American Dance Festival Celebrates 85 Years With 10 World Premieres

The American Dance Festival (ADF) today announced the schedule for its 85th season, running June 14-July 21, 2018. The summer includes 53 performances by 26 companies and choreographers in 7 different venues.

"We are excited to present the 85th anniversary season with performances encompassing the phenomenal breadth of the modern dance field. So much terrific dance to see! There is no question there will be something for everyone this season," said ADF Executive Director, Jodee Nimerichter.

Program highlights include the presentation of the 2018 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement to acclaimed choreographer,

Ronald K. Brown, prior to the performance of his company Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE on Thursday, June 28 at 8:00pm. Dayton Contemporary Dance Company returns to ADF with classic works by African-American choreographers as well as a new ADF-commissioned piece by Abby Zbikowski. Coming Home: ADF Alumni Return is a first-ever ADF alumni concert, curated by an all ADF alumni panel, presenting five dances by talented ADF alumni choreographers. Tere O'Connor Dance presents an ADF-commissioned evening-length work, Long Run. ADF and the North Carolina Museum of Art will co-present Dana Ruttenberg's Naba 2.0, a work that engages all the senses.

Women choreographers are the highlight of two separate programs, Wondrous Women including a solo from Camille A. Brown's latest work Ink and ADF-commissioned solos by Michelle Dorrrance, Rhapsody James, Aparna Ramaswamy, and Yabin Wang, and the annual Footprints concert with ADF-commissioned works by Dafi Altabeb, Jillian Peña, and Abby Zbikowski, performed by ADF students.

ADF will partner again with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to present Places Please! starring Nicole Wolcott and Larry Keigwin, a zany look at backstage moments before the curtain rises, and A.I.M, MacArthur "Genius" award winner Kyle Abraham's company, in Dearest Home, an interactive evening-length performance focused on love, longing, and loss.

ADF welcomes back Paul Taylor Dance Company performing new and classic works, Pilobolus with best-loved repertory and a new ADF-commissioned piece, Shen Wei Dance Arts with Neither, a work that reflects on Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett's 1977 anti-opera of the same name, and Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre with an evening-length ADF-commissioned piece, Make Believe.

New to the ADF stage this season is Anne Plamondon with her solo The Same Eyes as Yours, a work on the subject of mental illness, Murielle Elizéon's Brown, a dance that uses personal history to explore heritage, violence against women, loss, vulnerability, and resilience, and Israel's L-E-V, Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar's company of fiercely talented dancers who move with expressive precision, with a one-night only performance of OCD Love.

The 2018 Festival Performances will take place at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Reynolds Industries Theater, the newly opened von der Heyden Studio Theater in the Rubenstein Arts Center, Baldwin Auditorium, North Carolina Museum of Art, the Carolina Theatre, and Durham Fruit. Single tickets and subscriptions go on sale Tuesday, May 1st, and prices range from $12 to $60 with many savings options available. Tickets can be purchased through the ADF website at More detailed information about ticket prices and performing companies, including photos, videos, and press reviews, are also available on the website.

Dayton Contemporary Dance Company

Reynolds Industries Theater

Thursday, June 14 | 7:00pm
Friday, June 15 | 8:00pm
Children's Matinee | Saturday, June 16 | 1:00pm
ADF Commissioned World Premiere!

Working with some of the world's most renowned choreographers, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company holds the world's largest archive of classic African-American dance works and one of the largest of any kind among contemporary dance companies. Noteworthy choreographers who have worked with the company over four decades include Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Bill T. Jones, José Limón, Donald McKayle, Ray Mercer, Bebe Miller, and Doug Varone. DCDC's March 2016 performance of Donald McKayle's Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder (originally set on the company as part of ADF's Black Traditions in American Modern Dance program and featured in the Emmy Award-winning Free to Dance), produced by Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, was recognized by The New York Dance and Performance Awards and received a 2016 "Bessie" award for Outstanding Revival. In 2012 the company embarked on the New Works Project for the creation of new dance work by world-leading choreographers and emerging choreographers of great promise. Work to be performed includes Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, This I Know For Sure..., Awassa Astrige/Ostrich, and a new ADF commissioned work by 2017 "Bessie" award winning choreographer Abby Zbikowski.

Shen Wei Dance Arts

Durham Performing Arts Center

Saturday, June 16 and Sunday, June 17 | 7:00pm

One of the premier international dance companies, Shen Wei Dance Arts has won worldwide acclaim for "amassing a body of works so strikingly original they defy categorization"-The Boston Globe. The work Shen Wei makes for his company draws on influences as varied as traditional Chinese culture and arts, European surrealism, American high modernism, and the ritual power of ancient drama. Transcending east and west, Shen Wei Dance Arts fuses these disparate forms to forge a startling new hybrid form of dance. The company's dances reflect the compositional rigor of Shen Wei the visual artist, dancer, and choreographer-incorporating vivid colors, striking design, and imaginative use of space into theatrical, kinetic paintings. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of ADF's involvement to help develop modern dance in China based on their own culture and traditions. Shen Wei was one of the first young dancers to graduate from the earliest classes taught by ADF faculty in Guangzhou, and in 2000, he founded his company while in residence at ADF. The company will perform Neither, a work that reflects on Morton Feldman and Samuel Beckett's 1977 anti-opera of the same name. In this piece Shen Wei immerses 11 dancers into massive and luminous sets of this own design, exquisitely illuminated by Jennifer Tipton's lighting. This performance contains brief nudity.


Durham Performing Arts Center
Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22 | 8:00pm

Children's Matinee | Saturday, June 23 | 1:00pm
ADF Commissioned World Premiere!

"Pilobolus embodies a large part of what the best in contemporary dance is all

about: discovery. Making something new with the same standard body parts the

rest of us have"-The Washington Post. Pilobolus began at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1971. Moses Pendleton, an English literature major and cross-country skier, Jonathan Wolken, a philosophy science major and fencer, and Steve Johnson, a pre-med student and pole vaulter, were enrolled in a dance composition class taught by Alison Becker Chase. In that class, they created their first piece, which they titled Pilobolus-and a legacy of movement and magic was born. This perennial crowd favorite will present an evening of work based on the five senses including Gnomen, a quartet for men with its lyrical exploration of relationships emerging from an unusually inventive physical vocabulary, Day Two, one of the company's most amazing works set to a soundtrack from Brian Eno and Talking Heads that captures the awe of evolution and the wonder of existence, and a new ADF-commissioned all-female trio. Members of Pilobolus will be in residency at ADF Samuel H. Scripps Studios the week of May 21. Evening performances contain nudity.

Places Please!

Starring Nicole Wolcott & Larry Keigwin
von der Heyden Studio Theater at the Rubenstein Arts Center
Friday, June 22 | 7:00pm & 10:00pm
Saturday, June 23 | 10:00pm

Sunday, June 24 | 5:00pm & 7:00pm

Co-presented by ADF and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Nicole Wolcott, a Brooklyn based artist called ,"One of today's finest dance comedians and a knockout dancer," by The New York Times, and ADF alumni Larry Keigwin, a native New Yorker and choreographer who has danced his way from the Metropolitan Opera to downtown clubs to Broadway and back, present their latest work Places Please!, a zany trip backstage in the final moments before the curtain goes up. The audience becomes privy to the anxiety and playfulness of life behind the scenes in this anticipation-fueled program that celebrates and extends the creative relationship that served as KEIGWIN

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