Dance at ArtBeat 2017

Presented by Somerville Arts Council
Somerville Theatre Davis Square , Somerville

ArtBeat is one of the area’s largest and most innovative arts festivals, with over a dozen bands, dance troupes, 75 craft vendors, food, and all-age activities.

On Friday night from 6 pm to 10 pm we have music and interactive performances, then on Saturday we shut down Davis Square for the craft vendors, two stages of music, dance in the Somerville Theater, and a host of great interactive peformances from 11 am to 6 pm.

Dance schedule

12:30 PM

Hui Lehua, a hula troupe from Somerville, presents Na Leo O Hula: The Voices of Hula. Hula is a story-telling dance, giving voice to the deeds of Hawaiian gods and goddesses, people long gone and storied places–and the struggles of contemporary Hawaiians to protect their land and heritage. To dance the hula is not simply to move in the traditional ways that evoke place and person, but to also lift up one’s voice in the Hawaiian language, giving one’s breath to bring person and place to life.  And so, the history and heritage live on through the retelling of the stories in this oral tradition.

1:30 PM

Grant Jacoby and Dancers  is a New York City and Boston based company.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Connecticut College in 2013, where he received his BA in Dance and Theater. He has performed in works by Merce Cunningham, Quicksilver Dance, Lorraine Chapman, Mark Dendy, and Annie Kloppenberg, among others. He began making his own work professionally in October 2013, and has presented choreography at many institutions. As a teacher, he has been on faculty at Boston Ballet, The Boston Conservatory, Sereda DanceWorks, and Brookline Academy of Dance. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Dance at Sarah Lawrence College.


Jessica Smith, originally from the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina, began taking multidisciplinary dance classes as a youngin’ and quickly found a love for the communicative and expressive power of the art form. Growing up southern, Jessica was raised to be a self- determined woman and when she wanted to move north to Boston, she had her family’s support. All was well and good until conversation around this past year’s presidential election started to create rifts between states, landing this Somervillian resident at odds with the North Carolinians she loved most. In Stone Ground, Jessica explores relationships between object and performer, and she is most interested in the story these relationships might generate for each audience member. In her performative work, Jessica hopes to incite further communication across difficult landscapes in order to help heal, restore, and move our collective thinking forward – begging the question: will you meet me halfway?

2:30 PM

Tai Jimenez I was a ballerina for over twenty years and served as a Principal Dancer for both the Dance Theatre of Harlem and Boston Ballet. While I loved ballet, I always yearned to find a dance language of my own. In “Movement Meditation” I perform in a style I affectionately call Broken Puppet: “broken,” because being broken is what allowed me to finally let go of my image of myself, and “puppet” refers to the sublime state of allowing oneself to be danced by the Master. Broken Puppet is a combination of Ballet, Butoh, Modern, Hip-Hop, Yoga, and hot fudge sundaes. In this meditation, I hope to tune into a state that is a response to pure listening, transcendent of thought. I would like to thank my family, Cyrille, Colibri and Chulo, for putting up with my incessant twirling.


Mystique Illusions Dance Theatre transcends the evolution of dance through reflection of the movement of our world, by the contemporary changes of everyday life. Their dancers will be presenting an exceprt from their piece “What Ascends from Ashes.” Artistic Director: Ronnie Terrell Thomas with dancers: Elizabeth Epsen, Sasha M. Krumholz Lynn, Tandy Nurse, Mary Ellen Liacos, Haissan Booth, Kevin Lewis, Garrett Wilkinson.


Jessie Jeanne & Dancers “Beneath Crystal Skin” seeks to rupture the superficial layer of socially imposed ideas and customs cocooning our authentic selves. Catalyzed by the play of childhood, the angst of teenage transformation, and tremors of the current abrasive political climate, the work activates stories that bare nude personal and collective histories of womanhood through the lens of sexuality. Via visceral narrative, the 20 minute quartet, performed by company dancers Olivia Coombs, Whitney Cover, Katie Lake, and Jen Passios, challenges the social frameworks that dictate our relationship to sex, offering a conscious release from our ingrained attachments to the systems that choreograph us.