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Goose Route festival continues kid-friendly theme

July 16, 2010|By TIFFANY ARNOLD
  • Philadelphia-based Green Chair Group will be among the performers at the 10th annual Goose Route Dance Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which opens tonight. Green Chair's Sarah Gladwin Camp will lead free dance festival throughout the festival.
Courtesy photo,

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Goose Route Dance Festival will keep kids in mind as the yearly ode to modern dance celebrates its 10th birthday, said founder Kitty Clark.

Goose Route Dance Festival opens tonight with performances from dance ensembles from Vermont, North Carolina, Baltimore and Shepherdstown's own Goose Route Arts Collaborative. The festival continues through Sunday, July 25, with most performances at the War Memorial Building in downtown Shepherdstown.

But as much as the festival highlights what's new in modern dance, Goose Route has always had a kid-friendly subtheme. Dress rehearsals double as pay-what-you-can viewings, though adults cannot be admitted without bringing a child.

There are also free dance classes for kids.

Goose Route performer Rebecca M. Sproul will lead an alphabet-themed class for kids Saturday, July 17, at the War Memorial Building. Another Goose Route performer, Sarah Gladwin Camp from the Philadelphia-based Green Chair Dance Group, will lead a Saturday morning class in which children learn to blend storytelling and creative movement.

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Camp will also lead a water-themed workshop at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Library on Thursday, July 22.

Why host such a kid-centric modern dance festival?

"It occurred to me if adults tell me they don't get it, maybe I should set my sights on young people," Clark said.

Clark said she can spend lots of energy explaining to adults that sometime there's nothing to "get" because modern dance is neither linear in its narrative nor literal. Clark, who is also a mother, said young people tend to be more receptive to the idea of creative movement. She's been teaching children's classes since she moved to the region in 1999.

Clark referenced a children's dance workshop she was invited to give. Clark asked the kids to pretend they were bowls of spaghetti. She said it wasn't too long before adults observing the kids' movements started saying things like "that's not spaghetti."

"People generate a bigger appreciation for dance after doing it," Clark said. "Maybe we take that for granted."




10th annual Goose Route Dance Festival



Free family events

For the tickets and the complete schedule, go to http://www.gooseroute.org, call 304-876-6751, or send an e-mail to kitty@gooseroute.org.

Today

10:30 a.m. - Open dress rehearsal/family show. Pay-what-you-can. No adults admitted without a child. War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Saturday, July 17

9:30 to 10:15 a.m. - "Alphabet Soup: Creating Choreography with Children," for ages 5 to 9; taught by Rebecca M. Sproul. Free. War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Thursday, July 22

11 a.m. - "Water Stories: A Dance Class for Kids," taught by Sarah Gladwin Camp of Green Chair Dance Group. Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library, 101 W. King St., Martinsburg, W.Va. Free. Call 304-267-8933.

Friday, July 23

10:30 a.m. - Open dress rehearsal/family show. Pay-what-you-can. No adults admitted without a child. War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Saturday, July 24

9:30 to 10:15 a.m. - "ZoomDance: Action Adventure Storytelling Class for Kids," for ages 3 to 5, taught by Sarah Gladwin Camp. Free. War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St., Shepherdstown, W.Va.

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