A Complete Guide to the Companies Performing at Dallas DanceFest This Weekend
"The Dallas DanceFest is very timely. Dance is surging forward...and it's exciting because there are more emerging dance companies than ever before," says Gayle Halperin, Vice President of Development for the Dance Council of North Texas (DCNT) and Chair of the Dallas DanceFest Committee (DDF).
Sharen Bradford Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Rep II
Returning after a 10-year hiatus, the festival that began with only outdoor performances is moving into a new era and a new space, the Dallas City Performance Hall. This new and improved Dallas DanceFest is determined to expand its previous reach by looking for ways to include the local community and raising the dance stakes by introducing our city to regional and national artists, such as MET Dance (Houston) and Chado Danse (Kansas City).
In addition to a weekend full of performances, DCNT will be recognizing the outstanding contributions of distinguished dance leaders from the Dallas/Fort Worth region and Texans who are elsewhere in the country. "It's important to draw recognition to both the performance and teaching realms because they are intersected. We tend to overlook the teachers and at the Sunday matinee, DCNT will recognize nine outstanding dance leaders. That's pretty awesome," says Halperin.
It is indeed awesome, and as a special surprise, which Halperin spilled to the Mixmaster, DCNT is upping the awesome factor by adding in a performance from Dallas native and 2014 Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence Honoree Dylis Croman. Dylis is a seasoned Broadway actress and dancer and currently performs a leading role in Chicago. She and her partner Tyler Hanes will perform an original jazz work, "Blues House," and you can catch it on Friday and Saturday night.
"I have great hopes for DDF and see this event occurring year after year. My dream is that this event will be an incubator and attract not only North Texas companies but also attract East and West Coast choreographers and dancers who have ties to Dallas and Fort Worth and want to come home for this exciting performance opportunity," says Halperin. "It's a win win for artists and audiences alike," she continues, "dance is such a feel-good art form because of its kinesthetic and expressive movement palette. This inaugural festival is a beginning and is in the footsteps of other dance festivals around the world."
This year's curated programs were selected from 45 entries. Of those 45 entries, 18 companies were selected, 16 local, two not (well, it's really one non-local company as Chado Danse is moving to Dallas this year). Below is a brief run-down of each night's offerings, with a focus on the local companies and schools that were selected.