The save the dates are out Dallas dance peeps!
I was starting to wonder if Dallas DanceFest was even going to happen this year, but my reservations were laid to rest last week when the Dance Council of North Texas announced on its Facebook page the dance companies that will be participating in this year’s festival, which has been strategically renamed Dallas Dances.
The festival has received criticism from the beginning about its focus on mainly local dance companies and for its inclusion of pre-professionals from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Local Dance Critic Manuel Mendoza touched on these sore points in his review of last year’s Dallas DanceFest, which boasted the question “Why doesn’t Dallas have the dance festival that it deserves?”
In his review Mendoza basically says that by including the pre-professional dance studios, high schools and university programs in the area the festival is actually doing a disservice to the more established dance companies in the area.
He writes, “North Texas professional companies are the ones putting the area on the dance map even as they struggle to find suitable places to perform in a town starved of small, affordable venues. They are the groups competing for public and private grants so they can aim high, so they can someday pay their dancers something close to what their New York counterparts earn.”
He continues, “Most important, they are the ones doing the most complex, interesting work.”
What I think people are overlooking is that the mission of the Dance Council is not to exclusively support and promote just the professionals in the area, but also the up and coming professionals that stem from the local studios, performing arts schools and universites. And I think this is where the mission of Dallas DanceFest starts to get murky. Is the festival suppose to only highlight the professionals in the area? Or is its main target the young professionals and giving them a unique performance opportunity?
Apparently festival organizers have decided it’s a little bit of both if this year’s line up is any indicator.
I think the Dance Council has come to realize that they should stick true to their overall mission, which is fostering and promoting every type of dance and dancer in the Metroplex and I believe the name change better reflects the vibrancy and diversity of the Dallas dance community.
With that said, here are the dance companies performing at this year’s Dallas Dances:
Avant Chamber Ballet
Ballet Dallas, formerly Contemporary Ballet Dallas
Ballet Frontier of Texas
Big Rig Dance Collective
Bombshell Dance Project
Booker T Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts
Brandi Coleman Dance
Bruce Wood Dance
Chamberlain Performing Arts
Dallas Ballet Company
Dallas Black Dance Theatre
Dallas Youth Repertory Project
Danielle Georgiou Dance Group
8&1 Dance Company
Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts
Jordan Fuchs Dance
KJ Langford Dance
ImPULSE Dance Project
Rhythm In Fusion Festival
Six 0’Clock Dance Theatre
SMU Meadows Dance Ensemble
Texas Baller Theater School
Texas Ballet Theater
Dallas Dances will take place Sept. 1-2 at Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District!
More information is available at www.thedancecouncil.org.