North Carolina Dance Companies (Triangle)

July 22, 2014 § Leave a comment


The North Carolina Research Triangle Region consists of the area within Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh. The Triangle region is ranked among the best places in the nation to live and to do business in North Carolina. This well-developed region has a lot of dance companies and project-based work. Today, we are going to focus on nine diverse dance companies: The Kearns Dance Project, Natalie Marrone &The Dance Cure, Gaspard & Dancers, nosi DANCE theater, Renay Aumiller Dances, Justin Turnow & COMPANY, VECTOR, Carrasco Dance Works, and Carolina Ballet.

1dff79_7cd7933a68ed9f4f33bbbfb9a79f30da.jpg_srz_p_150_150_75_22_0.50_1.20_0The Kearns Dance Project (KDP)


According to the website, the Kearns Dance Project (KDP) is a North Carolina non-profit corporation based in Burlington, a member of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, a member of the NC Arts Council Touring Directory, and a member of the NC Dance Alliance. The company works with a variety of dancers and designers on a per project basis.

KDP makes innovative and dynamic dance. The mission of KDP is three-fold: First, to enrich, educate and entertain audiences by producing innovative and dynamic choreography. Second, to create collaborative opportunities for artists to develop talents in all aspects of dance production. Third, to provide thought-provoking educational outreach programs to the greater community through the art of dance. Click here to view a clip of previous work by director Lauren Kearns.

The first annual company season will feature two signature duets Swinging on a Bench and Twister as well as the premiere of a new duet Kapow…Pow…Bam…Zap! and the full-length A Hot Topic of ConversationKDP Season Premiere Performance is on November 13-14, 2014 @7:30pm at PSI Theatre in Durham, NC. Make sure to see the show!

logo_homeNatalie Marrone & The Dance Cure


Natalie Marrone and The Dance Cure is a contemporary, all female performance company based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina dedicated to the creation of culturally driven dances that bring to life the broader scope of human experience.

According to the website, the company was established in 1998 and thrives on performing and teaching an accessible yet diverse body of dances that explore the many rites of passage woven through the fabric of human experience. Marrone’s Italian ethnicity serves as the point of the departure for most of the company’s choreographic creations which fuse the athleticism of contemporary dance with folk dances, myths and rituals of her southern Italian background. The all female company can be seen throughout the state of North Carolina inspiring a broad participation in dance which nurtures individual expression, celebrates diversity, and passionately pursues community unity.

Click here to view demo clips of some of Natalie’s work.

5801c46b5827fb64e9d7dbe66a514089Gaspard & Dancers


According to the website, the company, formed in 2009 by Gaspard Louis, is based in Durham North Carolina. In a city with a rich, diverse community of artists, performers and creative energies, opportunities for collaboration abound. They’ve worked with local musicians, composers, photographers, dance and film festivals.

Gaspard & Dancers’ vision is to create, perform, and teach movement that is physically inventive, emotionally dynamic, and inspiring to people of all ages and backgrounds. Inclusion is central to the mission of Gaspard&Dancers. Through performances, demonstrations, workshops and long-term residencies within the community and around the world, their goal is to expand the creative potential of all who see and share in their work. Click here to see pictures and video clips from some of Gaspard’s work.

Recently, the company performed at the American Dance Festival at Duke University in June. Next the company will have their Fifth annual performances at Duke University Reynolds Theater September 25 & 26 as well as joining other North Carolina local artists in North Carolina Dance Festival on Tour 2014-2015. The North Carolina Dance Festival on Tour performances are in Raleigh September 20th, Boone October 24th & 25th, Greensboro November 1st, and January 24, 2015!

logo_onWHnosi DANCE theater


nosi DANCE theater (nDt) is a multi-faceted contemporary dance company ushering in a new era of dance. Their goal is to broaden the dance community, thru its participants, audiences and exposure showing the wondrous diversity of our world.

According to its website, nDt idea emerged in 2005 by artistic director Allison R. Daniels “to keep professional dance thriving in the Triangle all year and expose the importance of all arts in our community, for ALL audiences-making them a more powerful force for our culture & world.” The company is based in Durham, NC, Daniels’ hometown.

Along with the company nDt has a education/outreach sector called nosi educates which conducts an array of school programs, workshops/residencies, and master classes. They believe that all people contribute to movement individually, from children to adults, we each have a special flow. nosi educates programs are taliored to fit your needs as they may be scheduled alone or together. A 3-day residency may be programmed with a performance and interactive workshops for a complete experience.   

Click here to view excerpts of Daniels’ work.

Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD)


Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD) is a Durham-based contemporary dance company that strives to create innovative and thought-provoking choreography for concert stages and alternative venues. RAD was founded June 1, 2012 but has been extremely successful.

