC Berkeley.