SECOND ANNUAL PALM DESERT INTERNATIONAL DANCE FESTIVAL COMES TO THE MCCALLUM THEATRE TNovember 6th through November 15th

b65e2c2a5705107528a51aeaab52ac27The McCallum Theatre will present the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival, from Thursday, November 6th through Sat. November 15th.  The Festival will feature performances by three outstanding dance troupes:  BalletBoyz® (Nov 6th, 7pm), from the United Kingdom; Mummenschanz (Nov. 13th, 7pm), the popular Swiss mask theater troupe now in its 43rd season of entertaining audiences from across the globe; and the visually stunning SEOP Dance Company from South Korea (Nov. 15th, 7pm).  The celebration kicks off with the McCallum Theatre Institute’s hugely popular and 17th annual Choreography Competition (Nov. 8th, 7pm &Nov. 9th, 4pm). The Festival is supported by the City of Palm Desert, with Palm Springs Life as a media partner.

“We were delighted by the response to last year’s inaugural International Dance Festival,” said Mitch Gershenfeld, McCallum President and CEO.  “We are even more excited this year and expect the Festival to be a great attraction for cultural tourism in the Coachella Valley.  And this year’s artists truly represent some of the best the dance world is producing currently.  We are pleased to bring such internationally-respected artists to the desert and to continue to provide opportunities for emerging dancers through our highly-regarded Choreography Festival.”

The Palm Desert International Dance Festival will feature performances by:

BalletBoyz® –“A viscerally thrilling” (The Telegraph) “adrenaline rush” (The Times).  Great Britain’s BalletBoyz® began in 2001 as the brainchild of former Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt.  Described by The Guardian as “a paradox of muscular impact and weightless flight,” the company’s evocative style sets new standards for dance as the company graces the stage with ferocity, strength and determination, as well as tremendous elegance and poise.

Mummenschanz – Now in its 43rd season, Swiss mask theatre troupe Mummenschanz has pioneered a new form of visual theatre that has since spawned multiple new genres reclaiming their legacy.  Formed by founding members Andres Bossard, Floriana Frassetto and Bernie Schűrch, Mummenschanz has since inspired generations of show-goers across five continents over four decades.  The “stories” told are unique in that they have no sound or music; the language of Mummenschanz is universal.  In the wordless universe of Mummenschanz, the ordinary becomes extraordinary when common materials, everyday objects (like toilet paper) and colorful abstract shapes and forms like the famous “Clay Masks,” “Slinky Man” and “Giant Hands” spring to life.  By creating a playful yet compelling experience through the inventive use of shadow light, and creative manipulation of objects, Mummenschanz offers timeless insight on the human condition.  The result is a visually stunning spectacle that transcends cultural barriers and sparks the imagination.

The SEOP Dance Company from South Korea presents “A Man’s Requiem” which premiered at the World Festival of National Theaters in Korea and has successfully toured nine countries and extensively through South Korea.  This composition explores the powerful theme of “when a sinner dies, he must be judged.”  A Man’s Requiem uses both traditional and contemporary Korean dance techniques to create a stunning display of sound, color and movement.  The SEOP Dance Company, established in 1992, seeks to contemporize creative Korean dance through adequate harmony between the abstract and conception, with sentimental yet refined works with roots in the Korean dance and cultural traditions.

The 17th Annual Choreography Competition, a program of the McCallum Theatre Institute, the Theatre’s education division, is dedicated to supporting dance as an art form through the promotion of quality choreography.  Bringing new, emerging choreographers and fresh original dance to McCallum audiences at affordable prices, the Competition features professional and pre-professional companies on successive nights vying for cash prizes.  KESQ-TV is a media partner for the Choreography Competition.

As part of the event, the Institute also partners with schools in the East Valley to teach youngsters about dance and choreography, culminating in a joyous performance onstage at the McCallum.  Additionally, a Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed annually.  This year, the recipient will be the luminous Suzanne Farrell, founder of Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“Over the years, the Choreography Competition has attracted extraordinary talent and wonderful support from Valley audiences and funders,” said Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, McCallum’s Director of Education.  “The expanded dance festival provides more opportunities in dance for residents and visitors alike and strongly supports our mission to advance dance as an art form.”

During the Festival, the McCallum Theatre Institute will be presenting two performances by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in conjunction with its popular Field Trip Series, which offers high quality performances in music, dance, and theatre to the youth of the region.   Performances are offered at no cost to schools and students thanks to generous underwriting from individual donors, foundations and municipalities.  The Royal Ballet of Cambodia performances are on Wednesday, November 12th at 9:30am & 11:30am.

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The McCallum Theatre presents the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival featuring the following performances:

17th annual Choreography Competition
Saturday, November 8th, 7pm
Tickets are priced at $35, $30, $20 and $15
Sunday November 9th, 4pm
Tickets are priced at $25, 20, 15, and $10

BalletBoyz®
Thursday, November 6th, 7pm
Tickets are priced at $75, $55, $35 and $20

Mummenschanz
Thursday, November 13th, 7pm
Tickets are priced at $65, $45, $35 and $20

SEOP Dance Company – A Man’s Requiem
Saturday, November 15th, 7pm
Tickets are priced at $65, $45, $35 and $20

Tickets are available online at the McCallum Theatre website, www.mccallumtheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.