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Bates Festival Newsletter

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Newsletter Vol. 14, Spring 2013
Newsletter Writers and Editors: Laura Faure and Nancy Salmon


What's Coming Up

bebe miller co
Bebe Miller Company by Juiieta Cervantes

The Festival kicks off its 2013 Performance season July 12 & 13 with a world premiere performance of Oasis by Nejla Yatkin/NY2Dance. Oasis, an evening-length multimedia work, is based on the story of Layla and Majnoon, an allegorical tale regarded as the Middle Eastern forerunner to "Romeo and Juliet." It features an original score by Maine-based Persian composer, Shamou.

Returning to BDF are long-time Festival artists Doug Varone and Dancers and Bebe Miller Company -- both are celebrating their 25th anniversaries this year with new and remounted signature work. Varone brings back his thrilling and magnificent works, Rise while Miller offers A History, a multimedia retrospective of her dance making process. Also BDF alums, Bridgman | Packer Dance bring their engrossing Voyeur that seamlessly partners live performance and video.

Our season also includes annual audience favorites, The Musicians' Concert featuring the extraordinary sounds of our composers in residence; Moving in the Moment, an evening of improvisation led by Contact master, Nancy Stark Smith; and Different Voices showcasing new voices from around the globe. Last but not least the Festival Finale features new works by Festival choreographers and a production by our Youth Arts Program.

Our 2013 season abounds with multimedia wizardry. Video imagery, text, original music and installation components compliment and amplify the main event--dance! Mark your calendars today for a not to miss feast of world-class performance. For full details: BDF Event Listings

Voyeur Gives You a Front Row Seat

Bridgman Packer
Bridgman | Packer Dance by Arthur Fink

Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer have been creating dances together for over 30 years. Their innovative work developing "video partnering"- the integration of live performance and video technology - has been acclaimed for its highly visual and visceral alchemy of the live and the virtual. In a series of works created from 2001 to the present, Bridgman and Packer have probed the themes of identity and perception while posing the question: "what is real and what is image?"

Voyeur pushes Bridgman|Packer's exploration of the live and virtual into new territory choreographically, thematically, and technologically. With the paintings of Edward Hopper as a point of departure, this work bears witness to fragmented moments of private lives. Through the use of video projections, the set transforms, evoking imagery of both spatial and psychological enclosures as the performers are seen through the windows and doorway permitting the audience to be, like Hopper, "one who looks."

bridgman packer
Bridgman | Packer Dance by Arthur Fink

"With Voyeur they unpack and, more than that, press the aesthetic and dramatic power of Hopper's work...The rhythmic flickers of the choreography, lighting, video, and audio prove mesmerizing...Voyeur assumes a life of its own." -- Diana Tuite, art historian and co-curator of "Edward Hopper's Maine" at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.

The premiere of Voyeur was presented last fall by Portland Ovations and packed the Maine College of Art's gallery as part of Portland's First Friday Art Walk. If you missed the premiere or are dying to see it again join us on August 2 & 3.

Varone and Dancers Celebrate 25 Years

doug varone and dancers
Doug Varone and Dancers by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Since its' founding in 1986, Doug Varone and Dancers has commanded attention for its expansive vision, versatility, and technical prowess. On the concert stage, in opera, theater and on the screen, Varone's kinetically thrilling dances make essential connections and mine the complexity of the human spirit. From the smallest gesture to full-throttle bursts of movement, Varone's work can take your breath away.

BDF is proud to have supported Varone's work since 1992 when we commissioned and produced A Momentary Order at the Libbey Mill in Lewiston. Since then the company has returned on many occasions to create and present thrilling works on our stage and to teach scores of dancers enrolled in our training programs.

We place great value on this rich and sustained relationship and are utterly delighted to bring the company back during their 25th anniversary season. They will perform their signature work (and one of my personal top ten favorite dances of all time), Rise, along with the Maine premiere of Mouths Above Water. This is brilliantly crafted dancing at the very pinnacle of virtuosity. Don't miss it!

BDF Welcomes New Admissions Director

nancy salmon
Nancy Salmon

Change is the only thing we can count on, or so its' said. Here at BDF we have been blessed to have a talented, committed and consistent staff over many years. This small, dedicated family of worker bees has allowed us to sustain high standards and accomplish remarkable things. But the time has come for a major shift.

We are saying goodbye to our remarkable and beloved registrar, Nancy Salmon who has guided students with good cheer for the past nine years. She has been an indispensable colleague, partner and friend serving as the public face of our three training programs and a most able manager of all things BDF! After a long and rich career in the dance field as an artist, teacher and administrator she turns her attention to sailing the waters of Maine and beyond. We hope she visits often.

meredith Lyons
Meredith Lyons

While adjusting to the loss of Nancy will be a challenge we are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Meredith Lyons as our new Admission Director and Operation Manager. Meredith, a BDF alum, is an active dancer, teacher and administrator who has recently been engaged in the Philadelphia dance scene. She received her MFA in dance from Smith College and has taught at the Taft School in Connecticut, and at Dickinson and Ursinus colleges among others. Meredith will be a wonderful addition to our staff and to the Maine dance scene.


Help Support our 2013 Season

BDF relies on contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals like yourself to supply 40% of our operating budget. Please support our 2013 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.


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