Renay says “through my dance works, I seek to represent learned human behavior through an amalgam of classical beauty and ugly truths. Seeking movement as unique and unrelenting as the individual human anatomy, my goal is to shift perspectives of beauty. I experiment with the illusion of order amid chaotic movement. My aesthetic shifts between aggressive physicality and awkward fluidity; it accentuates spontaneity, absurdity and social expectations of human existence.” Click here to watch RAD repertory.

logoJustin Turnow & COMPANY


Justin Turnow & COMPANY is a contemporary dance company based in Durham, NC. By utilizing both composition and improvisation, and reconsidering existing ideas about movement and content, the goal of artistic director Justin Tornow is to experiment with the formality of modern and contemporary dance. COMPANY is currently comprised of 4 dance artists developing and presenting new work at various local and regional performances. COMPANY aims to organize and present events that showcase a range of quality, relevant art both in the Durham, NC area and through touring efforts. A curated dance festival for local and regional artists is in the works for 2015.

Justin Tornow and COMPANY also present a recurring, multi-disciplinary artist series in Durham, NC called PROMPTS. For each event, a prompt is issued to the arts community: any artist can sign up to present a response to the prompt. PROMPTS events are open to the public by donation, and are meant to foster the creation of new work, collaboration, and to rally more community support for the area’s working artists. The next PROMPTS is on Friday, August 22th, 2014 at  7-9pm at The Carrack Modern Art in Durham.



VECTOR is a Durham-based multi-media dance company creating work that questions the rules and societal norms that shape our daily lives.  Directed by visual artist Jon Haas and choreographer Leah Wilks, the company uses highly physical, detail-oriented movement in combination with video, audio documentary, motion-tracking, and projections to create participatory installations, evening-length performances and dance films.  Their recent projects include Still Point (2013), Secrets I Never Told My Mother (2012), and the upcoming HABITUS (2015).

Jon and Leah met in 2011 working on the production Mau A Malawi: Stories of AIDS Through Music at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill. Through the craziness of mounting a cross-disciplinary show in a very short period of time they decided they liked working together. From 2011-2013 they collaborated on projects as their own separate companies LeahWilksDance and HaaStudios, and then finally decided to join forces under the moniker VECTOR in 2014.

Along with Gaspard & Dancers and Carrasco Dance Works, Leah Wilks will be performing a solo entitled Mess in the North Carolina Dance Festival starting in September. Click here to view past works!

Carrasco Dance Works


Carrasco Dance Works is a Durham-based Modern dance company founded by choreographer Diego Carrasco. His works have been described as “…excellent pieces distinguished by their kinetic force, structural craft and sensitive musicality.” Click here to view Diego’s past works.

Carrasco Dance Works will be on tour with the 2014-2015 season for North Carolina Dance Festival. The North Carolina Dance Festival on Tour performances are in Raleigh September 20th, Boone October 24th & 25th, Greensboro November 1st, and January 24, 2015!

carolina-balletCarolina Ballet


According to its website, Carolina Ballet is one of America’s premiere arts organizations. Launched as a professional dance company in 1997 under the direction of Artistic Director/CEO Robert Weiss, Carolina Ballet has since garnered critical praise from the national and international media, staged 80 world premiere ballets, and toured internationally in China and Hungary. Weiss, former artistic director of the Pennsylvania Ballet and principal dancer at New York City Ballet under the legendary George Balanchine, programs traditional ballets by legendary masters and new works by contemporary choreographers.

Carolina Ballet’s mission is to perform world-class professional ballet, entertaining and enlightening audiences in Raleigh, the Triangle region, the State of North Carolina, and beyond. It will accomplish this mission by:

  • attracting, developing, and retaining excellent dancers and artistic personnel combined with a fiscally responsible management and board of directors;
  • commissioning new works by innovative choreographers;
  • presenting traditional ballets of legendary masters;
  • educating current and future audiences through programs for school-aged children and other performance outreach activities.

On September 11-28, 2014, Carolina Ballet will open their 17th season with the beloved Russian folktale, Firebird. This mesmerizing ballet is set to the groundbreaking score by Igor Stravinsky and choreographed by their very own Artistic Director, Robert Weiss. This program will also feature new ballets by Zalman Raffael and Robert Weiss. Click here to view the 2014-2015 season performances.

This is just the beginning. Tune in next week to view more dance companies in the Triangle area.


North Carolina Dance Companies (Piedmont Triad)

July 16, 2014 § Leave a comment

The North Carolina Piedmont Triad area consists of the region within and surrounding the three major cities Greensboro, Wintson-Salam, and High Point. It is a metropolitan area that is connected by Interstates 40, 85, 73, & 74. While this area is small there are some fantastic dance companies. Today we are focusing on: Jan Van Dyke Group, Greensboro Ballet, Cyrus Art Production, TERRANOVA Dance Theatre, Helen Simoneau Danse, Sidelong Dance Company, Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, High Point Ballet, and John Gamble Dance Theater.

vanJan Van Dyke Group


The Van Dyke Dance Group is a division of Dance Project, Inc., a non-profit organization under the direction of Jan Van Dyke, with three activities: a statewide dance festival, a dance school and a professional dance company.

The company members, selected by invitation, are all local artists with strong performance and educational experience, with the commitment, precision, and energy necessary to perform Van Dyke’s choreography. Several of the company dancers have been with Van Dyke since the earliest performances, investing their careers in the Triad, and giving the Group a maturity and depth not often seen in regional dance performance.

