Energy flows

Built on Stilts
From classic ballet to ultra modern dance, this weekend's Built on Stilts festival is sure to intrigue. Photos by Ralph Stewart

By Duncan Pickard - August 16, 2007

Built on Stilts is a dance festival that has the Island written all over it. What started 11 years ago as a one-night collaboration between Vineyard choreographers has become a week-long event that captures the best of homegrown performance talent in the Island community from neighbors, children, teachers, students, and professional choreographers. It is a reflection of the Island's artistic spirit.

Acts are diverse, including modern, folk, ballet, jazz, and African dance, and much more. Local performers will include Jil Matrisciano of She-Figured Dance, Lori Cunningham of MV Dance Theater, hip hop master Kelly Peters, Tom Carberry's Swing Club, the Vineyard Belly-Dance and Review, and the Zumba dance class at the Vineyard Tennis Center. Also performing is Built on Stilts' own workshops for children and teens: Stiltshop and Advancedshop. Performances from off-Island dance studios will join the local talent.

Built on Stilts
All ages of dancers and performers will take the stage at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs for Built on Stilts. All the shows are free.

In addition to the dances, Built on Stilts features poetic readings, improv shows, comedy, and dramatic performances. Acoustic musicians are encouraged to join a drum circle that begins half an hour before the show starts.

Built on Stilts is a showcase of the Island community's talent and collective energy that allows the experienced to experiment and beginners to discover the fun of dance. It combines a range of choreographic sophistication in a low-stress atmosphere that is entertaining for the audience and fun for the performers.

The Built on Stilts Community Dance Festival, August 18-25, drum circle, 7:30 pm; dance, 8 pm, at Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. If the fireworks are postponed to August 18, the show will begin at 6 pm. For information and program schedules, call Abby Bender at 508 717-2887 or visit Admission is free.

Duncan Pickard is an editorial intern at The Times.