Dance Festival logo

Festival history is displayed at Headroom Stages in July in an exhibit of posters, programs, and news articles.

Ea Maples image of Kestrel Osman

Ea Maples' photo of Kestrel Osman performing work by Brenda Siegel

Annie Macy image of AXIS dance company

Annie Macy's image of the AXIS dance company in a 2017 performance

Southern Vermont Dance Fest: Movement 2019 Exhibits

Take a self-guided, movement-inspired Visual Arts tour!

The 7th annual Southern Vermont Dance Festival (SVDF) is preparing to celebrate the breadth and beauty of movement with a four-day schedule of classes, performances, community events, and more in Brattleboro on July 18-21. Preparing the way is "MOVEMENT 2019," a four-venue installation of exhibits featuring "movement-inspired art of all kinds." Beginning on Gallery Walk Friday, July 5, and continuing throughout the month, these venues are showing work by six artists who celebrate movement and dance in photographs, paintings, glassware, and more—some work will be available for sale:

1. LATCHIS GALLERY & THEATRE, 50 Main St.: Photography by Zachary P. Stephens, documenting dance and movement at Luminz Studio. More images can be seen at Also in the gallery is "Movement Through Glass" by local artist Zachary Grace. This series of work is as much about the process as it is about the result.

Jeff Lewis photo of a dancer

An image from Jeff Lewis's study of bodies in motion

2. HEADROOM STAGES, 17 Elliot St. (upstairs): "7 Amazing Years," features seven years of posters, newspaper articles, and programs. Beginning as a response to Tropical Storm Irene and the Brooks House Fire, SVDF quickly established itself as an annual summer event. Come see where we started and where we are today!

3. WINDHAM MOVEMENT APPAREL, 2 Elliot St.: "Images of AXIS Dance Company's Residency," 17 photographic highlights by Annie Macy of a 2017 SVDF residency by the country's most renowned physically integrated dance company. Demonstrating the versatility of dance, these images depict the artistry of three dancers in wheelchairs, and two not. Also showing at WMA are images from Jeff Lewis's two-year project photographing bodies in motion, circus and dance nudes, focusing on the body's strength and grace in action. This show is of dancers in studio and woodland settings. Open Tues.-Wed.-Thurs. 1-7, Fri./Sat. 10-6, and till 8:30 for Gallery Walk.

4. MOCHA JOE'S CAFÉ, 82 Main St.: "Images of 2018's 8th Annual SVDF," twenty-four photographs by Ea Maples, Marek Jagoda, Annie Macy and Allison Clarke. Highlighting gala performances, informal concerts, classes, and community events, this exhibit captures the essence of SVDF's motto "Where Movement Meets Community." Open Mon.-Thurs. 7-8, Fri. 7-9, Sat. 7:30-9, and Sun. 7:30-8.

The Southern Vermont Dance Festival was birthed out of the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and the Brooks House Fire, and has an equal focus on promoting the arts and art excellence, and being an economic driver for the community. BRENDA LYNN SIEGEL, Executive and Artistic Director of the Festival, has a Bachelor of Science degree from Hampshire College and has worked as an executive director, administrator, choreographer, and dance teacher locally and around the country.

Roger Katz image of Zach Stephens at work in Luminz Studio

Roger Katz's image of Zach Stephens (lower right) taking pictures in the Luminz Studio

Seeing the need for a consistent and concerted effort to revive and help sustain the local economy, Siegel knew that dancers would come, that they would shop and eat, and would be excited about Brattleboro's downtown community. And she knew that she could excite the community about dance. In its 7th season, the festival goals have been realized. Perhaps you love to watch dance—there are Galas galore. Maybe you have never walked into a studio in your life, but you would really love to learn—there are classes for you. If you are a dance professional or dance student, there is a wealth of works to see and classes to take. With four days of ticketed and free performances, over 50 classes, and a strong focus on community, this year's festival is ready to inspire!

The festival boasts faculty and choreographers at the top of their field with a unique ability to serve all levels of dance, from the dance enthusiast to the dance professional ... and everything in between. For the seventh year in a row, the festival will host some major players in the dance world. SVDF is highlighting the importance of art to times like we face today:

Featured events include the OPENING GALA at 4:30 on July 18 in the Latchis Theatre. An excellent event for families, this performance presents a variety of local and national artists offering an experience of dance through many lenses. The spectacular FRIDAY GALA at 8:00, also on the Latchis mainstage, presents powerful performances by artists from around the country—described by many past attendees as a show at a calibre normally seen only in city venues The Friday Gala boasts special works by Janet Wong, set on veteran choreographer Julie Marie Muskat. Janet Wong is associate artistic director of the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Company. Advance ticket purchase for both galas is strongly recommended.

This year's MID-SUMMER'S NIGHT PICNIC & PROMENADE performance will be at Newfane's Four Columns Inn, with a delicious picnic provided by the Inn. A magical walk in the woods will lead viewers past works in unique settings rather than on a proscenium stage. The lighting will make it feel as though nature has been turned into a stage. One of SVDF's most popular events, this one sells out quickly, so order your tickets early—advance purchase is required.

Including a YOGA TRACK for those preferring that movement form, there are literally dozens of performances, community events, art exhibits, and classes! SVDF focuses on driving the local economy through community growth and diversity, and asks the community to give back to show its support for this effort. All are welcome to become involved in this year's festival by giving generously, by volunteering, or even by hosting an artist.

To purchase a festival pass or tickets to any performance, check out SVDF's website at, and get in touch by email at Be sure to get your tickets and passes early!

Copyright 2019, Gallery Walk, Brattleboro, Vermont

Return to Gallery Walk Archives for articles in past issues

Go to Gallery Walk home page