SARUS Festival attracts local, visiting artists


By Pam Creech, Contributing Writer

Dance, theater and film, along with other art disciplines, will be exhibited in various locations throughout the Wilmington region from Aug. 21-24 during the SARUS Festival.

Sarus, Sanskrit for of water, influenced many of the exhibits inspired by the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Ocean. The festival will showcase the works of local and visiting artists.

Nine visiting dancers, alongside three members of Alban Elved Dance Company, will be in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Dissected. The piece was directed by Karola Lüttringhaus, who works as artistic director and choreographer of AEDC, as well as director of the SARUS Festival. Lüttringhaus said the production combines acting, dance and film to make social and critical statements about human emotion, theatre’s influence in society and the impacts of patriarchy and the institute of marriage.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream — Dissected” is a piece of modern, multi-disciplinary art composed of short vignette films; the first few vignettes will be featured in the SARUS Festival. The style of dance found in the production does not pertain to one specific genre.

“There is no ballet, Irish, folk, hip-hop, jazz or similar dance style represented that you can typically find in dance studios,” Lüttringhaus said.

The premiere performance will take place Friday, Aug. 22 at 9:30 p.m. at Jengo’s Playhouse, and is suitable for mature audiences. Like all events in the SARUS Festival, there is no admission fee, but donations are encouraged.

“I wanted it to be free. I think it should be available to everyone,” Lüttringhause said. “We’re not going to turn anyone away.”

The opening-night events of SARUS will take place Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Ocean Grill and Tiki Bar, the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier and in the sand from 3:15 to 9 p.m. Spectators can enjoy live didgeridoo music, trapeze dances, aerial performances and human sculptures.

Friday’s exhibits will take place at various indoor and outdoor locations throughout downtown Wilmington. The first event of the evening, “In Wonderland,” performed by Cape Fear Dance Theater, will start at the fountain at the corner of Market and Water streets at 6 p.m., and will lead audience members through downtown Wilmington.

Saturday’s event will be a presentation of works, installations and performances at Cameron Art Museum at 6:30 p.m. Audience members will follow a path that will guide them to indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Sunday, Aug. 24, the final day of the SARUS Festival, exhibits can be experienced at Public Beach Access No. 4 at Wrightsville Beach from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Onlookers can enjoy interdisciplinary dance, an interactive sound performance and a presentation of kinetics movement arts. The SARUS Festival’s closing piece, a discussion titled The Purpose of Art, will encourage artists and audience members to delve into a meaningful conversation about art.

For more information about the SARUS Festival, visit


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