Bates Dance Festival announces 2014 line-up

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LEWISTON — The Bates Dance Festival has announced its 2014 season of public events, taking place July 8 through Aug. 9 on the Bates College campus.

Presenting stunning new works, the renowned contemporary artists appearing at the six-week festival are Prometheus Dance, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, David Dorfman Dance and Vincent Mantsoe | Yin Mei.

In its fourth decade as a leading American dance center, the Bates Dance Festival is a respected laboratory for artists making important contributions to the lexicon of contemporary dance.

Information about tickets and event locations, as well as additional performance details, will be available by April 1 at batesdancefestival.org

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Prometheus Dance, Boston’s premiere company, opens the season with its latest work, the viscerally charged and dramatic “Heart of the Matter.” Marking Prometheus’ 25th anniversary and exquisitely performed by the company of eight, “Heart of the Matter” dissects the impact of relationships over time and how we hurt each other in the name of love.

“The choreographers have hit the jackpot with this world premiere,” wrote Boston Globe reviewer Karen Campbell.

Bates Dance Festival performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 11 and 12, at Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Prometheus Dance has performed throughout the Northeast, as well as in Western Europe and Latin America. Co-Artistic Directors Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett have created more than 50 works for their company, as well as forming The Elders Ensemble, a Prometheus-affiliated company of post-professional dancers ages 60-85. Arvanites and Neblett have received numerous awards and honors, including a National Endowment for the Arts Creativity Grant.

Camille A. Brown & Dancers, known for high theatricality, gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality, bring to Lewiston their newest work “Mr. TOL E. RAncE.” Drawing on the legacy of blackface minstrelsy in America, “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” examines images of black performers (“Amos and Andy,” “The Jeffersons”) and contemporary media (rappers, reality TV).

Featuring a live piano score by the remarkable Scott Patterson, and the fierce and funny dancing of Brown’s impressive cast, this evening-length work is a culturally charged mix of images, associations and references. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, July 17 and 19, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Brown has been much recognized for her daring works. She has done commissions for leading dance companies such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Urban Bush Women, and in 2012 was named choreographer for the Broadway revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

David Dorfman Dance returns to the 2014 Bates Dance Festival for Dorfman’s seventh creative residency since 1995. Continuing its poignant exploration of American culture, David Dorfman Dance puts a lens on the underground music scene of the 1990s in “Come, and Back Again.”

“Come, and Back Again” is an evening-length, elegiac exploration of the virtuosity of daily life, vulnerability and mortality. Featuring five dancers and five musicians, the piece embarks on a course of reckless abandon driven by the charged poetry and raw ferocity of indie, punk and folk-rock music.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Founded in 1985, David Dorfman Dance has performed extensively in New York City and throughout the Americas, Great Britain and Europe. Dorfman and the company’s dancers and artistic collaborators have been honored with eight New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Awards.

Vincent Sekwati Mantsoe, South Africa’s most beloved choreographer, returns to Bates this summer with an enthralling new solo, “Skwatti,” was born from his alarm as urbanization clogs South Africa’s cities.

Sinewy and fluid, Mantsoe shape-shifts as if channeling the ancestral spirits through a contemporary dance language that fuses the cultures of Pedi and Shangaan to Asian and Aboriginal.

Chinese choreographer Yin Mei, sharing the evening with Mantsoe, delves into childhood memories of growing up during the Cultural Revolution in the profound solo “DIS/oriented: Antonioni in China.” “DIS/oriented” takes the form of a dance-theater “conversation” with Michelangelo Antonioni’s seldom-seen 1972 documentary portraying everyday life in China, “Chuon Kuo Cina,” which was not shown in China until 2004.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 1 and 2, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Mantsoe was born and raised in a township of Soweto, South Africa, in the depths of apartheid. He is descended from a long line of “sangomas” (traditional healers). He trained with Moving Into Dance Mophatong in the early 1990s, and served as its artistic director from 1996-2001.

Choreographer and performer Yin Mei explores themes of artistic and spiritual significance arising at the intersection between Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance. Her work has been performed in New York at Lincoln Center, New York City Center, Dance Theater Workshop and Danspace at St. Mark’s Church, as well as at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and other venues in the United States and abroad.

More festival events

All told, the Bates Dance Festival comprises mainstage and informal performances, lectures and other presentations by more than 50 internationally recognized dancers. The festival offers events in addition to the mainstage performances:

The annual “Musicians’ Concert,” a global mix of music by 10 remarkable composers and players, takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, in the Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar St., Lewiston.

The “Different Voices” concerts showcasing visiting choreographers from around the world take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 7 and 8, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

The “Festival Finale” presents student dancers of all ages performing contemporary works by festival choreographers. Also representing the festival’s Youth Arts Program, the finale takes place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in Alumni Gymnasium, 130 Central Ave.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, the festival presents a free “Show & Tell” by a company in residence: for Prometheus Dance on July 8; Camille A. Brown, July 15; David Dorfman, July 22; and Vincent Mantsoe and Yin Mei, July 29.

