A mass twinkling of toes will descend upon Santa Monica this week as Los Angeles’ largest dance festival pirouettes its way back to the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica this week, August 9 – 12.
Each day of the 12th annual MixMatch Dance Festival showcases a diverse lineup of dances, this year’s version of the festival featuring over 50 different dance variations.
The worlds of hip-hop, ballet, tap, and belly dancing all collide during the event, with choreographers, dancers, and companies traversing from all across the country to perform at the event, the furthest travelers this year coming from Florida.
Amanda Hart, director and founder of the festival, says you don’t need to be an expert on dance or at the top of the social class ladder to enjoy an evening of her show.
“There is something for everyone,” Hart said in a phone call with the Daily Press. “MixMatch is meant to be approachable for everyone; it’s a casual setting with tickets that cost the same or less than a 3D movie ticket. The shows are a comfortable length, the dances are all different, and you’re assured to leave loving something from this dance experience.”
Hart founded the company at 23 years of age after she graduated from CalArts with her Bachelor’s degree in dance. Being filled with the immediate post-grad can-do attitude led her to start the festival.
“Me and the girls I graduated with wanted to start a dance show. We needed more people to fill out the show, so all of us, with different dance backgrounds, pitched in. I still remember driving on the 134, thinking, ‘we should call this MixMatch because of all the different styles.”
Now in its twelfth year, Hart still tries to keep MixMatch fresh. This year is the festival’s first time featuring Flamenco dancing, as well as featuring the most local and out of state companies performing at the show.
When asked if picking a certain day which might be best for newcomers or ardent dance fans, Hart says it’s impossible for her to choose.
“I can’t narrow it down to one dance or company. They are all amazing and we pick pieces that we hope hit each and every audience member, especially knowing different people like different things. We like to mix it up!”
MixMatch Dance Festival takes place August 9, 10 & 11 at 7:30 p.m. and August 12th at 2 p.m. For more information, visit www.HartPulseDance.com