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Posts Tagged ‘dance festival’

NJ Tap Dance Ensemble Founder Deborah Mitchell Honored at Tapology Weekend

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Deborah Mitchell; photo courtesy Tapology

Tapology’s annual Dance Festival for Youth, a three-day event featuring dance workshops for youth and adults, a tap competition, historical presentation, honorary luncheon, and concert, is set for October 25 to 28 at the Flint Institute of Music’s Cultural Center Campus, 1025 E. Kearsley Street, Flint, Michigan.

The weekend features classes for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and adult dancers. Deborah Mitchell, a Broadway and film dancer and founder and artistic director of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, will be the guest of honor at Saturday’s Honoree Luncheon. Saturday features a tap competition with $1,500 in prizes at 8:30pm in the MacArthur Auditorium, while Sunday features the Tapology Concert at 7pm at the Whiting.

The lineup for the concert includes performers and master teachers such as Chester Whitmore, Dianne Walker, Cartier Williams, Maurice Chestnut, and Jared Grimes; as well as former students who have gone on to professional careers, such as Quynn Johnson, Bianca Revels, Alexandria Bradley, and Frances Bradley; as well as the Tapology Youth Ensemble.

For more information, to register for workshops, or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.tapology.org/events/dance-festival or call 810.787.0197.

 

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Tappers Overtake NYC in Annual Tap City Festival

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The American Tap Dance Foundation (ATDF) presents Tap City, the annual tap dance festival, running July 7 to 13 in New York City with hundreds of master classes and courses with internationally renowned teachers; expansive adult, pre-professional, teen, and youth training programs; awards and performances; and city-wide events.

Tap City 2012 offers:

  • Free beginner tap classes: July 7, noon to 3pm, at the Marcus Garvey Park, East 122nd and Madison Avenue; taught by Tony Waag and guest artist Christiane Matallo from Brazil (shoes are supplied).
  • Copasetic Boat Ride: July 9, 7pm, Circle Line Marina, Pier 83, West 42nd St. at Hudson River; live music, entertainment, food, drink, and dancing; public is welcome to attend and meet the Tap City staff, faculty, and students; tickets are $35 and available at 646.230.9564.
  • Tap talks/tap films/tap awards: July 11, 7 to 9pm, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Bruno Walter Auditorium, 111 Amsterdam Avenue and 65th Street; hosted by Tony Waag, with film presentations and performances by Chloe Arnold, Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, Constance Valis Hill, Michela Marino Lerman, Margaret Morrison, and Rumba Tap; plus this year’s inductions into the International Tap Dance Hall of Fame; tickets are $10 and available at 646.230.9564.
  • Tap Future (all-student showcase): July 12, 7pm, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway and 95th Street; new work from all of the Tap City residencies (youth, pre-professional, and adult); tickets are $22 general in advance ($25 day of the show), or $12 for children 17 and under, Symphony Space members, college students, and seniors; to purchase, call 212.864.5400 or visit www.symphonyspace.org.
  • Tap It Out: July 13, noon, 1pm, and 2pm; a free, public, and outdoor performance at the World Financial Center Marina.

The American Tap Dance Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to establishing and legitimizing Tap Dance as a vital component of American Dance through creation, presentation, education, and preservation. For more information, visit http://atdf.org/.

 

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Free, Discounted Classes Featured in Annual NYC Dance Week Festival

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NYC Dance Week, an annual, 10-day festival that advocates dance conditioning and wellness, will offer more than 100 free and discounted dance, fitness, and wellness classes, starting today (June 21).

The festival, which runs through June 30, will also feature dance promotions, prizes, and raffles on Facebook and Twitter and special offers through Foursquare. All participants must register for the event at http://nycdanceweek2012.eventbrite.com/.

Dance Week collaborates with noted studios throughout New York City to celebrate the joy and diversity of dance. Classes include traditional dance styles along with aerial acrobatics, Pan-American indigenous dance, belly dance, Capoeira, and African dance. A schedule of studios, offerings, and instructions can be found at http://nycdanceweek.org/the-festival/free-classes.

Participating studios include: The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory, The Ailey Extension, Fit and Fab Studios, Kinespirit, Power Pilates, Nika Ballet Studio, Astoria Fine Arts Dance, Bridge for Dance, Brooklyn Ballet, Dance Manhattan, Dance New Amsterdam, Dancewave, Danza Niwa, Dardo Galleto Studios, Dhoonya Dance/Marie-Christine Giordano Dance Company, Peridance Capezio Center, Sandra Cameron Dance Center, Smart Workout, STREB Lab for Action Mechanics, Dardo Galletto Studios, and TDH Cultural Arts Center.

A festival performance will be held June 25 at 7:30pm at Dixon Place and will feature presentations by Silva Dance Company, Roots In Revolution, Benjamin Briones Ballet, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, Breaking Through, Sy Parrish, Boston Community Dance Project, Opus Dance Theatre Company Inc., Sacred Space Dance, and The Hip-Hop Dance Conservatory Repertory Company. Visit www.nycdanceweek.org for full information.

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A Dance Lover’s Delight: 200 Free Events Planned at Jacob’s Pillow

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This summer’s 80th anniversary season of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival offers more than 200 free performances, talks, exhibits, and community events from mid-June through August 26 at the Becket, Massachusetts landmark.

Free outdoor Inside/Out performances take place Wednesdays through Saturdays 6:15 to 7pm and include: Hawaiian company Pua Ali’i ’Ilima (June 20), students of The School at Jacob’s Pillow (every Saturday evening), Ian Spencer Bell Dance (July 11), choreographer and Broadway performer Jeremy McQueen (July 27), celebrated dancemaker Molissa Fenley and Dancers (August 17), Houston Met Dance Company (August 26), and many other dance companies.

Free PillowTalks featuring directors, choreographers, visual artists, authors, and filmmakers are set for Fridays at 5pm and Saturdays at 4pm. This year’s schedule includes talks with Morphoses director Lourdes Lopez (June 29), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director emerita Judith Jamison (July 13), principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre and the Bolshoi Ballet David Hallberg (August 3), artistic director of The Joffrey Ballet Ashley Wheater (August 24), and many others.

Pre-Show Briefings are given by Pillow scholars 30 minutes before every performance; Post-Show Talks are held Thursdays in the Doris Duke Theatre and Fridays in the Ted Shawn Theatre; and public tours are held Thursdays and Saturdays at 5:30pm. Five free photography and art exhibits are open to the public throughout the Festival, including Decades of Dance, a commemorative exhibit highlighting images from each decade; Old/Pillow, the work of accomplished photographer Toby Old; and Ivan Chermayeff Designs, a look back at the iconic Jacob’s Pillow illustrations and materials created by noted artist and graphic design icon Ivan Chermayeff from the 1980s and ’90s.

Community Dance Day, the annual community-wide celebration, will be held July 1 and focuses on encouraging participation in dance for people of all ages. Arts educators will be welcomed July 27 to 29 for the second annual Arts Educator Weekend, and Weekend OUT, a weekend of welcome for GLBT families, friends, and individuals, will take place August 10 to 12.

For a detailed schedule, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description. 

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Astoria Gears Up for First Dance Festival Sponsored by Undertoe

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Undertoe Dance Project of Astoria, New York, has planned the first Astoria Dance Festival for June 24 from 2 to 6pm at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, Astoria.

The festival will include performances by student and professional dancers and companies, as well as movement lessons open to the public. The event is free.

Astoria-based dance makers are urged participate and should contact Undertoe at events@undertoedance.com or 646.863.6040 by May 15.  Choreographers must live in Astoria or Long Island City to present work. Choreographers working with amateur/student groups can present up to 12 minutes of work, with those working with professional dancers presenting up to 20 minutes of work. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The performance schedule will be announced by Memorial Day.

For more information, contact, or visit http://undertoedance.com/2012/04/astoria-dance-festvial-june-24-2012/.

Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description. 

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Jacob’s Pillow Considers Dance’s Past and Future During 80th Season

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Tickets for the Jacob’s Pillow 80th Anniversary Festival, an international celebration of dance, music, the visual arts, and culture beginning June 16 with the Season Opening Gala and continuing through August 26, are now on sale.

Jacob’s Pillow celebrates 80th season (Image courtesy Jacob’s Pillow)

Founded in the early 1930s by modern dance pioneer Ted Shawn as a retreat for his company of Men Dancers, Jacob’s Pillow is a National Medal of Arts honoree and America’s longest-running international dance festival.

The 80th Anniversary Season includes world and U.S. premieres, live music, company debuts, legendary dance companies, emerging choreographers, and more than 300 ticketed and free events, talks, performances, classes, exhibits, and tours hosted at the Pillow’s 163-acre National Historic Landmark site in Becket, Massachusetts.

A weeklong homage to Ted Shawn and his Men Dancers will feature a 20-member cast of some of the greatest male dancers and choreographers of today including Lar Lubovitch, Jason Samuels Smith, Arthur Mitchell, Trent Kowalik, Cartier Williams, and Jock Soto, among many others.

Some of the companies performing at the Pillow this season include The Hong Kong Ballet, Morphoses, Vertigo Dance Company, The Joffrey Ballet, Trey McIntyre Project, Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Mimulus, CIRCA, LeeSaar The Company, Luna Negra Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and Jessica Lang Dance.

Tickets can be purchased at www.jacobspillow.org or 413.243.0745. To view a video preview of the 80th season, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iGLGFraPNw&feature=related.

Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description. 

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Ballet Yuma Brings ‘Vicissitude’ to RDA’s Montreal Event

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Ballet Yuma dancers will be the sole representatives from Arizona at Regional Dance America’s National Festival, to be held May 1 to 5 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Ballet Yuma, under the artistic direction of Jon Cristofori and Kathleen Sinclair, maintains honor company status with RDA and has been invited to perform Vicissitude, choreographed by Joseph Jefferies, on the final night of the National Festival.

A former Ballet Yuma dancer, Jefferies has danced with Ballet Memphis and other companies.   Vicissitude is set to Bach’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D Major and features costumes designed and made by Ballet Yuma alumnus Grant Spencer. Performing Vicissitude will be Alyssa Myers, Kyndra Ricker, Dominic Gizzi, Andrea Hennig, Jacey Sims, and Margeaux Miller.

While at the National Festival, Ballet Yuma’s dancers will view performances, attend classes and workshops, and join in a flash mob involving dancers from all over the United States. More info on Ballet Yuma can be found at www.balletyuma.org.

Got news? Email Karen@rheegold.com and include your name, email and phone. We like accompanying photos too with photographer’s credit and photo description. 

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Heads Into 35th Season

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Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 35th anniversary season will include premieres and audience favorites back by popular demand, the second annual danc(e)volve: New Works Festival, tours of both the West and East Coasts, and innovative collaborations with cultural partners in Chicago and around the country.

The season leads off with a full-evening work by resident choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo inspired by Marc Chagall’s America Windows featuring the music of Philip Glass, to be presented during the fall series at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, October 18 to 21.

On December 6 to 9, Hubbard Street will present the company premiere of Casi-Casa by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek, becoming the first U.S. company to add this work to its repertoire. Originally staged for Danza Contemporánea de Cuba in 2009, the 40-minute piece blends two of Ek’s earlier works, The Apartment and Fluke.

The spring dance season, March 14 to 17, 2013, will include the Chicago premiere of a work by Alonzo King, artistic director of Alonzo King LINES Ballet, celebrating a multi-year collaboration with King’s company.

The season concludes June 6 to 16, 2013 with the second annual, critically acclaimed danc(e)volve: New Works Festival at the MCA Stage at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the latest effort by Hubbard Street artistic director Glenn Edgerton to offer opportunities to develop choreographic talent from within and allow the dancers from both the main company and Hubbard Street 2 to explore new horizons.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s four-program subscription ranges in price from $75 to $302 and is available at the Hubbard Street ticket office at 312.850.9744 or www.hubbardstreetdance.com. Single tickets range from $25 to $99 and go on sale in August.

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Teacher, Performer Applications Now Being Accepted for 2012 Mass Dance Festival

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The 2012 Massachusetts Dance Festival is now accepting applications from performing companies, teachers, and retailers and event promoters.

The festival is sponsored by the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s department of music and dance. This year’s edition will be held June 23 and 24 at Boston University, and September 22 and 23 at UMass. Massachusetts Dance Festival believes that dance, as a major component of arts and culture, is essential to meaningful lives and healthy communities.

Volunteers are also needed. Deadline to register is March 31. Detailed information is available at http://massdancefestival.org/index.php.

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20 Going on 40

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Young tapper Hillary-Marie Michael turns entrepreneur with the Jersey Tap Fest

By Kay Waters

It’s Friday, August 26, 2011. Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the Atlantic seaboard and everyone in New Jersey is in full-on disaster preparedness mode. Roads are jammed with vacationers and shore dwellers trying to flee the approaching storm ahead of a declared state of emergency and major roadway shutdowns. In stores up and down the state, flashlights, batteries, water, and other necessities are flying off shelves.

It’s high-anxiety time everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except at the Jersey Tap Fest.

Michael's determination to tap has led to a career as a teacher, choreographer, and soloist. (Photo by Tracy Frederickson)

The festival, the brainchild of tapper Hillary-Marie Michael, celebrated its second anniversary last summer just as the hurricane was sweeping up the coast. But at the dance studios where festival classes were going on, the focus was on tap, tap, and more tap. Call it a dance oasis—or maybe it was a case of dance-induced oblivion—but there was a quiet sense of determination, some might even call it defiance, in the air there.

Reminded later of the festival’s dance with Irene, Michael grimaced and then laughed at the memory. Putting on a four-day tap festival in the middle of a hurricane was definitely not the type of thrill she’d been hoping for in the festival’s second year.

She may only be 20, but if there’s one thing Michael is known for, it’s being a tough cookie. “People were definitely worried. Some people were freaking out, coming to me and saying, ‘We’re in a state of emergency, what are we going to do?’ I just had to stay calm. I was telling everyone to stay calm and pointing out that the state of emergency wasn’t for the entire state yet. Roads hadn’t been shut down yet and it wasn’t even raining,” Michael says.

As the front edge of Irene began to hit New Jersey, Michael canceled the final day of classes. But the showcase performance at the end of the third day went on as planned. “It was a little crazy, but we got through it,” Michael says. “I can say I’ve put on a festival during a hurricane now.” As compensation for the canceled classes, students have been offered a discount for the 2012 festival; those with Sunday-only passes received refunds.

