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Ninth Annual Modern Dance Festival at The Modern in Fort Worth

by Anne Bothwell 6 Jul 2012 3:46 PM

The first of three big weekends of dance kicks off tonight in Fort Worth. Guest blogger Julissa Treviño fills us in.


Guest blogger Julissa Treviño is a reporter at the Burleson Star and an arts fan from Fort Worth.

Want to learn more about modern dance and explore its different phases? You can take the opportunity at the ninth annual Modern Dance Festival, a collaboration between Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

The museum will spend the next three weekends, tonight through July 21, celebrating modern and contemporary dance with performances, films and lectures. And it’s all free.

In previous years, the festival focused on particular dance movements, says CDFW executive and artistic director Kerry Kreiman. This year, there will be some changes.

“One significant difference is the work being presented is from a 50-year time span,” Kreiman says. “There’s a lot of diversity. We try to include different concepts [and] people of different backgrounds. It’s great to be able to explore a huge variety of performances and dances.”

Freudian Slips and Silent Dreams, a silent performance attempting to embody concepts behind portraiture and figurative art in a series of dances and scenes, will run July 6 at 5:30 p.m. and July 7 and 8 at 1 p.m. Dancers will explore and interpret portraiture as a form of storytelling.

“I find that to be an interesting concept — people are constantly posing for photos all the time. What’s that about? You see people making physical changes in their bodies,” Kreiman says. It’s an informal performance; the audience can come and go as they please. And it pairs well with the Modern’s current exhibition, Lucien Freud: Portraits, says Kreiman.

The films scheduled for the festival will be great informative pieces for anyone who doesn’t already know a lot about contemporary and modern dance.

“They’re very exciting films. We’re featuring street dancers, hip hop. All of those have greatly influenced modern dance and we thought that was significant. The short [films] are very creative,” Kreiman says.

Labyrinth Within,  a short Swedish film, features the work of a New York City ballet principal.  The film’s choreographer, Pontus Lidberg,  will be familiar to the museum’s audiences.  The Modern screened his film The Rain in 2009. Labyrinth Within is being shown along with two other shorts July 14 at 2 p.m.

While the festival has not exactly grown in size, it’s grown in depth. And Kreiman hopes to continue to attract new audiences while maintaining old relationships.

“It’s kind of been a different, unique festival each year. It’s grown in its recognition in the community for sure. We love the fact that we can do a community outreach event and still bring a lot of those same people every year,” she says.

The goal for the festival is to make contemporary and modern dance accessible to everyone from die-hard dance fans to people who have never seen modern dance before.

“Seeing dancing in a museum is a very unique experience,” Kreiman says. “It emphasizes different things in the movements. Dance is very much about how to utilize space.”

All performances and events are listed at Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth.