Two days, three performances, 16 dance troupes, 42 different works.
That’s the bottom line on the College of Southern Nevada’s annual Dance in the Desert Festival, which celebrates its 10th anniversary Friday and Saturday at CSN’s Nicholas J. Horn Theatre.
Numbers tell only a fraction of the festival story. As a clue to the variety of dance on display, however, they’ll do fine.
With about 80 dancers coming from various locales (San Francisco to Los Angeles, Phoenix to Reno), “there’s a cultural mix and an aesthetic mix” taking place, explains festival director Kelly Roth, who heads CSN’s dance program.
After all, “the influence of culture that exists in San Francisco is different from L.A., which is different from Phoenix, which is different from Las Vegas,” Roth notes.
In addition to the geographical and cultural diversity, however, the festival also features an assortment of approaches and styles.
Las Vegas’ Coppola Tap Ensemble, for example, may be working in “an older form,” but it’s “being presented in a nontraditional way,” Roth observes.
And a Southern California-based troupe, influenced by modern dance legend Martha Graham, “is doing a modern piece — on pointe shoes, so it started out as ballet.”
Another festival troupe, the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre, features performers who work in local showrooms but are anxious to stretch artistically.
That, in part, was the inspiration for the festival 10 years ago, when co-founder Kyla Quintero, a Strip dancer and choreographer, approached Roth with the idea for a festival.
After three years of producing it with Roth, however, Quintero was seriously injured in a traffic accident caused by a drunken driver, limiting her ability to devote herself to dance. Kelly Roth’s wife, Leslie (a fellow CSN faculty member), stepped in as the festival’s associate director.
Quintero’s scheduled to receive an award Saturday night; the presentation will include a video retrospective featuring highlights of her choreography and the company she founded, Solstice Dance Theater.
Contact reporter Carol Cling at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0272.Preview
What: Dance in the Desert Festival
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Nicholas J. Horn Theatre, College of Southern Nevada, 3200 E. Cheyenne Ave., North Las Vegas
Tickets: $8-$10, with discounts for groups and multiple-performance packages; 651-5483