The romance of Casablanca at the Savannah Dance Festival’s first big party and fundraiser

Click here for my November blog post about some of the developments regarding the Savannah Dance Festival, which will be held October 18th to 20th.

Click here to visit the SDF website.

For more background, click here to read my City Talk column from last June about the SDF’s ambitions to give dance its rightful place in Savannah among other art forms. For that piece, I interviewed at length Pat Alley — president of the SDF board and a daughter of the legendary Emma Kelly.

Last night was the first big public event for the Savannah Dance Festival — a Casablanca-themed fundraiser at the Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center. The creation of the SDF is one of the great feel-good stories of the year, and I have little doubt that Savannah can support this festival as it has been conceived.

But there’s definitely some fundraising that’s going to have to be done between here and there. I was happy to make a donation, and I hope others will be too. Click here to go straight to the page for tax-deductible donations.

I took my camera along last night, although the elegant but dim lighting made photos tough to get without a flash. So there are none here of the Jody Espina Quartet, which sounded better than just about any band has managed to sound in the big space of the Jepson atrium, and just one of Stratton and Mary Leopold, the evening’s honorary hosts. And just one as well of iconic dancer and choreographer Gerri Houlihan.

And a few of a couple of dancers from Florida State University, students from Savannah Arts Academy, and local dancer/choreographer Karen Burns performing with one of her students.
Click here to see a gallery from South Magazine.

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