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Performances and classes mark local celebration of National Dance Week

By Marina Wolf

NATIONAL DANCE WEEK actually gets going before the Izzies, with an open-air extravaganza starting at noon on Friday (April 20) at the Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco. There you can pick up a complete schedule of open studios, rehearsals, discussions and performances around the Bay Area--most of which are free and open to the public. For those not inclined to make the hike, there are several local events scheduled in honor of the occasion:

Dance Class Sampler Local dance instructors lead a daylong dance marathon sponsored by Santa Cruz Ethnic Arts Network, with classes for all ages and skill levels in African, samba, hip-hop, Hawaiian, flamenco, spiral dance and belly dance. Saturday (April 21) at 10am, each class is 45 minutes long. Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. $10/general pass, $5/SCEAN members.

Dance Showcase It's a wild ride through some of dance's most delicious rhythms, with performances by the Boom Boys (hip-hop); Juventud Genesis (Mexican folkloric dance); Leralee Whittle and Kaya (modern); Heavy Hips Tribal Bellydance, Papiba (capoeira and maculele) and Alseny Soumeh (West African dance). Lots of live music, too. Saturday (April 28) at 8pm; doors open at 7:30pm. Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/general, $8/SCEAN members, youth, seniors and students; under 12 free. 831.421.9523 or 831.420.2700.

Santa Cruz Dance Three extraordinary choreographers--local legend Tandy Beal, UCSC dance instructor Mel Wong and UCSC alum Scott Wells--show why Santa Cruz is known in the dance community for imagination and experimentation. Their works are featured in two evenings of dance presented by UCSC Arts & Lectures. Friday and Saturday (April 20-21) at 8pm, Theater Arts Mainstage, UCSC; $20 gen; $17 students and seniors; $10 UCSC students. 831.459.2159 or www.events.ucsc.edu/artslecs.

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From the April 18-25, 2001, 1999 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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