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Baltimore County Launches 'Take a Leap' Dance Celebration

Baltimore County Dance Celebration logo

Includes a World Premiere, Ballet, Modern, Irish, Swing and Global Dance

Towson, Maryland (January 29, 2014) – Take a Leap, a six-week Baltimore County Dance Celebration, is packed with more than 25 world-class dance performances, free dance in film screenings, meet-the-artist receptions, classes and an art exhibit. The first-time event launches February 1 and runs through March 15 and features ballet, African, contemporary, Irish, global and swing dance at venues throughout Baltimore County.

Company E, an international modern repertory company based in Washington, D.C., debuts a work by Italian choreographer Walter Matteini commissioned for the company's Baltimore County performance at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts.

Baltimore County's Rich and Varied Dance Community

"Baltimore County has gathered our rich and varied dance community together to create dozens of opportunities to 'take a leap.' This is a great new addition to Baltimore County's arts scene," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

The Baltimore County Dance Celebration is presented by the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences and the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Owings Mills.

"This Baltimore County Dance Celebration is a wonderful partnership between the County, the Gordon Center and our dance community. The styles and range of performances, classes, and films are designed for dance lovers and performers, as well as a wonderful introduction to dance for all ages and interests," said Randi Benesch, managing director of arts and culture for the Gordon Center for Performing Arts and Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore.

Dance Celebration

Highlights of the celebration include Company E, a dynamic international dance company based in Washington, D.C. Their February 22 performance features choreography by artists from six countries and the debut of PULVER by the Italian choreographer Walter Matteini, a work commissioned for the company's Gordon Center engagement at the Baltimore County Dance Celebration. The contemporary company adds Baltimore County to its performance locales after recent performances and collaborations in Kazakhstan, Algeria, Italy and New York. The company also performs a "The Jungle Book" family matinee on February 23, featuring dancers from Towson University Community Dance. Company E teaching artists also will serve as artists in residence at 11 Baltimore County Public Schools February 18 through 20.

The Baltimore Ballet performs "A Gershwin Rhapsody" and "The Firebird." Dance Baltimore showcases dances from around the world and the Baltimore Dance Company features contemporary dance on the UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities stage. Goucher College hosts an opportunity to meet Nilas Martins, former principal at the New York City Ballet.

The celebration also includes wheel chair swing dance demonstrations, an Angelina Ballerina workshop for tiny dancers, Irish dance, a free family dance night featuring African American choreographers, a showcase of work by student choreographers, and master classes for advanced dancers.

"Many classes and performances are free or at nominal cost, making it affordable to get out and try something new," added Kamenetz.

A full Baltimore County Dance Celebration calendar with event and ticket information can be found on The Gordon Center for Performing Arts website.

Baltimore County Dance Celebration Highlights

World Class Performances

  • The Baltimore Dance Project brings innovative performances to UMBC that include dancers with wearable sensors that affect sound, and a piece incorporating text by Gertrude Stein and music by Venetian Snares, February 6 through 8.
  • The Baltimore Ballet comes to the Gordon Center stage in Owings Mills on February 15 with "A Gershwin Rhapsody" and "Firebird."
  • Company E brings contemporary selections and a world premiere to the Gordon Center February 22. A February 23 "Jungle Book" matinee includes performers from Towson University Community Dance.
  • Traditional dances from Africa, Mexico, the Middle East and fiery flamenco are the highlight of Dance Baltimore's Global Expressions. Dancers from local companies Sankofa Dance Theatre, Barakaat Middle Eastern Dance Company, Bailes De Mi Tierra, and Arte Flamenco come to the Gordon Center March 2.

Free or Almost Free

  • Towson Arts Collective presents MOVE! An Art Exhibit Celebrating the Human Figure in Motion. The opening reception February 1 features tango, jazz, hip hop and wheel chair swing dancing demonstrations.
  • Enjoy free Dance in Film screenings of Billy Elliot and Mad Hot Ballroom at the Gordon Center.
  • Meet the Artists: Niles Martin, former principal of the New York City Ballet, and contemporary dancers from Median Movement come to Goucher College.
  • A free Family Dance Night Celebrating African American choreographers comes to Campfield Early Learning Center February 25.