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Brazz Dance Theater: Brittany Williams ~ photo: Lucrecia Diaz

Based in Birmingham, the 2012 Alabama Dance Festival runs from January 21 to 31st, featuring a myriad of activities for not only the local dance community, but also for Alabamans of all ages who want explore the vast dimensions of the art form. Presented by the Alabama Arts Council, the festival celebrates dance on many levels by bringing dancers, choreographers, and teachers together, as well as allowing the general community to become incorporated in enriching activities that expand and inspire.

In addition to classes, workshops, and Master Classes for the dance community, one of the festival’s programs, Dance Across Birmingham, provides a day of free classes for people of all ages.  The program is designed to bring a wide range of dance styles to the population, including hip-hop, tap, musical theater, belly dance, ballroom, African, Latin, swing, and much more.  From pre-schoolers to grannies, classes are designed to inspire people to move their bodies and enjoy the all-around freedom that dance brings.  There are also free performances given by some of the leading dance troupes in the area.

Two prominent guest dance companies will be present at the festival:  Ronald K. Brown’s EVIDENCE and Augusto Soledade’s Brazz Dance Theater.  Both choreographers will give pre-performance talks on dance and their inspirations as creators.  EVIDENCE, a company incorporating African and contemporary choreography will perform Brown’s newest work, On Earth Together, set to the music of Stevie Wonder.  Brazz Dance Theater, with its roots in Afro-Brazilian tradition, will perform Cordel, with its mixture of hip-hop, tango, and Brazilian movement celebrating the “string literature” written by Brazilian poet, Cordel.  Both companies will be presenting free school matinees for middle and high school students as a way to engage these young audience members in the arts.

For more information on the Alabama Dance Festival: