Bates Dance Festival

Bates Dance Festival

Saturday, Jul 31, 2021 at 12:00pm to Monday, Aug 30, 2021 at 12:19pm

Various Venues in Lewiston

The Bates Dance Festival brings together an international community of choreographers, performers, educators & students in a cooperative community to study, perform & create new work.


12:00pm – 6:00pm: A canary Torsi Performance | Portrait

A canary torsi’s collaborative project, Performance | Portrait (2016), is an interactive video installation that invites audience members, one at a time, to an encounter with a performer who is projected, life-sized, in the gallery. Using a Kinect2 sensor, the live action is that of the audience – whose presence and interaction effects playback of the recorded image. In a time where live and virtual space are collapsing, the search for an intimate connection to performance is at the core of Performance | Portrait.

Audience members will engage with the work one at a time. Each ticket is for a 20-minute time slot.

Original concept by Yanira Castro

Created by Yanira Castro, Kathy Couch, Stephan Moore, Julie Wyman

Performed by Anna Azrieli, Leslie Cuyjet, Peter B. Schmitz, David Thomson

a canary torsi is a Bessie-award-winning, interdisciplinary group of artists formed by Puerto Rican artist Yanira Castro. Largely rooted in performance, their work examines the encounter between spectator and event and investigates questions related to public convergence, the nature of proximity and space, as well as the cultural, social, historical, and personal dynamics that influence how meaning is formed and how power is structured. Ranging from immersive performance environments to responsive video installations and online archives, a canary torsi develops scenarios where the work is built as a communal act.

Location: L/A Arts Gallery

6:00pm: Vanessa Anspaugh Funerals for the Ocean

Funerals for The Ocean is a new participatory performance inspired by current climate activist happenings that address the global climate crisis, rising sea levels and a rapidly dying oceanic ecosystem. Ritualistic gestures and choreographies of memorial and gratitude are intended to be felt and witnessed as we explore the material of salt; that which remains when ocean water evaporates. In Funerals for the Ocean, audience participants, alongside performers are quietly guided to enact/perform a variety of carefully choreographed rituals intended to provide space and bodily gestures for grieving what we have lost while also paying homage to what has been.

Audiences members will move throughout Simard Payne Park during this performance. Please do not bring blankets and chairs. Bring only what you are comfortable carrying. For accessibility questions, please contact

Vanessa Anspaugh is a choreographer and performance based artist born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been both commissioned and presented by Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, New York Live Arts, The River to River Festival, BAX, The Sculpture Center, The Hessel Museum of Art, AUNTS, Movement Research, Catch Series,The Kitchen (through Emily Roysdon) Performance Mix at HERE Arts Center, Studio 303 in Montreal, as well as The Cowels Center in Minneapolis, for The Zenon Dance Company. She has had funded creative residencies through DTW Studio Series, Mount Tremper Arts, Kattsbaan International Dance Center, The Mac Dowell Colony, LMCC, BAX, BOFFO Fire Island Performance Residency, and The Bard College Fisher Center. In 2017 her work The End of Men, was a Bessie Award nominee in both the Outstanding Production and Best Sound Design (by Ryan MacDonald) categories.

Location:  Simard Payne Park

8:00pm: Janessa Clark Communion

Communion is an experimental screendance response to the isolation and uncertainty that artists are facing in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. At a time when dancers could no longer breathe together, touch, rehearse or share the experience of movement within the physical studio, Communion invited 40 dancers, separated by physical distance and the pandemic, into a digital space to commune together.

Each of the 20 unique duets is created from videos by two different dancers who are separated by cities, countries, and sometimes continents. Artist Janessa Clark combines these videos to craft virtual duets which are set to music donated by a composer also collaborating remotely.

Audience members should bring their own chairs and will be seated, distanced, in the parking lot.

Janessa Clark (American/Swedish) is a choreographer, dance filmmaker, and installation artist currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Her practice combines dance, video, and language to create socially-engaged art for stage, screen, and community-specific locales. She holds an MA in Performance Practices and Research from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and a BFA in Choreography from Arizona State University. At the heart of Janessa’s work is the desire to challenge and rupture modes of choreography through co-authorship and experiential agency.

Location:  Outside Schaeffer Theater

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