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Regional Dance America Gathers for Philly LOVE Dance Festival 2015

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Philadelphia Dance Theatre hosts the annual Regional Dance America Northeast Festival on May 21-23,
bringing 300 pre-professional dancers, directors and choreographers to learn, perform and inspire.

The three-day Philly LOVE Dance Festival 2015 for Regional Dance America (RDA) will showcase the talents of the next generation of professional dancers in performances held each evening on the city’s Avenue of the Arts. Dancers will immerse themselves in master classes taught by distinguished faculty and have the opportunity to audition for prestigious dance scholarships and awards. Participating will be 11 pre-professional dance companies and several of Philadelphia’s dance luminaries, including Jeffrey Gribler and PHILADANCO’s Joan Myers Brown. Visiting dancers and local organizers will also sponsor Philadelphia’s first Street Store™, “the world’s first rent-free, premises-free, free pop-up clothing store” where homeless women can shop for clothing for themselves and their children.

“We are thrilled to host this unique event in Philadelphia. The city truly has become a professional dance hub,” said Joy Delaney-Capponi, PDT Artistic Director and RDA Vice President. “Member companies of Regional Dance America Northeast have worked diligently all year long to prepare their best students and bring truly innovative choreography to the festival.”

Festival goers will see 23 dance works that have been selected and programmed over three evenings of performances by six-time RDA Festival Adjudicator Jeffrey Gribler. The former principal dancer and ballet master of the Pennsylvania Ballet has visited with each RDA company in class since March in preparation for this year’s festival. “Young dancers are so very special, and RDA is an opportunity for them to learn, perform and be inspired,” said Gribler.

The Festival will also honor special guest Joan Myers Brown, Founder and Artistic Director of PHILADANCO. As Philadelphia’s premier modern dance company, PHILADANCO was formerly an RDA company prior to becoming a professional dance company. “Ms. Brown is a legendary figure in the regional dance movement,” stated Delaney-Capponi. “Her leadership of developing PHILADANCO from a little-known regional pre-professional school and company into a celebrated international touring company is a testament not only to her vision and passion, but also to RDA’s ability to nurture directors and challenge young dancers.”

To give back to the host City of Brotherly Love, dancers attending the RDA Festival will donate articles of clothing and toiletries for homeless women and children in Philadelphia. On Thursday, May 21, from 12 noon to 3:00 p.m., RDA and PDT volunteers will be in Love Park for Philadelphia’s first Street Store, a pop-up street store that will offer free donated clothes to the homeless.

At the heart of the RDA Festival experience, dancers will take master classes held at the University of the Arts in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz and contemporary dance. Distinguished faculty for this year’s RDA Festival include visiting artists from the American Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet, New York City Ballet, as well as Philadelphia’s own University of the Arts and Ballet X.

The performing companies are: Berks Ballet Theatre (Reading, Pennsylvania), Canton Ballet (Canton, Ohio), City Ballet of Cleveland (Cleveland, Ohio), Delaware Ballet (Camden, Delaware), Delaware Dance Company (Newark, Delaware), Erie Contemporary Ballet Company (Erie, Pennsylvania), Pennsylvania Regional Ballet (Enola, Pennsylvania), Philadelphia Dance Theatre (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), South Dayton Dance Theatre (Centerville, Ohio), Southern New Hampshire Dance Theatre (Bedford, New Hampshire), and Vineland Regional Dance Company (Vineland, New Jersey).

Performances for the Philly LOVE Dance Festival 2015 will be as follows:

  • The Emerging Choreographer performance will be held on Thursday, May 21 at both 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Arts Bank at the University of the Arts, 601 South Broad Street. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets online or at http://www.philadancetheatre.org.
  • The Concert Performance on Friday, May 22 features guest artist Aria Alekzander performing “Odalisques from Le Corsaire.” The Gala Performance on Saturday, May 23 features host company, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, in a light and humorous work titled “Flock,” to the music of Bobby McFerrin and choreographed by former PHILADANCO artist, Ruka White. Both concerts begin at 7 p.m. at the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased through the Kimmel Center by phone 215-893-1999, or online at http://www.kimmelcenter.org/events/.

About Regional Dance America
Regional Dance America (RDA) was founded in 1988 to promote the artistic development of dance companies throughout the United States. The five regional organizations of RDA were established under the guidance of the National Association for Regional Ballet (NARB). Over three hundred companies, including more than two-dozen nationally recognized professional groups have been NARB or RDA member companies. Regional Dance America’s mission is to advance and foster the growth and education of dancers, choreographers, directors and dance companies in every community across the United States and Canada. RDA provides a national identity and support for its five regional associations; MidStates, Northeast, Pacific, Southeast and Southwest. Development of member companies is further promoted through regional and national festivals by affirming standards of appraisal, evaluation and performance to which all members are held. For more information, visit http://www.regionaldanceamerica.org

About Philadelphia Dance Theatre

Philadelphia Dance Theatre is a non-profit 501(c) 3 located in the Mount Airy section of Northwest Philadelphia. Established in 2000 by Artistic Director, Joy Delaney-Capponi, PDT is recognized as a premier venue to train in classical ballet and dance. Its mission is to enrich, inspire, and uplift lives through classical ballet, dance education, and performance.

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