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SummerArts: Dance

Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME)

Multiple venues
Click here for schedule

(July 7 – August 11) The Bates Dance Festival has flourished each summer for nearly 30 years. Created in 1982 by Marcy Plaven, Professor of Dance Emeritus at Bates College, the BDF was initially intended as a way for the college to use its vacant facilities during the summer months. The festival has been backed by the college ever since, hosting luminary choreographers, performers, and teachers each year.

The idea behind BDF is to create an ambiance where artists can create and share freely in order to expand the knowledge and awareness of the dance community and local audiences. In this spirit, the festival consists of a three week training program for adults, as well as a Young Dance Workshop for teenagers, an outreach program serving local youth, and the Community Dance Project, which allows local dancers to participate in activities created by invited artists.

The main stage performance series that dominates the festival features renowned contemporary dance companies and choreographers from around the world. New work has been created for the festival by Doug Varone, Rennie Harris, Liz Lerman, Jane Comfort, David Dorfman, to name a few, as well as choreographers and companies from such diverse countries as Africa, Cuba, Japan, Cambodia, Mexico, and Portugal.

With commissions for new work along with residency projects, BDF is a summer mecca for established companies, international artists, emerging choreographers, aspiring dancers, and audiences eager for an enriching cultural experience. (MK)

Bates Dance Festival Information

  • Venues: Schaeffer Theatre (305 College Street); Pettigrew Hall (305 College Street – Pettigrew Hall if a wing of Schaeffer Theatre); Alumni Gym (130 Central Avenue); Franco-American Heritage Center (46 Cedar Street); Lewiston Recreation Center (65 Central Avenue)
  • Public Transportation: Good (regular bus service to Bates College campus)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: Dance performances, lectures and presentations over a period of six weeks
  • Tickets: $24 for most events; half-price ($12) for kids 12 and under, full-time students and seniors 65 and older. Some events free. Orders for 5 or more performances count as subscriptions and are eligible for a 10% discount. Groups of 10 or more also receive 10% discount.