Pulling off a festival in the middle of a hurricane would be an accomplishment for anyone, let alone a woman just out of her teens. But those who know Michael aren’t surprised. She is, by all accounts, an expert manager.

“If she stays in the theater world she’ll be a producer or a director some day,” says a mentor, tap legend Harold Cromer. Cromer first spotted Michael in a workshop when she was 13 and now uses her as one of his assistants.

Another mentor is tapper Karen Callaway Williams, whom Michael began studying with at age 13 in New Jersey at the Worth-Tyrell Studios in Morristown and later with the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. Callaway Williams says, “I definitely see a future for her running things. I can see her being the CEO of something, the leader of something, not just of the tap festival but going even further. She has the drive to get things done. I see her taking charge and making things happen at whatever she ends up doing.”

Of course, most 20-year-old tappers aren’t fretting about faculty contracts or scheduling around hurricanes. And Michael is quick to point out that although the festival is her baby, she is determined to have a performing career. Indeed, most of her time these days is divided between teaching gigs and choreographing—her chief sources of income—and performing, either with New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, with whom she’s been performing since she was 15, or as a soloist on the workshop circuit and with lindy hop and other swing dance events.

“I’m definitely focusing on me,” Michael says. “I’m doing what I want to do; I’m dancing and I’m trying to travel more, teaching and performing. I tried [college] for a little while, but that wasn’t for me, so now I’m really doing what I want to do.”

And she is clear that what she wants to do is tap dance. “My thing is I dance in heels and a dress and I’m about being very graceful. I’m going to hit just as hard as any guy; I’m just going to look cute doing it,” she says. “I’m a woman. I’m feminine. I don’t need to go out and be hard like, ‘I’m going to cut you.’ I can cut you and look cute doing it.”

Michael says this last declaration with a smile, but as anyone who knows her will tell you, she’s serious with a capital S. And always has been.

While her parents supported her desire to tap, it was Michael who researched various tap festivals and programs like New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble on her own, beginning when she was 13. The daughter of a drummer, Michael played percussion in a school band and discovered she too had a thing for rhythm. Tap dancing seemed like a natural extension of that. She started tapping at age 12 at Gotta Dance studio in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

“I just loved tap,” she says. “My dad got me a piece of plywood to practice on and that was it. I started looking up everything I could about tap, where to go, workshops, who the people were. I discovered this little world. I was so excited. I would look up these different programs and then tell my parents this was what I wanted to do, this is what I had to do.”

The New Jersey native, who now lives in New York City, launched the festival on her own as an answer to those who had never considered the Garden State a tap stronghold. She was 16 when she began formulating her plan.

“I was at the L.A. Tap Fest. Someone asked where I was from, and I said I was from Jersey and they said, ‘Where’s that?’ she recalls. “I was like, ‘What do you mean where’s that?’ I thought it was nuts. We have Savion Glover. We have the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble. We have Deborah Mitchell and Miss Karen [Callaway Williams]. We have Maurice Chestnut. What do you mean, ‘Where’s New Jersey?’

“I was getting super upset about it,” she continues, “and then I said, ‘OK, I’ll do something about it and bring more attention to the New Jersey tap community. I’ll make a festival.’ ”

Out of the mouths of babes. In 2010, after taking two years to plan and build publicity, Michael launched Jersey Tap Fest. The inaugural event drew 60 students; last year’s event had 80.

Michael credits her parents as well as mentors Mitchell and Callaway Williams of the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble for helping her understand and cope with the legal and business end of putting on the festival. Mitchell and Callaway Williams, for example, provided crucial information on the going rate for faculty.

They and others also cautioned Michael on other pitfalls to watch for, such as appropriate locations for festival classes and dealing with studio owners who might be nervous about sending students to a festival housed at a competing studio. Michael says other crucial behind-the-scenes information was gleaned from her experiences working as an intern at tap festivals where she learned about scheduling, registration systems and pricing, and details such as not scheduling the showcase late on the last day (to avoid losing people who want to get an early start home).

“I learned so much working at different festivals. You see that there are certain things that are expected at a festival—classes, a show, a student showcase, a jam session, and a history class. I threw in my own thing—music theory for tap dancers,” Michael says. “I knew I couldn’t do a week like some festivals, so I chose four days. Three days wouldn’t have been enough time.”

“My thing is I dance in heels and a dress and I’m about being very graceful. I’m going to hit just as hard as any guy; I’m just going to look cute doing it.” —Hillary-Marie Michael

The tap entrepreneur says she’s been pleased with the results so far. “I thought this year’s festival was a big improvement over the first year. The first year, there was a little too much going on—all with good intentions, but it was too much,” says Michael, who save for a group of volunteer interns during the festival, did all the legwork and planning on her own. “This year we had a smaller faculty and better scheduling. Everything was much more focused and organized, even with the hurricane on top of it.”

Michael’s businesslike approach may seem surprising, but those who know her are anything but surprised.

“With some young people, you know if you don’t stay on top of them from the moment they start, whatever it is they’re supposed to do just gets left hanging out there. You don’t get that with Hillary,” Mitchell says. “She’s always been that person who, to a fault, will make sure it’s done properly. I’ve tried to help her understand that you have to promote art from the boardroom to the studio, and she gets it.

“A lot of young people want to just dance,” continues Mitchell. “But when you’re working with young people, if you have any sense of the future, you’re always looking at who has potential to grow, who you can develop into a leadership position, become an administrator. I always thought Hillary could be that person.”

Michael’s approach to brushing up her dance skills is just as intense. When Mitchell told a then-13-year-old Michael that her tap skills weren’t at the level required to join the New Jersey Tap Dance Ensemble, Michael threw herself into extra classes, studying, at Mitchell’s suggestion, with Callaway Williams. Two years after her unsuccessful audition Michael was accepted into the Ensemble.

Now, she says, she’s determined to find a way to do it all—build her career as a performer and teacher while growing the festival. She acknowledges that it’s a workload that’s far removed from the experience of most people her age.

“It’s weird. When I talk to people my age, I can’t relate to them. Then when I’m around people who are in their 30s and 40s and they’re talking about business and performing and work, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I can relate. Let’s talk,’ ” she says, laughing. “Sometimes someone in my family will say, ‘You’re so smart; why do you want to just tap dance?’ Well, to me it’s not just tap dancing.”

To Michael, artists “are like messengers. We’re messengers of the world. We are here to bring things to you, and it can be any message. I spend my time sharing with people and I love that.”

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Hip-Hop Artist Teresa Espinosa Special Guest at Dance Planet 16

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Dance Planet 16, a free community-based dance festival featuring two days of classes and performances, is scheduled for March 31 to April 1 at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, Dallas, Texas.

Special guest artist is Teresa Espinosa, a native of Dallas and Booker T. Washington High alumna who was nominated for an Emmy for contributing choreography for the Janet Jackson HBO special, The Velvet Rope: Live in Madison Square Garden. Espinosa and her Beat Freaks crewmates were the Season 3 winners of America’s Best Dance Crew. Her credits include choreographing for Miley Cyrus in the YouTube sensation “M&M Cru” and Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tourmovie in 3D. She has danced for Britney Spears and choreographed her “Outrageous” music video.

