Magazine article Dance Magazine

Spring in Their Step: A New Festival Hits the Midwest

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Spring in Their Step: A New Festival Hits the Midwest

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This month Spring to Dance will bring together 32 Midwestern dance companies in six performances that celebrate the richness of dance in the U.S. heartland. Co-sponsored by the Touhill Performing Arts Center and Dance St. Louis under the direction of Michael Uthoff, the packed three-day dance event takes place at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri, St. Louis campus May 22-24. The goal is to make St. Louis the dance center of the region and the Touhill the city's premiere dance venue.

Modeled on New York City's Fall for Dance festival, $10 gets you an evening of dance that might feature The Dying Swan, performed by the Kansas City Ballet; Echoes of An Angel's Fall, a collaborative choreography by Pilobolus' Rebecca Anderson Darling and Dancing Wheels Company of Cleveland; or Sweet Jazz, created by Lane Alexander for the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.

Uthoff's dream was to show St. Louis audiences how much dance exists close to home. Seeking anchors, he invited 18 established Midwestern companies, including the St. Louis Ballet, which will dance Balanchine's Serenade, and MADCO, the oldest modern repertory company in the Midwest. Fourteen of them, from Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, and Illinois, accepted the offer.

To diversify the program, Dance St. Louis invited 150 other companies to submit dances. They were adjudicated by Daniel Lewis, dean of dance of the New World School of the Arts; Cathy Pruzan, a San Francisco agent; and Nancy Jordan, a former rehearsal director for the Juilliard School. …

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