New dance festival showcases cultural dance in Atlanta

Emory Report | June 1, 2021

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(MC)2: Moving Culture | Moving Community, curated by Emory faculty member George Staib, will feature five days of dance classes, conversations and performances for the public to enjoy. The festival will be June 7–11 in East Point.

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Atlanta’s rich community of culturally rooted dance will be on full display at the upcoming dance festival (MC)2: Moving Culture | Moving Community June 7–11 at the Windmill Arts Center in East Point.

Curated by Emory dance faculty member George Staib and Atlanta’s staibdance, (MC)2 unites 12 local dance organizations under one roof for five days of classes, performances and community conversations. Events are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

(MC)2 was created to encourage new connections and harvest inspiration from the diverse worlds that gather to reveal their dynamic stories. The program is supported by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

“I see extraordinary artists in varied genres of dance and wonder how often they cross paths,” says Staib, artistic director of staibdance and an Emory professor of practice in dance. “In addition, knowing that the work I do and who I have become is so deeply rooted in my culture, I felt an opportunity to highlight and celebrate the traditions and people that connect us to our pasts might be some good medicine.”

In addition to a public performance of their work, each presenting organization will host two classes where community members can learn the basics of cultural dance forms such as capoeira, flamenco, hip-hop and Mexican zapateo.

Participating organizations include the Academy of Kuchipudi Dance, Alma Mexicana, Atlanta Chinese Dance Company, Berdolé Flamenco, CiCi Kelley, Flamenco Underground, GIWAYEN MATA, Lyrik London, Manga African Dance, Nritya Natya Kala Bharti, the Welch Martial Arts Experience and VIA UNI.

Culturally focused dance classes will be offered each day of the festival. In addition, members of the public can take part in story circles — community-driven conversations led by Staib — at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, and Friday, June 11. Performances by the festival’s participating organizations will follow at 7 p.m.

All events are free of charge, but registration is required. Visit the festival website for more information and to register.