Dance Planet (Photo by Fermaint Photography)

Sponsored by the Dance Council of North Texas, Dance Planet includes performances by more than 80 dance troupes and 1,000-plus dancers, plus 30 master classes in numerous styles from circus silks to contemporary. Master classes begin March 31 at 9:30am and April 1 at 1pm. Performance showcases will be held both days from 1 to 5pm.

For complete schedules, visit www.thedancecouncil.org.

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Young Dancers From Across the Globe Connect at Dance Excellence

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The 21st edition of Dance Excellence, an international festival for young dancers, has been scheduled for April 1 to 7, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.

Dance Excellence (Photo courtesy Dance Excellence)

Each year, the festival brings together artists, dancers, and directors from Asia, North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and Africa to share each other’s cultures, languages, and love of dance while receiving training from master teachers and attending cultural events.

Participants attend Los Angeles productions of Broadway shows, as well as performances of top dance professionals from TV programs and movies such as So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, and Step Up 2. The seven-day event culminates in a public performance at Disneyland where dancers show off their expertise in genres from ballet to hip-hop, as well as their own countries’ cultural dances.

Dance Excellence is a by-invitation-only event. Interested studio directors from around the world and the United States can apply for an invitation or receive information by emailing defestiva@aol.com. More information and video clips can be found at www.defestival.com.

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Massachusetts, RI Dance Educators Join Forces in January Festival

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Dance Alliance of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts Dance Education Organization are joining forces to provide a festival of dance for teachers and students on January 8 at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

The one-day event will include master classes and culminate in a showcase of student performances. This event marks the first joint venture of MADEO and DARI, both state affiliates of National Dance Education Organization.

For details, visit http://www.massachusettsdanceeducationorganization.com/projects.html.

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Dancers Of all Ages Gather in Columbia for First-Ever S.C. Dance Festival

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Professional and pre-professional dance companies and dance students of all ages will gather October 7 to 9 for the inaugural South Carolina Festival of Dance in Columbia.

South Carolina Festival of Dance (Photo by Jason Ayer)

Organized by the University of South Carolina Dance Program, the festival will be a three-day celebration of the state’s dance artistry, according to The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg.

The festival will kick off at October 7 at 7:30pm with “S.C. Dances: An Evening of Premiere Dance Companies” at the Koger Center for the Arts, featuring professional dance groups from around the state, including Carolina Ballet Theatre, Revolve Aerial Dance, Columbia Classical Ballet, Columbia City Ballet, Unbound, DanceFX, The Power Company, and Vibrations Dance Company.

“The S.C. Dance Festival Showcase,” a performance featuring adjudicated works from pre-professional companies from South Carolina, will take place at the Koger Center on October 8 at 7:30pm.

Ticket prices for both performances are $10 for students, $14 for faculty/military/seniors, and $16 general admission. To order, call the box office at 803.777.5112 or charge by phone at 803.251.2222. Tickets for both events will be sold separately.

The festival will also feature master classes in ballet, contemporary, jazz, musical theater, hip-hop, and more on October 8 and 9 at the university’s new state-of-the-art dance studios. Master classes are available for students 11 years of age and older, and will be offered in three skill levels: beginner/intermediate, intermediate/advanced-intermediate, and advanced/professional.

Information on class costs and registration is available at www.cas.sc.edu/dance. For more details, visit http://www.thetandd.com/lifestyles/leisure/article_698014ec-ea1b-11e0-9623-001cc4c002e0.html.

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Rarely Seen Work by Mary Anthony at Philly’s Fringe Festival

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Gwendolyn Bye’s Philadelphia-based Dancefusion will present a performance of Mary Anthony’s Threnody at this year’s Fringe Festival in Philadelphia.

Premiered in New York City in 1956, Threnody—based on the play Riders to the Sea by John Millington Synge—was heralded as one of Anthony’s great works. It depicts the perilous struggles of a mother and her family on the Aran Islands, off the coast of Ireland, and the loss of her sons to the sea.

The work was last performed by Mary Anthony Dance Theater more than 15 years ago in New York City on the occasion of the company’s 40th anniversary. Anthony, now 95 years old, will travel to Philadelphia for this revival by Dancefusion directed by Bye, a longtime member of Mary Anthony Dance Theater. The work has been staged and rehearsed by Mary Anthony and Evelyn Shepard.

Mary Anthony in 1947 (Photo by Peter Basch)

The program will also include Suite for Percussion by New York choreographer Daniel Maloney, along with two new works by choreographers Joe Cicala and Charles Tyson Jr.

Performances are set for September 9 at 10am and 8pm, and September 10 at 2 and 8pm at the Mandell Theater/Drexel University, 3300 Chestnut Street. Tickets are $25 (or $20 for students and children) and can be purchased at 215.413.1318 or www.livearts-fringe.org.

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Dance Festival Next Month in Anaheim

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A gala performance, dance workshops, and a dance photo exhibition are among the attractions planned at the 2011 Anaheim International Dance Festival from August 12 to 14 in Anaheim, California. The festival will be presented by Anaheim Ballet and Chapman University, in association with Youth America Grand Prix.

The gala, hosted by actress Jane Seymour, will be held August 13 at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Scheduled special guests include Clifton Brown of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Michele Wiles and Misty Copeland of American Ballet Theatre, and Charles Askegard of New York City Ballet.

Workshops for selected students ages 10 to 22 from Southern California dance studios and college and university dance departments will be held from 9am to 1:30pm August 13 and 14 at Partridge Dance Center Studios at Chapman University.

Ben Stevenson, former artistic director at Houston Ballet and current artistic director of Texas Ballet Theater, will take part in a question-and-answer session August 12, followed by a reception at the Partridge center.

An exhibition of rare dance photographs and artifacts from Donald Bradburn’s collection will be on display from August 8 to 14 at Anaheim’s MUZEO, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd.

For tickets or more information, call 714.490.6150, email aidf@anaheimballet.org, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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Largest Annual Outdoor Dance Series Starts July 7

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Chicago SummerDance, the largest annual outdoor dance series in the U.S., returns July 7 to September 18 with dance lessons and live music and dancing.

Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, the festival brings dance events to Grant Park each Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 9:30pm, and each Sunday from 4 to 7pm. (There will be no events August 5 through August 7.)

Each night of the 11-week series offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing on the expanded 4,900 square-foot, open-air dance floor designed by artist Dan Peterman out of 100 percent recycled materials.

Updates and announcements will be available on Facebook at Chicago SummerDance, or on Twitter at SummerDance2011. Events will run weather permitting. Weather announcements will be available on the SummerDance Hotline at 312.742.4007. For more information, visit http://explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/special_events/dca_tourism/Chicago_SummerDance.html.

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Bill T. Jones and Garth Fagan Share Thoughts on Dance

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A special evening discussion with award-winning choreographers Garth Fagan and Bill T. Jones will highlight the Nazareth College Arts Center’s 2011 Dance Festival.

The festival will run July 8 to 16 at the college in Rochester, New York, with four main stage performances at the Callahan Theater scheduled for July 8 to 9, and July 15 to 16 on sale now. All other events during the dance festival are free and open to the public.

