Simple, High-Quality & Joyful Study of Dance

20th Inman Park Dance Festival

Photo by John Ramspott

Movement Arts Director, Carolyn Stine McLaughlin, will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Inman Park Dance Festival which she directs and is part of the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes.

The Inman Park Dance Festival is one of the many ways that the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes supports the performing arts. The two free shows present both classical ballet and modern dance in a family friendly format at The Trolley Barn on Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm. For this 20th anniversary festival, IPDF will present a program which spans more than 350 years of concert dance by presenting the following Atlanta area companies; Atlanta Historic Dance, Ballethnic, Full Radius Dance, The Georgia Ballet, ImmerseATL and Movement Arts Atlanta.

The first time period represented in the dance festival is mid-1600s. Atlanta Historic Dance will perform work from this period when social dance began to transition into concert dance. In fact, classical ballet marks its birth in 1661 with the opening of the first school for training dancers by France’s King Louis XIV, an accomplished dancer himself.

The Georgia Ballet will represent the Classical era of ballet with and excerpt from Paquita.  Originally dating from 1846 and a staple of ballet companies around the world, the version presented will honor the restaging of Marius Petipa in 1882. TGB’s artistic and technical prowess will make these 140-year-old dances a joy for the audience.

Next, the dance festival will pay homage to the roots of Modern Dance with experts from José Limón’s Dances for Isadora. Choreographed at the end of Mr. Limón’s life in 1971, this work pays homage to Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) who is considered the Mother of Modern Dance. When curating this year’s anniversary dance festival, I was unable to find a company performing early modern work. In true Inman Park fashion (don’t have what is needed, find a way to make it happen), I have organized the reconstruction of the work on Atlanta dance artists through Movement Arts Atlanta’s first major project, A Time with Isadora.

Coming into the 21st century, ImmerceATL will showcase young contemporary artists. Founded in 2017 by Atlanta native, Sarah J. Hillmer, ImmerceATL is a training and mentorship program for immerging artists bridging the pre-professional life with the professional life of an artist.

Full Radius Dance (FRD) is Atlanta’s globally recognized leader in physical integrate dance. FRD is the only company which has appeared in every performance of the IPDF. Both a leader in the community and a supportive friend of the dance festival, this modern company’s work is both strong in its physicality and nuanced in its artistic expression.

Ballethnic’s outstanding blend of ballet and West African dance is also widely recognized. Another long-time performer (15 out of 20 festivals) and friend of the dance festival, Ballethnic’s unique movement vocabulary and frequent live music accompaniment is always a crowd pleaser. For 2022, both Ballethnic’s professional and pre-professional ensembles will perform.

It is noteworthy that the IPDF is the only free admission dance festival that presents both ballet and modern in its programs and compensates the participating companies. In its 20-year history, the Inman Park Dance Festival with the support of The Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes and Inman Park Neighbors will have presented 39 free performances to tens-of-thousands of audience members and engaged hundreds of Georgia artists. This is worth celebrating!

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