By Michael Aushenker
It’s a tall order: Hip hop, belly dancing, ballet, tap, contemporary and modern dance – all at one event. But thanks to dancer Amanda Hart, all of this will go down at one event that is returning to Santa Monica’s Miles Memorial Playhouse. Locals will have a chance to catch all of these disparate styles across five engagements during the Seventh Annual MixMatch Dance Festival Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 22-25.
“The goal is everybody leaves loving at least one dance,” Hart said.
Television shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance” were an inspiration for Hart, who started the event with Sandra Rasor seven years ago when both dancers were fresh out of Cal Arts.
“Originally, it was her work and my work on stage,” Hart recalled. “Then we said, ‘why don’t we invite some others to join us.’” Then it mushroomed from there, she added.
What started out at the Electric Lodge in Venice, which Hart said had “a strong reputation for working with independent artists,” soon outgrew its venue and has remained in Santa Monica ever since. The Studio City resident, who teaches at the dance studio Revolution Dance Center in Montrose, remained adamant about keeping the event on the Westside.
The engagements, each of which run 1 ½ hours, consists of 13 or 14 seven-minute performances. According to Hart, this year’s event will showcase “quality work from choreographers and companies all over the U.S.,” including Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Oregon, Michigan, and up and down California.
In addition to some returning performers, including her own Hart Pulse Dance Company, attendees can expect many surprises at this year’s MixMatch, Hart says.
“We have a lot of artists this year that we haven’t seen before,” Hart promised. “More than half of our bill.”
MixMatch Dance Festival will take place at the Miles Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica. Tickets are $15. Information, Hartpulsedance.com.