WEST HOLLYWOOD—The city of West Hollywood and Multiplex Dance will be hosting the first ever West Hollywood Dance Festival at the Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall from Monday, August 15 through Saturday, August 20, according to a press release from the city of West Hollywood. This festival will include a five-day dance training program, community workshops and public performances, and no music or dance experience is necessary to participate.

The five-day intensive dance training program is for both pre-professional and professional dancers. This program will create space for the participants to engage with the art form of dance in a variety of ways. The free community workshops are open for all levels to help dancers hone and develop their skills.

“The primary focus of the dance workshops will be on modern dance and improvisation, although [Chad Michael Hall] is bringing in a variety of styles and approaches for the master classes,” Andrew Campbell, City of West Hollywood’s Art Administrator, told Canyon News in an email. “In addition, he will be offering two free community dance workshops that will be for people of any ability.”

On Tuesday, August 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Taikoplex will be taking place. This is a hands-on community dance and drum workshop where participants will learn to channel ki (heart, mind and spirit) and hara (body’s center) through the art of Taiko, Japanese folk drumming. Shih-wei Wu will be demonstrating and leading ki-ai exercises where the voice becomes the gateway to find inner-strength and express power through the drums.

On Thursday, August 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. Interface will be taking place. This is a community cyberdance workshop that will be guided by Chad Michael Hall and John Toenjes. This playful and innovative workshop encourages movement activities through the use of mobile apps and social media. Participants will be able to utilize their smartphones as creative tools that will generate both dancing and choreography.

On Saturday, August 20, two public performances will be held. The Family Matinee Show will start at 2 p.m. and at 8 p.m. the Festival Gala Performance will kick-off. There will be performances by Multiplex Dance, the Tongue Dance Project, the Taiko Center of Los Angeles, and students of the West Hollywood Dance Festival Intensive. Choreographers Jessica Harper and Charlotte Katherine will also be showing some of their new works.

“The West Hollywood Dance Festival was submitted through our Arts Grant program,” Campbell told Canyon News. “Chad Michael Hall, who is an assistant professor of dance at the University of California at Irvine, was very interested in creating a festival for dance in the Los Angeles region and felt that West Hollywood could be the perfect location for this.  He submitted an application to our Cultural Resource Development Grant program, which provides both funding for programming and technical assistance to assist new and emerging organizations in developing capacity and sustainability.  It is a three-year grant so he will be developing this festival in West Hollywood over the next three summers.”

The West Hollywood Dance Festival is presented with the support of the city of West Hollywood through WeHo Arts and the Cultural Affairs Commission. Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall is located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. To purchase tickets for the performances or for more information on the event visit http://bit.ly/wehodf2016 orwww.multiplexdance.org. For more information on WeHo Arts visit www.weho.org/arts. For more information on Chad Michael Hall visit http://dance.arts.uci.edu/chad-michael-hall.

Anyone with questions about the West Hollywood Dance Festival can call (424) 333-0576 or contact Andrew Campbell, City of West Hollywood’s Arts Administrator, at (323) 848-6377 or email at acampbell@weho.org. The deaf or hearing impaired can call TTY at (323) 848-6496.