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Greenfest expands to include dance lessons, showcase dancers of color
It is especially fitting that this afternoon Native American dancers of Wampanoag and Narragansett heritage will once again kick off the Boston Greenfest (BGF) on City Hall Plaza because this fifth annual event will expand from three days to four with a new Sunday “Movement Festival” component, organized by a Mattapan choreographer/dance entrepreneur.
Sean Fielder, the 34 year-old founder of the Boston Tap Company, has been busy organizing for-pay master classes for this Saturday in Roxbury and Cambridge dance studios and a free dance showcase on Sunday from 10 to 5 on the plaza.
Starting today and running through Sunday, BGF 2012, the region’s largest multicultural environmental festival, will promote green urban living through various learning opportunities as well as children’s activities, healthy food options and multiple stages of live entertainment.
Many of the entertainers on the eclectic international roster (among whom are Farah Siraj, Yerbabuena, Mamadou, Abdou Mboup, and Tiz Kompa) will intersperse their songs with green living messages and testimonials.
Likewise, Fielder says, local dancers will also emphasize the parallels between taking care of one’s body and taking care of the earth.
“Dancers are very concerned about healthy living and that means being very concerned about the planet,” said Fielder.
Fielder dubbed this a “Movement Festival” instead of a “Dance Festival” because the day’s program goes beyond celebrating physical activity to fostering mental and psychological progressivism. He embraces the definition of “movement” as “a group of people working together to advance their shared political, social, or artistic ideas” and “a shift in policy or general attitudes seen as positive.”
For those too young or too stiff to learn specific dance steps, there will be freedom of expression opportunities like arts and crafts and painting as well as panel discussions on topics like the Movement Festival’s slogan, “People that stick together, ‘move’ together, and people that ‘move’ together, conquer, as one.”
However, the greater part of Sunday’s crowd will be coming for the showcase featuring predominantly dancers of color in a variety of contemporary styles. From 11 a.m. on, groups like Ballet Rox will do short sets.
The high point of the August 19th event will be the “Movement Concert” proper that begins at 3:15. It’s slated to include among others The Boston Tap Company, the Floor Lords, Phunk Phenomenon, Boston Community Dance Project, OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, Unique Status 4, Contemporarily Out of Order, Static Noyze, Unyted Stylz and Lil’ Phunk.
Some of these groups will appear individually during the morning and early afternoon hours of the show. Many of them rallied together last Sunday at an afternoon preview and warm up session at the Strand in Uphams Corner.
The festivities are sponsored by The Foundation for a Green Future, Inc, a Boston-based nonprofit working with local schools, community centers, and neighborhood organizations to educate young and old about the many dimensions of green technologies. The sprawling free event encompasses interactive exhibits, workshops, presentations, and special features: EcoTimeTrail, EcoFashion, GreenFilmFest for children and adults, eco-games, One Gallon Challenge – a “race” from Plymouth, MA to GreenFest for cars that can drive 112 miles on 1 gallon of gas.
For schedule details on the Greenfest and Movement Festival go to bostongreenfest.org/schedule.html or find them on Facebook and Twitter.