Michigan Dance Festival at Oakland University

Oakland University Co-Hosting Michigan Dance Festival October 7

The Michigan Dance Council (MDC) and Oakland University will co-host the Michigan Dance Festival at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan on Saturday, October 7, 2017.

The MDC is Michigan’s leading dance organization and this annual event, which travels around the state, celebrates the great diversity of dance forms and culture in Michigan.

Grand Rapids Ballet

Grand Rapids Ballet

For the first time this year’s festival features two free community classes. The first, offered by Very Special Arts Michigan, is for youth with cognitive and physical challenges. It will be taught by VSA Michigan teaching artist Barbara Selinger.

The second is with the Detroit Legacy Project, a master class in Dunham dance technique/Caribbean dance with Penny Godboldo. All levels are welcome. 

The day-long festival also includes a special dance workshop for middle school-age dancers, summer scholarship auditions, and master classes in Ballet, Hip Hop and Modern/Contemporary. The day culminates with the Annual Showcase Gala Concert and Artists’ Talk.

The Showcase Gala Concert celebrates innovation and excellence with performances of dance works by the eight “Maggie Finalists” ‒– Bailey Allshouse, Abigail Cryderman, Sean Hoskins, Deavondre Jones, Tzveta Kassabova, Hannah Seidel, Erika Stowall, and Debra White-Hunt, one of whom will be announced as the winner of this year’s prestigious Maggie Allesee Choreography Award at the end of the concert. The adjudicators for this year’s competition include Biba Bell (Wayne State University), David Curwen (Western Michigan University), and Christian Matijas Mecca (University of Michigan).

Gregory Patterson, chair of the dance department at Oakland University, is also the chair of the MDC board of directors. Patterson said that for many dancers the Allesee Choreography Award is the highlight of the festival, but MDC has sought underwriting from businesses throughout the state for their free community classes. Their intent is to “give everyone a chance to dance.” They are also giving away 100 free showcase concert tickets to high school students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to witness live dance.

More information about the festival, including the registration link, is available on the Michigan Dance Council website.

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