Van Dyke’s choreography, known for dynamic energy and rhythmic precision, seems to live within its musical form, bringing both the movement and the music to a new plane. Her dances are highly structured and meticulously crafted while the movement vocabulary is quick, vigorous and driving. THE WASHINGTON POST has described her use of form as “…immaculate. Thematic variation and recapitulation, counterpoint and consonance occur so naturally that one is hardly aware of the strict structure until the end.”

The Van Dyke Dance Group is preparing for their Fall concert at the UNCG Dance Theater, September 11-12. They (Dance Project) are in the midst of an ambitious fundraiser–to raise $10,000 during the month of July! Click here for more information on the organization and to donate.

37_20120801185631_3790_largeGreensboro Ballet


Within the Greensboro Ballet is a company and non-profit ballet school (only one in Greensboro area) that offers dance education to children of all ages as well as adults, while the company is professional dancers who share the love of expressing human thought and emotion through the international language of ballet performance.

At the end of every season around end of May, Greensboro Ballet hold an audition for the next season. For the upcoming 2014-2015 season, Greensboro ballet is performing classical ballets and 20th century works by the renowned George Balanchine. To see more information about the performances click here.

titleCyrus Art Production


According to their website, Cyrus Art Production LLC produces live performance, visual art, guest lecture series, community outreach, classes, and inspiring cultural events. Directed by UNCG Associate Professor Duane Cyrus, a former member of both Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham dance companies, this group brings a diverse and fluid cultural perspective to its audiences, providing an experience that goes beyond the limitations of one specific medium or art form to build a community for creative expression.

Artist development and entrepreneurship in the arts are an important part of the Cyrus Art Production ethos. Duane Cyrus regularly presents development seminars and courses for artists to develop career management and sustainability skills. Coupled with high standards of excellence for dance and theatrical performance, Cyrus Art Production is fostering a more integrated approach to artist development and presentation.

Cyrus Art Production’s next performance is Dance Gala Greensboro 2014 on September 26 at 7pm! This is their fall season concert at Aycock Auditorium located at 408 Tate Street, Greensboro, NC.Check out Cyrus Art Production’s one minute promo video to see some of their work and behind the scenes footage!

TERRANOVA Dance Theatre (TDT)


TERRANOVA Dance Theatre is directed by Jen Guy Metcalf, Assistant Professor at Elon University, where she teaches Ballet, Pointe, Dance for the Camera, and directs the fall dance concert. According to its website, TERRANOVA Dance Theatre is a company that strives to create innovative work for a variety of spaces including the STAGE (concert dance), SITE (site-specific dance) and SCREEN (dance for camera). The company name derived from TERRA: earth, land, territory, ground, place, topography, etc. and IN(NOVA)TION: featuring new method; introducing new ideas; original and creative in thinking.

Check out the Trailer from TDT’s dance films entitled “The Window of the 11th Floor”.

Helen Simoneau Danse


According to Helen Simoneau Danse’s FaceBook page, Simoneau’s work has been described as “unique and striking” (danceviewtimes blog) and “a treat of choreographic craft and imagery” (exploredance online magazine).

Based in both North Carolina and New York City, the company is committed to presenting innovative dances works by Québécois choreographer and founder Helen Simoneau. In addition to an annual company season in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Simoneau’s works has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and has toured throughout Germany, Asia, and the United States. As a dance maker, she is interested in the intricacies of human relationships and explores the ways we, as individuals, interact and relate to the larger group.

Click here to view some excerpts of some of Helen Simoneau’s work.

Sidelong Dance Company


According to their website, Sidelong Dance Company brings a new esthetic and fresh ideas to the modern dance scene of the Piedmont Triad. Based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this professional company draws on the expertise of dancers living and working in our community. Sidelong Dance performances combine an extensive catalog of pieces choreographed by director Karla Coghill, company members, and assorted guest artists with frequent premieres to keep programs fresh, yet familiar.

Sidelong Dance has an active outreach program and brings both live performances and workshops to groups within our community who may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the joy of dance.

Winston-Salem Festival Ballet


Winston-Salem Festival Ballet (WSFB) has two sectors: the Company and the School. According to their website, WSFB is a professional dance company under the direction of founder and artistic director, Gary Taylor, committed to excellence in the performing arts and providing extraordinary performances that are accessible and enjoyable. Their mission is to create and inspire, engage and excite their audiences, as they experience the art of dance. The School offers an exciting place to learn for dancers ages 3 to adult.

WSFB has a boutique company approach to performance and hires dancers on an as-needed project basis determined by the skill set of the role, and keeps a database of dancer resumes as a resource. They invite interested dancers to send in a resume, full body and head shot, along with a video link. Professional dancers are also invited to inquire about classes with the director.

High Point Ballet


According to the website, High Point Ballet is a non-profit under the direction of a board of directors, representative of the community, and is responsible for developing the season’s activities and performance schedule. The company serves as a valuable resource for artistically focused individuals aspiring to a career in dance and the performing arts.

