BANDALOOP was founded in 1991 by Amelia Rudolph in an effort to create a dance company that called on her experience with and passion for movement, climbing, artistic expression and connections to the environment. The idea grew out of her graduate studies where she spent her time exploring comparative religion at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley and her background as a dancer and choreographer.

During her time at Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, Amelia explored the concept of dance as spiritual ritual, an idea that was the at the center of her thesis project. During that time, Amelia also became an avid climber and couldn't help but notice that the sport was another form of dance -  a "duet" between the rock and the climber.

The combination of studies unveiled Amelia's desire to create experiences that celebrate the majesty and vulnerability of natural spaces, showing their beauty, strength and possibility.  Further, Amelia knew she wanted to create a different kind of company, one that is based in kindness and healthy play.

In 1991, BANDALOOP had its first live-performance at a climbing gym named City Rock in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, Amelia, along with dedicated dancers and staff members, has created a company that constantly pushes the limits of how people view their relationships with their environment and each other, and how they understand and experience dance and movement.  

Today, the company is based in Oakland, CA, where the company creates work for its bi-annual home season and live performances presented globally each year. Highlights of the past ten years include:

  • tours of China, Mexico and of India, sponsored by the US State Dept., including performances on the historic Golconda Fort in Hyderabad and on the Grand Cathedral in Puebla Mexico
  • the large-scale multi-media “#SFPublicCanvas,” which premiered in the Tenderloin in June, 2016
  • the re-mount of the mountain work “Crossing” released as a short film titled “SHIFT,”
  • the premiere of the indoor work commissioned by Fort Mason Center titled “Harboring” in 2013 to critical acclaim and sold out houses and its subsequent national and international tour; a free outdoor two week festival in 2011, attracting upwards of 8000 people to three Bay Area sites;

BANDALOOP has performed on architectural landmarks and skyscrapers around the world including in São Paulo, Mumbai, Seoul, Soweto, Verona, Lisbon, Muscat, Atlanta, Houston, New York and other urban centers. The Trisha Brown Company has designated BANDALOOP exclusively as the “artist of record” to re-mount and tour Brown’s seminal work “Man Walking Down the Side of a Building.” The recent BANDALOOP video “Waltz on the Walls of City Hall” has received millions of views on YouTube.  

Education and outreach are also an intrinsic part of the organization’s mission. In addition to its ongoing work with Oakland youth at Destiny Arts, Bandaloop offers regular classes, camps, and intensives at its home studio in Oakland and in the mountains across the United States.