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Arts / Culture

Variety of Performances Featured at Florida Dance Festival

For the fourth year in a row, the Florida Dance Festival has returned to the University of South Florida, bringing a wide variety of live performances and classes with it.

The Festival kicks off Wednesday, June 19th, with "Bahu-Beti-Biwi," or "Daughter-In-Law, Daughter, Wife." It’s a solo performance piece featuring choreographer and performer Sheetal Gandhi.

Credit SheetalGandhi.com
Sheetal Gandhi

Gandhi, who starred in starred in the Broadway production of “Bombay Dreams” and the debut tour of Cirque du Soleil’s “Dralion," combines dance with live singing and poetry as she plays nine different characters, merging contemporary America with Indian traditions.

"It's about desire, longing, freedom versus compromise, and duty versus love, which are a lot of the issues I find the women in my life in India, including myself, deal with," says Gandhi, who will teach a Bollywood master class free to the public tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Other performances open to the public over the next two weeks include the CORE Performance Company, Miami's Heather Maloney and danceAble, San Francisco's Sean Dorsey Dance, and the Festival Finale on Saturday, July 29th (see list of performances below).

For Gandhi, such varied work is the reason people should attend events like the Florida Dance Festival.

"You get people coming into a community from all over, and so, the interaction, the possibility of that kind of rich interaction sometimes only exists in a festival," she said.

And Bill Doolin, the director of the Florida Dance Association, says you don't even need to be a dance fan to enjoy the performances.

"We think that the work is very accessible to the general audience and we feel like everybody should come and see what we're presenting,” according to Doolin. “And it has a very good educational aspect as well as artistic."

Sheetal Ghandi’s one-woman show, "Bahu-Beti-Biwi," is on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in USF's Theatre 2 on the Tampa campus.



Sheetal Gandhi “Bahu-Beti-Biwi” (Daughter-in-law, Daughter, Wife)
8:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 19
Tickets: $12 (Florida Dance members) $15 (students/seniors) $20 (general)
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 and her journey through different generations as she actively resists and redefines freedom, compromise, desire, longing, duty and love.

Core Performance Company
8:00 p.m. Saturday, June 22
Tickets: $12 (Florida Dance members) $15 (students/seniors) $20 (general)
Modern choreography evolves through experimentation, improvisation and artists from various mediums.

Heather Maloney “unquiet | body”
(a danceAble production presented by Tigertail Productions and Florida Dance Association)
8:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 26
Tickets: $12 (Florida Dance members) $15 (students/seniors) $20 (general)
A highly expressive and kinesthetic performance proving that dance is a vital art form for persons with and without disabilities.

Sean Dorsey Dance “The Secret History of Love”
8:00 p.m. Friday, June 28
Tickets: $13 (Florida Dance members) $15 (students/seniors) $22 (general)
Award-winning performance based on a LGBT Elders Oral History Project featuring eye-opening, real-life stories told from the voices of elders who detail secret ways transgender and homosexual people found love in the 1920s.

Festival Finale
7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29
Tickets: $7 (all tickets)
High-energy student showcase choreographed by Festival Faculty.

All performances are in USF School of Theatre and Dance's Theatre 2, 3829 USF W. Holly Drive in Tampa. Tickets can be bought at the door, at the Florida Dance Association website, or at Ticketmaster (800-982-2787 or at their website).

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