LEWISTON – More than 30 internationally recognized dance artists from throughout the United States and abroad will bring their talents to Lewiston July 11-Aug. 8 for the 27th Bates Dance Festival.
Highlights of the five-week festival include performances by Kate Weare Company, Battleworks Dance Company, Tania Isaac Dance and Bebe Miller Company that blend dance, video, text and original music focusing on the themes of beauty, work and family and human relationships in the 21st century.
Opening the 2009 season is Kate Weare Company, one of the most important choreographers to emerge in recent years. Kate Weare creates fierce and imaginative dances that explore contemporary perceptions of identity, intimacy and the basic human urge to move. Recently nominated for the Alpert Award, she has been presented at Jacob’ Pillow, City Center’s Fall for Dance, Joyce Soho and in San Francisco, Belgrade, Vienna and London.
Fresh from its New York season, Kate Weare Company will present “Bridge of Signs,” a quartet that looks at the reckless and wise instinct that drive us upstream toward love. The dance troupe will also perform “Lean-to,” collaboration with composer Michael Gallante, scenic designer Kurt Perschke and lighting designer Brian Jones that features a trio of dancers. Performances are at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Bates College.
Next up, Battleworks Dance Company has established itself as one of America’s most promising and aesthetically daring ensembles. Under the direction of founder Robert Battle, the company made its debut in 2002 at the World Dance Alliance’s Global Assembly in Düsseldorf, Germany. Boldly pushing the boundaries that have traditionally defined modern dance, Battle’s works have been commissioned by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Hubbard Street Repertory Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Koresh Dance Company and PARADIGM.
Battleworks makes its Maine debut with the world premiere of a new collaboration with composer/percussionist Damien Bassman. Performed to a live percussion score, this new work explores the dialogue between the drumbeat and dance. Also on the program are edgy dances from the Battlework’s repertory. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, July 16 and 18, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Bates College.
One of Philadelphia’s rising stars, Tania Isaac Dance is a physically explosive, sensual marriage of modern and Caribbean aesthetic – part personal documentary and part social commentary. St. Lucian-born, Isaac, honored as one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” in 2006, creates poetic, multi-disciplinary narratives rich in physicality and content.
Her work has been presented across the United States, Japan and in the Caribbean. Isaac presents her newest evening-length work, “stuporwoman,” reflecting the utter confusion and chaos of keeping pace in today’s frantic world. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Bates College.
A longtime festival favorite, Bebe Miller Company, BESSIE New York Dance and Performance Award winner, returns with its latest, multi-disciplinary work, “Necessary Beauty.” Miller’s vision of dance resides in her faith in the moving body as a record of thought, experience and sheer beauty. Bebe Miller Company has toured extensively throughout the United States and in eight countries. The company has been commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music NEXT WAVE Festival, City Center Theater, The Joyce Theater, Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Place and Dance Theater Workshop.
“Necessary Beauty” composed of intimate, multimedia segments for five dancers, investigates the convergence of dance, theater, music and digital technology through the rhythm of action and memory. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 31 and Aug. 1, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Bates College.
Showcasing diverse styles and perspectives, “Different Voices” features new works by Kenyan choreographer Opiyo Okach, known for his subtle improvisational style and contemporary reinterpretations of East African traditions; Nigerian dancer, acrobat, writer and filmmaker Qudus Onikeku, who currently performs with the acclaimed company of Heddy Maalem; New York choreographer /performer Jennifer Archibald, whose work incorporates hip-hop, modern, jazz and Latin styles; and emerging choreographers Kyle Abraham, named as one of “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine in 2008; and former Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company member Shanneka Harrell. “Different Voices” takes place at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 6 and 7, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St., Bates College.
The festival presents its annual “Musician’s Concert,” featuring a global mix of music by 10 composers/musicians at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St. “Moving in the Moment,” a spirited evening of improvisational dance by Nancy Stark Smith and festival faculty takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, in Alumni Gym, 130 Central Ave.
Rounding out the festival’s five-week season is the “Festival Finale,” featuring dancers of all ages and abilities performing hip-hop, modern and contemporary Caribbean dance works by Jennifer Archibald, Battle, Miller, Isaac and the festival’s Youth Arts Program, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, in Alumni Gymnasium, 130 Central Ave.
Information on tickets, event locations and other details is available online at www.batesdancefestival.org.

Dance festival schedule

Monday, July 6, Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Lecture/demonstration: Kate Weare Company
Saturday, July 11, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12 for seniors and students
Performance: Kate Weare Company

Monday, July 13, Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Lecture/demonstration: Battleworks Dance Company
Thursday, July 16, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: Battleworks Dance Company

Saturday, July 18, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: Battleworks Dance Company
Tuesday, July 21, Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m.
Panel discussion: “Global Exchange: Sharing Across Cultures”

Friday, July 24, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: Tania Isaac Dance

Saturday, July 25, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m., $20/$12
Preperformance Lecture: “Inside Dance” with dance writer Debra Cash, 7:15 p.m.
Performance: Tania Isaac Dance

Monday, July 27, Schaeffer Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Video talk with Bebe Miller
Tuesday, July 28, Olin Arts Center Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m., $10/$5
Performance: “The Musician’s Concert”

Friday, July 31, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: Bebe Miller Company

Saturday, Aug. 1, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Preperformance lecture: “Inside Dance” with dance writer Debra Cash, 7:15 p.m.
Performance: Bebe Miller Company

Tuesday, Aug. 4, Alumni Gym, 7:30 p.m.
Performance: “Moving in the Moment”

Thursday, Aug. 6, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: “Different Voices”

Friday, Aug. 7, Schaeffer Theatre, 8 p.m., $20/$12
Performance: “Different Voices”
Saturday, Aug. 8, Schaeffer Theatre, 1-5 p.m.
Informal Performance: “Young Choreographers/New Works”
Performance: “Festival Finale” Alumni Gym, 7:30 p.m., $6

All events take place at Bates College.
All events are free unless otherwise noted.
Advance reservations by phone: 786-6161, beginning July 6, between 1 and 5:30 p.m.


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