High Point Ballet provides a vast repertoire of classical and contemporary dance works as well as arts education programs for all.  Currently, over 200 members of the company have gone on to such noted schools and companies as University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Kansas City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, School of American Ballet, Boston Conservatory, Joffrey Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Ballet Met, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

John Gamble Dance Theater

John Gamble’s artistry is deeply rooted in NC’s past, present, and future dance community.  He has been dancing local in NC for 27 years! With his company John Gamble Dance Theater (JGDT), he continues to make and present work at UNCG.  He also presents work annually at the Greensboro Fringe Festival and tours with NC Dance Festival about every other year. JGDT produces evening length dances/plays that often address political and social issues.

Along with these dance companies, there are also a number of independent choreographers working in the Triad area who present their work in variety of formal and informal settings including the Greensboro Fringe Festival.

Don’t forget to check out previous post Asheville and Charlotte dance companies as well.

North Carolina Local Dance Companies (Charlotte)

July 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Not only is Charlotte is one of the largest cities in North Carolina, but one of the largest dance hubs as well. Today, we are going to focus on some of the major companies in the area: Moving Poets Theater Charlotte, Charlotte Ballet, Baran Dance, THE MARK Dance Company, Caroline Calouche & Company, Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works Dance Company, 4thRight Dance, Triptych Collective, and Taproot Ensemble.

cropped-Moving_Poets_WebsiteHeader4Moving Poets Theater Charlotte: 


According to their website, Moving Poets is an international community of artists and creative professionals of different disciplines, cultures and age groups, based in Charlotte, USA (Moving Poets Charlotte) and in Berlin, Germany (Moving Poets Berlin). The mission of this non-profit organization is present high quality cross-disciplinary dance theater and serve as a cultural arts incubator, that brings local, national, international artists and creative professionals together, to collectively create new works to be presented to the community.

Moving Poets’ next performance will be their Fall Production Novemeber 5-8, 2014 at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Booth Playhouse. To see a previous piece Moving Poets has performed click here.

logo_headerCharlotte Ballet:


Charlotte Ballet, formerly known at North Carolina Dance Theatre (NCDT), is a world class repertory dance ensemble located in Downtown Charlotte. According to their website, Charlotte Ballet is known for their high energy, precision and speed, as well as their ability to perform a versatile repertoire ranging from full-length classical ballets to innovative contemporary works. The Charlotte Ballet’s breathtaking beauty, boundless energy and amazing athleticism have dazzled audiences and critics the world over. They are a well-established organization that was created in the 1970′s.

Charlotte Ballet is currently working on their show DANGEROUS LIAISONS, which will be performed October 9-14, 2014 at Knights Theater. As stated on their website: Dangerous Liaisons, a dramatic and passionate story, is brought to life through the inventive choreography of Sasha Janes. Not only will you get to see spectacular dance, but you’re also in for a live music performance! Popular cellist Ben Sollee, who composed an original score for the ballet, performs live, suspended over the stage. You will be on the edge of your seats throughout this thrilling ballet, which culminates in an intense duel to the death.

Charlotte Ballet has received critical recognition nationally for excellence in programming, education and outreach, and dance training.They have school year programs, summer programs, and summer intensive along with their company. Auditions in a company class are by invitation only.  To be considered for a company class audition,you must send your resume, headshot, full body dance photo along with a video link of a classical and contemporary ballet variation. They also allow dancers to send in a video audition, but make sure to include your resume, headshot and full body dance photo along with a video link of a classical and contemporary ballet variation. All materials may be emailed to GRETCHEN JAX.

bg-logo11Baran Dance:


Baran Dance is a contemporary dance company. According to the website, Baran Dance was founded by Audrey Ipapo Baran in 2012. Baran Dance believes that dance should be inspiring and accessible, not just for avid dance patrons, but for anyone seeking a visually awing experience. They aspire to create dances to make you feel, think, possibly cry, and maybe even laugh. Baran’s work is very organic. Baran Dance seamlessly blends physicality and artistry, creating work that is available and appealing for all audiences, regardless of cultural, educational, or socioeconomic background. “We move to move YOU!”

This season Baran Dance has some great upcoming events and performances. On SundaySeptember 7th, 2014 @ 10am-4:30pm at Open Door Studios (1318-D1 Central Avenue) there is an event called So You Think You Can Baran Dance?, which will have classes in Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, and Improv for $15/class or $50/all day! If you can’t attend class you should check out Tiny Dances performance November 22 @ 8:00 pm at the Petra’s Piano Bar. Join Baran Dance for an intimate evening of dance and drinks! They will be performing solos, duets, and trios in a cabaret setting, with cameos from some of our favorite musical guests. Tiny dances… big fun! Also for dancers ages 14-18, BD2: Youth Ensemble Auditions are Sunday, September 14th, 2014 ​4​:00pm-5:30pm at Open Door Studios (Rehearsals: Sundays @ 4pm)!

