Inaugural Albuquerque Contemporary Dance Festival will run June 30-July 4

Dancer Elyse Fahey will be one of the faculty and performers at the inaugural Albuquerque Contemporary Dance Festival, which runs Thursday, June 30, through July 4 in Albuquerque. (Courtesy of Madrone Matysiak)

The boundaries in contemporary dance are vast.

It’s also a form of dance that hasn’t received too many festivals – until now.

Enter Sri Louise, Madrone Matysiak and Elyse Fahey.

The three dancers are spearheading the inaugural Albuquerque Contemporary Dance Festival, which kicks off on Thursday, June 30, and runs through July 4 at locations around Albuquerque.

“I identify as a contemporary dancer and we have a lot of dance in Albuquerque,” Louise says. “We don’t have too many festivals or events committed to contemporary dance. That’s what we tried to create with this festival.”

Fahey says the effort was to make the festival one that everyone would feel comfortable attending.

“It’s a very DIY effort,” Fahey says. “We have great connections at Six-O-Six Gallery and Fusion Forum. I’m also collaborating through my Studio Sway.”

Joining the trio for the festival is Amanda Hamp, Breana Connor, Carlos Menchaca, Christiana Barnett-Murphy, Diana MacNeil, Dominika Laster, Gina Shorten, Julianna Massa, Navy Encinias, Sarah Beth Percival, Sam Italiano, Vladimir Conde Reche and Wife of Bath.

The trio wanted to present not only dance performances, but classes for dancers of all backgrounds.

They also wanted to make it accessible to all.

“The events are donation based,” Louise says. “And the drop-in price for some of our classes are as low as $5. We just decided to make them all donation based and that’s one way to make it accessible.”

Fahey says the festival will have a film component to it.

“We’re showing 13 different dance films,” Fahey says. “During the pandemic, dancers were creating these films and never had a chance for people to see them. We will screen them to showcase what each dancer did with their time.”

On July 4, there will be a public event at Hyder Park.

“This is the last day of the festival and we wanted to send off the event with a thank you to the community for supporting the arts,” Louise says. “Hopefully moving forward we can build more events and classes into the festival.”

To keep up to date with the festival, follow the event @abqcontemporarydancefest.

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