Acadia Dance Festival returns to Mount Desert Island

Mika Green

BAR HARBOR – The Acadia Dance Festival, a co-presentation of Nimbus Dance and the 1932 Criterion Theater, will return to Bar Harbor this summer, bringing dance and educational programs to Mount Desert Island.

During a performance on Saturday July 30, Nimbus Dance presents a dance program set to music by Philip Glass, Arturo Márquez and a first-ever performance of Artistic Director Samuel Pott’s new staging of Aaron Copland’s score “Appalachian Spring”. Performances also feature Boston’s Luminarium Dance and performers from the Acadia Dance Festival Intensive, Camp Beech Cliff and Summer Festival of the Arts.

A post-show reception offers the public the opportunity to meet festival artists and other dance supporters over champagne and refreshments. The event, hosted by festival committee chair Anne Woodman, honors Don Grieco for his contributions to dance on MDI.

Grieco, a longtime advocate for island dance, a dance (and biology) teacher at MDI High School, and a member of the local dance group, Motion Collective, has facilitated island dance for decades and was instrumental in introducing Nimbus Dance for its first performance on Mont Désert in 2006.

This year, in addition to partnerships with local non-profit stalwarts Camp Beech Cliff and the Summer Festival of the Arts, the Acadia Dance Festival is expanding its educational reach by offering an intensive summer week for young dancers. The Intensive is designed for high school and college dancers who have previously studied dance and are looking to develop their technique, creativity and performance skills.

Giacomo Bavutti

The crash courses will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25-29 at the Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor. Students will perform original choreography during festival performances alongside professional dance companies. Tuition for the week is $500.

To make this unique opportunity accessible to young dancers from a wide variety of backgrounds, the Acadia Dance Festival will partner with community sponsors to provide scholarships. Up to $5,000 will be awarded in total, divided among dancers based on merit and financial need.

Registration, financial aid details and more information can be found online at

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