Dancers at the inaugural Oklahoma International Dance Festival audition (Camila Mussi/Sebas Manavella, courtesy Oklahoma International Dance Festival)

Virtual Dance Festivals You Can Attend From Home

While some dancers are slowly beginning to return to the studio, large-scale dance events and performances are still off the table for the foreseeable future. Luckily, a number of summer dance festivals opted to go virtual. Here are ten that made the transition, allowing you to access their innovative offerings—from classes and performances to seminars and educational courses—no matter where you've found yourself #SocialDisDancing this summer.


Oklahoma International Dance Festival (July 26—August 9)

In what would've been the Oklahoma International Dance Festival's inaugural year, OIDF founder Austin Hartel wanted to create a space for dancers to learn from international choreographers in an intimate setting. Though they've since decided to take their intensive online, they still plan to limit their class sizes to 14 dancers each to allow for individualized feedback. Technique and repertoire classes will be led by renowned choreographers, including Larry Keigwin and Brian Brooks.

The San Pedro Festival of the Arts (September 19—20)

For its 14th season, the San Pedro Festival of the Arts in LA will be held virtually. The festival will feature filmed dancing from local companies, schools, and choreographers, as well as interviews with selected dancers and choreographers filmed around the San Pedro area.

Dance on Camera Festival (July 17—July 20)

The annual New York event will be held virtually this year. Many programs will be offered online for free, and $35 student tickets can be reserved in advance for full access. Among the films being showcased this year are Uprooted - The Journey of Jazz Dance, and Land of the Sweets, the Burlesque Nutcracker.

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival (August 15)

The one-day dance festival produced by Urbanity Dance is hosting two virtual showcases. The earlier showcase will include excerpts of past work, while the later showcase will feature new works choreographed, performed, and filmed in non-traditional spaces during quarantine.

Battery Dance Festival (August 14-22)

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Battery Dance announces the 39th Annual Battery Dance Festival with FREE virtual performances from August 14-22, 2020, available online nightly 7pm – 8pm via YouTube. For more information, visit http://batterydance.org/battery-dance-festival/. Films will remain only through August 31, 2020. Themed evenings will include World and U.S. Premieres on film, with works from the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas, and pieces that celebrate the resiliency of New York City and the Festival itself. A special India program will be presented on August 15th, India’s Independence Day. Established in 1982, the Battery Dance Festival (BDF) has been celebrated as New York City’s longest-running free public dance festival as well as one of its most wide-ranging. Audiences are traditionally drawn to Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park in Battery Park City from the large downtown working population, residents, families, tourists, senior citizens and dance fans from the greater NYC metropolitan area. Each year, the Festival attracts a combined audience of over 12,000 people in person. The audience will be multiplied many times over with the ability to attract viewers from the entire world this year. “Constricted by the pandemic and uncertainties over how to safeguard both performers and audience members, we’ve decided to go virtual in our 39th year. In doing so, our curators have discovered a wealth of beautiful material on film, most of which has never been seen before by our audience. So let’s celebrate silver linings and look forward to nine nights of rare and inspiring dance across many genres,” said Battery Dance founder and Artistic Director Jonathan Hollander. “We would like to extend a special thank you to Battery Park City Authority, The Fund for the City of New York, Goldman Sachs and others who are standing beside us in this virtual iteration.” Click link in bio to learn more.

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This year's Festival will be presented online every night from 7-8pm EST and is completely free. The lineup will include many never-before-seen dance works on film from all over the globe.

Fire Island Dance Festival (July 17)

The annual fundraising festival for Dancers Responding to AIDS (DRA) will now be held virtually for free (donations encouraged) with advance registration. The virtual festival will feature world premieres from Ayodele Casel, Larry Keigwin, and Stephen Petronio. It will also include past Fire Island performances choreographed by Kyle Abraham, Al Blackstone, and Garrett Smith.

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