THE MARK Dance Company:


According to their Facebook page, THE MARK dance company was founded in 2012 by Artistic Director, Arlynn Zachary. It is a fusion-based company encouraging the aesthetic qualities and technical applications of varied dance mediums.The company is dedicated to impacting the audience in a way that allows each person to leave the space feeling as though they have been marked by what they have just experienced. “With each step we take, there is a mark left behind.” – Arlynn Zachary

THE MARK dance company recently performed their finale performance for the Charlotte New Music Festival and Dance Co-Lab. on June 28, 2014 at JCSU Arts Factory’s Black Box Theatre. Follow THE MARK dance company on Facebook to keep up with the company and be informed!

2011 logo with slogan smallCaroline Calouche & Company (CC&Co.):


According to the website, CC&Co is Charlotte’s only aerial and contemporary dance company and school.  CC&Co. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people of diverse backgrounds to explore beyond their boundaries through performance and education.  Our vision is to create educational opportunities for people to experience the world from a unique and artistic perspective, which will enrich their lives and the lives of those around them.

CC&Co. is currently gearing up for their CADE (Carolina Aerial and Dance Exchange) classes. The class started July 28 and run til August 1. Sign up for classes here to take class from Caroline! Also follow CC&Co. on Facebook to get updates about their upcoming season. Their first performance Rouge is in October.

imgresMartha Connerton/Kinetic Works Dance Company:


According to the website, Kinetic Works was formed in 2000. The company offers a spectrum of programs including educational experiences for schools through the Kinetyx Dance Ensemble and KinetiKids artist residencies; professional concert performances and pre-professional training through special workshops; and Connerton’s work as a contemporary choreographer and guest teacher of ballet and modern dance a make up another strand in the spectrum.

Mission Statement: Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works is a multifaceted company whose mission is to foster awareness of dance as an art form that impacts lives in a direct, positive and evolving process.

To see some of Kinetic Works’ choreography click here.

4thRight Dance:


4thRight Dance is a Modern/Contemporary company that is run by Ashley Suttlar Martin from Charlotte. According to the website, she is an Independent Artist, performing and teaching throughout the country. She holds a MFA in Dance from Temple University and a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Ashley is a very busy woman being co-producer of FRESH performance series, teaching at Bokwa fitness and MoveStudio, and directing her own company. She currently serves on faculty at Winthrop University and the SC Governor’s School of Arts and Humanities.

In the upcoming season, their first performance of FRESH will be August 30, 2014 in Charlotte and September 30, 2014 in DC. Check out 4thRight Dance choreography reel to get a feel for their work!

tcTriptych Collective


According to their website, the Triptych Collective is a group of performance artists interested in bringing a unique blend of live music, dance performance and visual art to non-traditional spaces in order to make thought-provoking and socially-engaged performance art more widely accessible.

The Collective received a Special Projects Grant from The Arts and Science Council to support the development of Telepresence (2011), a Cultural Projects Grant to develop Sown with the Body (2012) and a Special Projects Grant to develop Tangled Elsewhere featuring the music of Radiohead (2013). In 2014 the Collective received a Cultural Innovation Grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop “Poor Mouth” and “The Boundaries do not Hold”.

downloadTaproot Ensemble


According to their website, Taproot creates performance art that takes risks and has an honest, clear, fresh vision. The company strives for excellence in all things out of respect for our craft and those who have gone before us. Taproot is a collective of artists looking to revitalize communities through the use of unique and original performance pieces that reflect and challenge the communities within which they function. They create art by and for their communities under the influence of cultural concerns. Their work leaves room for the audience’s imagination, but toys with spectacle. Click here to view one of their pieces!

Charlotte Dance Festival



While not strictly a company, the Charlotte Dance Festival is an organization dedicated to connecting the uniquely diverse Charlotte community with local and national dance artists as a means to enhance cultural understanding. The Charlotte Dance Festival’s mission is to create an innovative dance festival that is open to all dance genres.  The festival presents a diverse blend of established and emerging dance artists in a variety of venue styles as a means to reach a larger audience.

September 19 – 21 the Charlotte Dance Festival will partner with Festival in the Park (FITP) again to organize great dance performances for youth and professionals. The Main Stage (professional groups and Pointe Pieces) performance  is Saturday, September 20 at 3pm – 4:30pm while the Youth Talent Stage (18 and under only) performance is Saturday, September 20 at 1pm – 2:30pm and 5pm – 6:30pm and Sunday, September 21 at 1pm – 2:30pm. Click Here to Complete the Application for a chance to perform on the Main Stage and Click Here to Complete the Application for the Youth Talent Stage. If you are new to performing on the Youth Talent Stage, they will need a youtube or vimeo link to view your works for approval. If you have anymore questions you may send an email to Applications are due August 15!

Please share this blog post will your fellow dancers to expand the North Carolina dance community. Also, we welcome comments and would love to hear your feedback! Let us know if there are any other Charlotte companies we have forgotten to mention. Look for our highlights of the Triad area dance companies next week!



Dance Project Launches Ambitious Fundraising Challenge!

July 3, 2014 § Leave a comment


greendancer2Dance Project, one of Greensboro’s longest-running dance organizations, is launching a fundraising campaign for the month of July. Between July 1 and July 31, the organization is seeking the community’s help in raising $10,000 to close a budget gap and ensure Dance Project’s future vitality. This fundraising drive is crucial to Dance Project’s ability to run our programs this year.

