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Bates Festival Newsletter

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Newsletter Vol. 9, Fall 2010
Newsletter Writer and Editor: Laura Faure


David Dorfman by Kate Enman


  • Young Dancers: July 1 - July 22
  • Professional Training Program: July 23 – August 14
  • Youth Arts Program: July 25 - August 13
  • Performance & Events Season: July 11 - August 13

Coming up in 2011

This coming summer we will continue our tradition of nurturing a creative community of contemporary dance by bringing together leading dance practitioners, composer/musicians, educators, students and audience members. The 2011 Festival will offer a sampling of the best up and coming and established contemporary dance makers.

Highlighting the season will be Festival veterans, David Dorfman Dance (DDD). Since their first visit in 1997, DDD has conducted five creative residencies at the Festival building many of their acclaimed works including To Lie Tenderly, underground, and Disavowal. We are proud to have supported and presented these provocative works and are excited to host the company again next summer when DDD will perform their newest work, Prophets of Funk/Dance to the Music, driven by the funky, popular '70s sounds of Sly and the Family Stone. In addition the company will offer classes and a Lecture/Demonstration.

Camille A. Brown by Matt Karas

Also on our season, comes the gutsy and eloquent, Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Dance magazine describes the work as"…Gutsy. Wild. Smart" and "Broadway worthy. Choreographer, Camille A. Brown, a former dancer with Ronald K. Brown/Evidence and Rennie Harris Puremovement, brings her 8-member company to Maine for their premiere performance.

Another Maine premiere comes in the form of Nicholas Leichter's The Whiz: Over the Rainbow, a vibrant reimagining of the hit Broadway musical featuring a mashup of street, classical and club dance styles and an original score by Monstah Black.

Returning to Bates, Zoe Scofield / Juniper Shuey present their latest multimedia work, A Crack in Everything. Inspired by the Greek tragedy, The Oresteia, A Crack… examines the emotional spectrum of justice and retaliation. Recipients of two coveted National Dance Project awards and a recent MacDowell Colony residency, their latest effort promises to be a surprising and transformative journey.

Complimenting these performances will be a variety of free lecture demonstrations, panel discussions and other complimentary events. Stay tuned for more details coming this spring!

Tentative Performance Series: July 11 – August 13

July 11 .................... Camille A. Brow & Dancers Lecture Demonstration
July 15 & 16 ............ Camille A. Brown & Dancers Performance
July 18 .................... Nicholas Leichter Dance Lecture Demonstration
July 21 & 23............. Nicholas Leichter Dance Performance
July 25 .................... Zoe / Juniper Lecture Demonstration
July 29 & 30............. Zoe / Juniper Performance
August 1 .................. David Dorfman Dance Lecture Demonstration
August 2 .................. Musician's Concert
August 5 & 6 ............ David Dorfman Dance Performance
August 9 .................. An Evening of Improvisation
August 11 & 12 ......... Different Voices Performance
August 13 ................ Festival Finale


Laura Faure, Festival Director

Amidst the ongoing financial challenges faced by organizations across the arts and in virtually every other sector, we are proud (and relieved) to say that we experienced full enrollment in each of our programs last summer and have sustained all of our important initiatives. We, also, forged ahead with some programmatic enhancements. We engaged in our first co-production with Portland Ovations to support the creation and performances of Doug Varone and Dancers latest work, Chapters From A Broken Novel (see story below). Mark your calendar to see this work on Feb 16. Our very own BDF Assistant Director, Nancy Salmon, will provide the pre-performance lecture. For more info go to: Portland Ovations.

We, also, expanded our video team to include Bates College alumna, Alissa Horowitz (see story below) and her partner, Victor Lazaro, to develop more dynamic content for our BDF youtube channel and to work with jazz master, Cathy Young, on a new educational DVD project. And, we expanded out Youth Arts faculty to include Priscilla Rivas, a fabulous new visual arts teacher.

Monica Bill Barnes by Arthur Fink

We welcomed scores of new and returning audience members to outstanding performances, informative lecture demonstrations and pre-concert talks by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, Doug Varone and Dancers, Cynthia Oliver/COCo Dance Theatre and AXIS Dance Company.

We continued our tradition of supporting the development of new work by established and emerging choreographers by hosting creative residencies for New England dancemakers, Deborah Goffe and Heidi Henderson, Quebec native, Helen Simoneau, Michel Kouakou of Ivory Coast, and Panaibra Gabriel Canda of Mozambique. The artists shared through showings and dialogue, giving our whole festival community a chance to witness and comment on their process. Watch a video with Deborah and Helen at: Emerging Artists

Panaibra Gabriel by Arthur Fink

Longtime festival participant and editor of our 2007 chapbook, Growing Place: 25 Years at the Bates Dance Festival, Heidi Henderson was able to bring three of her dancers to complete a new work, Pine, that was performed on our Different voices concerts. Heidi said,
"I feel so supported as an artist at Bates.  I have time and space to generate work.  I have amazingly wise and famous choreographers/idea makers to give me feedback and to challenge my ideas in beautiful and thoughtful ways. I have eager students who soak up information and help me to understand what is important to us about the moving body. I can live life for six weeks saturated with dance."

by Alissa Horowitz

Victor and Alissa by Laura Faure

This summer I returned to my old stomping grounds in Lewiston, Maine. My third year attending the Bates Dance Festival, but my first since I graduated from Bates in 2008.  Upon leaving Bates, I moved to New York City – a tiny island of big dreams, many opportunities, and small (not to mention overpriced) apartments.  And small (and also overpriced) dance studios. So I'm sure I wasn't the only one who got that warm fuzzy feeling when taking class in the Alumni Gym. With Michael Foley, another Bates Alum, cranking out the moves and Jesse Manno's music filling the space up to the rafters, I was like a kid in a candy store.  Here I was escaping my jobs (with a capital "s"), breathing in the fresh air, and absorbing myself in my great love - dance.

