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Modern Atlanta Dance Festival samples city's strongest modern dance companies

The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival's decision to shift its timing to open, not close, Atlanta's dance season is fortuitous.

Riding on the momentum of this weekend's ArtScape, an international festival of visual and performing arts in and around Woodruff Park, the Oct. 12 performance promises to capture the attention of the festival's artistically literate audience and potentially expand audiences for Atlanta's dancers and choreographers throughout the season.

The one-hour dance sampler showcases works by four of the city's strongest modern dance companies and independent choreographer Lori Teague. Host company Full Radius Dance will perform twice, under the direction of artistic director Douglas Scott. Georgia's only professional dance company integrating dancers with and without disabilities, Full Radius will perform "Mutation," a collaborative work choreographed and performed by Margo Gathright-Dietrich, Ardath Prendergast and Scott.

The troupe also will perform "Prayer," choreographed by Megan Schirle and Stephanie McGlynn with Axis Dance Company, Oakland, Calif., and performed by Prendergast & Gathright-Dietrich. The piece recalls the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"The movement is very spiritual," Scott says. With a score by Hildegard von Bingen, the cyclical interrelation between two dancers is "reflective, calming and reverent."

Independent dancer-choreographer Lori Teague will perform her original work "Full Moon" with dancer Anna Leo, with an original score by Gwendolyn Watson. "It's a work about reaching your full potential as a human being," she says.

Also participating in the program are CORE Performance Company, performing excerpts from Handel's Messiah; Gathering Wild Dance Company, performing "The Guide" to music by The Indica Project; and Ondine & Company, performing

"City," to original music by William W. Rea.

The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival is Friday, Oct. 12, at 7:30 p.m., at ArtScape in Woodruff Park. Free with ArtScape admission.

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