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Dance All Weekend (No Foolin’)
by Danielle Georgiou 30 Mar 2012

Whether you’re a dancer or just someone who appreciates the art form, there’s something for you this weekend.

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Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is the artistic director and choreographer of DGDG: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble. And she’s a member of Muscle Nation.

Spring is the season for dance! Just this weekend alone, there are so many wonderful opportunities for you to experience what Dallas dance as to offer.

Today, Contemporary Ballet Dallas continues its 2011-12 season with “Peace, Love & Dance” at the Lakewood Theater. CBD wants to take you on a journey through the rockin’ 60s and 70s with the music that captured the social issues at the time and defined the era. From The Beatles and Elton John to Heart and Etta James, this concert promises an eclectic evening of dance and music.

Artistic Director Valerie Tabor examines social change and progress as told through an intricate musical landscape by The Beatles. Guest choreographer Michael Mayes returns to CBD with a premiere that looks at the life of a soldier as he goes through deployment, set to the music of the inimitable Elton John. Choreographer Jennifer Arellano offers her take on politics, scandals and corruption with David Bowie’s “Fame.” Jennifer Obeney’s piece, “Because I’m a Girl,” explores the changing tides of the feminist movement, set to the soulful stylings of B.B. King and Etta James.

CBD also lives up to its artistic vision of variety with an exciting performance by guest artists, the sensational tapping troupe Rhythmic Souls, founded by Keira Leverton and Katelyn Harris. And CBD is pleased to feature guest artist Leslie Hale on the main stage.

Also opening tonight and running through Saturday is “Collateral: Trade Routes in Dance” presented by Muscle Memory Dance Theatre. Featuring the work of M2DT, as well as visiting companies MamLuft&Co. Dance (of Cincinnati), Spank Dance (of Austin) and Perpetual Motion (of Oklahoma City), it will be an evening of modern dance.

And closing out the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, the Dance Council of North Texas and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts bring you America’s one and only free community-based dance festival, Dance Planet.

Celebrating 16 years of providing an arena for every local dance school, dance company, professional dancer and non-professional dancer to gather and spend the weekend doing what they love — performing, creating and learning — this year promises to be no different.

More than 30 master classes being offered. There’s everything from ballet to contemporary dance to Folklorico to Kabuki to the Hustle. And if you’re interested in something a little different, something more than just a traditional dance class, there’s clowning, cirque silks and theater viewpoints. Everyone has the chance to sit down and talk with this year’s guest artist, Teresa Espinosa, a Dallas-native and alumna of Booker T. Washington HSPVA.

Espinosa is a nationally acclaimed hip-hop choreographer, dancer and teacher. She is best known for her work with the dance crew the Beat Freaks on America’s Best Dance Crew Season 3. She got her start on Janet Jackson’s “The Velvet Rope” tour and traveled with her across five continents, earning an Emmy nomination as one of the contributing choreographers for the HBO special The Velvet Rope: Live in Madison Square Garden. She has also danced with and choreographed for Britney Spears, Pink, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. Between gigs, Espinosa calls the legendary Debbie Reynolds Studio in Los Angeles home.

Each day at 12:30 p.m. in the theater, Espinosa will conduct a Q&A with anyone interested in her experience on working with “Pop Star Divas.” Making these talks is something to strive for, because not only does Espinosa have an insider view on the dance world, she has something to about dance:  “If dance were a food, it would be a stew. For me, dance is more than just steps, it’s about how it all marinates together and comes out with a distinct flavor and a distinct message. It all comes down to expression,” she says.

But it’s not all about taking class; Dance Planet is also about providing a platform (and stage) for local dance companies to perform their latest and favorite works. On both Saturday and Sunday from 1-5 p.m., the Performance Showcases will take place at Booker T.

For co-chairs Linda James and Gayle Halperin, Planet is a calling because it’s all about increasing exposure and accessibility to dance in all its glory. Dance is all about the oral tradition of passing on and about teachers and directors coming together to make it happen.

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