The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival

According to the “About” section of the MAD Festival’s Facebook page, “The annual Modern Atlanta Dance Festival (MAD) presents the best of Atlanta’s modern/contemporary dance.” This year’s lineup, however, was bookended by a couple of choreographers from outside of the Metro area, Melissa Pihos and Sarah Wildes Arnette, both of whom are assistant professors of dance at Valdosta State University. If, perhaps, this goes against the mission statement of the festival, I think that there is enough value to creating the opportunity for Atlanta audiences to see artists from elsewhere in Georgia to justify the geographic expansion. I don’t think that it betrays the sense of the festival’s localness to look outside of the economic domain of the State’s largest metropolitan area, so long as it doesn’t stray too much beyond the boundaries of the State. That said, I’d love to see a separate Southeastern regional dance festival in Atlanta, though I wonder if there’s really a big enough audience for it or, for that matter, a good funding source.
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