Dance writer Debra Cash presents “Inside Dance: Understanding Contemporary Dance,” a series of pre-performance lectures and post-performance talks in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St. Saturday lectures precede the Prometheus performance at 7 p.m. July 12; Brown at 7 p.m. July 19; Dorfman at 7 p.m. July 25; and Mantsoe and Yin Mei at 7 p.m. Aug. 2. Talkbacks follow most Friday evening performances.

About the Bates Dance Festival

Founded in 1982 at Bates College, the Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of contemporary choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work.

The festival serves as an annual destination for artists, students and audiences to engage in a full range of activities and performances that foster a creative exchange of ideas, encourage exploration of new ground and provide access to a wide spectrum of dance and movement disciplines.

At press time, support for the 2014 season has been provided by Bates College; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New England Foundation for the Arts; National Performance Network; IDres; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lewiston-Auburn Children’s Home; Norman, Hansen & DeTroy; Platz Associates; the Sequoia Foundation; the Shapiro Family Foundation; and generous individual donors.

2013 Bates Dance Festival Calendar of Events

June 30-Aug. 9

General information

*Admission price for seniors. **Admission price for students.

All events take place at Bates College except as noted. Schaeffer Theatre and Pettigrew Hall are located at 305 College St., Commons at 136 Central Ave. and Alumni Gymnasium at 130 Central Ave.

Online tickets go on sale June 2 at batestickets.com.

Advance reservations may be made by phone beginning June 30: 207-786-6161, 1-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Events

Monday, June 30, Fireplace Lounge, Commons, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily until Aug. 9. Free.

Dance Photo Exhibit by Arthur Fink

Tuesday, July 8, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Show & Tell: Prometheus Dance

Friday, July 11, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Prometheus Dance. With “Heart of the Matter,” the company weaves a charged tale about the impact of relationships over time. A talkback with the artists follows the concert.

Saturday, July 12, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Prometheus Dance (see July 11), A talkback with the artists follows the concert.

Tuesday, July 15, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Show & Tell: Camille A. Brown & Dancers

Thursday, July 17, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Camille A. Brown & Dancers. “Mr. TOL E. RAncE” celebrates the humor and perseverance of the black performer and examines stereotypical roles dominating popular black culture. A talkback with the artists follows the concert.

Saturday, July 19, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Pre-performance lecture: Inside Dance with dance writer Debra Cash, 7 p.m.

Performance: Camille A. Brown & Dancers (see July 17)

Tuesday, July 22, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Show & Tell: David Dorfman Dance

Friday, July 25, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: David Dorfman Dance. “Come, and Back Again” examines mortality through a kinetic anthem of reckless abandon driven by the charged poetry and raw ferocity of punk rock music. A talkback with the artists follows the concert.

Saturday, July 26, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Pre-performance lecture: Inside Dance with dance writer Debra Cash, 7 p.m.

Performance: David Dorfman Dance (see July 25)

Tuesday, July 29, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Show & Tell: Vincent Mantsoe | Yin Mei

Wednesday, July 30, Franco-American Heritage Center, 46 Cedar St., 7:30 p.m. $15 / $7*

Performance: The Musicians’ Concert. A festival favorite, this eclectic concert features gifted composers and multi-instrumentalists playing original and improvised music from around the world.

Friday, Aug. 1, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Vincent Mantsoe | Yin Mei. Powerful new solos explore the human costs of political turbulence and urbanization.

Saturday, Aug. 2, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Pre-performance lecture: Inside Dance with dance writer Debra Cash, 7 p.m.

Performance: Vincent Mantsoe | Yin Mei (see Aug. 1)

Tuesday, Aug. 5, Alumni Gymnasium, 7:30 p.m. Free.

Performance: Moving in the Moment. An evening of improvisational dance and music by contact improvisers Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser and festival faculty and musicians.

Thursday, Aug. 7, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Different Voices. A diverse evening of new works by international and emerging choreographers Lisa Race, Claudia Lavista, Charlotte Griffin, Nadia Beugre and others.

Friday, Aug. 8, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m. $25 / $18* / $12**

Performance: Different Voices (see Aug. 7)

Saturday, Aug. 9, Schaeffer Theatre, 1-5 p.m. Free.

Informal performance: Young Choreographers / New Works. This informal adjudicated showing presents more than 20 new works by talented festival students.

Saturday, Aug. 9, Alumni Gymnasium, 7:30 p.m. $6

Performance: Festival Finale. Festival participants perform new works by David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Mark Dendy, Vincent Mantsoe, Claudia Lavista and Omar Carrum, plus a production by our Youth Arts Program participants.

About the Bates Dance Festival

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.

The festival serves as an annual destination for artists, students and audiences to engage in a full range of dance activities and performances that foster a creative exchange of ideas, encourage exploration of new ground and provide the opportunity to experience a wide spectrum of dance and movement disciplines.

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