Dances have such cool, fun-to-say names. Merengue. Cumbia. Capoeira, though that’s also a form of martial arts. It’s almost as if the names reflect the style: rhythmic, sultry or fast and punchy.
All those styles of dance and more will be on tap at the University of Maine’s sixth annual International Dance Festival. A traditional showcase of music, dance and costumes of students representing dozens of countries around the world, the show is set for Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Collins Center for the Arts.
Two free performances are scheduled, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Doors open one hour before showtime.
“We have our biggest lineup ever with everything from a traditional Polish dance to a South African gum boot dance, performed by our special guests from College of the Atlantic,” said Sarah Joughin, international student scholar adviser in the Office of International Programs.
Students will perform traditional dances from India, Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, Latin America, Poland, the Middle East and the United States. The festival has been a popular staple of the student events each year at UMaine, with more than 2,000 people from both the student body and the general public attracted during last year’s show. The production involves about 100 dancers, technical staff and coordinators.
Joughin said that students have been practicing capoeira, Cumbia, merengue, belly dance, debka dancing, hoop dancing, swing and many others.
The dance festival is free and organized by the Office of International Programs and the International Student Association, with additional financial support from UM’s Office of Student Affairs, Student Government, Residents on Campus, the Office of Equal Opportunity and the Cultural Affairs-Distinguished Lecture Series.
Information about the dance festival is available at the Office of International Programs at 581-2905 or at www.umaine.edu/international/international-dance-festival-2010/.