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Newsletter Vol. 1 Winter 2003



by Laura Faure, Festival Director

Dough Varone
Photo: Cylla von Teidman

This past summer Bates celebrated 21 years of presenting contemporary dance. More than 60 artists graced our stages, and over 350 participants representing 38 states and eight countries gathered for five weeks of intensive study to develop their craft.

Now, we keep the momentum going by staying in touch with our friends and supporters.

In 2003, we once again invited dancers from around the globe to teach, perform, and create new work in BDF's unusually supportive, dance-centered community. At-risk young people in the Lewiston-Auburn area participated in the 10th Anniversary of our Youth Arts Program. Our Community Dance Project brought local residents with disabilities together with Maine artists and Judith Smith and Alisa Rasera of AXIS Dance Company of San Francisco, for a three-week immersion into integrated dancing. Free panel discussions and Inside Dance talks with Dr. Suzanne Carbonneau invited students and the public to take a closer look at the choreographers and their works

The coming year holds exciting things in store for the Festival. We hope you will mark your calendars now for the 2004 season. A preview will be up on our website very soon at:

We offer many thanks to our friends and supporters. Your interest and participation helps ensure that BDF continues to be an important cultural destination and vibrant center for contemporary dance!


Sam Miller of NEFA, Baraka Sele of New Jersey
Performing Arts Center, and choreographer Ralph
Lemon on hand at Bates for a TAP event.
Photo: Michael Philip Manheim


Saturday, August 9, 2003, BDF was honored to host an event recognizing the decade-long efforts of the Triangle Arts Project (TAP), as documented in the video installation Images of Asia by artist Molly Davies. An international gathering of arts presenters and funders came to view the installation's in-progress debut at the Bates College Museum of Art, which ran through August 16, and offer critical response. While on-site, the group also discussed the future of TAP.

TAP began in 1993 under the auspices of the Asian Cultural Council, the Saison Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts in partnership. TAP encourages cultural communication and exchange between three distinctly different and equally vital dance and performing arts communities: the United States, Indonesia, and Japan. BDF has been actively involved since 1997, and has hosted several TAP residencies and retreats.

ACC and NEFA commissioned filmmaker Molly Davies to revisit TAP sites in Japan and Indonesia and interview artists and communities impacted by the program. The results - part documentary, part contemporary art piece - were displayed on six screens showing several video sequences simultaneously. An exhibit of Asian artifacts from the Bates collection accompanied the installation. Live, improvisational performances by Polly Motley, Nancy Stark Smith, Kota Yamazaki, and Maria Aprianti were incorporated into the opening event. Images of Asia is being further developed to tour throughout the U.S.



New in 2003, BDF is a collaborative partner with New York's Dance Theatre Workshop in the multi-year Mekong Project, the focus of which is cross-cultural exchange between the U.S and Vietnam. This summer we hosted two Vietnamese artists, Ngo Thuy To Nhu and Vu Tran Phuong Nga, in creative residencies as part of BDF's International Visiting Artists Program. In December 2003, Festival Director Laura Faure travelled to Vietman to assist choreographer Stephen Koplowitz in the development of a project in collaboration with two Vietnamese visual/performance artists and to give a presentation on site work.While in the country she also joined a group of U.S. presenters to look at work.



We extend a warm welcome to Marcus Bruce, newest member of the BDF Advisory Board. Professor Bruce teaches Religion in the Philosophy/Religion Department at Bates College, and is the author of Henry Ossawa Tanner, a biography of the African-American painter who lived and worked in Paris, France. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Maine Humanities Council and is a member of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, a non-profit based in New York. He earned a Doctorate in Divinity from Yale University.

Advisory Board member Dr. Dervilla McCann, distinguished cardiologist and clinical scientist with Androscoggin Cardiology Associates in Auburn, ME, is making headlines at Bates College. Her journey from disaffected graduate to devoted alumna, and how her involvement with the Festival played a pivotal role in that transformation, is featured in the Spring 2003 issue of Bates Magazine. A Change of Heart, by Doug Hubley, can be read in its entirety at

Nancy Salmon has joined the BDF staff as Assistant to the Director following her 15-year tenure at the Maine Arts Commission. We are happy to have her! We also bid a fond farewell to Alison Hart, who has departed for graduate studies in Texas.

