Dance finds a home at Three Rivers Arts Festival

After a hiatus dance returned last year to the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival. As people perused art installations and vendors' booths, performers interacted with them in Gateway Center plaza, while other dance companies took to the main stage in Point State Park.

"I think it was really well received," says festival director Veronica Corpuz of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "I wanted to introduce dance again and see if we could grow it to bring more dance and more companies."

This time festivalgoers can expect a more up-close-and-personal performance experience with all dance being held in the Peirce Studio in the Trust Arts Education Center on Liberty Avenue.

"It's an intimate venue," Ms. Corpuz says. "Folks can focus in on the dance as opposed to being outdoors where there's a lot going on."

This year's lineup features a cross-section of styles from across the world. The goal for arts festivals to come is to continue growing and diversifying the dance programming and how it's presented.

"Ideally in the future we'll be able to offer both indoor and outdoor experiences," Ms. Corpuz says. "That's our hope and aspiration."

Here are the dance groups to be showcased on weekends during the Three Rivers Arts Festival:

* boomerang, 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday: Described as the "punk Mozarts of dance," the New York-based troupe informs its "fearlessly physical" movement vocabulary with dance and athletics, including snowboarding, rollerblading, soccer, ultimate Frisbee and hockey. This athleticism is layered with more interpersonal explorations of the human experience. (

* Shana Simmons Dance and The Eclectic Laboratory Chamber Orchestra, 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday: The pair of groups from Pittsburgh will share their fourth collaboration in two years with "We Sing the Body Eclectic." Through orchestral and electronic instruments, word and dance, artists will lead audiences in a re-examination of the perception of time. ( and

* Alba Flamenca, 2 and 5 p.m. June 14: This celebration of flamenco dance is a feast for the eyes and the ears with dance, song and guitar elements. The group from the United Kingdom is devoted to preserving the tradition of flamenco dance and using the body and music to tell stories. (

* Reed Dance, 2 and 5 p.m. June 15: Under the direction of Pittsburgh-based choreographer Greer Reed, local and national dancers, musicians and spoken word artists, along with students, will spotlight the music and artistry of Stevie Wonder in "Suite Stevie."

All performances are free.

Sara Bauknecht: or on Twitter @SaraB_PG.

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