Bates Dance Festival approaches 35th Season

Bates Dance Festival faculty memberThe Bates Dance Festival, northern New England’s contemporary dance training and presenting program, opens its 35th Season on June 23. It will run through August 6 in Lewiston, Maine.


The festival includes the renowned Professional Training Program for dancers 18 years and older (July 15-August 6), offering 31 classes a day in a wide range of disciplines; and the Young Dancers Workshop, a three-week intensive training program for pre-professional dancers ages 14-18 (June 23-July 14).


Complementing these programs, the festival hosts creative residencies for accomplished companies and choreographers, as well as lectures, panels and showings by more than 60 internationally recognized dance artists from around the globe.


Recognized as an important gathering place for the national dance community where cooperation, collaboration and experimentation are nurtured, the Bates Dance Festival brings more than 270 students from across the U.S. and overseas to the Bates College campus each summer to study, create and perform.


Bates Dance Festival faculty memberHighlighting the festival’s 2017 season are workshops, residencies and performances by such acclaimed choreographers and companies as David Dorfman Dance, Christal Brown INSPIRIT, zoe | juniper, Danny Buraczeski, Nancy Stark Smith and Lisa Race, among others.


Special performances include a 35th Anniversary Gala that will honor longtime Director Laura Faure and will feature Larry Keigwin, Bebe Miller, Doug Varone, Tania Isaac, Riley Watts, Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, and Omar Carrum and Claudia Lavista.


Bates Dance Festival faculty memberThe season will culminate with “Mill Town,” a site-specific performance installation created by choreographer Stephan Koplowitz with music by composer Todd Reynolds. The piece will be staged in and around a former textile mill in downtown Lewiston and will feature a cast of more than 60 performers.


For more information on the Bates Dance Festival, visit The summer event was founded in 1982 and still 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.


Photos: Bates Dance Festival faculty members Mary Carbonara (top, photo by Weidong Yang); Nancy Stark Smith (left, photo by Raisa Kyllikki Ranta); and Tania Isaac (right, photo by Iziliaev.)