In the Loop
Student Stories : Jul 21, 2017

SWAMP Dance Fest! 2017 offers an interdisciplinary experience for students

By Giavanna Landicini

The SWAMP Dance Fest! is a Summer Dance Intensive organized by Trent D. Williams, Jr. It is open to dancers ages 18 and up, UF and non-UF students alike. Featuring guest artists Stefanie Batten Bland and Juel D. Lane, SWAMP Dance participants gain a unique experience in being exposed to a variety of approaches in the dance field, creating a unique experience and journey of self-discovery for all involved.

The program functions as both a way for current students to complete the summer intensive requirement and prospective students and freshmen to become acclimated to dance at UF.

The intensive is especially unique in its diverse and eclectic approach inspired by its guest artists.

Batten Bland and Lane offer different yet complementary styles. Batten Bland, 2016 Jerome Robbins Awardee and Schonberg Fellow, offers an interdisciplinary style and teaching approach. Interested in the different ways in which work can be informed and inspired, Batten Bland’s style draws on disciplines such as dance, theater and improvisation.

Lane, on the other hand, is a participant in the 2016 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab and is a company member of Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Lane’s style has more of an urban feel, coming from a highly hip-hop influenced background. This diverse interest is reflected in Lane’s teaching style as well, in which common themes include juxtaposition of material.

In addition to the intensive’s Monday through Friday four-week schedule, SWAMP Dance Fest! participants will be offering three performances on July 28 – 30. The performances will exhibit the culmination of the repertory time spent in the intensive.

The process of organizing the festival was a fun and challenging one, said Williams. In order to create a “fun and nurturing” environment for the participants, Williams was selective in hand-picking the guest artists with the intention to create the most inclusive and fulfilling experience possible. Additionally, Williams is happy to provide students with the opportunity to work with incredibly active artists in the field who are currently doing extraordinary things.

“This summer has been life-changing,” said Williams. “From changing how students look at and perceive work to nurturing a new body of individuals to work with.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.