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BENNINGTON — Musicians Moose Junior and New York step dance company Soul Steps will perform on Tuesday, June 8 at 6 p.m. at the Thompson Family Stage, next to the splash pad at Merchant’s Park on North Street in downtown Bennington. All are invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to this free, summer-kickoff block party.

Soul Steps is an African American step dance company that integrates the history of African American step with high-energy hip-hop infused rhythms and step choreography. Soul Steps is one of the world’s few professional dance companies dedicated to teaching and performing step.

The company is led by founder and artistic director Maxine Lyle, a graduate of Williams College. While a student, she co-founded the step team Sankofa, which is now in its 25th year. From the dance company’s founding to the present day, Lyle has maintained close ties with the region. Over the course of the 2020–21 season, her work in this region has continued through a joint development residency with the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and Williams College, set to culminate this spring.

Preceding Soul Steps will be Moose Junior, a band that promises “fun music for everyone.” Presented by the Vermont Arts Exchange, this band of merry musicians bases their songs in jazz, blues, funk, and rock. From toddlers to teens to grandparents, everyone will love hearing animated children’s songs, with a little hula hooping and sing-alongs to original songs and others by the Beatles, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder and Frank Sinatra.

The Bennington Museum will provide instruments to let audience members make their own percussion sound art to join in with the colors, the sounds and the beats of music and dance.

In the event of rain, the free 6 p.m. show will be moved to the auditorium of the former Bennington High School at 650 Main St.; chairs and blankets will still be welcome. For more information, contact Shannon Barsotti, Bennington’s community development director, at the town office at 802-445-1330.

This special performance is sponsored by the Town of Bennington, with additional support by Bennington Performing Arts Center, Bennington Area Arts Council and the Vermont Arts Exchange.


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