Dance On The Lawn Is Back to Make Montclair Move

Dance On The Lawn, an annual celebration of dance and community in Montclair, is back again on September 9, 2017

Montclair has historically been extremely supportive and encouraging when it comes to the performing arts. Places like Glenfield Middle School, where there is an emphasis on expression and performance, plant the seeds of showmanship within students, who then blossom at Montclair High School. Montclair High School provides dancing teams, theatre classes and countless groups to be involved in.

Photo courtesy of Dance On The Lawn.
Photo courtesy of Dance On The Lawn.

It should then come as no surprise that the people of Montclair can come up with something as joyful and inclusive as Dance On The Lawn, a free outdoor dance festival that seeks to expose residents and children to the wonders of dance. The festival will be held on September 9, on the front lawn of St. Lukes Episcopal Church.

Eleven dance companies from the NJ/NYC area are participating in the event. The companies that are from New Jersey include Randy James’ 10 Hairy Legs, Donna Scro’s Freespace Dance, Maurice Chestnut’s Dance Therapyand Dance On The Lawn’s 2015 “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer” Robert Mark Burke. Acts from New York City include special choreography by Troy Powell, Stephen Petronio Company and Project 44 Dance. In addition, Lauren Connolly – winner of Dance On The Lawn’s 2017 “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer,” will present a new work created specifically for Dance On The Lawn.

Audience at St. Luke's at Dance On The Lawn 2016. Photo courtesy of Dance on the Lawn.
Audience at St. Luke’s at Dance On The Lawn 2016. Photo courtesy of Dance on the Lawn.

This celebration of dance was started in 2014, when Charmaine Warren devised a way to get Montclair and New Jersey residents maximum exposure to dance. Warren has an impressive list of qualifications pertaining to her experience in dance, including a masters degree in Dance Research, Reconstruction and Choreography. Warren has been involved in dance companies for over 15 years, and consistently teaches. She teaches dance, she teaches yoga and she directs Dance On The Lawn.

Warren figured that by exposing residents to professional companies and emerging students of dance, she could inspire some interest in the general public that perhaps was not there before. The idea was a great success, as the lawn of St. Lukes is annually packed with people who have come to see great dancing in a community setting.

Due to the success of the celebration, Warren was awarded Dance NJ’s JETE Award, an award given to honor those who have had a strong impact on New Jersey’s dance community. Dance NJ is a service organization that advocates and supports the excellence of dance and dance education in New Jersey.

Dance On The Lawn will take place on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The celebration will begin at 3pm and will last until 5pm, and is free of charge. The address for the event is 73 South Fullerton Avenue – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.


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