Dancing and ChildrenOctober 21, 2012
Recently Karen Montanaro sent me a photo (posted below) of a young child dancing in front of a painting by the Irish painter, John Lavery. The painting of Anna Pavlova was created in 1911. A further search lead Karen to a blog post with information about the painter and the artwork. It reminded me of a book called Dancing in the Streets by Barbara Ehrenreich that includes the traditions of dancing that are embedded in many cultures around the world. Our need as human beings to come together and celebrate through dance is a natural part of development. We can’t locate the origin of the photograph but is certainly is wonderful!
And from there another email this week from Anne Kofler with a short video of dancers who move into the shape of an elephant. Turns out it was a commercial. I sent it on to Karen Montanaro who confirmed that the dancers Pilobolus had a performance that includes the elephant. You can check it out at this blog as it was performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, July 2008. I know they’ve performed at Bates Dance Festival and Portland Ovations. I understand Pilobolus has other connections to Maine. The work dates back to the early 1970s. You can learn more about them in this Portland Press Herald article from 2010.
Speaking of Bates Dance Festival I just received their electronic newsletter. They’ve celebrated their 30th year and had quite a summer with wonderful performances. You can read all about it on their site. They have amazing opportunities for Maine students, along with young and veteran dancers from around the world. If you are not familiar with the program: Founded in 1982, the Bates Dance Festival is a summer program of Bates College whose mission is: to bring an artistically and ethnically diverse group of outstanding contemporary dance artists to Maine during the summer months to teach, perform, and create new work; to encourage and inspire established and emerging artists by giving them a creative, supportive place in which to work; and to actively engage people from the community and region in a full range of dance performances, workshops and discussions. Maine arts educator Nancy Salmon has been with Bates Dance Festival for many years along with dedicating many years to promoting arts education in Maine!