DanceFest! this Saturday at SUNY-New Paltz

New Paltz School of Ballet (photo by Dion Ogust)

The Rosendale-based Vanaver Caravan will bring together ten different Hudson Valley dance schools for the 22nd annual collaborative extravaganza called DanceFest! at SUNY-New Paltz’s McKenna Theatre on Saturday, March 1, with two performances at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Expect to find a broad range of styles of dance on view, from ballet to modern, from the D’amby Project’s Irish step dancing to the Rhinebeck Dance Centre’s exploration of percussive tap. Even within a single troupe’s repertoire you’ll discover surprising diversity; for example, students from the New York Academy of Ballet will dance the classical choreography of Marius Petipa in the “Bluebird Variation” from Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty as well as a contemporary jazz piece set to music by Lady Gaga.

Perhaps the most intriguing offering at this year’s DanceFest! is a short ballet described as “an artistic impression of the life of spiders,” with music by the Kronos Quartet, as performed by Scarlett Fiero’s Saugerties Ballet Center. Also on the program are the Barefoot Dance Center, Ballet Arts Studio, Figures in Flight, Gina Marie’z, the New Paltz School of Ballet and the Vanaver Caravan Dance Institute. The hosts will be premiering some excerpts from Turn, Turn, Turn: a new full-length program of American dance forms from clogging to swing, set to the songs of the late Pete Seeger.

Proceeds from DanceFest! will benefit the Vanaver Caravan’s Arts Education programs in Ulster County and surrounding areas. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children age 12 and under, and can be purchased at the door or in advance from any of the participating dance schools. For more information, call (845) 256-9300, or visit

DanceFest! 2014, Saturday, March 1, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m., $15/$10, McKenna Theatre, SUNY-New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz; (845) 256-9300,,



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