NC Dance Festival 25th Anniversary Details

Experience the energy and talent of professional dance artists from across NC with the 25th Anniversary of the NC Dance Festival. This special season will be dedicated to the late Jan Van Dyke, Festival Founder and Artistic Director until her death in July 2015.

This year, the Festival will perform at the three sites that started it all: Raleigh, Boone, and Greensboro. The season opens in Jones Auditorium at Meredith College in Raleigh on September 19, 2015 at 7:30pm, and then continues across the state, visiting Boone (October 23-24) and Greensboro (November 13-14). From quirky partnerships to intense emotion, from the merging of technology and dance to an exploration of the body as a home, the concert presents the wide variety of contemporary modern dance being created here in North Carolina.

Each year, the NC Dance Festival, produced by the Dance Project, presents work by some of the best modern dance choreographers in the state.  This year’s artists, chosen in a blind adjudication process are:

(click on each artist’s name to read more about them)

Anna Barker (Durham)

Amy Love Beasley (Winston Salem)

Thomas DeFrantz Durham

Karola Luttringhaus (Wilmington)

Jan Van Dyke (Greensboro)

Anna Barker will present excerpts from it’s not me it’s you (2014), an evening-length duet made up of a series of dance-theater vignettes exploring the idiosyncrasies of relationships. The group work, This Place is the Place (2014), by Amy Love Beasley, blends dancing and drawing ideas as it asks questions about place, identity, traveling, and the body—the home that is with us wherever we go. Jan Van Dyke’s duet Lament, which originally debuted in 1984, features E.E. Balcos and Kelly Swindell and expresses the frustration and despair we all experience as part of life. The duet …dann von Deiner Hand from Karola Luttringhaus’ larger work Inertia – Remembering the Holocaust (2008) is about love and its defense in the face of social and political oppression. imnewhere, an excerpt from where did I think I was going? [moving into signal], is choreographed and performed by Thomas DeFrantz, and uses digital cameras, Kinect cameras, and wireless microphones to create imagery and the musical score from the performers’ real-time gestures, as the work explores the physical and emotional cost of the incessant movement of contemporary life.

Local artists from each city will perform alongside the touring choreographers. Outreach activities will bring these choreographers into local schools and community centers to teach and perform in association with each Festival weekend. Get to know these artists through our series of outreach activities, including pre- and post-show talks, free community artist talks, and more.

To celebrate this landmark season, there will be special activities in Greensboro, including a performance featuring “veteran” choreographers of the NCDF: Jan Van Dyke, Gerri Houlihan, Robin Harris, Martha Connerton, and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre –all artists who performed with the Festival in the early years. In addition, four choreographer/filmmakers have been commissioned to create new dance films inspired by “The Life and Times,” a dance work created 25 years ago by Festival founder Jan Van Dyke. These films, plus a recording of the original dance, will be screened in a matinee showing over the Greensboro weekend.

Performance Locations and Details

Raleigh, NC

September 19, 2015 7:30pm
Jones Auditorium, Meredith College

• Directions

• Tickets

• Phone Number: (919) 760-2840

Boone, NC

October 23-24, 2015, 7:30pm
Valborg Theatre, Appalachian State University

• Tickets
• Phone Number: (828) 262-3063

Greensboro, NC

Community Event:“Get to Know the NC Dance Festival: Inside the Artist’s Process
Featuring the Van Dyke Dance Group and choreographer Amy Beasley”

September 26, 2-3:30pm

Studio 323, Greensboro Cultural Arts Center

The first in a series of community events planned for the 25th Anniversary of the NC Dance Festival, this is an open rehearsal and informal discussion with choreographers and dancers participating in the Festival. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal process, find out more about what goes into making a dance, and dive into the mind of an artist. This event features choreographer Amy Beasley and performers with the Van Dyke Dance Group. The “Get to Know the NC Dance Festival” series aims to create an exchange between artists and audiences and provide free and open opportunities to learn more about modern dance, dance-making, and the artists themselves.

