Buffalo Dance Festival to Feature LehrerDance and Configuration Dance Theatre

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: June 24, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present the Buffalo Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Aug. 1 in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. The inaugural festival will feature LehrerDance and Configuration Dance Theatre. These two professional, Buffalo based dance companies will join forces to create an exciting and dynamic performance.

As Western New York's premier presenter of dance, the Center for the Arts is a natural host for this festival. Since 1997, the center has presented more than 50 different national and international dance companies representing a wide variety of genres. Its annual Dance Residency program has reached more than 20,000 area school children, introducing them to live dance performance. The center is also the performing home of the UB Department of Theatre and Dance, and has served as a multi-year host of national dance conferences such as Jazz Dance World Congress and Dance Masters of America.

The goal for the festival is to grow over the next several years to include additional companies, combining collaborative performance experience and offering summer classes to pre-professional and professional dancers and educators. With a unifying spirit in mind, the Buffalo Dance Festival is sure to enhance the rich dance history and culture of Western New York.

Configuration Dance Theatre combines classical ballet's formal traditions with modern dance's dynamic expressiveness to create dramatic and emotional performances. The ability to bring studied discipline to contemporary choreography extends from the wealth of professional experience within the troupe. This Buffalo based company's compelling performances have drawn rave reviews from critics locally and around the country. The New York Times wrote "the dancer's innate classicism was the first great pleasure of Configuration Dance Theatre."

LehrerDance is an inspiring and innovative contemporary dance company based in Buffalo. Under the direction of Jon Lehrer, the company showcases Lehrer's unique choreography and embodies his definitive style. His extensive background in both the modern and jazz dance idioms fosters choreography that is organic, artistic, accessible and often humorous, reflecting life experience and the human condition. Dance Magazine wrote "LehrerDance took the house not so much by storm as by quantum physics."

Master Classes

A two-hour master class offered by Configuration Dance Theatre, and a two-hour technique and repertoire master class offered by LehrerDance are both included in the full festival workshops and performance package. Contact buffalodancefest@gmail.com or visit http://www.ubcfa.org for registration information. Workshop space is limited and is offered on a first-come first-served basis. The cost for the master class package is $55, and includes a ticket to the evening performance.

Tickets for Buffalo Dance Festival are $22 for the general public, and $17 for students. Tickets are available in the Center for the Arts Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets call 1-800-745-3000; in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For Group Sales, call 716-645-6771. For more information call 716-645-2787.