This February, University of Rochester students, faculty, staff, and community members will have the opportunity to experience Rochester's dynamic dance community during the five-day inspireDANCE Festival. The festival, which runs from Tuesday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 5, explores how dance can influence dialogue, advance social development, create personal growth, and encourage cultural exploration and self-expression. A student-driven initiative, the event is being organized by Arielle Friedlander '11 as a part of her Kauffman Entrepreneurial Year project, with support from the Program of Dance and Movement at the University of Rochester.
"The festival gives members of the University of Rochester community the chance to learn, teach, and perform a vast diversity of dance styles," says Friedlander, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., and a psychology major with an interest in dance therapy. "By experiencing these different forms, we hope participants gain a greater appreciation of the value of dance."
During the week, local, regional, and national guest artists and master teachers will conduct more than 20 classes and workshops. From beginner to advanced, participants will have their pick of classes, including contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, tap, ballet, West African, Jamaican, Middle Eastern, Capoeira, injury prevention, contact improvisation, yoga, T'ai Chi, Qi Gong, and more. A full schedule of dance classes and workshops can be found here.
The festival also is about connecting students with influential members of the local, regional, and national dance community. The festival's featured master teachers include: Clyde Evans, Philadelphia hip-hop artist; Bill Evans, award-winning choreographer and esteemed dance educator; Missy Pfohl Smith, BIODANCE artistic director and director of Rochester's Program of Dance and Movement; Darwin Prioleau, dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at The College at Brockport; Sue Callan-Harris, physical therapist; Cadence Whittier, chair of the Dance Department at Hobart and William Smith College; Nicole Cotton, Syracuse modern dance teacher; and the 10-member faculty of Rochester's Program of Dance and Movement.
Additionally, the Rochester Contemporary Dance Collective (RCDC) will bring together a roster of professional choreographers, dance companies, and dancers for two performances on Friday, Feb. 4, and Saturday, Feb. 5. Both events are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Spurrier Dance Studio on the University of Rochester's River Campus.
Festival Class Passes are $15 and allow participants to attend any of the classes and workshops; class participation is first-come first-serve, but you may reserve a spot in up to three classes by e-mailing URinspireDANCE@gmail.com by Monday, Jan. 31. RCDC performances are $5 for students and $7 for the general community. For $18, participants can purchase a Festival Class Pass and one RCDC ticket. All passes and tickets can be purchased at the Common Market in Wilson Commons beginning Monday, Jan.17. For more information, call (610) 324-8089.