Performers, choreographers
taking knowledge, skills
off campus to the public

LEWISTON — In her inaugural season as Bates Dance Festival director, Shoshona Currier has enlarged the number, scope and locations of festival events open to the public at no cost.

In the days leading up to their festival performances, choreographers and performers will fan out across Lewiston-Auburn and as far away as Portland to reveal the secrets and stories behind their work in a series of free Inside Dance Community Conversations. 

In addition, organizers of the festival and of Bates’’ popular Concerts on the Quad series have incorporated dance — including dance lessons for audience members — into two of the summer’s three outdoor concerts on campus.

Currier said that because the festival’s potential audience is diverse, she wants to provide a diversity of entrees to dance events. 

“There’s the option to buy a ticket and sit in the theater to watch beautiful, dynamic contemporary dance,” she said, “but with our new program, there’s now the option to meet a dance artist at the public library or the YWCA and chat about their work. So the festival can be meaningful in different ways to different people.”

Inside Dance Community Conversations take place July 2 to Aug.1 in Lewiston, Auburn, South Paris and Portland. Also in downtown Lewiston is a July 17 screening of “Making ‘Mill Town,'” a documentary about a major Bates Dance Festival performance in 2017. 

Happening on campus are more than a dozen free events including performances, a panel on sexual harassment in dance and such lecture-demonstrations as the popular Show & Tell concert previews. Concerts on the Quad take place June 28  with Middle Eastern music by Zapion and belly-dance lessons by Anabee; July 19  with Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection with contradance calling by Dela Murphy and Aug. 2 with singer-songwriter Pete Kilpatrick.

Currier said, “The festival is the most robust presenter of contemporary dance in the state. It’s essential that we make some of our programming available beyond our immediate community.”

For the full schedule of free Bates Dance Festival events, visit

For mainstage performances, visit Information about Concerts on the Quad appears at

Contradance caller Dela Murphy will lead the dancing in an Erica Brown and the Bluegrass Connection concert jointly presented by the Bates Dance Festival and the college’s Concerts on the Quad series.

Shoshona Currier
Bates Dance Festival director 

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