Get to Know Your Local Artists: Charlotte area

September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment


Each performance of the North Carolina Dance Festival features work by local artists alongside the dances chosen to tour the state with the Festival.  The Charlotte performances this weekend, September 16 and 17, will feature 5 local artists.  Friday night, catch Camerin McKinnon and Kim Jones.  Saturday’s show features Sarah Emery, Audrey Baran, and E.E. Balcos.

Meet the artists here!

E.E. Balcos/E.E. Motion

E.E. Balcos is an Associate Professor of Dance at UNC Charlotte, and helps to coordinate the Charlotte performance of the NC Dance Festival.  As a performer, he performed nationally and internationally with Shapiro & Smith Dance and Demetrius Klein Dance Company, among other regional companies and nationally known choreographers.  He received a B.A. in Music from The Colorado College, and an M.F.A. in Choreography from the University of Iowa.  He is also Artistic Director of the company E.E. MOTION.  He has received numerous grants for dance and choreography, and his company has been featured in festivals throughout North Carolina, in Charleston, SC, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Visit the company’s website here.

E.E. Balcos/E.E. MOTION will be presenting a new dance theatre work, “Poor Ellen” part II.  This work, a collaboration with composer John Allemeier, is based on the North Carolina murder ballad “Poor Ellen Smith.”  As North Carolina based artists, Balcos and Allemeier have been inspired by both local culture and tradition while simultaneously examining the popular culture as observed in media and television.  Murder Ballads, a subgenre of traditional ballads, are folksongs whose lyrics recount the narratives of a notorious murder. “Poor Ellen Smith” describes the real events of Ellen Smith’s murder in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the 1890s.  The music composition is written for string quartet.

Audrey Ipapo Baran

One of the local artists that will be performing at the NC Dance Festival in Charlotte can also be found teaching yoga all over the city. Audrey Baran will be showcasing her solo work “Heavy.”  This piece represents “the struggles of a relationship in which one person is a burden to the other,” as described by Audrey herself. Audrey obtained her BA in Dance in 2003 from UNC Charlotte, and went on to dance with KINETYX Dance Ensemble, Kim Robards Dance of Denver, CO, and Queen City Jazz Company. She has performed at Charlotte Dance Festival, the North Carolina Dance Festival, and Piccolo Spoleto. She has been dancing with EE Motion since 2008, the same year she recieved her 200-hour Yoga Certification in Power Vinyasa Yoga. She currently teaches yoga at Be Yoga, Inner Peace Yoga, Open Door Studios, Evolution, and Dharma Lounge. In addition to being a yoga instructor, she has also taught various dance technique classes at Gaston Dance Theater, Sullivan Dance Centre, the School of NCDT, and the Department of Dance at UNCC. Currently, she is the Jazz and Contemporary instructor and office manager at Open Door Studios.



Sarah Emery and Javier Gonzalez reahearsing "Divertimento Amore"

Sarah Emery

This weekend, you can also see “Divertimento Amore,” choreographed by Sarah Emery. From Chesapeake, VA, this local artist has been a teacher and choreographer in Charlotte for the past ten years, currently at Open Door Studios. Her performance experiences include dancing with Terpsicorps Theater of Dance, NC Dance Theatre, Alban Elved, Omaha Dance Theater, and being a principal dancer for Moving Poets Theater of Dance for 10 years. You may have seen her choreography in the Charlotte Dance Festival and Project Incite. Sarah’s training comes from University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

“Divertimento Amore,” performed by Sarah and Javier Gonzalez, is a dance that portrays two young adults in an Italian cafe exploring their romance.


Camerin Allgood McKinnon

A solo work by one of the Charlotte local artists is “wake(v): to become roused from a tranquil or inactive state”. Choreographed and performed by Camerin Allgood McKinnon, “wake” tells the story of her journey to developing awareness of white privilege through the combination of dance and spoken word. The piece aims to lead others to racial understanding with the compassion of someone who is living this journey.  McKinnon graduated from UNCG with a BFA in performance and choreography in 2007, and went on to perform and teach at Dance Place and Mason/Rhynes Productions in Washington, DC. She is currently living in Charlotte, teaching dance, making jewelry, and serving coffee. In 2010, she developed The Wake Project, which addresses racial understanding and reconciliation through movement.  Check out the blog for the project:



 Kim Jones

Kim Jones is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, choreographer, dancer and a native New Yorker.  She received her MFA Summa cum Laude from Florida State University and her BFA from Marymount Manhattan College.  Most notably, she has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, King and I (principal dancer, U.S national Broadway tour).  Most recently, Kim premiered several solo works at the Drachengasse Theater in Vienna, Austria, Pietrasanta International Dance Festival, Italy, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYC. Kim’s earlier works were presented in the North Carolina Dance Festival, North Carolina Dance Alliance, CenterStage Theater, Santa Barbara, CA, Joffrey Midwest, Flint Michigan, Florida State University, and Swing Space, NYC.

Kim was awarded a 2010-2011 National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces Grant to restage Martha Graham’s Primitive Mysteries (1931) for students at UNC Charlotte.   She created a successful UNC Charlotte dance study abroad program to Turin, Italy.

Her new work “TRIO” is inspired by three British pop musicians and three American dancers who fuse traditional modern dance and contemporary movement.




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