Community Event: “Get to Know the NC Dance Festival: Inside the Artist’s Process
Featuring Anna Barker, NCDF Touring Artist and former Elsewhere Resident Artist”

October 8, 8:30pm

Elsewhere Museum, 606 S. Elm Street Greensboro


Master Class: November 10, 6:00-8:00pm

Take class with master teacher Gerri Houlihan, featured in the NCDF “Veteran” choreographer’s concert, Studio 323 Cultural Arts Center


Concert: November 13, 7:30pm

Black Box Dance Theater, UNC-Greensboro

Special “Veteran” choreographers of the NCDF, featuring: Jan Van Dyke, Gerri Houlihan, Robin Harris, Martha Connerton, and Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre
Film Screening: November 14, 3:00pm
Black Box Dance Theater, UNC Greensboro
Dance Film Screening, featuring the original “Life and Times” video with choreography by Jan Van Dyke, and new films by Carol Finley, Cara Hagan, Jen Guy Metcalf, and Melissa Pihos.
Concert: November 14, 7:30pm
Black Box Dance Theater, UNC Greensboro
NCDF Touring Artists in concert
• Tickets: Triad Stage Box Office 866-579-TIXX (8499)
• Info: 336-373-2727

Touring Artist Biographies

photo credit Tim Walter

photo credit Tim Walter

Anna Barker is the artistic director of  In November 2013 she was awarded an artist residency at Elsewhere Collaborative, where she created and performed, “booted & spurred”. She founded the Triangle Dance Alliance, a group which seeks to connect, support and facilitate a community of dancers within the Durham/Raleigh/Chapel Hill area. Anna has shown work as part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, WAXworks at Triskelion Arts (Brooklyn), at Dance New Amsterdam (Manhattan), the New York Film School, and locally at the Carrboro ArtsCenter, PROMPTS at the Carrack Art Gallery, and the American Dance Festival’s Local Look & Listen (Durham).


Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

Photo Credit: Eric Bandiero

Amy Love Beasley is an independent performer, choreographer, and visual artist. She received a BA in Studio Art from the College of Charleston where she studied printmaking, painting, and photography, and  an MFA in Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she merged visual art with her choreographic interests. Amy has been a guest artist and/or presented work at various colleges, art galleries, and regional and national festivals, and was recently on the faculty of Wake Forest University as a Teaching Fellow in Dance (2012-2015). She recently presented work at the Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn and Seattle.


Photo credit Alex Himwick

Photo credit Alex Himwick

Thomas DeFrantz is Chair of African and African American Studies and Professor of Dance, and Theater Studies at Duke University. He is also the director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology, a multi-disciplinary arts collective that explores emerging technology in live performance applications. He convenes the working group Black Performance Theory and the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance. His books include the edited volume Dancing Many Drums: Excavations in African American Dance (2002), Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture (2004), and Black Performance Theory co-edited with Anita Gonzalez. A director and writer, his creative works include CANE: A Responsive Environment Dancework that premiered at Duke in April, 2013.

Karola Luttringhaus alban elved dance company

Karola Luttringhaus


Karola Luttringhaus was born and grew up in Berlin, Germany, where she founded ALBAN ELVED DANCE COMPANY in 1997. She also works as a freelance choreographer at theatres and universities across Europe and the US. She has performed and choreographed at the Prague Quadrennial, the T-Werk Potsdam, MoBe Berlin,  Dance New Amsterdam NYC, The Snowy Range Dance Festival, The International Aerial Dance Festival, to name a few. She holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a MA/MFA in Scene and Costume Design and Scenography from the Technische Universitaet Berlin, Germany.



photo credit Steve Clarke

photo credit Steve Clarke

Jan Van Dyke (1941-2015) has been making dances for over 40 years and has shown choreography widely throughout the United States and in Europe. Additionally, she founded and directed Dance Project, which runs the NC Dance Festival, Van Dyke Dance Group, and School at City Arts. She is Professor Emerita in the Dance Department at UNC Greensboro, where she served as Head from 2006-2011. Van Dyke was the recipient of a NC Choreography Fellowship, and a 1993 Fulbright Scholar. In 2001, she was honored with the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Award for contributions to the development of dance in the state. An acclaimed teacher, DANCE TEACHER MAGAZINE gave her the 2008 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education. In 2010, UNCG honored her with the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award for leadership and service. The United Arts Council of Greensboro presented her with the Betty Cone Medal of Arts Award in 2011. The Van Dyke Dance Group continues as a repertory company, under the umbrella of Dance Project.


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