bates dance festivalbates dance festival

Bates Festival Newsletter

Spring 2014 | Fall 2013 | Spring 2013 | Fall 2012 | Spring 2012 | Winter 2011 | Spring 2011 | Fall 2010 | Summer 2010 | Fall 2009Spring 2008 | Spring 2007 | Spring 2006 | Spring 2005 | Spring 2004 | Winter 2003  

Newsletter Vol. 13, Fall 2012
Newsletter Writers and Editors: Laura Faure and Nancy Salmon



Rennie Harris Puremovement

WOW what a summer we had! To begin Bates College gave us the best possible anniversary gift -- they installed air-conditioning in Schaeffer Theatre. So after 29 year of sweating we enjoyed fabulous performances at a comfortable temperature. This helped draw new audiences to our series increasing ticket sales - always a blessing.

We kicked off the season with one of our favorite artist/companies, Rennie Harris Puremovement, performing highlights from their repertory in celebration of their 20th anniversary. Harris, a recipient of a Bates College honorary degree, has been coming to BDF since 1996. We have supported some of his most acclaimed works including Rome & Jewels, and have presented Puremovement on numerous seasons. Their Lec/Dem, master class and performances truly rocked the house!

Kyle Abraham
Photo: Arthur Fink

Next up was Kyle Abraham/ who spent three weeks with us teaching repertory for our Young Dancers Workshop and developing material for two new works, Pavement, which premieres Nov 1-3 at Harlem Stage, and Another Night for the Ailey company which will premiere on their New York season. The company gave two spectacular performances of Live, The Realest MC, and our teens had the rare opportunity of learning the rep, spending time with the company in class and over meals and learning about their process during their Lec/Dem. We are thrilled to be able to support Kyle's creative development and share his exceptional work with Maine audiences. In September Kyle joined director, Laura Faure, in Johannesburg for Danse l'Afrique Danse, a festival of contemporary African dance.

Other performance highlights included the return of Kate Weare Company who shared their stunning new work, Garden; a totally delightful three-night run of Keigwin + Company's recent repertory; and a new experiment, Performance in the RAW, featuring engaging work-in-progress by Paul Matteson, Michel Kouakou, Delfos, Tania Isaac and Adam Barruch.

Kate Weare
Photo: Arthur Fink

Our anniversary celebration took place Aug 4 during Keigwin + Company's run. Mother Nature blessed us with a beautiful full moon night. Luminarias marked the path to the party and our dining staff created a delectable array of treats. The Festival Advisory Council and staff out did themselves, surprised director, Laura Faure, with a legislative sentiment from the state of Maine AND an incredible video tribute comprised of clips sent by artists from Kyoto to Los Angeles and beyond.

To top it all off our Finale featured the best ever production by Youth Arts (see story below) and some truly powerhouse dancing by our students.

In addition to these public events we hosted a second creative residency for the New England-based Adele Myers and Company, who developed and shared their latest work, Einstein's Happiest Thought. We also offered creative residencies to choreographers Juilliard graduate, Adam Barruch, and Michel Kouakou, an Ivory Coast native who is a recent recipient of the prestigious Vilcek Prize for creative promise. Both showed their works in progress on our Performance in the RAW evening.

Our training programs enrolled many enthusiastic alums as well as a huge number of newcomers who offered incredibly positive feedback on their experience. All in all it was a spectacular summer!


Keigwin + Company

IA new Choreographic Residency has been established through a generous five-year gift from long-time Festival alum, Larry Keigwin. Larry has been a regular member of our Festival community since he arrived as a student 20 year ago. He has participated as a company member with Jane Comfort and Mark Dendy, an Emerging Choreographer, a faculty member, and with his company as part of our performance series. This summer Keigwin + Company performed for our 30th Anniversary Gala as well as teaching classes in modern technique and repertory. Festival students performed a new work created in collaboration with Larry at our Festival Finale.

This new grant supports a three-week creative residency for a gifted emerging choreographer each summer. The selected artist will participate in the Professional Training Program attending classes, offering a workshop and developing a new work to be shown on the Different Voices concerts that culminate the Festival.

"My experience at the Bates Dance Festival has been an invaluable part of my career's trajectory, providing a supportive and nurturing environment for me and other artists to explore, experiment and create. I am so grateful for all that the Bates Dance Festival has given me. I firmly believe in being a part of a community of artists that supports and gives back to one another, which is why I am so happy to give this gift of a Choreographic Residency."


Marc Bamuthi Joseph
YDW African
Photo: Phyllis Graber Jensen

Since 2009 Rachel Boggia and BDF video team (Peter Richards, Shawn Hove and our interns) have been creating a series of videos for the Festival's youtube Channel that tell our story through interviews, class footage and performance clips. The channel includes playlists for each of our training programs -- the Youth Arts Program, Young Dancers Workshop and the Professional Training Program that feature our faculty and visiting artists. Teachers share their pedagogical approach, illustrated with excerpts from classes, and choreographers talk about their creative process. Subscribe today and see what we've been up to!


Joburg Artists
YAP Finale
Photo: Arthur Fink

This summer 56 local kids ages 7-17 spent three weeks immersed in an arts curriculum built around the theme of green energy and sustainability. Through daily classes in dance, music, theater, visual arts and storytelling students and faculty collaborated to create a 20-minute production entitled, The Clean Green Earth Saving Machine. Inspired by a rap song written by Kay Mann of Green Energy Maine, the students created a rap video (with help from our video team), wrote original music and script, designed and built costumes, choreographed a series of dance numbers including "Fosse Fuels", and created art for their own museum. It was truly a multimedia extravaganza. Watch a video of their production on our youtube Channel.


BDF relies on contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals to supply 40% of our operating budget. Please support our 30th Anniversary Season with a tax-deductible gift in any amount. 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.


Scroll to Top
Dance Festival - Copyright ©2014 Bates College. All rights reserved.