Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dancers Take to the Streets and Walls of Grand Center

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Dancers Take to the Streets and Walls of Grand Center

Article excerpt

According to a fondly remembered R&B classic that goes particularly well with a bright and breezy summer day, it doesn't matter what you wear just as long as you are there. And indeed, "Dancing in the Street" the 1964 hit made immortal by Martha and the Vandellas could be the theme song for the festival that shares its name. The seventh edition of the popular Grand Center event is this weekend.

Spectators are likely to be wearing smiles as more than 60 local and regional dance companies take to three stages, performing in a variety of dance styles. Among those scheduled to turn movement into memories are the Alexandra Ballet, Big Muddy Dance Co., COCAdance, Karlovsky & Co. Dance, St. Louis Ballet, the Slaughter Project and headliner BANDALOOP.

But more will going on than just dance, including a museum and gallery walk from 1 to 4 p.m. (times vary depending on location), a dance party with DJ from 7 to 8 p.m. on the Blue Fox Tap Stage and a conga line starting at 6:20 p.m. on the Green Stage.

Find a complete schedule at grandcenter.org.

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OFF THE WALLS

Reaching the heightsof dance is a goal to which many companies aspire. But BANDALOOP ventures beyond the realm of metaphor. Taking in its performances requires directing your gaze not at a stage but at the sky.

The Oakland, Calif.-based ensemble, which returns to St. Louis on Saturday as headliner of the Dancing in the Street Festival in Grand Center, has become famous for stepping lively on the sides of cliffs and skyscrapers. Its choreographic approach known as "vertical dance" brings a different kind of excitement to an art form that, as performed in concert halls, is often thought of as lacking mass appeal.

"One of the missions of the company is to bring dance to new audiences," says Amelia Rudolph, founder and artistic director of BANDALOOP. "People have all kinds of preconceptions and misconceptions about what dance is and what dance can be."

BANDALOOP will perform at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the side of the Continental Life Building at 3615 Olive Street. The company last appeared at the festival's debut in 2007.

Its unconventional approach aside, BANDALOOP is very much a dance company, Rudolph says. …

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