Contact: Emily Emerson, Eau Claire Dance Festival curator



A new dance festival in Eau Claire will live up to its name, shining a spotlight on modern dance, but the event will be about so much more.

The inaugural Eau Claire Dance Festival: Act 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, will showcase modern dancers from Eau Claire and elsewhere, to highlight dance as part of the city’s vibrant arts scene.

While dance will be a major facet of the festival, it also will feature other arts as well. In fact, the spirit of artistic collaboration is at the heart of this festival.

Dancers, musicians and one local poet — some from Eau Claire, some from elsewhere — will combine their artistic energies and talents at five downtown venues, creating unique performances. Instead of rehearsed shows, festival participants will form their art on the fly, not individually but by reacting to and combining with their fellow performers.

The idea, event curator Emily Emerson said, is for artists to come up with spontaneous, one-of-a-kind presentations that recognize Eau Claire’s artistic depth and celebrate the collaborative spirit of creating an ongoing arts culture.

As the artistic conversation in Eau Claire continues to grow, I want dance to have its own place and importance," Emerson said. "Modern dance, in particular, has been little explored in Eau Claire, yet it’s so ripe for artistic expression.”

Dance festival performances will occur at the following locations: The Volume One Gallery, the State Theatre lobby, the Eau Claire Farmers Market at Phoenix Park, the Baroque sculpture and the Owen Park bandshell. The event is scheduled as a dance walk, attracting people to explore downtown. Performances will take place on multiple stages at any given time during the event.

The festival is free and open to the public.