A smorgasbord of dance

July 08, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Contemporary dance takes flight in Shepherdstown this month during the fourth annual Goose Route Dance Festival.

The modern dance festival will be held weekends Friday, July 9, through Sunday, July 18, at The Nest Performance Space at War Memorial Building. Activities will include dance performances, family shows and master classes.

Festival director Kitty Clark said Goose Route offers something for everyone.

"It's a great way to become introduced to contemporary dance because it's a smorgasbord," she said.

Modern dance enthusiasts can enjoy diverse performances from nine different choreographers.

Experienced dancers can learn even more about modern dance, yoga and collaborative art during the intermediate and advanced master classes taught by participating festival performers.

Adults can introduce their children to modern dance during the pay-what-you-wish family concerts.

Those unfamiliar with modern dance might gain understanding of the art form by attending performances and discussions prior to the shows, and by talking with participating dancers.


"We've made it a pretty informal, low-priced event so people who aren't familiar with modern dance will feel like they can take that chance," said Clark, a dancer and choreographer with a studio in Shepherdstown. "We make it so people feel like they can come and really get something out of it."

This year's festival will feature an expanded repertoire of offerings. Clark said there will be more talks before performances, extra master classes and a high-energy children's contemporary dance class called "Afrohopatazz" that integrates West African/Afro-Caribbean, American hip-hop and jazz forms.

The festival will showcase the work of contemporary dance choreographers Clark; Christalyn Wright of New York City; Vermont-based Amy Chavasse and her collaborators; Laura Schandelmeier of Washington, D.C.; Cynthia McLaughlin of Shepherdstown; Paul D. Mosely of New York; and Carli Mareneck of West Virginia. Cat Scratch Theatre of Washington, D.C., and PIMA Group of Philadelphia also will perform.

Chavasse, artist-in-residence at Middlebury College in Vermont, will teach a modern dance technique class Saturday, July 10. JiJi Beckett, a Shepherdstown-based yoga therapist trained at the Kripalu Center in Massachusetts, will teach a restorative yoga class Sunday, July 11. Melissa Putz of the PIMA Group will lead a modern dance technique class Saturday, July 17. And members of Cat Scratch Theatre will teach a class called Collaborative Art-Making, Improvisation, and Choreographic Methods on Sunday, July 18.

For more information, call 1-304-725-7621 or go to on the Web.

Fourth annual Goose Route Dance Festival

The Nest Performance Space at War Memorial Building

102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.

4 p.m. Fridays, July 9 and 16

Family shows

Admission is on a pay-what-you-wish basis, and adults must be accompanied by a child.

6 p.m. Saturdays, July 10 and 17, and Sundays, July 11 and 18

Dance performances, with discussions prior to Saturday performances at 5 p.m.

Admission costs $12, adults; and $8, students and seniors.

Intermediate and advanced master classes also will be held in modern dance, yoga and collaborative art. Classes start at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Each class costs $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

For information, to register or to purchase tickets, call 1-304-725-7621.

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