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Ala. Dance Festival: Celebrating 15 Years

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  • A.J. Wright
    *From:*Rosemary Johnson [mailto:rmwjohnson@gmail.com] *On Behalf Of *Rosemary Johnson *Sent:* Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:17 PM *Subject:* Press release for
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 12, 2012
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      From:Rosemary Johnson [mailto:rmwjohnson@...] On Behalf Of Rosemary Johnson
      Sent: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:17 PM
      Subject: Press release for Alabama Dance Festival

      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             
      January 10, 2012
      Contact: Rosemary Johnson 205.602.3599
      (High-resolution photos available by request)
      January 20-31 featuring Brazz Dance Theater and EVIDENCE, A DANCE COMPANY
      Birmingham, AL – The Alabama Dance Council invites everyone to get moving and join the fun on January 20-31 as the Alabama Dance Festival celebrates being “Fifteen and Fabulous.” So, whether you are a beginning dancer, a seasoned professional, or an enthusiastic audience member, there are opportunities for everyone!
      With the theme of “Global Perspectives in Dance,” the Alabama Dance Festival presents two pioneering contemporary dance companies whose artistic directors have developed their individual choreographic voices through a fusion of cultures and styles.
      Deeply rooted in the proud, rich, and sometimes painful and controversial issues of African and African-American cultural identity, Ronald K. Brown, Artistic Director of EVIDENCE, A DANCE COMPANY, creates dances that illustrate through movement, music, and text his expression of the cultural and societal issues and history that have shaped us as a society and individuals. In his newest work, On Earth Together, inspired by the timeless music of Stevie Wonder, he sees the work “…as a commitment to making the world a better place: a loving and compassionate place to celebrate a world-view."
      Other pieces included on the EVIDENCE program are Ronald K. Brown’s Ebony Magazine: To a Village (1996), originally commissioned and performed by Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and Incidents (1998), a work created from a collection of images inspired by several historical texts, including Linda Brent’s Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl.  
      The Artistic Director of the second company, Brazz Dance Theater, is native Brazilian Augusto Soledade, who now resides in Miami. Brazz Dance Theater offers up a colorful blend of Afro-Brazilian and contemporary dance with the pieces Kayala, based on the Afro-Brazilian folktale How Night Came from the Sea, and his newest piece Cordel, a blend of Argentine Tango, American Hip-hop culture, and the Brazilian literary tradition of Cordel. Birmingham-based Hip-hop artist Winston Strickland and spoken word artist Sharrif Simmons will perform with the company in Cordel.
      With the presentation of EVIDENCE and Brazz Dance Theater, the Alabama Dance Council steps into a new role as co-commissioner of new work. Augusto Soledade’s Cordel is a National Performance Network Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Florida Dance Association, the Alabama Dance Council, the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, and the National Performance Network.Ronald K. Brown’s On Earth Together had co-commissioning support from NJPAC Alternate Routes/ New Jersey Performing Arts Center, University of Florida Performing Arts, Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alabama Dance Council, and Reginald Van Lee.
      The Alabama Dance Festival, the largest dance event in Alabama, celebrates the diversity of dance and provides community engagement in the art of dance. Now in its fifteenth year, the Festival has expanded to twelve days and features six performances, sixteen free community dance classes, and over sixty master classes for professional and pre-professional dancers.
      The Alabama Dance Festival kicks off with a community celebration of dance on January 21 called Dance Across Birmingham. This totally free event is open to all ages and takes place at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. Information about the free dance classes and the free Birmingham Dance Showcase is available at www.danceacrossbirmingham.org.
      Information about professional (college-up) and pre-professional master classes (grades 6-12) on January 27-29 is available at www.alabamadancefestival.org. Online registration for all classes continues through January 18, with onsite registration available during the Festival.
      With the extended dates of January 20-31, the Alabama Dance Festival has launched a new “Dance for Schools” program and is offering expanded community activities with both Brazz Dance Theater and EVIDENCE in various locations in Birmingham. “Dance for Schools” includes a free matinee performance by each company on January 27 (Brazz) and January 30 (EVIDENCE), preceded by a free teacher workshop (January 20) that provides classroom study materials and tools to maximize students’ matinee performance experiences. To make reservations, contact Rosemary Johnson at 205-602-3599 or rosemary@....
      Both artistic directors will offer workshops in three Birmingham schools and at residency partner venues, including Space One Eleven, Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and Faith Chapel Christian Center. Brazz Dance Theater and EVIDENCE performances and school matinees take place at Samford University’s Wright Center.
      Public performances include Brazz Dance Theater on January 27 and EVIDENCE on January 28 beginning at 8:00pm at the Wright Center, with a pre-performance talk Inside the Dance at 7:35pm each night. The closing performance for the Festival is the Alabama Dance Showcase on January 29, 2:00pm, at the Wright Center. The Showcase features dance companies from Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
      Tickets for all performances are available at the Samford University Box Office at 205-726-2853. Prices range from $10-$45 with weekend package discounts up to 20% available through the SU Box Office. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.alabamadancefestival.org.
      The following schedule provides an overview of all events with dates, times, and locations.

      Friday, January 20

      Classroom Teacher Workshop, Free Admission
      8:30 am – 3:30 pm, Children’s Dance Foundation

      Saturday, January 21

      Dance Across Birmingham Community Classes, Free Admission
      9:00 am – 4:15 pm, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, North Meeting Rooms
      Birmingham Dance Showcase, Free Admission
      12:30 pm, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Mainstage Theatre


      Friday, January 27

      Brazz Dance Theater School Matinee, Free Admission
      10:00 am, Samford University Wright Center
      American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Auditions
      Summer Scholarship/Dance Theatre of Harlem Auditions
      3:00-5:00 pm, Alabama School of Fine Arts; $30 per audition. Requires pointe work.
      Brazz Dance Theater
      8:00 pm, Samford University Wright Center
      7:35 pm, Inside the Dance, a Pre-Performance Talk
      $45, $30, $20; Students $15

      Saturday, January 28

      Alabama Dance Festival Professional and Pre-Professional Master Classes
      9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Children’s Dance Foundation (grade 6-7), Alabama Ballet (grades 8-9), Alabama School of Fine Arts (grades 10-12), Birmingham-Southern College (college/professional). Previous dance training required. Registration: $30-$230. www.alabamadancefestival.org.
      8:00 pm, Samford University Wright Center
      7:35 pm, Inside the Dance, a Pre-Performance Talk
      $45, $30, $20; Students $15

      Sunday, January 29

      Alabama Dance Festival Professional and Pre-Professional Master Classes
      9:00 am – 12:30 pm at same locations.
      Alabama Dance Showcase
      2:00 pm, Samford University Wright Center
      General Admission: $17; Students $10

      Monday, January 30

      EVIDENCE, A DANCE COMPANY School Matinee, Free Admission
      10:00 am, Samford University Wright Center
      Rosemary W. Johnson, D.M.A.
      Executive Director
      Alabama Dance Council
      P.O. Box 2126
      Birmingham, AL 35201-2126
      Tel: (205) 602-3599

      Fax: (205) 322-4444


      Serving Alabama's Dance Community

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