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Georgia Tech Arts plans a major commitment to contemporary dance programming, boosted by a $150,000 two-year grant from the Charles Loridans Foundation.

The grant will support the March 1 performance by MOMIX at the Ferst Center for the Arts, which Georgia Tech Arts Director Aaron Shackelford added to the 2019–20 lineup after he arrived last summer. The performance, and the grant, signals Georgia Tech’s ambition to become a hub for contemporary dance in Atlanta and the Southeast.

“The cultivation of contemporary dance at Georgia Tech can make a uniquely strong contribution to the field in terms of both audience and artistic development,” Shackelford said in a press release. “Contemporary dance companies and choreographers are on the forefront of pressing issues that face the lives of students and many members of the community.”

Shackelford said that contemporary dance is vital to the mission of Georgia Tech Arts and offers unique perspectives on social issues, abstract thinking and the creative process. “These topics are not easily taught or established in the classroom,” he said.

Georgia Tech plans to use the grant to bring in a total of three contemporary dance companies this fall, in spring 2021 and in fall 2021.

“This dance initiative can be artistically important not only to the Tech community but all of metropolitan Atlanta,” said Bob Edge, chair of the Loridans Foundation. “Recent enhancements at the Ferst make it an ideal venue for the ambitious dance presentations Dr. Shackelford has in mind.”

The first performance funded by the grant is MOMIX at 7 p.m. Sunday ($15–$25). The company was founded in 1980 by artistic director Moses Pendleton and has earned an international reputation for its stage work and film/TV projects. 


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