The Dance Project has secured a donor who has agreed to match the $10,000 if the full amount is raised, bringing the total to $20,000! To meet this ambitious challenge, Dance Project seeks donations and corporate sponsorships for its programs. Donations may be made through the Dance Project website ( or by mail (200 N. Davie St. #7, Greensboro, NC 27403).

“We believe strongly in providing access to dance to all segments of the population and have always worked hard to cultivate a vibrant dance community in North Carolina,” says Artistic Director Jan Van Dyke, “but if we are not able to meet our goal, many of our programs are in jeopardy.”

For 25 years, the Dance Project has been making history in North Carolina, creating the North Carolina Dance Festival, the only state-wide touring festival of its kind, presenting professional modern dance in Greensboro through the Van Dyke Dance Group, and running one of the few non-profit dance schools in the area, the School at City Arts. Dance Project’s programming creates the foundation necessary for supporting NC dance and dancers now and in the future, and benefits the local and statewide community by raising awareness of modern dance and helping to educate the next generation of North Carolina dancers and viewers. Dance Project also employs many of the state’s dance choreographers, performers, and teachers through our artistic and educational programs.

“We are excited about our upcoming 2014-15 season,” says Van Dyke; the season includes two separate concerts by the Van Dyke Dance Group, the 24th season of the NC Dance Festival, and new class, workshop, and camp offerings through the School, in addition to extensive outreach programs in schools, retirement communities, and community centers. “We believe that a successful fundraising campaign now will allow us to fulfill our mission—to nurture a statewide community of dance artists, audiences, and students—this year and beyond.”

Follow the progress of Dance Project’s campaign through our website ( and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter). For more information on the campaign, please email or call 336-373-2727.

Want to donate now? Click the button below to go to our Paypal donation page!

donate button


North Carolina Local Dance Companies (Asheville)

July 1, 2014 § 3 Comments

Finding the right dance company is never an easy task. While we have the world-wide web at our fingertips, you can be searching for hours on end looking at the different dance companies around the world, or even around the state.  To make your life easier, Dance Project  has compiled a list of dance companies across North Carolina in Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Raleigh, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem.

For the next few weeks, we are going to share general information for local North Carolina companies in each of the different citites, including highlights, audition information, upcoming performance dates, and other information regarding these companies. First up is Asheville.


Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT):ACDT_logo2_reducedto200


According to their website, ACDT was created in 1979 by Director and Founder Susan Collard as the first modern dance company in western North Carolina to bring artists and audiences together to enrich, engage, and educate – changing lives through the experience of dance. This corporation is a non-profit corporation; ACDT is comprised of The Dance Company, its school The New Studio of Dance, and The Be Be Theatre.

The company currently has ten strong dancers. They have toured to Cuba, France, Mexico, Canada and Colombia — creating international exchanges, with dance artists from these countries, along the way. Recognized for her choreography inspired by female artists and international collaborations, Susan has also choreographed for film and theatre. She is currently working with international artists on a new collaborative venture White Dog Dance Project International.

Recently, ACDT showed their Looking for Frida Series. This show was a celebration of 35 years of modern dance with art, music, food and dancing at the Be Be Theatre. ACDT’s Company members performed a modern ballet based on the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, originally choreographed by Susan Collard in 1998 and revised in 2004 in collaboration with Cuban dancer Nelson Reyes.

lkpic-2Lindsey Kelley Dance:


According to her website, Lindsey officially founded Lindsey Kelley Dance (LKD), a modern dance company, in the winter of 2013. For a while, Lindsey choreographed and performed her own work until recently. Currently her company is small with four female dancers Amy Borskey, Kathleen Hahn, Kala Hildebrand, and Alexis Miller.

Choreographic Mission:

“Constantly drawing inspiration from surrounding people and space, I try my best to create and present work that is honest.  Honest in its form and delivery, which is one of the most challenging tasks to achieve as a dancer.  Using minimal muscular force, but rather working with natural momentum and weight in the body and continuously envisioning movement from the bones, I try to accomplish this.   During performance, I find it important to be oneself and to move from that honest place.  In my work, nothing is taken too seriously, however, underlying messages and meanings are up to the audience to interpret for themselves.  I gravitate to creating work based on personal experiences and am constantly inspired by the people in my life, plus surrounding environment.  Multi-faceted, beautiful, pure art is what I am constantly trying to create and always wish to bring to my audiences.”

In the beginning of May, LKD premiered an evening-length production, Legend of the Shim Sham. This was an evening of modern dance brought to you by Amy Borskey, Kala Hildebrand, Kathleen Hahn, Lindsey Kelley and Alexis Miller.

Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance:


According to their website, in June 2003 Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance became North Carolina’s summertime professional contemporary ballet company. Terpsicorps hires in critically acclaimed dancers from such well-respected dance companies as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, BalletMet, Kansas City Ballet, and Atlanta Ballet. Most dance companies lay off their dancers in the summertime when theater-going tends to taper off. This has given the company the opportunity to hire first-rate principal dancers for a short period of time and create innovative, theatrical shows.The company currently has four male and four female trained and skilled dancers.

