BANDALOOP in Biddeford

October 16-22 2022

Free immersive and innovative public art performances and workshops open the public in Biddeford, ME with internationally recognized vertical dance company BANDALOOP.

  • Free performances of LOOM:FIELD, Friday October 21 & Saturday October 22, 3:30PM & 5:00PM
  • Community Sew Workshop & Potluck with Artistic Director Melecio Estrella, Wednesday October 19th, 6:00PM
  • Open Rehearsals & other meet the artist opportunities to be determined in partnership with schools and other local nonprofit partners.
Photo by Brooke Anderson

We are excited to announce that Engine and Subcircle are collaborating to bring BANDALOOP, an internationally renowned vertical dance company, to Biddeford in October!

Over the last two years, Oakland, CA based BANDALOOP, under the artistic directorship of Melecio Estrella, has developed LOOM:FIELD, a multidisciplinary performance work inspired by the history of textiles. In the fall of 2020, Estrella reached out and expressed interest in Biddeford’s unique historical and cultural resources as a performance site. After a year and a half of collective strategizing, we have received a major presenting grant from the National Dance Project to bring this project to life!

BANDALOOP’s visit to Biddeford will include a week-long stay at Subcircle Residency and a series of free educational opportunities for audiences of all ages, culminating in four vertical dance performances on the Great Wall of Mill Building #36 on Friday and Saturday October 21-22, 2022. BANDALOOP’s work attracts families, dance and performing arts aficionados, climbers, and environmentalists. Audiences will be invited to lay down on Main Street and experience the power of public art to bring people together across differences.

Directed by Melecio Estrella, BANDALOOP’s LOOM:FIELD is a large-scale, outdoor public vertical dance piece that deepens and challenges our perspective on the art and industry of textiles. Bringing together a collective of performing artists, climate scientists, regenerative textile artists and creative riggers, the evening length piece turns a building’s façade(s) into a giant LOOM:FIELD where stories and dances interlace with the audience. LOOM:FIELD, phase-two of LOOM:FIELD blends ancestral weaving mythologies, traditional techniques of fabric creation, expressions of the ecological and social impacts of a globalized textile industry, and the influence of technological fibers that connect and divide our digital lives into a dynamic performance.

“The deep red brick walls of the historic textile mills in Biddeford shape the streets, express the character of place, and tell an important story of labor and migration in the industrialization of fabric in our country. BANDALOOP’s vertical dances are an attempt to amplify these stories of place, bringing dance to new audiences through radically accessible free public art.

Our dance company’s 30 years of practice staging dances on walls around the world have brought us to this moment, coming through a pandemic, to ask how we weave community, what fabric can teach us about our humanness, and how we can weave moments of grace in partnership with artists, audiences, producers and funders.”


Melecio Estrella, Artistic Director BANDALOOP

Opportunities are under review to connect locally in Biddeford through residency and production regarding the history of textile manufacturing at the downtown mills and how the town grew up around the framework of an industrial weaving complex.

Co-created with Engine & Subcircle, LOOM:FIELD themes will reach community members through workshops that combine fabric techniques and community stitching with embodiment and dance methodologies. Aimed at learners of all ages, these workshops and lectures can be designed with both on the ground and vertical dance opportunities, exploring collaborations with local youth development organizations.

Contact Jess Muise at director@feedtheengine.org to learn more about arts enrichment and education opportunities offered by this artist residency and culminating public performances.

SPONSORS & PARTNERS

Join our growing team of sponsors and partners bringing this awe-inspiring activation of public space to life! We are seeking a goal of raising funds through donations, sponsorships, and in-kind support to fully produce this experience for the public, and take good care of our artists, crew, staff, and volunteers.

Funding and for this project is provided in part by the National Dance Project managed by the New England Foundation for the Arts.

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