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Rising choreographer Kyle Abraham presents latest work at Dance Festival

Abraham.In.Motion, photographed by Steve Schreiber.

Kyle Abraham, one of Dance Magazine‘s “25 to Watch” in 2009, brings his company Abraham.in.Motion to the 30th annual Bates Dance Festival to present its latest work at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 19, and Saturday, July 21, in Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St.

Tickets cost $24 for the general public, $18 for seniors and $12 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets online, please visit the BDF website.

Tickets are also available by phone at 207-786-6161, or by mail or in person; learn more.

The company offers a free lecture-demonstration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, in Schaeffer Theatre. A discussion with the artists immediately follows the July 19 performance. Dance writer Debra Cash offers an Inside Dance: Understanding Contemporary Performance lecture prior to the July 21 performance, at 7:15 p.m. in Schaeffer Theatre.

The Bates Dance Festival, an annual summer series of renowned contemporary dance, celebrates its 30th anniversary by highlighting choreographers whose creative development has been nurtured by the festival.

Founded in 1982, the acclaimed festival brings together an international community of contemporary dance choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work.

Abraham’s work explores complex themes, such as the intersection of identity and personal history, in a distinct style that fuses his training in classical music, visual art and dance forms from ballet to hip hop.

At the festival, the company will perform “Live! The Realest MC,” inspired by Abraham’s upbringing in Philadelphia. The piece draws upon themes from his 2007 solo work, “Inventing Pookie Jenkins,” and the story of Pinocchio. The common theme in all three sources is the search for acceptance. (This program deals with adult themes.)

Abraham is celebrated for his intricate and dynamic choreography. “His choreography wriggles energy through the body, stretches it, suspends it, unleashes it,” wrote a reviewer for Dance Magazine. “Control alternates with abandon, infirmity with unbeatable vigor, abstraction with pinpoint-fine character drawing.”

In 2009 Abraham developed his provocative and acclaimed piece, “The Radio Show,” during a residency in the dance festival’s Emerging Choreographers Program. Abraham is the winner of the 2012 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award, whose former recipients include Bill T. Jones and Merce Cunningham.



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