The 26th North Carolina Dance Festival is already in full swing, awaiting its third and last tour stop at Greensboro’s newly built Van Dyke Performance Space on November 12. Indulge yourself in the upcoming local performance, featuring innovative choreography and high quality repertory based on modern and contemporary styles from dancers across the state.
For those unaware of the NC Dance Festival, it is an annual tour produced by Dance Project, a non-profit organization that showcases some of the best choreography in the state. Dance Project was founded by Jan Van Dyke, a local Greensboro choreographer, in 1989, but is now headed by Anne Morris and Lauren Joyner.
Every fall a new tour comes around with three stops in various cities around the state. This year the three cities are Raleigh, Boone, and Greensboro, respectively. The last stop highly anticipated due to using the new Van Dyke Performance Space, built in memory of the late choreographer who established Dance Project and brought NC Dance Festival into existence. The Greensboro performance will feature guest performers will as well as a tribute dedicated to the recently passed, Jan Van Dyke. “Full Circle”, the first choreographed dance that Van Dyke created in Greensboro, will be performed in the spirit of her lively personality. A trio will perform to the Turtle Island String Quartet, with a video of the choreographer performing a dance from her 1977 “Fleetwood Mac Suite.”
Other special performances will appear in Greensboro’s leg of the festival, including a piece devised in lieu of recent police brutality. A local Greensboro choreographer as well as the established Artistic Director of JOYEMOVEMENT dance company, Alexandra Warren, created a solo performance for Emmanuel Mallette. Mallette, will alert the audience about the experience a person feels being a supposed suspect simply with their societal stereotype and/or physical appearance.
NCDF will present a special preview performance of “Greensboro Moves” this year. The work was choreographed by local artist Danielle Kinne. This several months long project required dancers to engage with the public by gathering various ideas from texts and stories to complete the choreography. Kinne created the performance to make dance an expansive event for Greensboro residents through use of a diverse group of dancers. This special performance will take place on October 22 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Cultural Center.
Besides local acts, many touring artists will provide entertainment. First of many included in NCDF is Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD) a Durham dance company founded in 2012, who are known for their deep and wondering performances in their identifiable fluid form.
There will also be the Minneapolis, Minnesota native, EE Balcos. Balcos duels as a professional dancer and choreographer, and has appeared in several dance performances with various companies. He is an associate Professor of Dance at UNC-Charlotte, and this is his fifth year at NCDF.
Next is Lindsey Kelley Brewer, the artistic director at Lindsey Kelley Dance from Asheville, North Carolina. Brewer’s work has been showcased in American Dance Festival, Asheville and Greensboro Fringe Festivals, ReHappening and the University of North Carolina- Asheville, and NCDF as well.
Louisiana native, Kristi Vincent Johnson, is a versatile artist who divides her time as a performer, choreographer, educator, and a community builder. She has worked in several university dance schools, therefore granting her the National Dance Association college/university dance educator of the year award in 2013. Presently, she works at the North Carolina Central University. Johnson is also the founder of the Triangle Project and artistic director of TRANSLATIONS Dance Company.
The last traveling artist is Eric Mullis, who is currently enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He is a professor of Philosophy at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a regular at the classes organized by the American Dance Festival as well as the Charlotte Ballet. Also, Mullis has written several articles on dance performance in the Dance Research Journal.
Dance Project desires to continue an annual dance festival to provide accessible and quality dance entertainment, classes, and promote NC’s dancers. “We hope to create a stronger community for dance as we contribute to a community that is stronger because of dance,” states Anne Morris, one of the current overseers for NC Dance Festival. Passion holds Dance Project together, but so does the support from state and local art councils, local and national foundations, and individual donations.
North Carolina, overall, is keeping the spirit of dance entertainment strong through the annual NC Dance Festival. So, make sure you go out to support and see some talented statewide entertainment!