Garth Fagan (Photo courtesy Nazareth College Arts Center)

The festival will feature the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and its co-founder and artistic director, Bill T. Jones, who received the 2010 Kennedy Center Honor for his lifetime contributions to the arts and American culture. On July 14, Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan will join Jones for an enlightening discussion moderated by Deborah Ronnen, a council member of the New York State Council on the Arts.

“The prospect of bringing together these two dance luminaries is incredibly exciting,”  Susan Chekow Lusignan, director of the Nazareth College Arts Center, says. “It’s a rare opportunity for audience members to gain insight into the creative process and philosophy of each of these remarkable artists, and to hear them exchange ideas.”

Festival appearances will be made by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (July 15 and 16), Garth Fagan Dance (July 8), and Rochester City Ballet with FuturPointe Dance (July 9). The festival also includes master classes, artist conversations, community dances, lectures, and additional performances. For tickets and information, visit www.go.naz.edu/dancefest.

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Ladies Take Center Stage at NYC Hip-Hop Festival

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Peridance Capezio Center’s seventh annual Ladies of Hip-Hop Festival will put the focus on women and their relationship with hip-hop culture through three days of classes in “old skool” hip-hop, house, waacking, popping, locking, and more.

Set for July 15 to 17, the festival welcomes an elite group of female hip-hop faculty artists who have extensive experience and understanding of the hip-hop culture and are qualified to pass on the traditions of hip-hop culture with accuracy and authenticity. This year’s faculty includes Michele Byrd-McPhee, Chi Chi Smith, Yeya, Tweetie, Marjory, Leah McFly, and Nubian NeNe. The festival will include a showcase performance by faculty teachers on July 16.

Cost is $25 for a single class; $70 for the full schedule of classes on July 16; $100 for all classes July 17; or $160 for the full three-day workshop. Peridance Capezio Center is located at 126 East 13th Street, New York. To register, visit www.peridance.com/wsdetail.cfm?wsid=352. For information, email info@peridance.com or call 212.505.0886.

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African Caribbean Dance Traditions Featured in Festival

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Drumming and dance workshops will be featured at the 14th Annual Florida African Dance Festival (FADF) scheduled for June 9 to 11 at Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, Florida.

Presented by African Caribbean Dance Theatre Inc., FADF is a three-day conference that features internationally renowned artists in dance and drum workshops, special dance workshops for children, festival vendor marketplace, natural hair show, and health focus on diabetes. The festival ends with a performance concert June 11 at 8:15pm at Lee Hall Auditorium, Florida A&M University, 1601 MLK Blvd, Tallahassee. Tickets are $10.

The African Caribbean Dance Theatre, Inc. (ACDT) a Tallahassee-based cultural education organization that organizes a year-round schedule of African dance and drum classes at 451 West Gaines Street (formerly Margo’s Balloons & Baskets) in Tallahassee.

For full schedule of events, visit www.fadf.org or call 850.539.4087.

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Health Benefits of Dance Celebrated in NYC National Dance Week

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National Dance Week-NYC will again collaborate with noted studios in New York City to present this year’s annual 10-day festival of free dance and fitness classes, June 17 to 26.

The festival encourages the community and families to discover dance as a fun way to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years, hundreds of dance enthusiasts have participated in the festival by performing or taking class in a variety of dance styles, from Latin, ballroom, tap, and ballet, to swing, hip-hop, and aerial acrobatics, or by joining one of the festival’s flash mob performances held throughout New York City. The event will culminate in a performance on June 26 at Peridance Capezio Center.

National Dance Week-NYC is produced by FitEngine Magazine. For more information, visit www.ndw-nyc.org.

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International Dancers Flock to Florida for Festival

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Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, under the direction of Vladimir Issaev, welcomes 60 dancers from Germany, Poland, Denmark, Mexico, Peru, and Japan, plus 40 local dancers, to the 8th International Young Dancers Festival, this May.

Arts Ballet Theatre (Photo courtesy Arts Ballet Theatre)

The festival will include master classes in ballet, modern, character dance, Israeli dances, and flamenco, and a series of lectures and conferences for dance students and professions. The festival will culminate with three performances of three different programs of dances, including excerpts of Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Les Patineurs, Diana & Acteon, Paquita, Don Quixote, Markitanka, and the “Pas de Dix” from Esmeralda; contemporary and modern pieces, and folkloric pieces.

Along with Arts Ballet Theatre, participating groups include Ballet Fouette (Poland), Odense City Ballet (Denmark), Michiko Matsumoto Ballet (Japan), Ballet Doris Topete (Mexico), Escuela Nacional Superior de Ballet (Peru) and Ballet Pirouette (Germany). Special guests include dancer Yoshie Oshima, formerly with Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida and now with Eugene Ballet. Pianist Waldo Diaz and cellist Michael Andrews will accompanying ballerina Lisa Maltseva of the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida, formerly with the Mariinsky Ballet.

Performances will take place May 13 at 7:30pm at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Aventura, May 14 at 7pm at the Julius Littman Theater in North Miami Beach, and on May 15 at 3pm at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $25. For information, call 305.948.4777 or visit www.artsballettheatre.org.

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CHRP Plans a Summer Program of Tap Education for All Ages

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The Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP) will present its 21st Annual Rhythm World, the oldest and most comprehensive festival of American tap and contemporary percussive art in the world, July 25 to August 7 in downtown Chicago.

This festival of performance, education and community outreach programs, directed by CHRP founder and artistic director Lane Alexander, features a master faculty in two weeks of residencies, courses, workshops, master classes, and conferences for the field at the Fine Arts Building. Faculty concerts, student showcases, and lecture demonstrations will take place at the Jazz Showcase, Harold Washington Library’s Cindy Pritzker Theater, Millennium Park, and MCA Stage in the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

For the next five years, Rhythm World will spotlight a city, nation or region, beginning this year with Canada. Upcoming festivals will focus on Brazil (2012), the Pacific (2013), Spain and other European countries (2014), and the United States (2015).

The education program begins July 25 to 29 with intensive residencies led by Bril Barrett of MADD Rhythms; Derick K. Grant of Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk and Imagine Tap; Step Afrika! artistic director Jakari Sherman; and Bessie Award winner Sam Weber.

Courses, workshops and master classes take place August 1 to 7 with a faculty of master teachers including Bril Barrett, Idella Reed Davis, Michelle Dorrance, Tre Dumas, Jay Fagan, Derick Grant, Jason Janas, Lisa La Touche, Matt Shields, Randy Skinner, Jason Samuels Smith, Dianne Walker, Sam Weber, and Mark Yonally.

The KIDS Program August 2 to 4 offers intermediate tappers ages 9 through 12 a curriculum including oral and video histories, tap technique classes, improvisation instruction, and individual development of style and expression. After Work Adult Courses take place August 2 to 4, with Audition Workshops on August 5.

The Youth Tap Ensemble Conference (YTEC) takes place August 1 to 5. In PrepTEC, more than 90 dancers between the ages of 12 and 19, representing 10 youth tap ensembles from the United States, China, Brazil, Canada, and Mexico, gather to study new choreography, technique, improvisation and theater-related topics. ProTEC is for young adult professional tappers who want to work with their peers from around the world, while UTEC is for college and university students/faculty who want to develop a global network devoted to gaining recognition for American tap in undergraduate dance/music departments.

