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Dance festival’s final days bring diversity of ‘Different Voices,’ thrill of student work

Students perform during the Bates Dance Festival. Photograph by Arthur Fink.

Students perform during the Bates Dance Festival. Photograph by Arthur Fink.

During its last week, the excitement of the Bates Dance Festival builds to a crescendo with cutting-edge performances including the Different Voices program showcasing young choreographers from around the world.

Featuring New York-based hip hop / jazz choreographer Jennifer Archibald; the fierce Bay Area dance/music duo La Alternativa; former Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company soloist Paul Matteson; and Ethiopian artist Shiferaw Tariku, Different Voices performances happen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, Aug. 8-9, in Schaeffer Theatre, 305 College St. For more information, please visit the website.

Tickets are $25 for the general public, $18 for seniors and $12 for students. Tickets may be purchased online; by phone at 207-786-6161 from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or by mail or in person. Learn more about Bates Dance Festival ticketing.

Choreographer Kendra Portier will show work in the Bates Dance Festival's  "Different Voices" concert.

Choreographer Kendra Portier will show work in the Bates Dance Festival’s “Different Voices” concert.

Preceding Different Voices is Moving in the Moment, an annual evening of improvisational dance and music with contact improviser Nancy Stark Smith and festival faculty and musicians. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, Alumni Gymnasium, 130 Central Ave. Admission is open to the public at no cost.

The festival’s concluding performances take place on Saturday, Aug. 10. Starting at 1 p.m. is Young Choreographers / New Works, an informal adjudicated showing in Schaeffer Theatre of more than 20 new works by talented festival students. Admission is open to the public at no cost.

In the Festival Finale, festival participants perform new works by Jennifer Archibald, Autumn Eckman, Bridgman | Packer, Bebe Miller and Doug Varone, plus a production by Youth Arts Program participants. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m. on the 10th in Alumni Gymnasium. Admission is $6, available only at the door.

More about ‘Different Voices’

Showcasing diverse styles and perspectives, Different Voices features visiting choreographers from across the U.S. and around the globe. The program includes new works by Archibald, La Alternativa (the duo of Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias) and Tariku.

Also performing are emerging choreographers Kendra Portier, a current member of David Dorfman Dance, and Dahlia Nayar, whose work was recently selected for the Venice Biennale/Danza Venezia Showcase.

More about the Bates Dance Festival

Founded in 1982 at Bates College, the Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of contemporary choreographers, performers, educators and students in a cooperative community to study, perform and create new work.

The festival serves as an annual destination for artists, students and audiences to engage in a full range of dance activities and performances that foster a creative exchange of ideas, encourage exploration of new ground and afford access to a wide spectrum of dance and movement disciplines.

All events take place at Bates College except as noted. Schaeffer Theatre and Pettigrew Hall are located at 305 College St., Alumni Gymnasium is at 130 Central Ave. and Commons is at 136 Central Ave.



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