Meet your Local Artists: Raleigh Area

September 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

The 2013-14 NC Dance Festival will start its tour September 13-14 in Raleigh, NC at Meredith College.  Each site selects a few artists/groups from the area to perform alongside the touring companies.  You have met some of the touring artists of the Festival in the past few weeks–now, here’s a chance to learn a bit about the local artists who were selected to perform at the Raleigh location:

I Wish You’d Keep Still! (2013) is a duet choreographed by Carson Efird and Courtney Greer that strays from Tennessee Williams’ one-act Why Do You Smoke So Much, Lily? The action of the play has been extracted and abstracted into a new non-verbal narrative, a cat-scratching struggle, in which both women are wrestling for the same thing: stillness.
Photo of Courtney Greer. Credit to Scott Chmelar.

Photo of Courtney Greer. Credit to Scott Chmelar.

Courtney Greer graduated from the UNC School of the Arts with a BFA in Contemporary Dance.  Greer serves as a Dance Educator at W.G. Enloe Arts Magnet High School.  She was recently awarded the AAHPERD 2013 Southern District Dance Teacher of the Year Award.  Her teaching credits and guest artist residencies include Howard Community College (Md.), Meredith College, NC Governor’s School, UNC School of the Arts, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University, and Middlebury College.  Her choreographic work has been presented in the NC Dance Festival, dance festivals in Brussels, Belgium, Goose Route Dance Festival in West Virginia, the American Dance Festival’s Acts to Followand a Guest Artist Tour in Cuba.

Photo of Carson Efird. Credit to Lilian Wu.

Photo of Carson Efird. Credit to Lilian Wu.

Carson Efird received her BA from Bennington College, VT and, recently, her MFA in Dance from UCLA researching the points of intersection between dance, theater and yoga. Her work has been recently presented by UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures Upstarts Series, CA; Meredith College, NC; North Carolina Dance Festival, NC; Goose Route Dance Festival, WV; Tennessee Williams Festival, MA; American Dance Festivalʼs Acts to Follow Series, NC; and White Waveʼs DUMBO Dance Festival, NY.  She has recently danced with Emergent Improvisation Project, VT; Immediate Theatre, NC; and Even Exchange Dance Theatre, NC; and choreographers Lionel Popkin, Ros Warby and Simone Forti. Efird also assists and mentors in Shiva Reaʼs Prana Flow® yoga teacher training programs and leads Prana Flow® affiliate yoga teacher training programs at EVOLVE Movement, NC and UCLA Summer Institute, CA.


Black Box Dance: In Theater, a Black Box is any space that can be imagined and re-imagined where neither the audience nor the performers are held to constraints.  In Engineering, a Black Box is a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics without any knowledge of its internal workings. For us, the Black Box represents innovation in dance making: the process of how dances are made and where they are used in the world. Formerly Even Exchange Dance Theater, this group is transitioning to a different kind of dance company.  Michelle Pearson steps in as Artistic Curator and is joined by Kathryn Auman, Alfredo Hurtado, Ann Huntley, Natalie Morton, Sarah Putterman, and Ron West as these veteran artists bring their passion and experience to the box.

Move to Action is a collection of dances being made in relation to current projects and experiences… Most recently, Black Box members danced with a combat logistics battalion at Camp Lejeune, NC as they prepared for deployment.  Alfredo Hurtado, Army veteran and wounded warrior, will be making his modern dance debut.
still of Black Box Dance Theater
still of Black Box Dance Theater

Renay Aumiller, one of the NCDF Touring Artists this year, has also been invited to show work as a local Triangle artist. Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD) is a contemporary dance company based in Durham, NC. Their mission is to create innovative and thought-provoking dances for alternative venues and concert stages.

In June of 2013, RAD premiered their first performance of an evening length work, Pretty/Ugly.  For the NCDF 13-14 Raleigh performance, RAD excerpts a duet from Pretty/Ugly that investigates beauty and familiarity in terms of gender roles and traditional dance structures. In its reverse, the gender roles are inverted and the duet undertone shifts dramatically. In its entirety, Pretty/Ugly consists of six dancers and ten sections that offer various shifts in perspective and polarized intentions.

still from RAD's "Pretty/Ugly"

still from RAD’s “Pretty/Ugly”

And finally, Carol Kyles Finley presents a 1998 duet, “Duet for Married Couple,” danced by Bobby and Courtney White.  Finley was a touring artist last season and has been directly involved with the Festival for many years.

Carol Finley by Vincent Foote

Carol Finley by Vincent Foote

Carol is a professor of Dance at Meredith College in Raleigh where she also serves as program coordinator and artistic director for Meredith Dance Theatre. Her works for stage have been performed in many venues on the East Coast, in Ohio, and Seattle. Her works for camera have been screened in national and international festivals and can be seen on‘s Dance For Camera channel. She has served as guest artist at James Madison University, middle and high schools across North Carolina, and is on the board of directors of the North Carolina Dance Alliance. She directs the Carol Finley Dance Group locally and produces work nationally with It Must Have Been Violet Dance Productions, which she co-directs with Susan Haines and Talani Torres (

For more information and tickets, visit the Meredith College website.  Join us as we celebrate the opening of the 2013-14 NCDF with an exciting line-up of local and touring dance groups!



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