To register for education programs, visit www.chicagotap.org or call 773.281.1825.

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Dance Parade New York Brings Its Groove to the Streets of NYC

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More than 200 dance groups representing over 70 styles of dance from classical to comical, ethnic to eccentric, are expected to participate in the fifth annual Dance Parade New York and Festival, kicking off May 21 at 1pm.

 Dance Parade New York, founded to celebrate and showcase the diversity of dance and featuring decorative floats and lively music, will wind its way from Broadway and 21st Street to Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. A three-hour post-parade DanceFest, to start at 3pm, will feature two performance stages, dance lessons, workshops, dance parties, and kids’ activities.

While 30 groups have participated all five years, overall dancer participation has nearly quadrupled and spectators have increased by nearly 50 percent each year, with an estimated 45,000 attendees in 2010. The non-profit organization will draw nearly 100 volunteers this year, many of whom have been with the parade since its inception.

Traditional, urban, electronic, and club dance styles will be featured. New participants include Joffrey Ballet School, Chicago Style Steppers, Tom and Zach’s Disco Dance Wedding Celebration, and Burning Elf’s eight-foot-tall dancing toad.

Spectator seats in the grandstands are available at www.danceparadegrandstand.eventbrite.com/ and all proceeds support the cost of the parade and festival. Non-dancing bystanders should beware: the official New York Dance Police (NYDP) will again be on hand ticketing spectators without a groove. (Coupons on the back of the citation will provide deals to local dance schools for lessons and services.)

All dancers must register for the parade in advance through the Dance Parade website: www.danceparade.org/EE/index.php/join/join_parade/. Registration is free for individual dancers, and there is a suggested donation of $50 for dance organizations.

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Three-Day Bollywood Festival Brings Color and Dance to San Diego

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Bollywood America, a non-for-profit organization with the mission of education, fine arts awareness, and community outreach, is sponsoring a three-day South Asian Festival in San Diego.

The festival, which begins April 21, features a Bollywood fashion shop, dance workshops, a South Asian comedy show, and a National Dance Team Competition, to be held at Copley Symphony Hall and featuring teams from 10 U.S. and Canadian cities. For more information, visit www.bollywoodamerica.org.

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Best of Modern Dance Finds its Way to North Carolina This Summer

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The American Dance Festival (ADF), encouraging the creation of new and innovative modern works while also preserving modern dance heritage through the continued presentation of timeless dance classics, will present Something New, Something Treasured from June 9 to July 23 in Durham, North Carolina.

Pilobolus (Photo by John Kane, courtesy American Dance Festival)

This edition, the festival’s 78th season, features eight ADF-commissioned world premieres, five U.S. premieres, five reconstructions, and five company debuts. The festival also marks the final season of ADF director Charles L. Reinhart, who has played a key role in the evolution and proliferation of modern dance during his 43-year career. A gala in his honor—featuring works by Durham’s African American Dance Ensemble, Martha Clarke, Mark Dendy, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and the Scottish Dance Theater—will open the festival.

This season will encompass the breadth of the modern dance genre with a dramatically varied program featuring ADF commissions and reconstructions by Twyla Tharp, Martha Clarke, and Rosie Herrera. Paul Taylor will present an ADF-commissioned world premiere entitled The Uncommitted, while Pilobolus will present an ADF-commissioned world premiere in collaboration with a Japanese butoh artist, Takuya Muramatsu, in celebration of its 40th anniversary. Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company will reconstruct the troupe’s masterpiece D-Man in the Waters, accompanied by the Durham Symphony, and Eiko & Koma will celebrate their 40th anniversary with the reconstruction of River.

The season will also feature five international companies/choreographers making their ADF debuts this summer, including Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas (Belgium), TAO Dance Theater (China), Yossi Berg and Oded Graf (Israel), Scottish Dance Theater (Scotland), and Bulareyaung Pagarlava (Taiwan).

Performances will be held at the Reynolds Industries Theater, located on Duke University’s West Campus, or at the Durham Performing Arts Center. Tickets go on sale May 9 at www.americandancefestival.org. Prices range from $23 to $51. Visit the festival web site for a full performance schedule.

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Millepied Is Honorary Co-Chair of Jacob’s Pillow Opening Gala

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival 2011 will officially commence with a star-studded Season Opening Gala performance and celebration on June 18 at 6pm at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, Massachusetts.

A dance photography exhibit by Annie Leibovitz, created especially for the Pillow, will be on display in an exclusive preview. The evening features the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève performing Benjamin Millepied’s duet Closer, and a world premiere by Houston Ballet artistic director Stanton Welch performed by dancers of The School at Jacob’s Pillow Ballet Program. Also on the program are David Neumann, Keigwin + Company, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and a solo performance by pianist and composer Philip Glass.

The gala performance will be followed by dinner, a live auction, and dancing. The 2011 Gala co-chairs are Jacob’s Pillow board member Hunter K. Runnette, Dr. Mark P. VandenBosch, Dan Schulman, and Jennie Kassanoff. Millepied, a New York City Ballet principal dancer and choreographer of the film Black Swan, will serve as honorary co-chair.

Gala sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and businesses. Tables of 10 are available at several different levels of sponsorship from $3,500 to $10,000. Gala single tickets are available at $375, $575, and $775. For more information on tickets or tables, contact Gwen Franklin at 413.243.9919 x125. For more information, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

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Workshops, Gala Performance Highlight Children’s Dance Festival

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The 19th annual Children’s Dance Festival, an opportunity for dancers ages 6 to 18 to attend workshops in a variety of dance styles and perform in a gala, will be held May 1 from noon to 6pm at Brookline High School, 66 Tappan Street, Brookline, Massachusetts.

Children’s Dance Festival (Photo courtesy CDF)

The festival’s mission is to enrich young dancers by letting them meet and collaborate in workshops and performance. The event is open to individual dancers; groups that wish to show their dances in performance; or groups that wish to attend workshops without performing. Cost is $15 per dancer and the application deadline is April 1.

During the afternoon, dancers have the chance to participate in two to three workshops. Performing groups also can rehearse on stage in preparation for the gala, which will be held from 4 to 5:30pm.

The organizing committee is enlisting nine workshop teachers from various backgrounds and disciplines to lead 30-minute workshops (contact Karyn at dancingartscenter@gmail.com). The committee is also looking for non-competitive dance groups to share in a concert of diverse age groups, styles, and abilities. To bring a performance group, contact Jeanne at childsdancefest@pbjdanceco.org. Both applications are due by April 15.

To enroll a dancer or dancers, or to learn more, visit www.childsdancefest@pbjdanceco.org. Questions can be addressed to 617.738.7688 or 617.232.3189.

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Contemporary Dance Companies Highlight Bates Summer Festival

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 The Bates Dance Festival has announced its 29th season of public events, taking place July 1 through Aug. 13 on the Bates College campus, Lewiston, Maine.

Camille A. Brown and Dancers (Photo by Matt Karas)

The six-week festival showcases contemporary performance works by Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Nicholas Leichter Dance, Zoe | Juniper, and David Dorfman Dance. These acclaimed companies will offer evenings rich in storytelling, virtuosity, passion, and humor.

For their Maine debut July 15 and 16, Brown and Dancers offers The Groove to Nobody’s Business, City of Rain, New Second Line, and new solo by Brown, the first woman to receive a Princess Grace Award in Choreography (2006).

