Photo by Ian Hurdle/Richmond Dance Festival
Little known fact: In Richmond, there are 15 professional dance troupes. Depending how you count it, this means the city has more dance organizations than theater companies.
Thus, some 80 artists and five groups specializing in modern dance are participating in Dogtown Dance Theatre's first Richmond Dance Festival. Planned as an annual event, the festival got underway in April with K-Dance's combination of theater and movement, "Shorts," and continues every weekend in May. Besides dance performances, there are film screenings and master class sessions for the community.
Rebecca Ferrell is co-directing a collaboration between two troupes, Ground Zero Dance and FDANCE on May 2 and 3, and she will curate a night of RVA Dance Films on May 10, with 10 to 12 Richmond-connected films. One of them, Pas by Charli Brissey and Courtney Harris, has been selected for 11 film festivals.
"Not many people know how much modern dance is going on here," Ferrell says. "It doesn't get much press or criticism, and unlike stage shows, they don't run for a month."
Musician and mover/shaker Robbie Kinter will present Unheard-of Practices 4 on May 16 and 17 featuring work in collaboration with Frances Wessells, the grand dame of Richmond dance, Pam England of Ground Zero and Beau Dobson, who will lead students of the Henrico High School Center for the Arts. All this is set to live music by Ruckus Watusi and the band Rattlemouth. Movement House, a project-based troupe, will make its public debut May 23 and 24, under the direction of Virginia Commonwealth University seniors Rachel Rinehardt and Johnnie Mercer Jr.
"We thought if we all put our resources together, then we could make a statement and get this work out to a wider audience," Ferrell says. Most events start at 8 p.m. $20 per show, $10 for the film night. 230-8780 or dogtowndancetheatre.com .