The 24th annual Dance Flurry Festival in downtown Saratoga Springs was a whirlwind, three-day dance and music event for all ages and tastes. Over 400 local, regional and national performers played at more than 250 events in an array of locations scattered throughout the Spa City.
The majority of the events took place in the Saratoga Springs City Center and the adjacent Hilton Hotel. With their numerous meeting rooms, ballrooms and halls, these two large venues were perfect for contra and swing dances, music and dance workshops, kids’ activities, lectures and other presentations.
Throughout the fest, additional events took place simultaneously in the Parting Glass, Caffe Lena, Temple Sinai and the Saratoga Music Hall. These smaller, more intimate venues were just a short hop away, but were well worth the walk to see showcase performances by such musicians as folk superstars Jay Unger & Molly Mason (at Caffe Lena) and blues and jazz guitar legend Duke Robillard (the Parting Glass).
Strolling through the corridors and hallways of the City Center and the Hilton Hotel had its own never-ending musical charm, as dozens of impromptu jam sessions were taking place in nearly everywhere. Tucked away in one corner, you could find a group of musicians playing Appalachian mountain music, while over in another you’d hear the popular sounds of early-1900s Americana tunes.
Throughout the festival, dozens of vendors had set up tables and booths, selling everything from arts and crafts to food and beverages. And just like many a folk festival, there was a central booth selling the performers’ CDs, DVDs, t-shirts, instructional videos and songbooks.
Billed as “A Festival of Traditional Dance and Music,” the Dance Flurry Festival was truly an international event with traditional dances and music spanning five continents and several centuries.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Cindy Schultz’s photographs at The Times Union