San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Urban dance festival kicks off Wednesday in San José

Artistic expression can be found in many forms. For some, it materializes with a brush stroke; for others, a note on a piano. Miguel Bolaños, the founder and organizer of San José’s Open Urban Dance and Art Festival, said he learned to express himself artistically at a young age through break dancing.

“It’s a new expression of many different manifestations,” he said. “It’s a way to communicate and a form of cultural interchange.”

San José’s third Open Urban Dance and Art Festival (FADAU) will bring new-age dancers from across Latin America together to display their skills to the tune of hip-hop, rap and break-dancing music. For many young people growing up in urban centers throughout the region, break dancing is a way of life that gives them an avenue to express themselves outside of violence, Bolaños said.

The festival will feature dance battles and solo performances in Creole swing, break dancing, hip-hop and a fusion of many different forms of dance brought together. The showdown will feature some of the best dance crews in Latin America, selected by an international panel of break-dancing experts. Professional crews from Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other countries will start battling and performing on June 1.

“These groups practice every day together for many years,” Bolaños said. “It is important to understand the art and perspective of young people, whether it be dance, high art or low art, and bring it together from across the country and world.”

The festival will take place June 1 to 5 at the Costa Rican Art Museum in western San José’s La Sabana Park, and at the La Aduana Theater in Barrio La California on the east side. Admission to the dance-offs at La Aduana will cost $6, or $4 for students with identification. Events at the museum are free of charge.

For information, call 2234-5584 or email

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