Nicholas Leichter Dance will perform their newest work, The Whiz, an outlandish take on The Wizard of Oz, July 21 and 23. Founded in 1996, the New York City-based Leichter Dance has performed in more than 50 cities in 17 states and 12 countries.

Two-time National Dance Project award winners Zoe | Juniper construct three-dimensional art that melds precise dance performance with video and photographic techniques. The Seattle-based team returns to Bates with A Crack in Everything, July 29 and 30.

David Dorfman Dance, a Bates festival favorite, returns with Prophets of Funk—Dance to the Music, driven by the funk sounds of Sly and the Family Stone, August 5 and 6. David Dorfman and the company’s dancers and artistic collaborators have been honored with eight New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards.

Founded in 1982 at Bates College, the Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of contemporary dance choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work. All told, the festival comprises performances, panel discussions, and lectures by more than 40 internationally recognized dancers from across the United States and abroad. For information about tickets and event locations and for additional performance details, visit www.batesdancefestival.org.

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Dance Planet Invites North Dallas Community to Free Classes, Performances

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Dance Council of North Texas presents Dance Planet 15, a festival of free classes, workshops, and performances, April 16 and 17 at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Dallas, Texas.

The event is a community-based dance festival with a performance showcase by 80 dance companies, 25 master classes in dance and fitness for all ages, a Pilates Zone for personal workouts, and a free adaptive dance teacher workshop. Special guest is Nem Brito, a celebrated Afro-Brazilian dance artist from Bahia, Brazil, who will teach Afro-Brazilian ritual dances and samba. Brito is the founder and artistic director of Diáspora Cia Baiana de Dança in Bahia. He was formerly with Dance Brazil as a principal dancer and associate director for 10 years.

The Performance Showcase will feature performances from dance companies from public schools, studios, colleges, professional companies, and cultural and senior centers in hip-hop, ballet, tap, tango, flamenco, folklorico, and more. Twenty-five dance and fitness master classes will be taught on the hour, and the Pilates Zone will offer 30-minute personal workouts taught by certified instructor ChaCha Guerrero of Metroplex Pilates.

All activities and events are free. Class and performance schedules will be posted at www.thedancecouncil.org in April.

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Summer Internships Available at Jacob’s Pillow

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Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the longest-running international dance festival in the United States, is accepting applications for its 2011 Summer Intern Program through March 3.

Thirty-three college students and young professionals from around the world will be selected following a competitive application review and interview process. Internships are available in archives/engagement, artist services, business, education, fundraising/grants, fundraising/individuals, graphic/web design, house management, marketing, photojournalism, press/editorial, production, ticket services/fundraising, ticket services/managerial, and video documentation.

Interns are provided with on-campus housing and dining, staff-led seminars, training, and mentoring, free access to performances and dance classes, a $500 stipend, and a $150 travel/sundry expense allowance. College credit is available through the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Jacob’s Pillow also works with students completing internships as part of their university work-study, independent study, or cooperative learning programs.

The 2011 Summer Intern Program runs May 24 to September 1. Jacob’s Pillow is located in Becket, Massachusetts, less than three hours from New York City. Applications must be submitted by March 3 for consideration. After March 3, call 413.243.9919 x161 to inquire about open positions.

Visit www.jacobspillow.org/education/internships/internships/summer-intern-program.php for complete application details.

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Scandinavian Dance Kicks off Bard SummerScape Festival

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Scandinavia’s rich cultural heritage, and the question of artistic conservatism in the modernist age, will be explored at the eighth annual Bard SummerScape festival, which once again features a sumptuous tapestry of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret.

Presented in the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, the seven-week festival opens July 7 with the first of four performances by a contemporary dance troupe from Finland, the Tero Saarinen Company.

One of Finland’s leading cultural exports, the group has appeared in more than 30 countries. Saarinen’s choreography has been incorporated into the repertoire of such prominent dance groups as Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT1), the Batsheva Dance Company, Lyon Opéra Ballet, and the Finnish National Ballet. He has been recognized for his work as an artist with the Pro Finlandia medal (2005), the most prestigious recognition given to artists in Finland; the International Movimentos Dance Prize for Best Male Performer in Germany (2004); and the title of “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” (2004) by the French Ministry of Culture.

The company will present a triple bill of works that plumb themes of friendship, love, and death. Westward Ho! is a quietly humorous, lightly melancholy portrayal of friendships that have begun to dip in and out of selfishness and betrayal. Wavelengths focuses on a couple trying to escape the threatening ho-hum of their long-term relationship. Saarinen himself will perform the solo piece HUNT, one of the most important contemporary interpretations of The Rite of Spring.

 The program will be presented in four performances: July 7 to 9 at 8:00 p.m., and July 10 at 3:00 p.m. A complete schedule of SummerScape events and updates is posted at the festival website, www.fishercenter.bard.edu/summerscape/2011.

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Bates College Summer Festival Offers Educational Programs

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Each summer, the Bates Dance Festival at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators, and students in a cooperative community to study, perform, and create new work.

The festival offers a supportive atmosphere aimed at fostering a creative exchange of ideas, encouraging exploration of new ground and providing opportunities to experience a wide spectrum of dance/movement disciplines. Artists, students, and audiences share their knowledge and inspiration through workshops, jams, discussions, informal showings, and performances.

Dates for this year’s festival are:

  • July 1-22: Young Dancers Workshop for pre-professionals ages 14-18
  • July 23-August 14: Professional Training Program for serious students, professionals, and educators ages 18 and up
  • July 25-August 13: a non-residential Youth Arts Program for area youth ages 6-17
  • July 4-August 13: performance and events season

For detailed descriptions of programs, as well as application information, visit www.batesdancefestival.org.

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Dance Place Showcases DC-Area Youth Performing Groups

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Dance Place collaborates with several local dance organizations to present the Youth Dance Festival, an evening showcasing the next generation of artistic excellence, March 19 at 8:00 p.m. and March 20 at 4:00 p.m.

Featured performers include the Dance Place Step Team, Joy of Motion Dance Center Youth Dance Ensemble senior and junior companies, Coyaba Youth Ensemble, Dance Dimensions, Towson University Children’s Dance Division, Mighty Shock, Dimensions of Funk Jr., Maryland Youth Ballet, and Andrea Hale.

These youth groups will provide dance genres ranging from West African to ballet, hip-hop, and flamenco. Many of the performing groups have won awards and performed at places such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Publick Playhouse, and the Lincoln Theater, and at festival such as Dance Bethesda, Imagination Bethesda, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Dance Place is located at 3225 8th Street NE, Washington DC, with free and convenient parking.

Tickets are $15 general admission or $10 for those 17 and under. As part of Dance Place’s Family Series, each paying adult will receive one free ticket for a child 12 and under for the March 20 show. Reservations are required. To purchase tickets visit www.danceplace.org or call 202.269.1600.

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Three Weekends of Events in Black Choreographers Festival

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The Black Choreographers Festival: Here and Now, which strives to serve the community through providing a forum to increase the visibility of African American dance, will be running the last three weekends in February in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Understanding the impact and importance of the African and African American experience in dance, this project aims to recognize the ingenuity and uniqueness of African and African American choreographers. The festival presents local and national artists in a series offering contemporary and traditional concerts, showcases, mentoring, educational programs, community partnerships, symposia, and archival documentation.

Events include:

  • Weekend 1: February 11 and 12, BCF Concerts; February 13, Dance Conference and Youth Summit; Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon Street, Oakland.
  • Weekend 2: February 17 to 20: BCF Concerts, ODC Theater, 3153 17th Street at Shotwell, San Francisco.
  • Weekend 3: February 25 to 27: Next Wave Choreographers Showcase, Dance Mission Theater, 3316 24th Street at Mission, San Francisco.

For more information visit www.bcfhereandnow.com.

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Dance Community Welcomes New Choreographers at BAX

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BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange welcomes a new group of dancers and choreographers into New York City’s dance community with a two-day showcase, the Upstart Festival, curated by choreographer Shannon Hummel, founder/director of Cora Dance, and Marya Warshaw, founding and executive director of BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

The festival features performances and roundtable discussions with the artists, who have no more than three years of experience showing choreography in the city. Through the festival, BAX hopes to give the choreographers a professional experience to develop artistic growth and to help them integrate themselves into the New York City dance community.

 On March 4 at 8:00 p.m., the festival will feature Simone Sobers, Kira Alker and Elke Luyten,
Courtney Cooke, Katherine Partington, and Heidi Carlsen. On March 5 at 8:00 p.m., artists include (Jo) Sau Yin Leung, Moriah Evans and Sarah Beth Percival, Malcolm Low, Lindsay Drury, and devynn emory/beast productions.

Advance tickets are $12 general admission and $7 low income online; tickets at the door are $15 general admission and $8 low income. BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange is a professional community arts center located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Artist opportunities include the Artist in Residence program, the Space Grant program, the Subsidized Rehearsal Space Rental program, Professional Development Workshops for Artists, and more. For more information about BAX and its opportunities for performing artists, call 718.832.0018 or visit www.bax.org.

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24th ‘Jazz on Tap’ Festival Sounds Off March 4-6

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The 24th annual “Jazz on Tap” (the metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) will showcase 800 dancers in four performances, plus workshop classes taught by master teachers from across the U.S., this March 4 to 6 in Marietta, Georgia.

“It’s hard to believe the festival began 24 years ago with eight dance companies and through the support and enthusiasm of dancers and audiences alike have grown to one of the nation’s largest annual dance festivals,” says Marcus R. Alford, artistic director and founder of “Jazz On Tap.”

This year’s festival presents 23 companies from Georgia and the metro Atlanta area and 14 companies from Michigan, Arkansas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama. The dance workshop on March 5 and 6 is open to the public and features classes in jazz, tap, lyrical, African, contemporary, and hip-hop. Master class faculty will include African dance teacher Mama Yeye, Katee Shean from So You Think You Can Dance, Las Vegas tap dance entertainer Jay Fagan, contemporary teacher/dancer/choreographer Johnette Rutledge, Jared Jenkins of the Step Up movies, and mother/daughter tap duo Pat and Sher Shepherd.

Classes cost $20 each.

Performances are set for March 4 at 7:30 p.m., March 5 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m., and March 6 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $16 adults and $11 students and children. All events will be held at the

Joe Mack Wilson Student Center Theatre and Ballrooms, Southern Polytechnic State University, 1100 South Marietta Parkway, Marietta, Georgia. Visit www.dancefestinc.com for details and to purchase performance and master class tickets.

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Workshops Galore at Massachusetts Dance Festival

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A full roster of workshop offerings has been announced for the Massachusetts Dance Festival on the last two weekends in August. Each workshop will be held on the designated day on both weekends, August 21-22 in Boston and August 28-29 in Amherst.

West African Dance Class, 10:30 to 11:50 a.m. Saturday: led by Fatou N’Diaye Davis and intended for professionals.

Modern Dance Class, noon to 1:20 p.m. Saturday: led by Lorraine Chapman, for professionals.

Integrated Dance Class, 10:30 to 11:50 a.m. Saturday: led by Ellen Kaz, for professionals.

Healthy Dancers Seminar, 10:30 to 11:50 a.m. Saturday and 1:00 to 1:50 p.m. Sunday: led by Drs. Andrea Stracciolini, Ellen Geminiancy, Cynthia Stein, and Bridget Quinn, for parents, dancers, and students.

Hip-Hop, noon to 12:20 p.m. Saturday (for professionals) and noon to 12:50 p.m. Sunday (for students from age 13 to adults): led by Jordan Medeiros.

Photographing Dance, 3:00 to 4:20 p.m. Saturday: led by Arthur Fink, for all comers.

Tap Dance Class, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m. Saturday (for professionals) and 2:00 to 2:50 p.m. Sunday (for 8- to 12-year-olds): led by Thelma Goldberg.

Teaching the Joy and Beauty of Ballet, 1:30 to 2:50 p.m. Saturday: led by Wayne Stewarte, for ballet teachers.

Cuban Salsa Class, 1:30 to 2:50 p.m. Saturday: led by Amanda Gill, for professionals.

Jazz Class, 3:00 to 4:20 p.m. Saturday: led by Jeannette Neill, for professionals.

Classical Ballet Class, 3:00 to 4:20 p.m. Saturday: led by James Reardon, for professionals.

For details and registration, visit www.massdancefestival.org.

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Free Tap Events at Jacob’s Pillow

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Jacob’s Pillow has free, open-to-the-public tap-related events, from performances to book signings, scheduled for this year’s annual dance festival in Becket, Massachusetts. In the spirit of National Tap Dance Day—which was May 25—here’s a sampling

The public is invited to watch leading tap artists work with dancers in the School at Jacob’s Pillow Tap Program on Tuesdays through Saturdays from June 28 to July 11. (Visits by parties of more than four people should be arranged in advance by calling 413.243.9919, extension 169.) The program is led by Dianne “Lady Di” Walker, and the faculty includes Harold Cromer, Derick K. Grant, Ray Hesselink, and Tasha Lawson.

Constance Valis Hill will talk about her book, Tap Dancing America, at 5 p.m. July 1 at Blake’s Barn. Tappers Harold Cromer and Dianne Walker will be on hand with Hill to sign copies.

Tap students will get to perform in a range of styles in public showings in the festival’s free Inside/Out series. A question-and-answer session with faculty and dancers will follow the showings at 6:15 p.m. July 3 and 10.

Boston Tap Company will perform as part of Let’s Dance!—a community-wide event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4 that will include free performances; open dance classes and workshops for adults and teens in a variety of movement styles; a free master class with Doris Duke Theatre artist Camille A. Brown; a raffle; and other attractions.

To learn more, visit www.jacobspillow.org.

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Sharpen Your Jazz Skills in Costa Rica

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Jazz Dance Fest 2010 will be held for dancers, teachers, and parents from June 24 to 27 at the Marriott Resort & Spa at Hacienda Pinilla, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

The annual event offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes in jazz, lyrical, tap, contemporary, and hip-hop, with an excursion day to see the sights in Costa Rica and a dancers’ showcase at the end of the workshop.

The $250 fee includes the workshop, showcase, welcome party, pool party, after-show cocktail, and lunch during the workshop. The registration cutoff is June 1.

For information, email info@jazzdancefest.com.

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