Recognized as a genuine masterpiece of art, the American Dance Festival is a six week holiday of dance performances, held currently in Duke University, North Carolina. The forerunner of the festival is the Bennington Festival, started at Bennington College in 1935 and featuring such modern dance pioneers as Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Hanya Holm and Charles Weidman.
Directed by Mary Josephine Shelly and Martha Hill, the American Dance Festival was arranged in Bennington until 1942, before moving to Connecticut College in New London, and finally in 1978 to Duke University in Durham. The director of the festival is Charles Reinhart. The American Dance Festival collaborates with a number of companies and modern choreographers, including Pearl Lang, Jose Limon, Alwin Nikolais, Ruth Currier, Paul Taylor, Erick Hawkins, Twyla Tharp and the late Alvin Ailey.
Apart from the American Dance Festival, the United States can boast its Oxnard Salsa Festival, a two-day celebration of music and dance, held annually in July in California. The 13th Annual Oxnard Salsa Festival is scheduled for July 30, 31. The performers of the festival will include Salsa and Latin Jazz bands. The Salsa Tasting Tent offers a great variety of unusual tasty salsas, competing in such categories as Best Green, Best Red, Best Hot, Best Fruit, Best Mild and Most Unusual.
Regarded as a home for dance nationwide, Jacob's Pillow is the U.S. landmark, which comprises an internationally recognized summer dance festival, professional dance school, the Intern program and various Community programs. It is located in Becket, Massachusetts. All forms and traditions of international dance are represented in 200 programs of the festival, including lectures, performances, exhibitions, film showings and tours, offered to 80,000 attendees annually.
Among international groups, which had their debuts at Jacob's Pillow are Netherlands Dance Theatre and the Royal Danish Ballet. The Festival's visitors witnessed premieres of such masters as Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham and Margot Fonteyn. Today Jacob's Pillow sees its mission in supporting dance education as well as appreciation for dance creation.
Dance performance in Canada is vividly represented by the Canadian Dance Festival, a biannual event held in Ottawa, Ontario since 1994. Though regarded comparatively young as compared to other dance festivals, Canadian Dance Festival has a long history. It was first established in 1987 with the aim of promoting professional dance achievements and demonstrating the originality and quality of the work produced across Canada. However, these objectives haven't changed much since the establishment of the festival and are seen today as its pillars. The location of the festival in Ottawa proves its significance as one of the most celebrated national events.
Awa Dance Festival is held annually in the Tokushima City, coinciding with Bon Festival. The accompaniment of the festival is comprised of flute, drum and brass. The Festival's participants are professional dancers, who frequently sing while dancing.