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Modern Atlanta Dance Festival

For 12 seasons, Full Radius Dance has invited select dance authorities from across the country to examine Atlanta's modern dance scene and pick the best for inclusion in the annual Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, the city's only externally adjudicated modern dance festival.

"I think it's really important to get an outside eye," says MAD Festival organizer Douglas Scott, who also serves as artistic director of Full Radius dance company.

This year, 11 dances were considered by three judges: Randee Paufve of Oakland, Calif.-based Paufve Dance, Giovanni Luquini of Miami Beach's Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe, and independent dance artist Jim Lieberthal of Minneapolis.

Recent applications to the MAD Festival suggest that Atlanta's modern dance community is becoming more seasoned and mature, Scott says.

"The quality of the applications they're turning in is a much higher quality, in terms of the materials and the thought they put behind describing their work," says Scott. "We're more sure of ourselves, more professional."

The six selected dances include some familiar companies and a few newcomers. Gregory Catellier presents "Take Off," a duet about stolen identity. CORE Performance Company showcases "Corazon Abierto (Open Heart)," from its ongoing Chiapas Project, based on the company's residence in Chiapas, Mexico. Duende Dance Theatre contrasts relationships through partnering work in "Behind Closed Doors." Ivan Pulinkala -- the new director of Kennesaw State University's dance program -- partners with Kim Neil Nofsinger for a duet on separations. RendezVous DanceWorks puts a trio of Spelman College dancers into an examination of tension, proximity and distance. Finally, Zoetic Dance Ensemble presents "Hand to Mouth," a foreboding look at humanity's relationship with the earth.

Full Radius also premieres Scott's "Both Sides Now," which examines the impact of maturity and experience, set to two versions of Joni Mitchell's song of the same name. The first version of "Both Sides Now" is a bouncy dance cover by the Boomtang Boys, and the second is a sorrowful version recorded by Mitchell in her 50s.

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