The Bates Dance Festival is moving forward with plans for a 2021 summer season, with a smaller in-person footprint than in the past to comply with health and safety protocols, said festival director Shoni Currier.

The professional training program, for ages 18 and older, is scheduled from July 10 to Aug. 1, with 40 dance students on the Bates campus. In addition, the program will hold a five-day online intensive for dancers July 19-23. The Young Dancers Workshop will be a virtual one-week program from July 12-17.

In a press release, Currier said she expects to present some live performances July 10-31. “They’ll all be outdoors,” she said. “And observing social distancing. But there will be an opportunity to share dance with our community this summer.”

Performances will be announced in May.

The festival received a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support artists who will teach and present at the festival, which was postponed last year for the time since it began in 1982. “As the largest presenter of dance in Maine, (the festival) is reliant on support from government agencies and other foundations to present innovative local, national and international artists and faculty at our summer festival,” Currier said in the press release.

Bates’ announcement is a harbinger of others to follow, as Maine arts groups accustomed to busy summer seasons of the theater, dance, and music weigh their options against the ever-shifting public health landscape. Most organizations with summer performance seasons face early spring deadlines for their decisions.

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