Beautiful Me, Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre’s critically adored work which is currently in its sixth and last week of a debut U.S. tour, got its start at the Bates Dance Festival in 2005 as a project of The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium (see the video above). The tour, also a project of the Consortium, brings the project full circle 4 years later.

Bates Dance Festival provides valuable creative time and space to contemporary African artists and is often an early step on the road to bringing these artists and their work to American audiences. They, along with other presenters, multi-art centers and universities in the Consortium, are interested in developing relationships that go deeper than simply bringing work to the stage. Residencies including master classes, panels, informal discussions and dance parties, build upon relationships developed over years of commitment to the artist, and strengthen meaningful and poetic connections with the artist and the work.

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