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Critic's picks - dance

By Karen Campbell
Globe Correspondent / May 23, 2010

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DANCE FOR WORLD COMMUNITY FESTIVAL Last year’s Harvard Square festival was so successful that José Mateo Ballet Theatre is expanding the free indoor-outdoor celebration to a full weekend, aiming to showcase dance as a positive force to bring people together and foster social change. More than 40 New England dance troupes are participating in performances, workshops, and discussions. June 12-13. Old Cambridge Baptist Church and environs, Cambridge. Free. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org

JACOB’S PILLOW DANCE FESTIVAL The grand dame of US dance festivals always offers a provocative mix of traditional, experimental, and ethnic dance from around the world. Highlights this season include the US debut of the Göteborg Ballet of Sweden (Aug. 18-22), a world premiere co-commissioned by the festival from young powerhouse Camille A. Brown (June 30-July 4), and the US premiere of the athletic and literary “Monger’’ by Israeli Barak Marshall, former resident choreographer of Batsheva Dance Company (July 7-11). Festival runs June 19-Aug. 29. $32.50-$64.50. Jacob’s Pillow, Becket. 413-243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org

NDAJE FESTIVAL OF AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE The culmination of this fourth annual celebration of African dancing and drumming is a June 26 concert by Les Enfants du Soleil African Dance Theater, created and directed by Pape N’Diaye (formerly of National Ballet of Senegal) and featuring master African dance and music artists from Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and the United States. Festival runs June 25-27. $20-$25. Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge. 347-820-4393, www.ndajearts.org

THE YARD This lively hotbed of contemporary dance on Martha’s Vineyard marks the fifth anniversary of its YardArts! Festival of dance, music, and theater. Dance highlights include work with video projections by Bridgman Packer Dance (July 16-18) and London’s Balletboyz in “The Talent,’’ a mixed bill featuring new work by rising star Freddie Opoku-Addaie and the troupe’s trademark films and behind-the-scenes footage (July 30-Aug.u 1). Festival runs July 2-Sept. 6. $15-$50. The Yard, Chilmark Center, Chilmark. 508-645-9662, www.dancetheyard.org

BARD SUMMERSCAPE 2010 Postmodern firebrand Trisha Brown opens this renowned festival of dance, music, and theater with a mixed bill July 8-11, featuring the recent “L’Amour au theater,’’ two of her legendary Robert Rauschenberg collaborations (“Foray Forêt’’ and “You can see us’’), and a duet from the 1996 “Twelve Ton Rose,’’ set to music by Anton Webern. Festival runs July 8-Aug. 22. $25-$55. Bard College’s Sosnoff Theatre, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. 845-758-7900, www.fishercenter.bard.edu

BATES DANCE FESTIVAL As it nears the three-decade mark, this Maine festival continues to bring together an impressive variety of contemporary dance and music artists. Highlights this summer include “Another Parade,’’ by the zany and ingenious Monica Bill Barnes & Company (July 10), and Doug Varone and Dancers, with a mixed bill featuring the new “Lux,’’ “Castles,’’ and excerpts from his work in progress “Chapters From a Broken Novel’’ (July 15 and 17). Festival runs July 10-Aug. 7. $12-$24. Bates College’s Schaeffer Theatre, Lewiston, Maine. 207-786-6381, www.batesdancefestival.org

GREAT FRIENDS DANCE FESTIVAL In Rhode Island, Newport’s Island Moving Company brings together companies and choreographers from around the country with whom it has developed a creative relationship, including Amaranth Contemporary Dance, Patrick Notaro Dance Project, and Janusphere Dance Company. Scott Putman will create a special work for all participating dancers for the final weekend’s concerts. July 15-25. $18-$23. Great Friends Meeting House, Newport, R.I. 401 847-4470, www.arttixri.com

SUMMER STAGES DANCE AT CONCORD ACADEMY The festival’s intriguing shows at Concord Academy include the July 17 debut of a new troupe led by hometown favorite Zack Winokur, who began his dance training at the school and has gone on to become a promising young contemporary dancer. Festival runs July 15-31. $10-$25. Concord Academy, Concord. 978-402-2339, www.summerstagesdance.org

BEANTOWN TAPFEST 2010 Boston’s third annual festival for tap lovers offers four days of classes, residencies, a tap contest, and a Tap Jam performance at Ryles Jazz Club (Aug. 19). The highlight promises to a be a dynamite “On Tap’’ faculty concert Aug. 20, featuring organizer Julia Boyton and a host of favorites, including Josh Hilberman, Michelle Dorrance, Aaron Tolson, and Barbara Duffy. Festival runs Aug. 16-22. $28. Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.beantowntapfest.com

MASSACHUSETTS DANCE FESTIVAL After last fall’s promising inaugural effort, this first statewide collaborative festival holds hope for a stronger connection among independent Massachusetts companies and choreographers. Concerts are spread over two weekends in two locations, the first night of each featuring established professional companies, the second offering showcases for student groups and emerging artists. Aug. 21-22 and 28-29. $20. Boston Ballet Studios and University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Dance Department and Fine Arts Theatre. Boston. 508-429-7577, www.massdancefestival.org

KAREN CAMPBELL