In 1994 the Bates Dance Festival initiated the International Visiting Artists Program (IVA) to provide emerging choreographers from around the world with an opportunity to participate in our annual gathering of the American dance community. Since then we have hosted artists from Democratic Republic of Congo, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Mexico, Cuba, Finland, France, Portugal, Spain, Japan, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The Festival, in collaboration with its’ funding partners (New England Foundation for the Arts, Asian Cultural Council, Saison Foundation, The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium and others) invites visiting artists to Maine each summer for three-week creative residencies. Participating artists devote part of each day to creative research and development. In addition, they have an opportunity to study with outstanding instructors in a wide variety of dance disciplines. Most IVA artists present a workshop for Festival participants and perform in the Festival’s annual Different Voices concert. Artists share their approach to creating work and the cultural environment in which they work as part of a Global Exchange Panel.
The Bates Dance Festival is committed to creating an artistically and culturally diverse community that fosters a creative exchange of ideas. The Festival has become known as a haven for contemporary artists — a place where they can develop new work and share ideas in a supportive, nurturing environment. IVA builds on our commitment to diversity by offering international visiting artists an opportunity to intimately engage with a community of peers and familiarize themselves with the American dance scene. Their presence offers American dance students, educators, artists, and Maine audiences a chance to experience other cultures and dance traditions up close and personal.