Fall Dance Festivals From Around the World

fall dance festival

It’s fall dance festival time around the world, and some amazing cultural experiences await those who have adventure in their soul.  Some of these autumn festivals are fairly new to the scene; others date back decades or even centuries. Still, they all share some common themes:  fabulous food, fascinating local artists, and fantastic people-watching.  Some of the better-known festivals also have a dance element – and that keeps people entertained and inspired to learn a few moves of their own.


Here’s a quick tour of some of the world’s best fall festivals:


The Melbourne International Arts Festival runs October 3-21, 2018 and features dance, theatre, visual arts, live music and many more events.  Here’s a sample from “A Quiet Evening of Dance”, one of the many dance performance experiences at this year’s festival.

The middle of October ushers in an event in the Netherlands billed as the biggest dance festival in the world—the Amsterdam Dance Event, running this year from October 17-21. This year’s festival features more than 450 events at 140 locations across the capital city. Nearly 400,000 people are expected to enjoy the various activities during the five-day event.  The festival also features a conference and symposium covering every topic pertaining to the music industry. This year’s special focus is on the culture surrounding 30 years of Dutch electronic music.


Another mid-October festival, the CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival…focuses on current reformist artists.  This year’s cultural festival runs October 5-21 and features dance, live concerts, fine art events, theatre and art exhibitions.  The eclectic nature of the dance and live musical performances keeps attendees coming back year after year.

If you can travel to Italy in the next few weeks, definitely check out the White Truffle Festival in the town of Alba in the Piedmont region.  There, in the truffle capital of Italy, you can help celebrate the delicacy with food markets and fairs, cultural programs, wine tastings, concerts, races and other activities. This year’s festival runs from October 6-November 25th.  Check out the flag ceremony from a recent Truffle Festival:

It’s not too early to plan a fall festival trip for 2019! If you want to see some amazing dance performances, here are a few more options for you to consider:


Paris Nuit Blanche (Paris White Night) usually runs for one night in early October.  This year’s event was held October 6th.  During Paris Nuit Blanche, the city’s storied museums, galleries, swimming pools, city halls and arts venues offer free performances to the public from 7pm-7am.  It’s a chance for avant-garde artists like Jamila Johnson-Small to introduce their new works to a captivated international audience:

No fall festival list is complete without the Munich Oktoberfest!  The famous German event started in 1810, and is now celebrated yearly in late September and early October with close to 6 million people attending.  Over the past two centuries, Oktoberfest has evolved into a beer festival that’s celebrated around the world.  From US states like Texas, to foreign countries such as Mexico, China and Japan…people go to Oktoberfest to enjoy traditional German food, beer and lively entertainment.  Attendees in Munich are treated to fairs, local markets, a gun salute, costume parade, and of course, lots of beer and polkas!

If you can hold out ‘til 2020, plan to attend the Bienal de Flamenco de Sevilla, Spain… held only in the even numbered years. This year’s event spanned the last three weeks in September.  The festival celebrates the art of flamenco, born in Andalusia, Spain.  It features more than 70 concerts and live dance productions …performed by some of the world’s top flamenco artists.  Here are some highlights from this year’s festival:

All of these festivals feature a unique take on dance, with an international flavor.  If you’re looking to try social dance for the first time, or add some inspired new moves to your repertoire, call, visit or go on line to fredastaire.com  .