This Saturday the Bowen McCauley Dance (BMD) group will host “Move Me! Arts Experience Festival,” a day of free dance performances and visual arts celebrating the music of Duke Ellington, legendary jazz pianist and former fixture of the Washington, D.C. music scene. Move Me! is the McCauley group’s second annual festival at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, where they currently hold residency and help promote an arts immersion program.
Since the beginning of the spring semester, Kenmore students delved into the life of the all-American jazz musician, studying Ellington’s life story and writing poetry inspired by the songs he composed. Kenmore’s visual arts classes followed suit and created jazz instruments out of paper, wood and cloth to be displayed at the festival on Saturday. The group chose to highlight Ellington’s work to promote jazz music and provide a role model that reflects the diverse student body, according to Ricki Marion, executive director of BMD.
Fifteen other local arts and cultural organizations will partner with BMD for the festival, including Artisphere, Ballet Nova and the Levine School of Music, to offer free performances and activities for the public from 2-5 p.m. Visitors can try their hand (or foot) at yoga, cha-cha and salsa lessons. The festival’s main attraction will focus on five Duke Ellington songs arranged to accompany a dance performance by the Kenmore Junior Company, BMD’s professional company and the Dance for Parkinson Disease group, an outreach program that provides weekly dance classes to those undergoing treatment for the disease.
For more information on the festival, check out www.bmdc.org.