Dance festival offers East Coast debut of Dorsey work on AIDS crisis

The Bates Dance Festival presents Sean Dorsey Dance with "The Missing Generation." (Lydia Daniller)

The Bates Dance Festival presents Sean Dorsey Dance with “The Missing Generation.” (Lydia Daniller)

Sean Dorsey presents the East Coast premiere of “The Missing Generation,” a dance-theater production that explores the impact of the 1980s AIDS crisis, in Bates Dance Festival performances at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, July 16 and 18, in Schaeffer Theatre, 329 College St.

Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors and $12 for students. For information about ordering tickets, please visit the festival website — batesdancefestival.org — or call the Bates box office at 207-786-6161.

A powerful fusion of full-throttle dancing, luscious partnering, intimate storytelling and highly physical theater, “The Missing Generation” features real-life stories layered with Dorsey’s writing and a haunting original score. This moving portrait of contemporary American history is heartbreakingly beautiful and profoundly relevant to our times.

The company offers a Show & Tell lecture-demonstration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, in Schaeffer. Dance writer Debra Cash gives an Inside Dance pre-performance lecture at 7 p.m. on July 18. A talkback with the artists follows both concerts.

Sean Dorsey. (Lydia Daniller)

Sean Dorsey. (Lydia Daniller)

Dorsey has been a frequent presence at Bates during the past year, including a two-week teaching residency last fall.

A Bay Area choreographer, dancer and writer, Dorsey is the United States’ first critically acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer. He has received two Isadora Duncan Dance Awards and the Goldie Award for Performance, and has been named one of the “Top Ten” San Francisco dance artists by both the Bay Guardian and the Bay Area Reporter.

Dorsey was named one of the nation’s “Top 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine, and his company was honored as “San Francisco’s Best Dance Company” by SF Weekly.

Dorsey has been awarded grants and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, National Performance Network, Creative Work Fund, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, James Irvine Foundation and the San Francisco Arts Commission.

His recent piece “The Secret History Of Love” received rave reviews and toured to more than 20 U.S. cities including Boston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Lewiston, Maine. Learn more: http://www.seandorseydance.com/.

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 activities and performances that foster a creative exchange of ideas, encourage exploration of new ground and provide access to a wide spectrum of dance and movement disciplines.

At press time, support for the 2015 season has been provided by Bates College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Performance Network, Maine Arts Commission, Maine Humanities Council, Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation, Lewiston-Auburn Children’s Home, the firm of Norman, Hansen & DeTroy, Platz Associates, the Onion Foundation, the Sequoia Foundation, the Shapiro Family Foundation and generous individual donors.

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