The F.A.B. Winter Dance Showcase has postponed their performance until March 2.
Carol Dilley knew she was doing something right when a perfect stranger stopped her at a store in Lewiston and said, “I saw you dance on stage.”
The experience affirmed that Dilley’s efforts to build a dance community in Lewiston were paying off.
“This person came to what you did and cared. You know you exist,” said Dilley, director of dance at Bates College.
On Friday, Dilley and a group of her dance colleagues will present the eighth annual “F.A.B. Winter Dance Showcase” featuring artists from Lewiston-Auburn, elsewhere in Maine and beyond.
Lewiston has long been associated with dance, thanks to the prestigious Bates Dance Festival. “F.A.B.” — which is named for the community partners presenting the showcase, the Franco-American Heritage Center and Bates College — is different because it brings modern dance out of the cloisters of academia and puts it in the heart of the city.
Audiences have been good and growing, Dilley said.
“It’s accessible modern dance, which means most of the material will have nice music and nice movement that goes with the nice music,” she said. “It won’t be dark and scary and alienating. There is some hip-hop, a tap piece, there is some jazz. It’s a little bit of a mix of different concert styles, and all of it is thought to be very accessible to a broad audience.”
As significant as the dance styles are the range of performers. Choreographers from across Maine and New England will present work, including Bates students and faculty, Colby College students, and choreographers from New Hampshire and Connecticut College.
The rosters of performers include mostly professionals supplemented by students.
Representing Bates are Rachel Boggia, assistant professor of dance, and three dance majors: juniors Bridgette Chandhoke of Fairfax, Va.; Leroy Barnes of Woodbridge, Va.; and sophomore Isaiah Rice of Dallas. Representing Colby College is dance major Delaney McDonough.
Other Maine artists on the program come from Androscoggin Dance, a professional training program at the Dance Center in Auburn; the Maine Dance Project; Shove Gently Dance; Indiedanceworks; Tim Rice and Debi Irons; and Range of Motion Arts.
Kira Gavin, a member of the Bates class of 2012, has choreographed a large project for Androscoggin Dance based on the elements, and the “F.A.B.” program includes “Water” from that project. Gavin has also created a tap piece with dancers from the school.
New Hampshire choreographer-dancers Patricia Harms and Christine Simes will participate, along with Shawn Hove of Connecticut College. Hove is a regular on the Bates Dance Festival videography and documentation team.
As a way to get dance more exposure, Dilley proposed “F.A.B.” when the Franco-American Heritage Center was being prepared for performance.
“We went in and said, ‘If you can get risers, I can get dance.’ As soon as they tilted the audience up, I started dance,” she said.
The audience seating area in the former church had been flat, but architects raked the seating area to improve sight lines.
“It’s great for the audience, and it’s a beautiful space to dance in,” Dilley said. “When you are on stage, you look out into the nave of the church with its stained glass and pillars and upward motion. The people who dance from year to year talk about it in that way — ‘I love standing on that stage.’ “
They also appreciate the community the program has helped foster. Oftentimes, dancers create work in isolation and in small groups of other dancers.
“F.A.B.” presents an opportunity for that community to come together and share work with an appreciative public.
Staff Writer Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or: