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Festival Drums Up International Appeal

June 30, 2009 3:00 AM
New Wave staff newwave@tulane.edu

Dance enthusiasts from around the country and abroad are flocking to the Tulane uptown campus for the annual New Orleans Dance Festival founded and directed by Beverly Trask, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

Beverly Trask, associate professor, founded the New Orleans Dance Festival to celebrate Afro and Caribbean dance.

In this video by New Wave team members Alicia D. Jasmin and Nick Marinello, watch as Trask discusses her motivation for starting the festival 13 years ago in response to a number of New Orleans "outsiders" who showed interest in the roots of dance in the city.

"People love New Orleans, and this gives them the chance to dance and also experience the city's culture," says Trask. "Participants include students, scholars of dance, ethnomusicologists as well as members of the community who have an interest in Afro and Caribbean dance."

Dance instructors from around the world are leading the participants in learning Congolese, Haitian, Cuban and Brazillian dances, accompanied by drumming.

The event kicked off with a performance by the instructors. The festival began on Monday (June 29) at McWilliams Hall on the uptown campus and continues through July 10, when participants will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m.