2012 is the 30th Anniversary of a true artist-centered community. It is also, not coincidentally, the 25th year of tenure for Laura Faure, the guiding force that has made Lewiston, Maine a center of creative gravity in the contemporary dance world internationally. It was meaningful and logical that Bates was the first stop on the Agileseed Tour, as it was from Laura that I first witnessed the curatorial power that comes from trusting self-organization and allowing the inner structure of a collaboration to emerge and reveal itself rather than be imposed. We worked together for five years finding resources to realize Festival artists’ next best ideas, working at high velocity in the climate of extreme uncertainty and entrepreneurial fierceness that is nonprofit arts fundraising.
The evening’s performance was the award-winning Kate Weare and Company, featuring Kate’s breakout work Drop Down which received an Audience Choice selection when it premiered at The Joyce Theater in New York in 2006. The company’s newest work in-progress, Dark Lark, will premiere at Brooklyn Academy of Music. BDF is one of the co-commissioners.
Dining at the college cafeteria beforehand I ran into Boston-based dance critic Debra Cash, who delivers contextual insight to the works performed on stage in the form of Inside Dance Talks. Another part of her professional life is dedicated to helping companies prepare for and navigate culture change. We discussed the upcoming Agile Culture conference.
Meanwhile, my oldest son was rhapsodizing about the Festival as a field of earliest memories from when he was toddler-in-tow. There were a host of children in-residence with their parents this summer, a good sign that the dance world is finding its way toward healthy work-life balance.
Aimee Petrin, a longtime colleague and Director of Portland Arts, presented Laura with a lovely and well-deserved tribute before curtain. And Laura pointed out the remarkable press the Festival has gotten this summer – including this coverage on Maine Public Television:
Musings in progress…more to follow…