Acadia Dance Festival returns to Mount Desert Island

Mika Greene

BAR HARBOR — The Acadia Dance Festival, a co-presentation of Nimbus Dance and The 1932 Criterion Theatre, will return to Bar Harbor this summer, bringing dance and educational programs to Mount Desert Island.  

In a performance on Saturday, July 30, Nimbus Dance brings a program of dance set to music by Philip Glass, Arturo Márquez and a first-ever showing of artistic director Samuel Pott’s new staging of Aaron Copland’s score “Appalachian Spring.” The performances also feature Boston-based Luminarium Dance and performers from the Acadia Dance Festival Intensive, Camp Beech Cliff and the Summer Festival of the Arts. 

A reception following the performance offers opportunities for audiences to meet with festival artists and fellow dance supporters over champagne and refreshments. The event, hosted by Festival Committee Chair Anne Woodman, honors Don Grieco for his contributions to dance on MDI.  

Grieco, a longtime advocate for dance on the island, MDI High School dance (and biology) teacher and member of local dance group, Motion Collective, had facilitated dance on the island for decades and was instrumental in bring Nimbus Dance for its first performance on Mount Desert in 2006. 

This year, in addition to partnerships with local nonprofit mainstays Camp Beech Cliff and Summer Festival of the Arts, the Acadia Dance Festival expands its educational reach by offering a weeklong summer intensive for young dancers. The intensive is designed for high school and college dancers who have previously studied dance and are looking to expand their technique, creativity and performance skills. 

Giacomo Bavutti

Intensive classes will run 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25-29 at the Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor. Students will perform an original piece of choreography in the festival performances alongside professional dance companies. Tuition for the week is $500. 

In an effort to make this unique opportunity accessible to young dancers of a wide variety of backgrounds, the Acadia Dance Festival will be partnering with community sponsors to provide scholarships. Up to $5,000 will be awarded in total, distributed among dancers on the basis of merit and financial need. 

Registration, details about financial aid and more information can be found online at 

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