Recently, Terpsicorps had their annual Summer Workshop. For four weeks every weekend, Terpsicorps opened up its doors to intermediate and advanced students to study with their amazingly talented professional dancers with a different teacher every week. Also this past weekend was Terpsicorps world premiere of HUNGER at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville. To watch a clip from the HUNGER rehearsal process click here.

Asheville Ballet:


According to their website, Asheville Ballet is one of Asheville’s oldest and strongest non-profit arts organizations. They thrive because they believe that bigger is not better – good is better. And because they are located in Asheville year-round, they can perform monthly, weekly, daily, to help fulfill our community’s artistic needs. Asheville Ballet has four different sectors: Asheville Ballet Guild, IncAnn Dunn & DancersAsheville Academy, and Blue Ridge Dance Camp. Currently, this summer then have technique classes Monday-Saturday. To take a look at the class schedule click here.

You should also take a look at a Butoh Dance Project based in Asheville. Here’s the link to their blog strange daughters butoh.

Look for our highlights of Charlotte-based companies next week!

5 Reasons to See the ADF/NCDF show!

June 16, 2014 § Leave a comment


ADF poster 2

Looking for entertainment this summer? Come see a spectacular dance performance! The NC Dance Festival (NCDF) and the American Dance Festival (ADF) are once again co-presenting a celebration of NC dance in two concerts on the ADF@ Duke main stage on June 18 at 7pm and 9pm. Four local NC choreographers were hand selected by nationally ranked adjudicators to be a part of the “Here and Now: NC Dances” show.


Graphic credit: ADF

If I haven’t yet convinced you, here are five reasons to catch it this year:

1. Sneak peek at some of the choreographers chosen to go on tour for NCDF in the Fall of 2014. Dances with this depth and complexity are worth seeing more than once! Each of the four versatile choreographers bring something new to the table. Renay Aumiller Dances will present Acquiring Dawn, featuring a dark but transformative post-apocalyptic environment inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road.” Gaspard & Dancers’ work Annatations, imagines a dreamy landscape peopled with the souls that perished in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  A Place Apart, an athletic and introspective duet for two men choreographed by Diego Carrasco Schoch, explores relationship, support, and entanglement. Last but certainly not least, Leah Wilks’ company Vector presents Mess, a solo work performed with focused intensity and emotional commitment, as Wilks poses and answers questions about the body’s resilience.

2.  To be a patron of the arts and support the community. You don’t have to be a larger donor to be a good patron of the arts. By coming to as many shows as possible to support and encourage local NC dance artists, you are doing your part to keep the local arts community healthy and active. Plus, impress your friends with your cultural sophistication, and tap into the adventurousness and creativity that dance offers. Dance is an art form in which your interpretation counts! For example, you might come up with a different story, plot, theme, tone, or inspiration for the various dance pieces than the person next to you.

3. Change up your date night. Stray away from the typical candlelight dinners, a movie, or a night in with a bottle of wine and a deck of cards. Try a romantic night out to “Here and Now: NC Dances” dance performance. This show will give you a chance to dress up, it’s affordable, and will be a great conversation starter. But the date can start before the show or continue after the show in a city like Durham. Eat at a local restaurant before the 9pm show or have a night on the town after the 7pm show–the choice is yours!

4. Dancers are gorgeous. Let’s face it: dancers are fit. It’s hard not to appreciate and enjoy the sheer beauty and athleticism in these performances. While dance is an art form, not a sport, it is just as physically demanding as any sport. These dancers have been rehearsing for months to make sure that everything runs smoothly come show night.

5. The pure joy you get from live performances. Beyond being inspired, amazed, entertained and impressed, you will have a memory that is truly remarkable. Each of these dances goes beyond just movement, incorporating elements such as: hanging props, snow flurries, text, and film to help convey a message or story to the audience. From the theatrical elements to the emotions evoked, this performance will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Ready to see the show? Great. Get tickets at Duke University Box Office.

Festival FAQ

June 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

NCDFSo, you’ve heard of the NC Dance Festival, and maybe you’ve even seen a performance or two. But how much do you know about this event, heading into its 24th season, and its parent organization, Dance Project? Here are some of the common questions we get about the NC Dance Festival–click on each question to jump to the answer. Test your own knowledge below!

Frequently Asked Questions about the NC Dance Festival

How long have you been around?

How do you pick the dances?

Do you only feature modern dance?

Why don’t you choose a different theme for each year?

Aren’t you based in Greensboro? How do you produce shows across the state?

Are all the choreographers and performers professional dancers?

Where does your funding come from?

Do you run any outreach programs? Can I take class with these artists?

How do I know when Festival activities are coming up near me?


How long have you been around?

The NC Dance Festival was started in 1991 by Jan Van Dyke and John Gamble, then professors at UNC-Greensboro. The Festival is managed by the non-profit organization Dance Project, which was originally formed in 1974 in Washington, D.C., where it served as the managing organization for Jan Van Dyke’s school and performance space as well as her dance company. The Dance Project has been in operation in North Carolina since 1989 with similar purposes, managing Jan Van Dyke’s current company, the Van Dyke Dance Group; a community-based school; and directing and coordinating the NC Dance Festival. Since 1991, the Festival has grown into a statewide tour, visiting several cities around NC. Want to know more about the history and structure of the Festival? Read more here.

