Dance Beat: Attack, Jamdance, Dan, Africa

ATTACK HAS GAME. I stopped by Attack Theatre’s latest “Game Night and the Seven-Minute Dance Series” (this company has the best titles) at the Pittsburgh Opera in the Strip District. As I arrived, two “guests” were playing some kind of game on some kind of space-age stilts. But there was plenty more for others including a giant chess game, snacks and libations, video games and, of course, a preview of Attack’s latest project for the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Catch them at the

MONSTAR ATTACK. Yes, you read it right. Jame Elis of Jamdance is organizing a Monstar Performance Showcase, featuring MTV’s Jungle Boogie of America’s Best Dance Crew. Actually there will be a two-day hip-hop summer dance intensive with “The Boogie.” Participants will meet the entire crew, get training from top choreographers and can earn the opportunity to perform at the Monstar Showcase at the New Hazlett Theater June 18 and 19. For more info and to register, contact Jame at 412-287-5916 or at As to other interested parties, tickets for the 8 p.m. Showcase on June 19: $15 in advance/$20 at the door.

MIME OR YOURS. When you think about it, the conductor is usually the only one who doesn’t have a voice in an orchestra concert. So it’s a perfect fit for Pittsburgh mime Dan Kamin, who has traveled quite a bit on this premise, most recently with Taiwan’s National Symphony and  the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra in North Dakota. I guess, given the wordless performances, it appeals to just about everyone. For more info, click on Dan Kamin.

IT’S BACK. No Pittsburgh company has had more reincarnations than Pittsburgh Black Theatre Dance Ensemble. It goes away for a while, but evidently the memory doesn’t. The Ensemble opens its wings once again this summer at Dance Alloy Theatre with two events. The first debuts this weekend in the “Unblurred” series. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (snacks and refreshments included) with a performance at 7 p.m. Tickets: $7. Renamed “African Legacy…American Fruit from African Roots” (and formerly called “African Rainbow Celebration”),  PBTDE will perform under the artistic direction of Crisala M. Brown. And, although it’s a little confusing at present, the company is currently considered part of The Legacy Arts Project, Inc., run by Linda ‘Imani’ Barrett. The two organizations will also be bringing in Baba Chuck Davis,  founder of the African-American Dance Ensemble and DanceAfrica at Brooklyn Academy of Music and recipient of numerous awards. Pittsburghers can meet Dr. Davis, who will speak on his life and love of dance at the Alloy on June 15 at 7 p.m, with wine and cheese accompaniment. Then on June 16 at 5:30 p.m., there will be an AfroMoves class with Dr. Davis for only $10. Call Imani at 412-682-2565 or Chrisala at 412- 523-7701 for more information.

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