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DUMBO Dance Festival Brings New Contemporary Dance to Brooklyn

Right next door to, White Wave Dance is revolutionizing the NYC dance scene.

Hidden away in DUMBO, on the banks of the East River just across the street from, White Wave Dance has been making history in the world of contemporary dance. Last weekend was the 14th Annual DUMBO Dance Festival, a four-day marathon showcase of cutting-edge contemporary dance featuring both emerging and eminent dance-makers. Featuring over 75 companies and over 250 dancers, this festival brings a huge array of what dance today means, right in our home of Brooklyn.

It's a great little space, even if the pillars in the theater can sometimes make it difficult to see, and the festival played to "sold out" (every performance is a suggested donation) crowds all weekend, with lines around the block waiting to see what Brooklyn dancers had to offer. We only caught one show out of the dozen, but those seven companies were still a sight to be seen. And while the shows may have been low on budget, they were big on heart.

The Saturday 9pm concert began with an excerpt from "Two Kinds of Light" by Megan Lee Gargano and Rebecca J. Nicklos of The Movement Project, a piece that explored light as an impetus for movement and contained both odd little group sections with headlamps and beautiful solos. "Solamente una Vez" by Denise Garcia was a joyous, Latin-inspired ballet number, while "KATSU KATSU KATSU" by Vangeline Theater was an abstract piece exploring rough ticking movements and a beautiful engagement with the music.

"Pulse/Impulse" by Erica Lessner was an intricate, interlocking three-woman piece, while Cari Cunningham and belle contemporary dance company created in "Mammary Glam" a piece about breasts, their meaning, value and purpose, using recorded text and unique costumes as well as the movement to recall the theme. "Refract" by Claire Jacob-Zysman and dancers was my favorite piece, a beautiful and gripping two-woman mirrored dance, and an excerpt from "Criminal Commoners" by Mazzini Dance Collective was a sexy, theatrical number to close out the night.

We certainly wish that we had seen more of DUMBO Dance Festival, but this evening was certainly a great time. Don't forget about White Wave Dance in the midst of the Dumbo Arts Festival, because these dancers hold their own. For more information about White Wave Dance and their next festival, check out their website.

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