Motion State Dance Festival 2024

Motion State Dance Festival 2024

It’s the fourth annual Motion State Dance Festival! This year’s event takes place February 28 – March 2 at the Wilbury Theatre Group. This dazzling array of performances, dance films and artist/audience interactions presents the latest in contemporary dance. This year the festival gathers over 25 dance artists—local and national, emerging and established—to share their boundary-pushing creative explorations with a growing Rhode Island dance audience.

With live performances from local favorite Shura Baryshnikov in collaboration with cellist Adrienne Taylor; the return of Small Moves, Big Picture and a night of ensemble dance improvisation; and the premiere of The Encounter: Providence, choreographed and directed by NYC’s Kimberly Bartosik/daela, featuring a cast of local professional and non-professional performers.

The festival also includes dance films from around the world, bringing new perspectives to the big screen. An opening night party, post-show talks, and classes with the artists round out the four-day extravaganza.

The festival begins February 28 at 7:30 pm with an Opening Night Party & Ensemble Dance Improvisation. An ensemble of experts in the art of improvisational dance performance create instant choreography, following both predetermined and spontaneous rules of engagement. With Rachel Boggia (CT); Heidi Henderson (RI); Lila Hurwitz (RI); Michelle Struckholz (RI); and Stephanie Turner (CT). Performance will be followed by an opening night party!

On Thursday, February 29 at 7:30 pm, enjoy Small Moves, Big Picture – A spunky mix of live dance performances on a small stage juxtaposed with dance films on a big screen. Performances by Shakia “The Key” Barron (MA) & Alexandra James (ME); Baye & Asa (NY); Lauren Horn // Subira vs. Movement (CT); Dennis “TRXCK” Leggett (RI); Katie Moorhead (RI); and Michael Sakamoto (MA). Interspersed with a variety of dance films on the big screen, to be announced.

This year’s headliner performances on March 1 & 2 showcase a diversity of aesthetics and approaches to contemporary dance with a split bill by Kimberly Bartosik & Shura Baryshnikov.

The Encounter: Providence, choreographed and directed by Kimberly Bartosik/daela (NY), will be performed by local community members. The Encounter is an expansive performance project exploring intergenerational cross-geographic, global conversation about the ferocious power of the body as a form of communication, merging professional, pre-professional, and non-professional performers. The work is an encounter with oneself, pulling from what people currently carry in their bodies—hope, fear, desire, grief, newfound power—pulsing through and between generations. Past Encounter projects include communities in Akron, Buffalo, Maine and NYC.

Two, created and performed by Shura Baryshnikov and Adrienne Taylor, is an intimate conversation between musician and dancer. Through an unfolding chapter structure in one act, dance artist Baryshnikov and cellist Taylor explore a rich landscape of both improvised and through-composed material in service of a deeply felt and palpable depth of listening, communication and play.

Finally, dance workshops with festival artists take place on March 2 from 11:30 am – 5 pm. These expand audiences’ understanding of contemporary movement-based performance and build dancers’ skills. Katie Moorhead teaches GYROKINESIS®, Shura Baryshnikov offers a Contemporary Dance Technique class, and Michael Sakamoto teaches BODY/MIND/FUNK/TIME, inspired by Japanese Butoh and American street dance.

More information and tickets can be found at Performances are $30 per night ($20 for students & artists) or $75 for all 3 nights. Classes are $20 per class; $35 for 2 classes; and $50 for 3 classes.

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