Bates Dance Festival presents Doug Elkins Dance Company

The Bates Dance Festival presents the return of the innovative Doug Elkins Dance Company Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. in Schaeffer Theater. Tickets are $14/$8 (students and seniors) and may be purchased over the phone by calling 207-786-6161. This troupe of six dancers will perform their acclaimed 1996 work Center My Heart, an energetic ensemble piece set to devotional music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, as well as two Maine premieres, Roda and Bipolarbear Nos.

Doug Elkins is one of the country’s most eclectic choreographers. His New York-based company is recognized for combining diverse dance styles in works that offer hilarious comment on contemporary culture. According to Le Figaro, Paris, he “surprises and seduces. Doug Elkins is an authentic creator who knows how to hustle and translate traditional choreographic language into new forms.” The Maine Times called his style “virtuosic and physical, synthesizing ballet and street-dance tricks with smart-alecky flamboyance.”

Elkins began his career in dance as a B-Boy, touring the world with break dance groups Magnificent Force and New York Dance Express before graduating from SUNY at Purchase with a degree in communications/design. He is the recipient of significant choreographic commissions from the National Performance Network, Dance Theater Workshop’s First Light program, Dance Magazine Foundation, Metropolitan Life/American Dance Festival and The Joyce Theater Foundation’s Fund for New Works. His work as an emerging choreographer has been honored by a 1997 New York Dance and Performance Award (BESSIE), a 1995 grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, a 1994 Creative Arts Award Medal in Dance from Brandeis University and choreographer’s fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, 1990-94.

The Doug Elkins Dance Company has performed extensively in the United States and Europe, and Elkins recently collaborated with The Flying Karamazovs on the Broadway-bound production of Room Service, produced by A Contemporary Theater, A.C.T., of Seattle. He has created original works for Batsheva Ballet, Opera Ballet of Graz, MaggioDanza of Florence, Mega Cool Rap of Montpellier and Union Dance Company of London, as well as a number of university dance companies.

Audiences are invited to attend Inside Dance: Understanding Contemporary Performance, a talk by noted dance historian, writer and educator Suzanne Carbonneau. The Bates Dance Festival presents this series of pre- and post-performance talks in an effort to enhance understanding and increase appreciation for contemporary dance. Carbonneau will discuss the work of Elkins and its significance in the post-modern dance era. This free half hour talk will take place Aug. 1 at 7:15 p.m in Schaeffer Theatre on College Street.

In addition to its critically acclaimed mainstage performance series of 13 concerts, the festival offers two intensive training programs, one for pre-professionals and one for younger dancers. For more information, or to request a brochure, call the Bates Dance Festival at 207-786-6381.

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