Regional Dance America Holds its Northeast Festival in Erie

Categories:  Events    Dance
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at 11:30 AM
Regional Dance America Holds its Northeast Festival in Erie by Tracy Geibel
Contributed Photo

Thursday, June 2

From June 2-4, the Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre (ECBT) will host the 2016 Regional Dance America (RDA) Festival for the Northeast region.

This year the festival will gather 11 dance companies from the Northeast – Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Delaware Ballet, Southern New Hampshire Youth Ballet and others – for three consecutive days. During this time, dancers participate in a variety of classes and high-energy performances at Mercyhurst University’s Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center.

Since the first festival was held in 1959, RDA/NE strives to encourage young dancers and provide them with valuable experience. Through this annual event, RDA/NE hopes to offer exposure to both dancers and choreographers. It also serves as a networking opportunity; they can connect with others who share similar passions and exchange ideas.

The ECBT trains pre-professional dancers with the hope of instilling a love of dance that will last a lifetime.

The ECBT, which became a member of the RDA/NE in 2006, was founded in 2003 by its artistic director, Sarah Purvis. The nonprofit trains pre-professional dancers with the hope of instilling a love of dance that will last a lifetime. 

Lifelong dancer and pharmacist Mary Fabrizio McCarthy, profiled in this issue by Ed Bernik, will be honored at the festival.

For twelve seasons the ECBT has performed the ballet How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In 2015, the dancers performed a full length version of The Nutcracker for the first time; the show was sold out. The ECBT also presents an annual Spring Gala Concert, a Director’s Choice performance, and other smaller shows.

Every five years, RDA holds a national festival, which brings all member companies together for five days of dance classes and performances. Spring 2017 will be the fourth and is set for Phoenix, Arizona.

Tickets for the 2016 RDA festival can be purchased online or over the phone. There are performances Thursday through Saturday, with ticket prices ranging from $20 to $30. – Tracy Geibel

See website for full three-day schedule // 501 E. 38th St. // 824.3000 // rdanortheast.org

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