FYI | Dance for World Festival Celebrates 10th


What’s up in the dance community

Dance for World Community Day presents performances by dozens of Boston-area dance groups this June.
Photo by Michael Basu

The power of dance to bring people together inspires the Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dance for World Community Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer. Beginning June 4 with a week of dance films and panel discussions, the event culminates June 9 with Dance for World Community Day, a free event held on indoor and outdoor stages adjacent to the Harvard Square area. More than 90 dance groups will perform and about 30 service organizations will share information on social and environmental causes and encourage public involvement. Attendees can also sample onsite classes in dance styles ranging from flamenco to ballet.

Connecting the public to the arts and social justice was José Mateo’s aim when he founded Dance for World Community Day. “Dance has never been at the table in discussions about how to inspire civic engagement,” Mateo, the longtime artistic director of Cambridge’s José Mateo Ballet Theatre, told Dance Studio Life. “Dance has always had that power; it’s just been underutilized.”

Mateo, who officially retired as artistic director at the end of April, plans to devote more of his time and energy to Dance for World Community, which offers community outreach programs and other dance-related endeavors throughout the year in addition to the festival. For more, see danceforworldcommunity.org.