Festival Alumni: A new page on the BDF web site provides space to reflect back on your experiences at Bates and update us on your latest happenings. Please take a moment to visit and take our Alumni Survey.



The President and Trustees of Bates College, on behalf of the Bates Dance Festival, have been awarded a multi-year operating grant from the Ford Foundation. One of several dance grants made in 2003 via the newly-restructured division of Media, Arts, and Culture (part of the program now known as Knowledge, Creativity & Freedom), the funds will be used to further organizational and strategic planning as the Festival continues to support artists' creative development and develops a closer relationship with Bates College.



Integrated Dance-Judith Smith of AXIS
Dance Company Photo: Margot Hartford


Judith Smith and Alisa Rasera of San Francisco's AXIS Dance Company led Festival dancers and local Maine residents with disabilities in the development of Connections, a new physically-integrated dance work. Their three-week Integrated Dance Lab was the focus of this year's Multi-Abled Community Dance Project. The work was performed for the public at our 2003 Festival Finale with an original score by Portland-based musician/composer Shamou. AXIS is a company at the forefront of the movement known as integrated dance. The project, sponsored by UNUM Provident, included a free slide-illustrated talk on the subject, which was open-to-the-public.



Terrence Karn directs Youth Arts orchestra,
photo by Michael Philip Manheim

Our Youth Arts Program celebrated its ten-year milestone in 2003 which culminated with a new work based on Mozart's masterpiece entitled "Wreck We Um" that was accompanied by an original score for the "60 Peace Orchestra" at the Festival Finale. The high-energy performance was met with wildly enthusiastic audiences and made for one of BDF's most memorable Finales yet.

YAP is one of very few arts-related outlets available to Lewiston-Auburn area youths during the summer months. It is the only local dance/music program taught by professional artists, many of them world-renowned.

Teens prepare for Festival Finale with Sara
Sweet Rabidoux, photo by Michael Philip
YAP has been fully-enrolled since its inception in 1993, and has remained accessible to the area's lowest-income, disadvantaged young people. Over one-half of participants attend on full scholarship.

One YAP parent wrote recently, "I love the program because I see my child's self-esteem raise. She has found new, positive influences. She is ADHD and this gives her a positive way to release her energy." Another parent tells us, "My son is considered 'special needs'… there has been no significant improvement in his concentration, impulsivity or reticence - until now!"



Festival 2004, our 22nd consecutive season, takes place July 10 - August 15. Artists scheduled for residencies include Rennie Harris Puremovement, Marc "Bamuthi" Joseph, Everett Dance Theatre, hoi polloi, Tere O'Connor Dance, Victoria Marks, Marianela Boan, Suzanne Carbonneau, participants in the Emerging Choreographers Program and International Visiting artists from Japan, Vietnam, and Mexico. Each week features public performances and other activities such as free Inside Dance discussions. The full season schedule will be announced in our Spring 2004 newsletter and on the BDF website.



BDF has established an official Archive as part of The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library at Bates College. Print and video materials from over two decades of contemporary dance are available for access by artists, scholars, and interested people. This project, begun in 2000 and continued over the past three summers, has been supported in part by the Maine State Historical Collections Grant Program. Information and assistance has been provided by the Dance Heritage Coalition. To make an appointment or for more information, call 207-786-6272 during business hours.



This year BDF joined the National Performance Network, a partnership that connects artists with progressive presenters, arts organizations and communities across the country. NPN consists of over 55 art organizations in over 36 cities across the country. The partnership rests on two simple ideals - to help artists make work in their own neighborhoods, and to cross geographic and cultural divides to increase the traffic of fresh, challenging artistic work. BDF is proud to play a role in this effort. See more at



BDF relies on contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals to supply a critical portion of our operating budget each year. Please consider becoming a Member - call 207-786-6381 today or send an email to for more info.

Founded in 1982, the Bates Dance Festival is a summer program of Bates College whose mission is: to bring an artistically and ethnically diverse group of outstanding contemporary dance artists to Maine during the summer months to teach, perform, and create new work; to encourage and inspire established and emerging artists at all stages in their creative development; and to actively engage people from the community and region in a full range of dance experiences. The Festival pays an annual fee to the College in exchange for services, and operates independently with respect to programming, fundraising and administration.

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