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The Scarlet & Black

College twirls in evening of world dance

A group of dancers will perform cultural dances—including Indian, Japanese, Caribbean and African American dances—during the Gateway Tapestry dance this Saturday.

The performers will explore diversity using dance, fashion and a history of fabric. In addition to the traditional cultural dances, college students and community members will model clothing from different cultures.

“There’s also a fabric element to this, so it will be dance and fabric arts,” said Molly Rideout, Arts and Residency Director of Grinnell Area Arts Council.

Gateway Dance is a multicultural dance group from Des Moines, headed by Penny Furgerson, the founder of Gateway Dance Theatre. On Saturday, there will be a five piece collection of beauty and different textiles from cultures throughout the ages, featuring the history of textile and music from various parts of the world. Additionally, the piece “World Port” by Iowa composer Paul Micich will also be played.

President Raynard Kington came up with the idea of bringing the performers to Grinnell after meeting one of the people in charge of Gateway at an event in Des Moines.

“[Kington] was the first one who met the people first and then we thought it’s a great mix for us and we were able to make it work,” said Rachel Bly, Director of Conference Operations and Events.

The event is co-sponsored by the Committee for Public Events at the College and the Arts Council.

“They put together this dance tour called Tapestry and they have a grant to take this performance out into communities across the state, with Grinnell as one of their stops,” said Rideout.

So far, the Arts Council has been working toward the event’s publicity, through postering, Facebook and e-mail, in order to garner support.

“We are trying to spread the word out outside of Grinnell, because there are other groups with have worked with gateway dance, but they were doing workshops instead of real dance performance, so they’ll be coming, too,” said Rideout.

However, there might be some competition this weekend since there are a lot of events happening both at the College and in town.

“Hopefully that will not negatively impact the attendance of the performance,” Bly said. “There will also be the college dance performance, and the local dance academy is also having their big event. So it will be a dance-filled weekend in Grinnell. Most of the shows have multiple nights’ performances, so we hope that we can work together and people who enjoy dance will get an amazing weekend.”

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