SA Dance Festival is back this August

SA Dance Festival.
SA Dance Festival.

The events of 2020 cancelled the famed SA Dance Festival, but we are excited to announce that SADF is back in 2021, for two weekends this August! South Australian dancers have been waiting since June 2019 to get back together, and now they only have a few weeks to wait.

SA Dance Festival provides an opportunity for the South Australian dance community to work with the nation’s best choreographers with 10 hours of elite training. Eight choreographers have been announced, including Lauren Elton, Neale Whittaker, Gina Michael, Cameron Mitchell, Eden Petrovski, Robbie Kmetoni, James Fenwick and Nathan Pinnell.

In the past, SADF has been held over one weekend at Westminster College, but this year has seen a venue shift and schedule shift. The Festival will be held at Thebarton Community Centre on Sunday 1 August and Sunday 8 August, with four choreographers coming each day. 

Festival Director Pep Rigano explains that due to the current climate, they have changed the event layout, but the energy won’t be any less. “We’ve decided to bring the Festival back, but we thought we would present it in a smaller mode in case we get a second wave of COVID — just scale it down so that the risk is a lot less, after the hit of having to cancel last year’s event. We took time to reflect and thought, ‘Okay, you know what? We’re going to do a smaller scale festival, try and still offer the dancers of South Australia the incredible opportunity to work with all these leading teachers, and then in 2022 come back strong, fingers crossed, with our usual run of the festival.”

Looking at the positives, Rigano outlines the benefits of a smaller event. “Obviously, it means that there’s less numbers that we’re allowing into this year’s event. So it’ll be much more intimate than how it has been previously, and that’s cool because I think that provides such benefit to the dancers coming.”

The new two-weekend schedule also provides greater flexibility. “Having two Sunday events gives the students the chance to come to one day or the other, depending on which one they prefer, or they can do both if they want to,” explains Rigano.

After being to every SA Dance Festival in the past myself, I can foresee that dancers who come on August 1 will be madly buying tickets for August 8 once they’ve experienced the fun. But I wonder if there’ll be any tickets left by then? After the let down of last year and the lost momentum for the Festival, and live events in general, it has been a tough gig for SA Dance Festival’s directors to get a 2021 event off the ground, and they should be applauded for their dedication to our community. Even in the hard slog, they haven’t lost their passion and commitment.

“We’re so passionate about the project, and we’re really determined to bring it back,” stresses Rigano. “I’ve absolutely loved seeing how everybody just comes together, and there’s one reason we’re there, and it’s for dance. Dance is what makes us all happy, including myself. And so, you stand there and watch all of these dancers just working so hard in front of these teachers, and that in itself is so inspiring!”

SA dancers, it’s time to get reinspired. Don’t miss this opportunity.

“I’m always telling the kids that we’re bringing everyone to their doorstep!” says Rigano. “It’s a great opportunity to work with a really solid line-up of teachers. So why not get in it? Let’s go!”

Get all the information and your tickets at www.sadancefestival.com.au.

By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.

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