Dogtown Dance Theatre brings New Orleans to RVA next weekend
Besides finding that cute naked baby in your slice of King cake, something to celebrate next week will be hiding in Manchester with Dogtown Dance Theatre.
Throwing their 5th annual Mardi Gras parade and celebration on Saturday February 6th before Fat Tuesday, New Orleans will come alive in Richmond with regional music, Cajun-Creole inspired foods, along with a list of festive performances at this family-friendly event.
Art director Jess Burgess hopes that this year’s event will be as great as the last.
“The event is a labor of love, that is for sure,” Burgess said. “We started planning the event mid-to-late summer and the performers who will be performing at the event have been getting ready with their dances for the past six to eight months.”
Five years ago, Ellis Morris, who is a member of Dogtown Dance, and originally from New Orleans, used to travel back and forth for Mardi Gras. Morris suggested bringing Mardi Gras to RVA since the city hadn’t been doing much to celebrate the holiday.
Now, five years later, the community festival has flourished into an annual celebration in Manchester, Southside, and Richmond.
The event will start out with a parade on 15th and Bainbridge streets in Manchester that will be opened and ended with marching bands provided by two local area high schools. Local artists will walk with the parade and lead viewers back to Dogtown Dance Theatre where the festival will be held.
“This is a community event that Dogtown is throwing in support of what is happening here in Manchester,” Burgess said. “There is a movement towards getting more artists and businesses to this side of the river as Manchester really does have a lot to offer for this city at large”.
Performances will be given by Dogtown Dance Theatre’s own artists from 4pm-7pm that includes RVA Dance Collective, a company that focuses on creative modern dance, as well as jaw dropping aerial performances by Host of Sparrows.
“Overall Dogtown’s mission is to be a home for independent artists, and the Mardi Gras parade and celebration is a great opportunity for these artists to showcase their talents,” Burgess said.
Along with RVA Dance Collective, and Host of Sparrows, Claves Unidos, Pole Pressure, Khalima, Deanna Danger, Zach Surina, Circular Expressions, and Latin Vintage will also be adding a diverse paradigm of performances to the Dogtown Mardi Gras celebration.
The event is family-friendly and kids can enjoy face painting, craft Mardi Gras masks, and request balloon animals while parents enjoy good food and live music.
New Orleans style foods by Sophia’s International Cuisine along with a string of other food trucks in the lot, and beer by Legend Brewing Company that is sponsoring the event will be flowing all day long.
Dogtown Dance Theatre’s Mardi Gras festival kick off next Sat. Feb. 6. from 3 to 10 pm. Show admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children 5-12, and free for children under 5. Grab your tickets here.
Images via Dave Parrish Photography.
“To be exposed to any of the modern arts – painting, music, sculpture – the more you’re exposed to it the more you have a feeling of opening your senses and just taking it in,”October 14, 2015
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