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BEST Annual Dance Program of the decade: Urbanite

From our BEST Arts of the decade feature:

For the past decade, Urbanite has consistently been the most energized and culturally diverse display of artistic engagement in Champaign-Urbana. Executive Producer Douglas Layne, with tireless help from Ashley Taylor and their team, has developed an event unlike any other, and each year, the crowds grow and the program becomes more intense. Dance teams from all over North America converge here in C-U to showcase five minutes of expertly choreographed and synchronized dances, mostly set to hip hop, but frequently throwing curveballs, slicing up and cutting in jazz, pop, classical, and more.

To witness it, you instantly find yourself overwhelmed in all the right ways. If you are a dancer yourself, you’re probably comparing their moves with your own, thinking about what it means to improve. If you can’t dance for shit, like myself, you are reminded that the human body is capable of so much if you ask it to show patience and learn step by step.

The bad news is that the next Urbanite won’t play til late 2020, as it just staged a banger of a show on Saturday at City Center.

The good news is that the funding is still coming in, and it has expanded to Mexico City, and that relationship means more cross-cultural vision is being shared, and developed together.

Mark this on your calendar now for next year. It is one of the best $20 you will spend on an “art show” all year. (Seth Fein)

Photo from Urbanite’s Facebook page

Executive Editor

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