American Dance Festival Celebrating 40 Years in Durham

The American Dance Festival is celebrating 40 years in Durham, North Carolina. The New York Post called this “the world’s greatest dance festival.”

The American Dance Festival (ADF) offers two months of modern dance to Durham every summer. The festival features over twenty-four dance companies and hundreds of choreographers, writers, and students participating in classes, seminars, and performances.

The ADF organization offers educational opportunities and community projects to promote modern dance throughout the year.  ADF is happening across Durham (also known as the Bull City).

Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast will highlight the performances happening at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) which is within walking distance from our bed and breakfast.  DPAC consistently ranks in the top 5 entertainment venues in our country.

2017 American Dance Festival at Durham Performing Arts Center

Thursday June 15 at 6:30 pm: Opening night performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center featuring companies and choreographers in (or from) NC.

  • African American Dance Ensemble returns to ADF with their exuberant brand of
    dance and music. 
  • JOYEMOVEMENT’s solo, Fit the Description, is a love letter to all who
    have been accused of being a suspect because of the color of their skin, their hairstyle,
    their spunk, their clothing style, the shape of their nose, the color of their teeth, how they
    laugh, who they worship, or where they eat lunch. 
  • Charlotte Ballet will perform Ohad
    Naharin’s Minus 16. With a musical score that ranges from Dean Martin to traditional
    Israeli songs, Minus 16 uses improvisation and Naharin’s acclaimed Gaga method in this
    exhilarating work. 
  • In celebration of ADF’s 40th year in Durham, the festival commissioned
    Dialogues by Artistic Director Robert Weiss and Resident Choreographer Zalman Raffael of
    the Carolina Ballet. Tap dancers Elizabeth Burke and Luke Hickey will also perform.

Friday June 30 at 8 pm AND Saturday July 1 at 1 pm and 8 pm

  • World Premiere
    Festival favorite Pilobolus returns!  On the Nature of
    Things explores the birth of desire and its intertwined
    connection to shame and revenge. 
  • Rushes was the
    first of Pilobolus’s International Collaborators Projects
    and is the result of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s
    collaboration with Pilobolus Artistic Director Robby
    Barnett and the company. 
  • Finally, the company will
    present the world premiere of a new ADF-commissioned
    collaboration with Abigail Washburn and 16 time
    Grammy Award-winning banjo legend Béla Fleck. This performance contains nudity.

Friday, July 7 at 8 pm AND Saturday July 8 at 1 pm and 8 pm

  • One of the world’s most highly respected and sought-after
    ensembles, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will present
    two different programs of classic and new works. 
  • On Friday
    evening, the company will perform Cascade, Syzygy, and Larry
    Keigwin’s Rush Hour. 
  • Saturday night’s program will consist
    of 1978’s Airs, Black Tuesday, set to songs from the Great
    Depression, and Doug Elkins’ work The Weight of Smoke.

Friday July 14 at 7 pm and Saturday July 15 at 7 pm

  • Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre ADF Debut
    Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young,
    Betroffenheit evokes the state of shock and
    bewilderment that is all encompassing in the
    wake of a disaster. 
  • Touching on themes of loss,
    trauma, addiction, and recovery, Betroffenheit
    is a boundary-stretching hybrid of theater and
    dance. The piece is co-created by Kidd Pivot and
    Electric Company Theatre.
    This performance contains adult subject matter and language.

Friday, July 21 at 8 pm AND Saturday July 22 at 1 pm and 8 pm

  • Mark Morris Dance Group brings their 1981 masterwork
    Gloria to the DPAC stage. With music by Antonio
    Vivaldi, performed live by the Durham Symphony, the
    North Carolina Master Chorale, and members of the Mark
    Morris Dance Group. 
  • The company will also perform Excersions
    with music by Samuel Barber and A Lake set to music
    by Franz Joseph Haydn.
    Mark Morris Dance Group’s evening performances are
    dedicated to the North Carolina Arts Council celebrating 50 years.

Tuesday July 25

  • ADF will present the 2017 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement to legendary choreographer, Lucinda Childs. 
  • Established in 1981 by Samuel H. Scripps, the annual award honors choreographers who have dedicated their lives and talent to the creation of modern dance. 
  • Ms. Childs’ work is renowned for its minimal and elegant style, virtuosity, and mesmerizing repetitive movements and patterns.

Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company along with Associate Artistic Direct Janet Wong, and his company, developed 3 evening long works titled Analogy.  The complete trilogy, performed for the first time at ADF, brings into light the different types of war we fight including the war within ourselves.

  • Thursday July 27 at 8 pm Analogy/Dora: Tramontane 
  • Friday July 28 at 8 pm Analogy/Lance: Pretty aka the Escape Artist (contains adult subject matter and language)
  • Saturday July 29 at 7 pm Analogy/ Ambros: The Emigrant 

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