NC Dance Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Local Performances Oct. 23-24 at ASU

Published Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 11:58 am

Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will host the North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF) as it returns to Boone on its 2015 statewide tour. NCDF will be presented in the Valborg Theatre for two performances at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 23 and 24.


Jan Van Dyke, the late founder of the North Carolina Dance Festival, will be remembered through a performance of her original work “Lament” on Saturday. It features guest artists E.E. Balcos and Kelly Swindell. Photo Credit: NCDF

 Ticket prices are $10 for Appalachian students and $17 for adults for reserved seating. For more information, visit the department website at, or call the box office at 828-262-4046, or the toll free number 800-841-ARTS (2787).

The festival consists of original work by touring artists and dance companies from across the state. Participants are chosen in a blind judging process and perform in Raleigh and Greensboro as well as Boone. To commemorate the festival’s 25th anniversary, the faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance will be showcased on stage as both choreographers and performers. This variation from the usual schedule “allows students to see faculty perform, which they don’t often get a chance to do,” said associate professor Susan Lutz, who is the coordinator of this year’s event. Students serve as stage managers and running crewmembers.

NCDF features a variety of dance pieces created by talented choreographers. Guest artists for this year’s festival include Anna Barker, Amy Love Beasley, Thomas DeFrantz, and Karola Lüttringhaus.  In addition, a piece by the NCDF’s founder – the late Jan Van Dyke – will be staged in tribute to her legacy.

The festival includes works by theatre and dance faculty members Marianne Adams, Laurie Atkins, Emily Daughtridge, Sayward Grindley, Kathryn Ullum and Cara Hagen, whose piece “Ritual of 100 Tiny Circles” was commissioned by the North Carolina Arts Council. The program includes artists from local companies SG Dance Theater and G. Alex and the Movement.

The 2015 performance schedule and programs are as follows:

Friday, Oct. 23:

Appalachian faculty members featured are Marianne Adams, Laurie Atkins, Emily Daughtridge, Sayward Grindley, Cara Hagan and Kathryn Ullum, as well as professional dancers Anna Barker, Thomas DeFrantz and G. Alex Smith, with local company SG Dance Theater.

Saturday, Oct. 24:

Appalachian faculty members Marianne Adams, Laurie Atkins, Emily Daughtridge, Cara Hagan and Kathryn Ullum are joined by guest artists Amy Love Beasly, Karola Lüttringhaus, G. Alex Smith and a work by the late Jan Van Dyke performed by E.E. Balcos and Kelly Swindell, along with local company G. Alex and the Movement.

Considered by Dance Project as “the most comprehensive yearly collection of indigenous modern dance in the state,” NCDF purposefully designs diverse pieces suited to almost all tastes. This year, the works have a range of themes – from war to intentionally trying to run out of breath.

Choreographer Anna Barker bring excerpts from “It’s not me, it’s you,” a duet that comprises both theatrical and dance elements to explore the intricacies of relationships. Amy Love Beasley created a piece for four Appalachian faculty members called “Buoyancy IV,” which draws heavily from an earlier solo piece titled “Assembly.”

This special season will be dedicated to the late Jan Van Dyke, the festival’s founder and artistic director until her death this past July. Van Dyke’s piece “Lament,” a duet about the frustrations of life, will be performed the Saturday. Along with being a founder and director of the Dance Project, which coordinates the NCDF, she received NC Choreography Fellowship and the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Award.

About Valborg Theatre

Valborg Theatre is located on the north side of Chapell Wilson Hall on Howard Street. The entrance faces the back of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts on King Street. Parking is available after 5 p.m. on campus in faculty/staff lots and after 5:30 p.m. in the College Street parking deck near Belk Library and Information Commons.

About the Department of Theatre and Dance

The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts educational opportunities including B.A. degrees in dance studies and theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship and service.



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