NCDF/ADF Choreographers: Lindsey Kelley and Mindy Upin

May 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

The NC Dance Festival (NCDF) and the American Dance Festival (ADF) will co-present a celebration of NC dance in two concerts on the ADF @ Duke main stage on June 19 at 7pm and 9pm.  Selected by a panel of nationally recognized choreographers, four works were chosen from among the top performances on the NCDF tour in the past ten years.  Follow along as we meet the choreographers of each dance!

Meet the Artists: Lindsey Kelley and Mindy Upin

photo by David Brewer

photo by David Brewer

Dance Makers and Do-ers: Lindsey Kelly and Mindy Upin

Title: “A Tribute and Reflection of the Relationship”

Music: Queen…all the way!

NC connection: Asheville

In a word…or two: Quirky and random


The History:

“A Tribute and Reflection of the Relationship,” choreographed and performed by Lindsey Kelley and Mindy Upin, made its NC debut with the NCDF in the 2011-2012 season.  The dance was created in 2010 for Danspace Project’s Food For Thought.  The “light-hearted and totally silly duet,” as Lindsey describes it, displays the importance of friendship and creativity.  

Lindsey and Mindy are new to ADF: “Neither of us have ever participated, and we are so honored that this is the way we get to be “initiated.”


photo by Brooke Priddy

The Relationship:

The pair goes way back, from dancing together on stage with Monica Bill Barnes & Co., to having their co-choreographed work shown in Maryland and NC. “We’re very open and responsive to each other’s ideas. We usually find a way to incorporate all that is offered and I know I’m always pleasantly surprised and amazed what Lindsey brings to the table. She and I actually have very different aesthetics and styles of dance and choreographic choices, but somehow when we come together it works. Or at the very least, it makes us happy.” –Mindy Upin

Where are they now:

Lindsey currently lives in Asheville, NC, where she’s busy teaching for the Asheville Ballet and New Studio of Dance.  She is rehearsing for various summer solo performances to be performed at Pack Place in downtown Asheville and will soon begin rehearsals for a new modern work to be presented in the Asheville Ballet’s Fall Season.

Mindy is located in NYC and is Rehearsal Director for the Steps on Broadway Repertory Ensemble.  She and the company are in the studio prepping for their August performance at Jacob’s Pillow as well as working with Mark Dendy for ADF and the Kronos Quartets’ upcoming NY anniversary celebration at Lincoln Center-Out-Of-Doors.

tribute premiere

The Dance:

“Neither of us really had any idea where the piece was going, but the movement was there. The piece was completely a team effort. It’s quirky, random, and filled with hidden inside jokes and messages…naturally. Mindy and I have very different backgrounds and ways of dancing/moving, which I think creates a unique blend of juxtaposition when it’s all put together,” Lindsey told us, “Mindy and I both feel passionately about showing audiences that we are strong, technical dancers…it sort of all became a little memoir of our relationship as friends, dancers, choreographers and good pals!”

What about the musical influence? Why Queen?

“We were originally toying with using the “Jaws” theme song and versions of it, with perhaps one Queen song in there. Later, and after some feedback from our dear friend and “choreographic consultant” we realized Queen all the way was the way to go,” Mindy explained.

How do you #dancelocal?

Lindsey moved to Asheville from NYC specifically with the mindset of making a difference in the dance community there.  She performs, teaches and choreographs all throughout a city whose catchy mottos include “local is the new black” and “put your $ where your heart is.”  She recently collaborated with local musicians and visual artists for the 2013 {re} happening Festival out at Black Mountain College.

Together, Mindy and Lindsey recently filmed a music video with their original choreography for NC artist Marley Carroll for his song “Speed Reader.” Keep a look out–the video should be released very soon!

What’s great about the NC dance scene?

Both choreographers speak highly of the dance scene here in North Carolina: “There are lots of super talented artists in the area, with many more relocating every single year.  I’m very excited for the future and potential of dance in NC!”

Coming to the show?  Catch our updates via Facebook and Twitter!

Buy tickets here.

Dance Local.


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