Try as she might, Laura Faure will have a hard time avoiding the spotlight this summer.

This will be Faure’s last as director of the Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, which for 35 years has provided a training ground for emerging dancers and a place where established dancers can develop and refine new work. The festival also presents a summer-long series of public performances.

Faure has directed the festival for 30 years. She will leave in the fall with a sense of relief “that we’ve built this thing into a monster, but a really good monster.”

“The time is right for me. Thirty is a good, round number,” she said. “I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve done, and I feel we’ve done it as a community.”

Many members of the dance festival community will be in Lewiston this summer to celebrate. Longtime collaborator David Dorfman will bring his latest piece, “Aroundtown,” to Schaeffer Theatre on the Bates campus July 13 and 15, and several festival favorites and alumni will participate in the 35th Anniversary Gala on July 28-29. Among those returning to Lewiston for the party are Doug Varone, Bebe Miller, Larry Keigwin and Michael Foley.

The program on July 28 will be dedicated to the late Marcy Plavin, the festival’s founder. The program on July 29 will be dedicated to Faure.

On Aug. 3-4, site-specific choreographer Stephan Koplowitz will present “Mill Town,” which Faure describes as “a love letter to Lewiston” at the Bates Mill Complex. Among the festival’s legacies is its history of commissioning new and experimental work. It’s always attracted choreographers to Lewiston to create, because the festival is seen as an incubator for new ideas, Faure said.

“Mill Town” is an example. Inspired by the geography, industry and culture of Lewiston and Auburn, the piece will involve more than 50 dancers, a live score by violinist-composer Todd Reynolds, multimedia components, including video filmed in and around Lewiston, and artifacts from Museum L-A. This will be an audience-immersive piece with dancers moving about the mill complex. It is promoted as “a site-specific performance installation.”

It feels appropriate to present a bold, new piece during her final festival, Faure said. “I like to think of the festival as a safe haven,” she said. “We’re a sanctuary.”

MORE DANCE THIS SUMMER

‘El Lobo y La Paloma’

Portland flamenco dance artist Lindsey Bourassa created her full-length performance, “El Lobo y La Paloma (The Wolf and The Dove),” after her father died in 2015. Bourassa, who lives in Portland, uses flamenco dance, Arabic music, poetry and images to tell a story of loss and what Bourassa calls “the mystical connections between physical and spiritual worlds.” She will premiere the piece June 3 at South Portland High School.

Megan Keogh, left, and Lindsey Bourassa in “El Lobo y La Paloma (The Wolf and the Dove),” a full-length piece created by Bourassa, a Portland flamenco dancer, in response to the death of her father in 2015. Photo by
Dale Bourassa

While inspired by the loss of her father, Bourassa wrote this piece to represent universal loss – of a loved one, a homeland, a freedom, an ability – and the grief and healing that follows.

Bourassa has been performing and teaching flamenco dance in Portland for a decade, during which time the community has grown and is beginning to flourish. Her performance embodies that growth. The project is a collaboration with Canadian-Iranian painter Khosro Berahmandi, Arabic singer Talal Alzefiri, oud player Thomas Kovacevic and flamenco dancer Megan Keogh.

The piece includes a seven-stanza poem that Bourassa wrote about her father, as well as poem that he wrote about the loss of his mother, which Bourassa discovered after her father died.

“It’s a visually rich show, with a music and poetry and dance,” Bourassa said.

“El Lobo y La Paloma (The Wolf and the Dove),” 7 p.m. June 3, South Portland High School; $12 and $18; bourassadance.com

‘No Plan B’

Choreographer Alison Chase had so much fun creating a traveling performance piece last summer, she’ll do it again this year. “No Plan B,” a hybrid of performance art, installation, film, physical theater and movement, will premiere Aug. 24 at Fort Knox State Park in Prospect and move to Thompson’s Point in Portland for four performances beginning Aug. 31.

It’s presented by Alison Chase/Performance, Chase’s vehicle for collaboration with other artists. She is founding artistic director of Pilobolus Dance Theater and lives in Brooksville.

“No Plan B” mixes art and technology, and grew out of a research residency at the University of Maine’s Intermedia MFA program. Chase collaborated with Gene Felice, director of the CoAction at the University of Maine, to create projections and surround sound for this piece. Franz Nicolay created the music.

8 p.m. Aug. 24-27 Fort Knox State Park; 8 p.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 3, Thompson’s Point, Portland; $25; alisonchase.org

Contact Bob Keyes at 791-6457 or:

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Twitter: pphbkeyes