set for Crestwood, Louisville
day event to feature
conferences and workshops
Helen E. McKinney
(October 2005) Using her many years of experience as a professional
dancer and choreographer to her advantage, Susana B. Williams has created
what she hopes will become an annual event. Her enthusiasm for the genre
of dance has led her to create a festival that will provide resources
and opportunities for dance professionals.
by Scott Belding
Larussa is performing a new solo choreographed by Robert Henry
The idea for the Blue Grass State International Dance
Festival began in 2003, according to Williams. The goal of the festival
is to bring together dance professionals, dance companies, presenters,
producers, the press and the people of Kentucky. Dance professionals
worldwide, educators, and beginner, intermediate and advanced level
students are expected to attend conferences, workshops and master classes.
Three days of intense activity are planned for Friday through Sunday,
Oct. 14-16. So much is planned that two sites have been chosen for the
festival: the Oldham County Arts Center in Crestwood and the Spectrum
Center in Louisville.
Williams is the creator and director of her own La Grange-based company,
Dance-Forms Productions. She began the company in September 1984 to
provide professional dance instruction as well as performance and theatrical
experience for dance students from Oldham County. Williams, 56,
is originally from Guatemala.
The Blue Grass State International Dance Festival will also incorporate
The 30th International Choreographers Show-case. This
showcase features emerging and distinguished international award-winning
choreographers and dancers from Canada, Guatemala, the United States
and Venezuela. A performance will be given at the Oldham County Arts
Center Auditorium from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 14.
In addition to Williams, the program will feature original works by
the following internationally acclaimed choreographers Attila Joey Csiki,
David Fonnegra, Robert Henry Johnson, Kimberly Olson and Anandha Ray.
Registration for master classes will be held later that day from 4 p.m.
to 6:30 p.m. A Meet the Artist welcome reception will be
held at the Spectrum Center Cafeteria from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at
911 S. Brook St. in Louisville.
Master Classes and workshops will run throughout the following two days
at the Spectrum Center Studios. Public performances are scheduled at
this location for 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Visitors to the Spectrum Center can also view an exhibition honoring
Ernestine Day and her work as principal dancer with Ted Shawn and Ruth
This display includes Days diary, costumes, pictures, programs
and other memorabilia collected during the Denishawn Co. tour of the
Orient. A special festival Market Place will promote products and services
offered by the business communities of Louisville and Oldham County.
by Scott Belding
and Maria LaMance
Williams received partial funding for this festival via
a $5,000 Arts Builds Communities Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council.
She devised this festival in an effort to create greater enthusiasm
and appreciation for dance as an art form.
Williams Dance-Forms Productions is partnering with Dance! Kentucky
to provide this dance experience. Dance! Kentucky is a non-profit organization
dedicated to promoting and supporting the art of dance and dance education
throughout the state of Kentucky.
Its purpose is to act as an advocating agency focusing on the importance
of dance throughout the state and collaborating with professionals in
support of promoting dance as a viable art form.
The Oldham County Arts Center is playing an important role by
sponsoring the presentation of
the 30th International Choreographers Showcase for the people
of Oldham County, said Williams.
Harrie Buecker, assistant superintendent for the Oldham County Arts
Center, said she is thrilled that the center was chosen as one of the
performance sites. This is a wonderful opportunity for the students
in the Oldham County schools and our entire community to experience
contemporary dance being performed at the highest levels.
For inspiration in planning this festival, Williams turned to several
impressive arts festivals she had attended in Europe. These included
the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland; the Monaco Dance
Forum in Monte Carlo, Monaco; and the Avignon Festival in France.
Williams said many Kentuckians might not have the opportunity to view
the extraordinary work of dance artists unless they travel abroad. Through
her varied networking capabilities, she has tried to bring a slice of
the international world of dance to Kentucky.
We are particularly interested in creating a greater sense of
enthusiasm and appreciation for dance here in Oldham County, said
Buecker. This event will be our first opportunity to focus on
dance in our newly renovated performance hall.
Admission to performances of the 30th International Choreographers
Showcase is $10 for the general public, $7 for dance artists and $5
for students and children. Admission to the Ernestine Day Exhibition
is $4 per ticket.
For complete information visit
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