This summer I returned to the Festival not just to dance, but to document.  In collaboration with Victor Lazaro, I directed a series of videos about the Youth Arts Program (YAP) and the Emerging Choreographers Program (all of which are on the Bates Dance Festival's youtube page). To be candid, working on these videos was really fun.  That's right friends, I'm using the word "work" and "fun" in the same sentence here.  I got to hang out with artists I really admire and respect, and then, share what they do with others.

YAP in Class by Arthur Fink

Right off the bat, we knew we wanted to focus on YAP. Using the resources the Professional Training Program has to offer, YAP exposes kids of all ages from the Lewiston-Auburn community to the performing and visual arts. It is amazing how many students return year after year, a tribute to the successfulness of the program. Working with the YAP-pers was great. I mean, Victor and I are big kids anyway, so we fit in right off the bat. The kids called Victor "Paparazzi" and, thanks to Dana Reed (the YAP program director), they soon became comfortable having a camera around to film the YAP "reality show". As a dance teacher myself, I really appreciated the teaching artists' extraordinary work.  And the YAP students were like little sponges soaking it all up.  My nightly ritual of looking through the footage Victor shot that day was just priceless.  I hoped to bottle up all the wonderful things happening at YAP, all the creativity, all the breakthroughs, all the love, and funnel it into three, three-minute videos. And all in the span of three short weeks that were filled to the brim and overflowing.

Deborah Goffe by Arthur Fink

I knew before arriving at Bates Dance Festival this summer that I would be working with YAP, but once we got to campus Laura asked Victor and I if we would, also, spotlight the two emerging artists, Deborah Goffe and Helen Simoneau.  "That will be really cool," was my first thought. That turned out to be an understatement.  I was previously unfamiliar with Deborah and Helen's work, but it did not take long before I was a devoted follower.  Each is such a passionate and beautiful individual with a knack for showing us something beautiful about life through their art. They made it easy for me. It's impossible to produce a mediocre video about two astonishing artists who are anything but mediocre.

Helen Simoneau by Arthur Fink

It was hard to get back into my routine here in New York after being spoiled at the Festival.  Don't get me wrong. I love New York. But I often miss the beautiful dance spaces at BDF and being surrounded by a community of artists connected by a common passion. Thank you to everyone who was up there at BDF this summer, and, see you next year!



Doug Varone by Phil Knott

Festival Director, Laura Faure, and Portland Ovations Executive Director, Aimee Petrin, have teamed up to entice Maine audiences to experience the wealth of dance that both organizations present across the year. While they have been cross-marketing their dance events over the last three years, in 2010 they joined forces to co-produce two Maine engagements by the award-winning contemporary company of Doug Varone and Dancers. The first, a three-week creative residency, took place this summer at the Festival where Varone completed his evening–length work, Chapters From A Broken Novel, as well as performing, teaching and setting works on students. Watch a video of Varone at work. On Feb. 16, 2011 Portland Ovations will present the company in a concert that will feature an extended segment of the Chapter…, along with other acclaimed repertory. The project was supported, in part, by an American Masterpieces grant from the Maine Arts Commission.


YAP practices Yoga by Arthur Fink

Last winter we invited parents and community stakeholders to join a YAP advisory group to help us deepen the impact of Youth Arts on local families. They came up with a wealth of excellent recommendations to enhance our recruitment, marketing and programming. As a result of their great ideas and a new connection we made with Bates alumnas, Erin Reed and Julia Sleeper at the Trinity Jubilee Center in downtown Lewiston, we were able to increase our enrollment to a record 71 students including 19 boys and five students from the new immigrant community. We, also, expanded our program to include visual arts, taught by new faculty member, Priscilla Rivas, and took possession of two art studios in the Olin Arts Center on campus. Watch a video of YAP.

Feedback from YAP parents:

"My kids look forward to YAP every year. This has been the best experience for them. It has helped them build their self-esteem. They have made friendships that have lasted over the years."
"We love the diversity of activities and families we meet. The program is phenomenal. The staff is so dedicated, loving and professional. It has been a blessing in our lives."


The Bates Dance Festival is grateful to receive support from a variety of sources – individuals, corporations, and foundations. We are extraordinarily proud to have been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, consecutively, for the past twenty years. This consistent support from our federal arts agency is not only the ultimate stamp of approval but also an important point of recognition and a great honor. Over these last two decades, as funding for the arts has declined precipitously, we have been able to sustain and deepen our commitment to providing critical training, producing and commissioning support for the dance community. In 2011 the NEA has recommended a grant of $30,000 to support of our presenting, commissioning and contextualization activities.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government to advance artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.  NEA's Director of Dance, Douglas C. Sonntag says,

"Bates Dance Festival serves an important role in the ecology of the United States dance field, especially since there are so few true dance presenters left.  Laura Faure, director of Bates Dance Festival, has consistently programmed emerging and established dance artists that has put this festival on the map in the United States and abroad.  The National Endowment for the Arts is proud that the Festival has consistently garnered agency support for more than 20 years."


BDF relies on contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals to supply 40% of our operating budget. Please consider becoming a donor. NOW you can give online at: Support BDF


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 by giving them a creative, supportive place in which to work; and to actively engage people from the community and region in a full range of dance performances, workshops and discussions.

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