Shake off the blues

Flurry Fes­ti­val re­turns for an­other round of danc­ing

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Lau­ren Hal­li­gan lhalligan@digitalfirstmedia.com @Lau­renTheRecord on Twit­ter

Those wish­ing to shake off the win­ter blues are in­vited to dance, sing, jam, and more at the 31st an­nual Flurry Fes­ti­val this Pres­i­dent’s Week­end in the Spa City.

The fes­ti­val will be held from Fri­day through Sun­day in down­town Saratoga Springs. Events will be held at the Saratoga Springs City Cen­ter, which will serve as fes­ti­val head­quar­ters, as well as the Saratoga Hil­ton Ho­tel, Saratoga Mu­sic Hall and Caffé Lena.

A largely at­tended event, the Flurry is well known as the win­ter week­end for dancers and mu­sic lovers of all ages, fea­tur­ing more than 300 per­form­ers, four venues and 250 dif­fer­ent events.

Hap­pen­ings this year will in­clude a huge lineup of pro­grams for fam­i­lies with young chil­dren, many pro­grams for teens, and all-ages fun with in­ter­na­tional mu­sic, singing, jam­ming, sto­ry­telling and dance events.

Young chil­dren will be busy with sim­ple fun fam­ily dances, square danc­ing, sto­ry­telling, pup­pet shows, move­ment games and sing-a- longs.

Teens will have their very own youth-only con­tra dance, youth-only Ir­ish set dance, techno con­tra dances, teen level sing-a-longs and story tellings, a teen tal­ent show­case, teen jam ses­sion, World dance for teens, body per­cus­sion work­shops, un­lim­ited con­tra danc­ing, swing danc­ing, and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ences with mu­sic, song, and dance.

Danc­ing fes­ti­val go­ers of all ages will en­joy a ma­jor lineup of in­ter­na­tional mu­sic and dance ex­pe­ri­ences.

Any­one is wel­come at the Flurry Fes­ti­val. “No need to bring a part­ner or even know your right foot from your left,” a press re­lease for the event said. Many styles have in­struc­tion avail­able for be­gin­ners.

Along with the fes­ti­val’s tra­di­tional week­end filled with non­stop con­tra and swing, ad­di­tional pro­gram­ming is lined up through­out the week­end with dance styles such as Tahi­tian, French, Balkan, African, In­dian, Ger­man, Ir­ish, Scot­tish, English and more.

North Amer­i­can dances will in­clude, non-stop con­tra with and square danc­ing, Ca­jun and zy­deco, Amer­i­can tap, Ap­palachian clog­ging, coun­try line danc­ing, Na­tive Amer­i­can and Cuban.

Non-dancers can en­joy the Flurry Fes­ti­val, too. Jam­ming, work­shops, con­certs, sto­ry­telling, demon­stra­tions and spe­cial dance per­for­mances will be of­fered as well.

Flurry Fes­ti­val 2018 per­for­mances will in­clude Vanaver Car­a­van’s World Dance Fes­ti­val, New York Women, Singing for Suf­frage, The Straw­berry Hill Fid­dlers and more.

Mu­sic in­struc­tion and jam­ming will be hap­pen­ing all week­end long in­clud­ing work­shops for gui­tar, banjo, man­dolin, fid­dle, ukulele, per­cus­sion and a full week­end of tune work­shops and jam­ming for all in­stru­ments. In­stru­ment check is avail­able on site for those bring­ing in­stru­ments.

Par­tic­i­pa­tory singing and sto­ry­telling are wo­ven through the week­end, too.

New Flurry Fes­ti­val pro­gram cu­ra­tor Jonathan Greene of Saratoga Springs, who is tak­ing over the reigns this year from pre­de­ces­sor Peter Davis, said his fa­vorite as­pect of the Flurry Fes­ti­val is the di­ver­sity of gen­res pre­sented. “As a fes­ti­val at­tendee every room you walk in to is a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said. “I’m ex­cited to be work­ing with the artists and the in­struc­tors to cu­rate this ex­pe­ri­ence for peo­ple. It’s very pos­i­tive. And I’m re­ally im­pressed with the or­ga­ni­za­tion. It takes a lot of ded­i­cated and pas­sion­ate peo­ple to pull off a fes­ti­val of this mag­ni­tude. I’m hon­ored to be work­ing with them.”

Look­ing ahead, Greene said he is com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing the tra­di­tion of the Flurry Fes­ti­val whilst in­tro­duc­ing ta­lented artists that will add even more depth to its of­fer­ings.

Ven­dors will be on hand with dance wear, and a va­ri­ety of food will be avail­able, in­clud­ing op­tions for ve­gan, veg­e­tar­ian, and gluten free at­ten­dees.

Tick­ets, in­clud­ing one-day and full week­end passes, will be avail­able the door all week­end long, with spe­cial dis­counts for stu­dents, chil­dren, mil­i­tary and se­niors.

More in­for­ma­tion and a full sched­ule of events can be found on­line at www.flur­ryfes­ti­val.org.

FILE PHOTO

Par­tic­i­pants learn new dance rou­tines dur­ing the 30th an­nual Flurry Fes­ti­val in down­town Saratoga Springs.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

New Flurry Fes­ti­val pro­gram cu­ra­tor Jonathan Greene of Saratoga Springs, left, is tak­ing over the reigns this year from pre­de­ces­sor Peter Davis, right.

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