Dance joins Milford's lineup of cultural festivals Noted choreographer Johanna LjungQvist-Brinson brings new dance festival to the borough in May
(Hanna Q Dance Company Facebook photo)
MILFORD — Milford is known for hosting a variety of cultural festivals, including The Black Bear Film Festival, the Readers and Writers Festival, and the Milford Music Festival. Dance is up next.... DanceFest Milford, under the directorship of noted choreographer Johanna LjungQvist-Brinson, is a new festival designed to be an annual event. It debuts this year from May 18 to 20. The festival will host an exciting range of cutting-edge and global dance, including classical Indian dance, Mexican folk dance, Irish step dance, hip hop, and modern. In addition, there will free dance workshops for all age groups, and an open dance forum with a professional dancer. “The festival’s mission is to expand people’s current appreciation of dance, whatever it may be, taking it to the next level by showcasing emerging and established companies from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey," said LjungQvist-Brinson. She said it will open "peoples’ hearts and minds to the varieties of dance while also exposing the invited artists to each other’s work. We also hope to introduce visitors to the beauty and attractions in and around Milford.” The three-day festival kicks off on Friday, May 18, with an opening night reception at the Hotel Fauchere. Attendees will enjoy an eclectic, modern dance performance in the garden, “Living Sculptures," choreographed by LjungQvist-Brinson. Events and workshops in a variety of venues will take place in and around Milford, including a contra dance workshop and modern dance performances in The Forest Hall Gallery, on Saturday, May 19, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. On Sunday, May 20, edgy New York City based professional dance companies, such as 10 Hairy Legs, Darrah Carr Dance, Hanna Q Dance Company, Ainesh Madan and Marsi Burns, will perform on the main stage from 1 to 4 p.m. A lifetime's devotion to danceLjungqvist-Brinson is Swedish-born and the founder and artistic director of DanceFest Milford. She has performed and taught all of her life. After graduating from the The University of Dance and Circus in Stockholm, Sweden, she studied flamenco with Mercedes Leon and Albano de Zuniga at Estudio Mercedes y Albano and modern dance at The Alvin Ailey School in New York City. For more than 20 years, she toured the United States and Europe, teaching and dancing professionally. In the late 1980s, she formed her own Manhattan-based dance company, The Hanna Q Dance Theatre. Returning to Paris, she taught at the Academie International de la Dance in Paris and established her own Paris based dance company. She returned to the United States and married Max Brinson. They left New York to raise their family in a charming 200-year-old farmhouse in Pike County reminiscent of Sweden’s inspiring natural beauty. LjungQvist-Brinson started a children’s dance program, performing for local charities in Pike County. In addition, she formed Delaware Dancers, a nonprofit organization of which she is founder, president, teacher and choreographer. In 2013, LjungQvist-Brinson founded the Hanna Q Dance Company. Her original works have been showcased at such venues as including Dixon Place, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Dance Festival, TADA! Theater, The Actors Fund Arts Center, Green Space, New York Live Arts, The Triskelion Arts, and West End Theater, and New York City Center.