Dance styles from different parts of the world have become more accessible to us recently, but where would one go to witness the newest, most path-breaking developments in the world of dance?

Whether it’s contemporary, jazz or salsa, these festivals bring together the epitome of dancing talent from around the world. So if you’re a pro, enjoy watching dance, or simply want to learn, here are eight festivals you need to go to.


1. American Dance Festival
Durham, North Carolina

Established in 1934, ADF isn’t just a festival, it’s become an institution. Heralded as the best dance festival in the world, its sustained record of creative achievement is vital to the world of dance. For decades, the festival has been encouraging and supporting new and emerging choreographers, researching and displaying classical styles through archival efforts, and making normal people familiar with modern dance. The festival is all about appreciating the art form, and providing a scientific and aesthetic base for professional education and training of young dancers. The workshops and shows at the festival are some of the most creative and interesting parts of it.

dance1 dance3(Images via: American Dance Festival/Facebook)


2. International Dance Festival Birmingham
Birmingham, UK

Produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome, IDFB is one of the largest dance festivals in the world. What makes it unique is its multi-genre diversity and internationalism, bringing together brilliant dance talent from across the globe and fostering new collaborations with international choreographers and artists. This biennial festival brings the city alive when it happens by putting up outstanding performances in theatres, streets and public spaces across Birmingham and the West Midlands, creating a participatory experience for the audience. IDFB 2014 also won the UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Dance for “bold, extensive programming and presentation”.

dance4 dance5(Images via: International Dance Festival Birmingham/Facebook)


3. Jazz Dance World Congress
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The JDWC is a travelling festival, held in locations throughout the world, but mainly in Pittsburgh. It gathers teachers, dancers and performers from across the USA and also over 20 foreign countries! Jazz dance enthusiasts are welcome to take classes from masters of the dance style. At this five-day event, they also view exciting performances by internationally-acclaimed dance companies at the Jazz Dance World Festival, witness the competitive judging of new jazz dance choreography, and forge relationships that last a lifetime. JDWC holds and creates a vision for the future of jazz.


(Images via: Jazz Dance World Congress/Facebook)


4. Attakkalari India Biennial
Bangalore, India

Held in Bangalore, India, every two years since 2000, Attakkalari India Biennial is a unique platform in South Asia for fresh voices in contemporary dance, digital arts and research. The nature of Bangalore’s geopolitical and cultural location makes it a strategic centre, and the festival utilises this to initiate a North-South dialogue on innovation and performance arts with an international perspective. Apart from its committed audience base in Bangalore, the Biennial also attracts audiences from all over India, and also internationally.

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5. The International Festival of Contemporary Dance and Movement Theatre (TANEC PRAHA)
Prague, Czech Republic

Founded more than 20 years ago, this festival has become one of the most major dance events in Europe. Focusing primarily on the dance-theatre genre, it plays an important role in inspiring and confronting Czech artists and making it possible for wide public to follow contemporary trends and high quality productions in the domain of dance-theatre. With creative meetings of foreign artists, a European Dance Laboratory, and several amazing open air shows, this festival is truly one of the best.

dance12 dance11(Images via: TANEC PRAHA/Facebook)


6. Interplay International Contemporary Dance Festival
When: May & June
Where: Turin, Italy

Contemporary dance has evolved quite a bit over the years, and this festival has evolved along with it. Bringing new and emerging work to the forefront, displaying unique techniques and path-breaking styles, Interplay offers performances both in theatres and in urban areas of Turin, Italy. It brings together artists and companies from across Europe and the rest of the world, such as Germany, Canada‚ Israel and Japan.

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7. Reno Latin Dance Fest
New York City & Tampa, Florida

Hosted by the Gozalo Dance Company, the Reno Latin Dance Fest is known to be one of the best of its kinds. The festival showcases Bachata, Salsa, Kizomba, Cumbia and other Latin dance styles. This is not just because it’s affordable and accessible, but also claims to have the best stage lighting and production of any dance festival in the USA. There are dance showcases, dance workshops, beginner bootcamps, late night dance parties and a whole lot of other exciting things that make this festival worth a visit.

dance16 dance17(Images via: Reno Latin Dance Fest/Facebook)


8. Istanbul International Dance Festival
Istanbul, Turkey

As one of the largest international dance meets, the Istanbul International Dance Festival is a massive coming together of dancers from all around the world. Focusing mainly on Latin dance styles, IIDF hosts over 150 workshops Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba,Tango, Zumba, Hip Hop, Flamenko, Sirtaki, Rock’n Roll, Belly Dance, from beginner levels to masters. Some of the most outstanding artists of the Latin dance world, performers, social dancers from over 80 countries meet at Instanbul every year for this colourful festival. This event is all about embracing, learning and enjoying these styles.

dance20 dance18(Images via: Istanbul International Dance Festival/Facebook)