The Bates Dance Festival, celebrating its 41st season, will present four distinctive dance performances in July at Schaeffer Theatre on the Bates College Campus as well as a recently added 4D sound performance from Maine-based James Allister Sprang at Trinity Episcopal Church, the annual fundraising event BDFête on July 22, and a number of free events including concerts, works in progress, artist talks and even group dance lessons during the renowned festival, which runs from June 29 through July 29.

The full schedule is available at

Of this year’s performance series, Director Shoshona Currier says, “I’m honored to bring these unique pieces to Maine this summer. Each choreographer invites audiences into their own very rich environments while exploring big ideas like grief, love, lineage, and so much more. As a series, this represents four points on the spectrum of artistic processes that took place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing fresh energy to the stage that is technical and experimental, playful and serious, definitive and curious.”

Thematically, several of the featured performances tackle issues related to race, including Black love, the racial dynamics associated with postmodern dance itself, and the continuum of Jazz within Black culture.

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham –– An Untitled Love
7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7, Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9, at Schaeffer Theatre

Drawing from the catalog of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo, this creative exaltation pays homage to the complexities of self love and Black love, while serving as a thumping mixtape celebrating our culture, family and community.


Gerald Casel / GERALDCASELDANCE –– Not About Race Dance
7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 14, and Saturday, July 15, at Schaeffer Theatre

A collaborative, choreographic response to the unacknowledged racial politics in U.S. postmodern dance — a form developed in the 1960s whose tropes and aesthetics have endured in the dance field. Despite postmodernism’s popularity, its racial dynamics have gone largely unacknowledged. In Not About Race Dance, Gerald Casel and his collaborators occupy a space that has been historically defined by white artists to present a contrasting vision of where Black and Brown bodies belong.

LaTasha Barnes Presents The Jazz Continuum
7:30 p.m. Friday, July 21, Saturday, July 22, and Sunday, July 23, at Schaeffer Theatre

The Jazz Continuum is an unapologetic celebration of the prolific power of Black American artistry with Jazz as its center. Barnes reaches back nearly 100 years, connecting dances that sprang from America’s Black Jazz music to dance and music expressions of today such as House, Vogue, Lindy Hop, Hip-Hop, Hand Dances, Line Dances and more! Performed by an all Black, intergenerational cast of dancers and musicians, The Jazz Continuum is also a celebration of community and collaboration. Each performer investigates their personal relationship to Jazz as they explore imaginings of its inspirations and reapplications.

Vanessa Anspaugh –– mourning after mornings
7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at Schaeffer Theatre

Inspired by a collection of death and grieving rituals, three archetypal female outcasts (facing their own aging) tell an ancient story that is also the present. In recent years, Anspaugh has made four new works, all under the subject of deaths that come too soon, mourning after mornings is the one that wants to wake up. The multi-generational cast explores communal loss and mourning, reclaiming wildness, and attending to the devastating, absurd, and sacred ways we come to care for bodies and ritualize endings.


Tickets will also be available for the popular Musicians Concert taking place at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 24. The evening features multi-instrumentalist Terrence Karn, composer and pianist Carl Landa, violinist Rob Flax, percussionists Okai Musik and Akili Jamal Haynes, and electronic musicians Adam Crawley and Jake Meginsky.

In addition to the ticketed events, Primo Cubano, Dela Murphy and The Zoot Jumpers and LaTasha Barnes will be performing on the quad at three free concerts throughout the festival, starting with Primo Cubano on June 29. The audience can learn a new dance style for 30 minutes, then enjoy an hour of live music and put their skills to work.

Dance artists from BDF will also host free family-friendly workshops outdoors at the Lewiston Farmers Market at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 16, and Sunday, July 23.

As it did last year, the festival is offering tickets at a sliding scale from $5 to $25 to make performance accessible to all.

Tickets may be purchased online via via or by phone (207-786-6161) or at the box office starting June 27. You must use a credit card for phone orders. Tickets may be picked up at the venue on the day of the performance, 45 minutes before curtain. The box office will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m. until July 29. The box office is on the first floor of Pettigrew Hall, Room 200, Bates College, 305 College St, Lewiston. For more information, visit, call 207-786-6381, or email

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