Varone company brings new and signature works for seventh dance festival visit

Doug Varone and Dancers return to the Bates Dance Festival in 2013. Photograph by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Doug Varone and Dancers return to the Bates Dance Festival in 2013. Photograph by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Making their seventh appearance at the Bates Dance Festival, Doug Varone and Dancers will perform the stunning new works “Carrugi” and “Able to Leap Tall Buildings,” as well as their signature work “Rise.”

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, July 18 and 20, in Bates College’s air-conditioned 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.

The company presents a free Show & Tell lecture-demonstration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, in Schaeffer. Varone and dancers also hold talkbacks immediately following the mainstage performances.

Dance writer Hannah Kosstrin offers a pre-performance Inside Dance lecture at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 20, in Schaeffer.

Founded in 1986, Varone and Dancers have commanded attention for their expansive vision, versatility and technical prowess. On the concert stage, in opera, theater and on the screen, Varone’s kinetically thrilling work makes essential connections and mines the complexity of the human spirit.

“Able to Leap Tall Buildings” is set to “Cruel Sister,” a haunting score premiered in 2011 by Julia Wolfe. Varone’s signature tour de force, “Rise,” is inspired by John Adams’ ecstatic music “Fearful Symmetries.”

From the smallest gesture to full-throttle bursts of movement, Varone’s dance can be breathtaking. The Village Voice wrote that the company comprises “superb dancers. Varone’s choreography — with its hesitations, awkward tenderness, bravery and belligerence — emphasizes their humanity.”

Varone and Dancers are the resident company at the Harkness Dance Center, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. In opera and theater, the company regularly collaborates on productions that Varone has directed or choreographed. The company has performed in more than 100 cities in 45 states across the U.S., and in Europe, Asia, Canada and South America.

Venues have included the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, San Francisco Performances, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and the Venice Biennale, as well as the Tokyo, Bates, Jacob’s Pillow and American dance festivals. Varone, his dancers and designers have been honored with 11 New York Dance and Performance Awards (“Bessies”).

More about the Bates Dance Festival

The Bates Dance Festival, a summer series of renowned contemporary dance, enters its fourth decade as a leading American dance center. The festival is an important laboratory for artists noted for important contributions to the contemporary dance lexicon. In addition to presenting these dancemakers who have experienced significant artistic growth through the festival, the BDF continues to welcome emerging choreographers.

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.

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