By Morgan White and Matt Denney
Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will present the North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF) in the Valborg Theatre on the university campus Oct. 27–29 at 7 p.m. The festival is a celebration of the state’s legacy of accomplished and admired dancers, and prices are $10 for students and $17 for adults. For more information, contact the Valborg Theatre box office at 828-262-3063, call the Schaefer Center box office toll-free at 800-841-ARTS (2787) or visit http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
Asheville-based choreographer and dancer Lindsey Kelley Brewer will perform during the 2016 North Carolina Dance Festival on Saturday, Oct. 29. That evening’s performances will culminate a three-day touring celebration, in Boone for the 20th consecutive year. Photo courtesy of PTM Photography
The North Carolina Dance Festival is a three-day touring celebration, in Boone for the 20th consecutive year, which debuted at the university in 1996. Each year, NCDF presents works by modern dance choreographers across the state. Associate Professor of Dance Susan Lutz, coordinator for the NCDF residency at Appalachian, began working at Appalachian the same year the festival debuted. Lutz says that the event is critical because it allows students to network with professionals and see how they work.
“Dance is the opportunity for a story to be told without words, for emotions to be portrayed through movement,” remarked Lutz. “It’s an art form meant to rile your senses and make you ask questions. These pieces will do just that and leave you wanting more.”
This year, the festival features North Carolina dance companies and choreographers Renay Aumiller Dances, E.E. Balcos, Lindsey Kelley Brewer and more, along with Appalachian graduates.
The festival opens Thursday, Oct. 27, with performances by two dance studies alumni, Jamille Brayshaw ’12 and Caroline Daniel ’14, alongside local artists Nicole Durfee and G. Alex Smith. Daniel’s musical accompanist Mike Runyon is also an Appalachian alum who graduated from the Hayes School of Music in 2013.
On Friday, Oct. 28, Renay Aumiller Dances of Durham will take the stage of the Valborg Theatre. Renay Aumiller Dances was founded in 2012 and is comprised of professional dancers from the Research Triangle area known for their technical and creative capacities. Prior to the performance, Aumiller will teach an open master class on dance at 2 p.m. that same day, which is free of charge and open to the public.
Friday will also see E.E. Balcos of Charlotte return to the North Carolina Dance Festival. Balcos is originally from Minneapolis, has been a professional dancer and choreographer for nearly 30 years, and has studied with modern dance pioneer Hanya Holm. He toured nationally and internationally with Shapiro & Smith Dance, Demetrius Klein Dance Company and Zenon Dance Company. Balcos has choreographed over 50 professional works and 30 works for students.
The festival concludes Saturday, Oct. 29, with Asheville-based choreographer and dancerLindsey Kelley Brewer, Kristi Vincent Johnson of Durham and Eric Mullis of Charlotte. Brayshaw, Daniels, Durfee and Smith will join the final performance. Johnson and Mullis will present work for the first time on the Valborg stage this year. Johnson’s piece “When the Bough Breaks” is a trio inspired by the cyclical nature and instability of codependent relationships. Mullis’ piece “Phasing” is a contemporary quartet that explores musical structures.
The full festival schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Oct. 27, 7 p.m.
Local artists performing at Valborg Theatre include Jamille Brayshaw, Caroline Daniel, Nicole Durfee and G. Alex Smith, along with dances from Department of Theatre and Dance’s “First Year Showcase” choreographed by Marianne Adams, Cara Hagen and Sara Patrick.
Friday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m.
Free and open master class with Renay Aumiller in Varsity Gym room 208.
Friday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m.
Touring artists Renay Aumiller and E.E. Balcos will perform at Valborg Theatre with Jamille Brayshaw, Caroline Daniel, Nicole Durfee and G. Alex Smith.
Saturday, Oct. 29, 7 p.m.
Touring artists Lindsey Kelly Brewer, Eric Mullis and Kristi Vincent Johnson will perform at Valborg Theatre with Jamille Brayshaw, Caroline Daniel, Nicole Durfee and G. Alex Smith.
Tickets are available at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., at the Valborg Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 1–5 p.m., by phone at 828-262-4046 and online at http://theatreanddance.appstate.edu.
About the North Carolina Dance Festival
The North Carolina Dance Festival, a production of the Dance Project, is an annual touring showcase of modern and contemporary choreography by N.C. artists. Dance Project Inc., founded by Jan Van Dyke and now directed by Anne Morris and Lauren Joyner, is a non-profit organization coordinating the North Carolina Dance Festival, running a community studio and the School at City Arts and managing the Van Dyke Dance Group. The festival establishes a network of venues for professional regional choreography and performance, expanding accessibility to dance throughout the state while raising the profile of North Carolina’s own artists.
About Appalachian’s Department of Theatre and Dance
The Department of Theatre and Dance is one of seven departments housed in Appalachian’s College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to facilitate transformative experiences for students and the public, which cultivate compassionate, creative and collaborative communities through theatre and dance. The department also offers coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Its dynamic co-curricular production program provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low faculty-to-student ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.