STG Presents the 16th Annual DANCE This! Today

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STG's signature dance program, DANCE This, celebrating 16 years this year, is the perfect opportunity to see dance from around the world, have your heart be touched, and witness the building of a better future through the youth and adult performers representing the many communities present right here in Seattle! Much like the FIFA World Cup's goal "to touch, unite, and inspire the world..." and "... improve the lives of young people and their surrounding communities..." the art of dance has this same effect. DANCE This is a collaboration that could be considered Seattle's World Cup of dance, as a platform for sharing the beauty of many cultures through dance. This year's roster features dance from Africa, India, Mexico, Philippines, Republic of Georgia, and the USA.

Three master artists with Gansango Music and Dance are collaborating on a new piece, "African Journey," based on their dance and music traditions from Benin, Togo and Zimbabwe. Etienne Cakpo, is an award-winning professional dancer, choreographer and musician, and Director of Gansango Music and Dance, teaches and performs traditional African dance from Benin as well as contemporary African dance styles, has been building his dance repertoire for over 20 years. He'll be joined by two outstanding dancers representing Togo and Zimbabwe. Kokou Al'nuzan Patrick Gbakénou, originally from Togo, has honed his professional dance and performance skills for over 15 years. Kokou integrates elements of Capoeira, hip hop and pan-African contemporary dance styles into his repertoire, in addition to his mastery of the traditional dances of Togo. Jimu Makurumbandi, from Zimbabwe, is a multi-talented musician, dancer, choreographer, fitness trainer, actor and storyteller. In addition to mastering the mbira and kora instruments, Jimu performs and teaches contemporary and traditional African dance forms.

The UW DangeRAAAS Dawgs, from the University of Washington aims to promote the traditional dance forms of Garba and Dandiya Raas, which originated in Gujarat, India. The two dances that will perform are culturally significant because of their regional and religious aspects. Bailadores de Bronce founded in 1972, is united in a common goal to demonstrate pride in their Mexican heritage through music and dance. The richness of the culture can be seen through intricate footwork and the beautiful costumes from the various regions of Mexico. The group portrays the positive aspects of the Mexican culture in the broader community, breaking down cultural barriers and building bridges within the community.

KALAHI Philippine Dance Company is a Filipino American folk dance group for children and adults. This group is part of the Filipino Community of Seattle Family Academy program which promotes family participation and involvement in education, culture and arts.

International Ballet Theatre (IBT), based in Kirkland, was founded in 2001 by Artistic Director, Vera Altunina, former Ballet Master and choreographer from the State Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. IBT is committed to the preservation of classical ballet repertoire and presents productions that reflect traditional as well as original choreography. Featuring elegant costumes, vivid sets, and a touch of magic, all performances are richly entertaining for all audiences.

Performing contemporary dance choreographed by Donald Byrd, Spectrum Dance Theater Academy is the pre-professional division of Spectrum Dance Theater, Seattle's premier contemporary dance organization. The highly dedicated students in this intensive training program range in ages 14 through 22 and study approximately 20 hours a week. An audience favorite returning back to DANCE This, Northwest Tap Connection is an urban dance studio located in South Seattle that is dedicated to the holistic education and artistic development of dancers in the forms of rhythm tap, modern, ballet, jazz, African and hip hop. Performing this year are students from "The Groovement," a group of young dancers dedicated to the exploration and preservation of Hip Hop under the guidance of Artistic Director, Shakiah Danielson.

CORE Theatrics, based on the Eastside,offers young adults intensive training in the performing arts to prepare them for the world's stage. The program offers young adults intensive training in the performing arts to prepare them for the world's stage. Dancers will perform a musical theatre number from the Elvis inspired 2005 hit Broadway musical All Shook Up, choreographed for CORE Theatrics by Sheri Lewis.

Mark Haim, will be serving as Artistic Advisor for this year's DANCE This. He is an internationally recognized choreographer and dance teacher, and has created works for dance companies such as the Nederlands Dans Theater, Ballett Frankfurt, and the Joffrey Ballet. His 2013 work for a company of 14, This Land Is Your Land, has been seen in Paris (Theatre de Vanves) and New York (The Joyce Theater). Most recently, he was choreographer for The Consul and Tales of Hoffmann at the Seattle Opera. Returning choreographer Daniel Cruz will be back choreographing the finale, featuring a number from the musical, Dirty Dancing, which will be at The Paramount Theatre in 2015. He is the choreographer and director of Cruz Control, a Seattle hip hop company. He served as a Co-Dance Captain on the 1st National Tour of the Tony-award winning musical, In The Heights, in addition, he has also worked locally with the 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theatre

You will have two chances to see this year performance:

TODAY, July 11th and Saturday, July 12th, both performances are @ 7:30PM at the Moore Theatre. Tickets are on sale now!

Student and group tickets are also available. For more info on DANCE This visit

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