Local youths to perform in Bates Dance Festival

Ranging in age from 6 to 17, 81 area students from the Bates Dance Festival Youth Arts Program will present a music and dance performance Friday, August 14, at noon in Lewiston’s Kennedy Park.

Under the direction of Jane Weiner and faculty, the children also have created and will stage a special piece in the festival’s annual Student Finale Saturday, August 15, at 8 p.m. in Alumni Gymnasium at Bates College.

From July 27 through Aug. 15, the students have participated in three-weeks of music and dance classes, ranging in style from modern and ballet to hip hop as well as musical genres from around the world.

Weiner, in her fifth year as program director for the Youth Arts Program, teaches a dynamic combination of modern, ballet and hip hop. Weiner resides in Houston, Texas, where she dances, choreographs and teaches at the High School of Performing Arts, Houston Ballet and the Chinuapin School. She is the artistic director of Hope Stone Inc. and a founding member of the acclaimed Doug Elkins Dance Company. Weiner has taught children and teens for 12 years and graduated from Bowling Green University with a degree in deaf/elementary education and a dance minor.

The program’s musical director, Shamou, is a San Francisco-based drummer who began his career at an early age in his native Iran. He attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he also taught at many public schools and colleges. Shamou recently released a solo CD, “Spirit Dance.”

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