SOURCE: Florida Dance Association

Florida Dance Association

April 18, 2013 14:48 ET

Contemporary Indian, Ultra Modern, Kinesthetically Able and Transgender Dance Collide for Impassioned Florida Dance Festival

TAMPA, FL--(Marketwired - Apr 18, 2013) - Florida Dance Festival returns for the fourth year in a row to the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance, June 17-29. The festival, presented by Florida's premier, statewide arts/dance service organization, Florida Dance Association, is the preeminent annual dance workshop event in the southeastern United States. The two-week program, packed with workshops and performances, attracts hundreds of aspiring dance students (age 11 and up) from the southern United States and Caribbean to train in a noncompetitive environment with nationally renowned dancers and choreographers from around the world.

Intermediate or advanced dance students enrolling in Florida Dance Festival must have at least two years of modern dance training. Courses are designed to expose dancers to a variety of dance disciplines and techniques to equip them for professional careers in the arts. This year's dance faculty includes Brooklyn-based Jennifer Archibald (hip hop), London-based Stephen Pelton (modern), Seattle-based Jennifer Salk (modern), Gainesville-based Isa Garcia-Rose (ballet), Sarasota-based Courtney Smith (modern) and Leymis Bolanos Wilmott (afro-modern fuzion, Pilates), Tampa-based Jeanne Travers (choreography) and Miami-based Joanne Barrett (yoga) and Heather Maloney (modern).

"The University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance has been a perfect host for Florida Dance Festival," says Bill Doolin, director of Florida Dance Association. "It's a great atmosphere for students to experiment and learn and Tampa Bay is the ideal community for us to expose new works from major modern dance companies currently touring the United States."

Florida Dance Association is responsible for bringing new, avant-garde modern dance productions to Tampa Bay audiences during its multi-night performance series during Florida Dance Festival.

A total of five performances will be open to the public starting on June 19 (8 p.m.) with New York-based Sheetal Gandhi (, an intercultural, multi-disciplinary choreographer and performer best known for her work as creator and performer in Cirque du Soleil's "Dralion," and leading role in the Broadway production of "Bombay Dreams." This will be Gandhi's first tour in Florida, where she will present her original work, "Bahu-Beti-Biwi" (Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife). The solo piece is a powerful combination of modern dance, live singing and percussive text focused on North Indian music traditions and a humorous portrayal of an Indian-American teenage girl merging into two other characters (all played by Gandhi) as their different generations actively resist and redefine freedom, compromise, desire, longing, duty and love. Gandhi will also lead a free Bollywood master class, open to the public, on June 18 (7:30 p.m.).

Atlanta and Houston-based Core Performance Company ( presents their original contemporary dance piece on June 22 (8 p.m.). The six-member modern dance company under the artistic direction of Sue Schroeder is known for creating fresh choreography that evolves through experimentation, improvisation and collaborations with artists from various mediums. The company will also lead a free modern dance master class on June 23 (11 a.m.).

Dancer and choreographer, Heather Maloney from Miami will presents "unquiet | body" on June 26 (8 p.m.), which is set on dancers John Beauregard and Joanne Barrett, and is a co-production of Florida Dance Association, Tigertail Productions and Inkub8 ( Maloney's performance is highly expressive and kinesthetic in style and is a collaboration with danceAble, a project for able and non-able dancers focusing on dance as a vital art form for persons with and without disabilities.

For the first time in Tampa Bay, the multi-award-winning San Francisco-based Sean Dorsey Dance ( will present "The Secret History of Love" on June 28 (8 p.m.). Dorsey is recognized as the nation's first public transgender modern dance choreographer and has received numerous awards and national attention for his groundbreaking work through his nonprofit Fresh Meat Productions dedicated solely to the creation and presentation of transgender arts. The four-member dance company first premiered "The Secret History of Love" to a sold-out run in San Francisco. Now on tour, the show is based on a two-year LGBT Elders Oral History Project featuring eye-opening, real-life stories told from the voices of elders who detail secret ways that transgender and gay people found love during the age of 1920s speakeasies, wartime love affairs and steamy underground cabarets. Dorsey's dancers expose the tremendous risk, passionate affection, impossible courage, heart-breaking loss and bold resistance to love that the LGBT elders describe in the interview project turned award-winning modern dance production (view trailer: Dorsey will also lead a free modern dance master class on June 29 (11 a.m.); no dance experience required.

The performance series wraps up on June 29 (7:30 p.m.), with the lively Festival Finale featuring the work of the Florida Dance Festival students and choreography by faculty members. Tickets to performances range from $7-$22 and can be purchased through, or Ticketmaster at: 800-982-2787.

Contact Information