The new Savannah Dance Festival and thinking big

I’m incredibly excited about the Savannah Dance Festival planned for October 2012. My entire column today is devoted to it.

SDF board president Pat Alley, as I note in the column, is a daughter of the late great Emma Kelly — “the lady of 6000 songs” who gained national prominence because of the glowing appearance in John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Alley and her ambitious board have decided that it’s time for modern dance to be taken seriously in Savannah.

And I absolutely agree. With so many schools of dance and with the interest in dance being generated by the arts public magnet programs, most notably the Savannah Arts Academy, an annual festival focused on modern dance seems like a no-brainer. More details about the first Savannah Dance Festival, including the schedule, can be found on their temporary website.

Here’s a one-minute promotional video for the Sean Curran Company, the festival headliner:

There has been some big thinking in Savannah ever since its founding almost 280 years ago. In recent years, we’ve seen a major expansion of Telfair Museums, the incredible success of the Savannah Music Festival, and the suddenness of the Savannah Stopover’s appearance on the scene. And of course there’s the incredible scale and ambition of SCAD.

Thinking big often pays off here in Savannah, and I’m thrilled to see the Savannah Dance Festival off and running — even if the initial installment is still 16 months away.

There is much more in today’s column.