Find out more about the other two components of the Dance Project by visiting the websites for the Van Dyke Dance Group, and the School at City Arts.

How do you pick the dances?

Once a year, usually in the late fall or early winter, we put out a call for applications by video. We have found that we get the best quality work if we ask for finished choreography, not dances still in-progress. Once all the applications are in, a panel of judges–a different group each year– is selected by the Dance Project Board of Directors.  The panel usually consists of four reviewers with diverse perspectives, including college students and other people interested in dance from the North Carolina community.

The panel considers all the submissions in a blind review—they do not know which choreographer submitted which work. Each reviewer makes recommendations and scores each work; the dances that score the highest overall are generally the ones invited to join the touring roster for that year.  One or two additional invitations may be issued to round out the roster.

Do you only feature modern dance?

As an organization, the Dance Project is interested in cultivating the field of modern dance in North Carolina, so our focus for the NC Dance Festival is, generally, modern and contemporary dance forms. However, we frequently feature contemporary forms such as contemporary ballet, contemporary hip-hop, Afro-modern fusion, and other blended forms. In addition, sometimes NC Dance Festival host sites invite local choreographers working in other dance forms–African, Latin Dance, or tap, for example–to present work on a Festival performance.

Why don’t you choose a different theme for each year?

We’ve considered this option in the past, and we haven’t ruled it out for the future. But our aim is to present a diverse collection of professional dance choreography from across the state, and we strive to represent the various styles and interests within the NC dance community. Each year we look at several different elements in choosing artists, and aim for a group that is diverse in terms of aesthetic point of view, racial and ethnic identity, gender, aesthetic point of view, geographic location, and career stage in order to promote both excellence and variety. Presenting this sort of variety doesn’t always lend itself well to an annual theme!

Aren’t you based in Greensboro? How do you produce shows across the state?

Yes, the Dance Project offices are based in Greensboro, where our small staff (3 part-time, 1 volunteer) manages our various programs in Greensboro and around the state. We are fortunate to have presenting partners throughout NC who help us produce the NC Dance Festival tour. Currently, faculty at Meredith College, Appalachian State University, and UNC-Charlotte act as NCDF hosts, organizing many of the local details of the performances. Our Program Director stays in contact with these hosts to coordinate programming, publicity, and technical details throughout the season. In addition, we have a talented Tech Director who tours with the NCDF performances and makes sure the technical aspects of each performance go smoothly! It’s a community effort, for sure.

Are all the choreographers and performers professional dancers?

As an organization, we are interested in increasing the opportunities for professional artists to make, show, and perform dance work in the state. Choreographers who are chosen to tour with the NC Dance Festival are all professional choreographers, though not all of them choreograph full-time. Many work in university or college dance departments around the state. Many of these choreographers have their own dance companies; some are independent choreographers. There are more and more professional performers in the state–hooray!–and the quality of the dancing for the touring NCDF choreographers is very high.

Each NCDF host site chooses a few local artists to perform alongside the touring artists; in some sites, advanced dance students are selected to present work or perform.

Where does your funding come from?

Good question! We ask ourselves this question frequently, as a smallish non-profit. We rely on grant support from state and local foundations and arts agencies, as well as donations from individuals for much of our funding. We are currently seeking corporate sponsors for the upcoming season (know anyone interested in sponsoring the season? Send them our way!). Income from ticket sales makes up very little of our funding, though it does help. Each host site keeps most of its own ticket proceeds, so the NC Dance Festival as an organization only keeps the proceeds from ticket sales in Greensboro, after paying for the theater rental. We get additional financial support from selling program ads, and from our other programs, such as the classes Dance Project offers at the School at City Arts.

Do you run any outreach programs? Can I take class with these artists?

We love the outreach we do as part of the NC Dance Festival! In each site we visit, we offer at least one master class–for free–with a Festival artist. These classes change every year as our roster of artists changes, but they range from contemporary ballet to contact improv; modern dance partnering to classic modern techniques. In Guilford County, where we are able to apply for more grant support (because we are based in Greensboro), we take the touring artists into the local public schools to teach classes and perform in mini-concerts. We see this as such an important part of what we do: inspiring and connecting with the next generation of dancers, choreographers, and audience-members. We hope to be able to expand our outreach program more substantially in the other cities we visit, but funding is often limited. Inspired to help us fund additional classes and outreach performances? Make a donation online or contact us for more information.

During the Festival season (September-January), check out our Outreach page for master classes open to the community.

How do I know when Festival activities are coming up near me?

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are that you’re already connected with us in some way. But here are all the ways to link up with us and get the latest information about our upcoming activities:

Join our email mailing list: we send out email blasts once or twice a month about our upcoming events

Visit our website

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest

And, of course, keep reading the blog!

Still have questions about the NC Dance Festival? Leave them in the comments or send them our way by emailing




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