After A 10-Year Hiatus, Dallas DanceFest Returns This Weekend.
Don't call it a comeback, but after a 10-year hiatus, the Dallas DanceFest is back and bigger than ever. To wit: Twenty different groups and companies will perform over the course of three days this weekend, showcasing some of the most creative and also most coordinated people in Dallas.
OK, so maybe that's the textbook definition of a comeback.
Still, whether your interest in dance has not been pursued any further than primetime network television programs or you're still the biggest dance buff on the block after retiring your pointe shoes back in middle school, let us tell you: Something is happening this weekend that you will not want to miss.
It's certainly taken some time — and lots of legwork — for the DanceFest to get where it is now. Back when the festival first premiered in 1985, dancers had to focus both on their combinations and keeping themselves cool in the heat of the Texan sun beating down on their outdoor stage in Lee Park. Now, after a decade of dormancy since the curtain closed on those group's last performance in 2004, dancers and audience members alike will be delighted to know this year's festival will be held at the grand, 750-seat, air-conditioned Dallas City Performance Hall.
Gayle Halperin, who sits on the board of directors for the Dance Council of North Texas, was one of judges who determined which of the 47 applicants would be gracing the stage this weekend: “First, we care about quality,” she says of the works being presented this weekend. “Then, [the piece] had to be of excellent caliber, had to be full of vitality. [These are] vibrant, works that pull you in with high energy.”
So, essentially, no matter your understanding of the finer points of the art of dance, this weekend's fest will be so stacked with powerful, passionate dancers that you're probably going to feel like you're right up there on stage moving with them. Better still, the festival caters to every artistic style across the board, including classical, neo-classical, contemporary ballet, jazz, tap, Indian and even an Asian-influenced piece with on-stage drumming.
Collectively, the performance will feature 200 dancers, from amateurs to professionals like Booker T. Washington High School alumnus Dylis Croman, who starred alongside Billy Ray Cyrus in a recent Broadway production of Chicago.
To think that, just this weekend, the Dallas DanceFest will bring together amazing companies from across the city such as the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Dallas Black Dance Theater and Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, just to name a few, is really quite incredible. And, despite the variety of styles throughout each performance, every piece will carry with it the common theme of high energy and emotional flavor.
“Dance is exciting to watch because it sparks something in you and makes you feel alive,” Halperin says. “And if dance can't, then let us tell you, nothing will.
Cover image of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance by Sergio Garcia, via. The Dallas DanceFest will take place this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Dallas City Performance Hall. Tickets run $25 to $100. Head here for more information.