Cultural Affairs/ Distinguished Lecture Series
Project Abstract/ Summary
The International Dance Festival (IDF) is a popular event that highlights the University of Maine's global diversity, and provides both domestic and international students with an opportunity to teach, learn and share with one another through the art of dance.
IDF began in 2005 as a small group of students wishing to share traditional dances with the campus community. The students performed in Minsky Hall to an audience of 150. Ten years later the IDF is a highly anticipated community event drawing over 1500 audience members to two free shows held at the Collins Center for the Arts. Student participation in the event has grown from roughly 20 that first year to over 100 individuals from all over the globe, including the US.
In addition to creating an opportunity for Maine residents to experience the rich diversity of our campus, a great success of the IDF has been the creation of a safe environment for cross-cultural friendships to develop among students from diverse backgrounds. As active participants, students learn about world cultures from one another. In 2012 a traditional Indian dance was performed by students from India, China, Nepal, Malaysia and the US. The Hip Hop number had dancers from the US, China, Philippines and Serbia. In addition many students are involved with lighting, set and costume design, and marketing. 'We believe that with arts as a connecting tool between intemational and domestic students, we celebrate the similarities as well as differences of student communities within the University. In an increasingly globalized society we hope such friendships will be the foundation for a peaceful future.
International Student Association, "2014 international Dance Festival" (2013). Cultural Affairs Distinguished Lecture Series. 316.