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Charlotte Dance Festival celebrates 7th anniversary

Charlotte Dance Festival to feature classes, workshops

By Michael J. Solender
Correspondent

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The Charlotte Dance Festival kicks off Friday featuring two days of workshops and classes, a Charlotte Emerging Dance Awards performance by young dancers and the festival’s centerpiece program, Dance Charlotte!

Started seven years ago by local dancer and choreographer Caroline Calouche, the festival showcases diverse dance programming, from contemporary ballet and aerial dance to new dance technology and nontraditional dance.

“I was looking for a way to get the dance community more connected and also provide greater exposure for audiences,” said Calouche. “There is so much good work being done regionally and beyond, I wanted to create a platform for choreographers to highlight new work and bring members of the dance community together to share and learn from each other.”

The festival’s Dance Charlotte! program features nine dance companies performing the same program on two nights.

An open call was held and the companies are chosen through an anonymous adjudication process. Troupes from across the mid-Atlantic are bringing fresh work to Charlotte, most not seen before in our community.

Calouche’s own eponymous dance company will perform alongside Echo Contemporary Dance Company. Joining them are companies from Baltimore, Boone, Columbia, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and other cities across the region.

Sharp eyes may recognize the work of Charlotte-native and now Washington D.C. dancer and choreographer Diana Movius, 32.

Movius’s company, MOVEiUS Dance, is performing for the first time at the festival.

The company has achieved substantial notice in the nation’s capital where they were recently selected as a “Pick of the Fringe” audience award winner for Best Dance and Physical Theater award at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival.

“I formed MOVEiUS Dance in 2010 as a ‘pick-up’ company where freelance dancers and choreographers can try out new work,” said Movius. “I’m particularly excited to come back home to Charlotte where I trained with Patricia McBride (of N.C. Dance Theatre) to feature my work for family and friends.”

Movius describes the piece to be performed, “Legacy,” as one that depicts the influence that people and events have on our lives long after they are gone. Four dancers form two pairs in this reflective and poignant 12-minute work.

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