Some 50 Washington area dance troupes will participate in a May Dance at the Reflecting Pool on Saturday, May 3 at 3 p.m., the Washington Performing Arts Society announced at a press conference yesterday. The celebration, sponsored by the National Park Service, will kick off WPAS' fourth annual City Dance Festival, which continues through May 10.

On May 3, approximately 700 dancers and musicians will gather at the Reflecting Pool and perform a new work by City Dance artistic adviser Liz Lerman, choreographed to Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." They will then parade past a "reviewing stand" where area dance writers will provide play-by-play commentary. Then each company will give a short, individual performance. At the close of the celebration, Melvin Deal and the African Heritage Dancers and Drummers will teach a dance to audience and festival participants.

On May 8, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., the following companies will perform at the Warner Theater: African Heritage Dancers and Drummers; Ana Martinez Spanish Flamenco Dance Company; The Bren-Car Dancers; Contemporary Dancers of Alexandria; The Eva Anderson Dancers; Jan Van Dyke and Dancers; Maida Withers and the Dance Construction Company; and Wo'se Dance Company. A first for this year's City Dance will be the world premiere of a specially commissioned ballet by Choo San Goh, featuring dancers from the Washington Ballet.

The May Dance Celebration on the Mall is free and open to the public. Rain date will be Tuesday, May 6 at noon. Mayor Marion Barry has proclaimed May 3-10 City Dance Week, in honor of the event.