Bates Dance Festival: Robert Moses’ Kin looks at liberation movements

Robert Moses' Kin. (R.J. Muna)

Robert Moses’ Kin. (R.J. Muna)

Robert Moses’ Kin returns to the Bates Dance Festival with performances of “NEVABAWARLDAPECE,” a work whose creators include roots musician Corey Harris ’91, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 31 and Aug. 1, 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.

“NEVABAWARLDAPECE” (“never be a world of peace”) is a full-company work of urgent, pulsing energy that explores critical moments of change in America’s liberation movements, insurrections and revolts. In a world of seemingly endless chaos and confrontation, “NEVABAWARLDAPECE” feels like a plea for a return to core principles.

The work is a collaboration among artistic director Moses; award-winning writer and performer Carl Hancock Rux; Afro-Celtic folk-funk vocalist Laura Love; blues musician, composer and MacArthur Fellow Harris; and lighting and visual designer Elaine Buckholtz.

The company presents a Show & Tell lecture-demonstration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, in Schaeffer. Dance writer Debra Cash offers a pre-performance Inside Dance lecture at 7 p.m. Aug. 1. A talkback with the artists follows both concerts.

Robert Moses' Kin. (Toni Gauthier)

Robert Moses’ Kin. (Toni Gauthier)

Also this week, the festival presents Moving in the Moment, an evening of improvisational dance and music by contact improviser Nancy Stark Smith and festival faculty and musicians, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, in Alumni Gym, 130 Central Ave. Admission is free.

Moses’ diverse 11-member company is known for its eclectic movement vocabulary, demanding choreography, ferocious dancing and provocative themes. Moses’ focus on the expressiveness of the human body and his desire to speak with the voices of his African American heritage have resulted in an internationally recognized collection of dances.

Robert Moses’ Kin has premiered more than 70 original works that range from neoclassical ballet to postmodern movement theatre. The company has earned a host of awards including four Bay Area Isadora Duncan Awards (Izzies), as well as grants from such institutions as the National Endowment for the Arts and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The company has appeared at venues throughout the U.S., including Jacob’s Pillow, the Colorado Dance Festival, Dance Center at Columbia College, University of Texas and New York’s City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival. Learn more: http://www.robertmoseskin.org/

A powerful singer, skilled and inventive songwriter, Harris has carved out his own niche in the blues. Recipient of an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates in 2007, he is an intrepid explorer of blues, jazz, reggae, and other genres. Learn 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 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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