American Dance Festival



7 ADF Commissions     7 Company Debuts     6 World Premieres     2 US Premieres

The American Dance Festival (ADF), recognized as “an international destination for modern dance,” is pleased to announce its 79th season of presenting the world’s most dynamic and innovative modern dance. The 2012 season, which runs Thursday, June 14-Saturday, July 28 in Durham, North Carolina, will feature seven ADF Commissions, seven Company Debuts, six World Premieres, and two US Premieres that exemplify the place where ingenuity and tradition merge.

“It is with great excitement that I look forward to carrying on ADF’s tradition of supporting new work while presenting both the debuts of many talented companies never before seen at the Festival, as well as the beloved Festival favorites who we are committed to supporting over time. With companies that encompass the unbelievable breadth of the modern dance field, there is undoubtedly something for everyone this season. We invite you to join us for a summer of beautiful dancing and inspiring choreography,” says ADF Director, Jodee Nimerichter.

In total, 16 companies and choreographers will take the stage this summer with an incredible line-up of both distinguished favorites and cutting edge works. Dance enthusiasts will be glad to welcome back favorites including Keigwin + Company, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Pilobolus, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Mark Morris Dance Group. In keeping with ADF’s lifelong tradition of presenting the world’s newest works before they can be seen elsewhere, historic firsts will include, among others, two works by Pilobolus in collaboration with Michael Moschen and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, as well as a Festival favorite program, Footprints (previously called Past/Forward), which will feature premieres by Jodi Melnick, Helen Simoneau, and Reggie Wilson, set on the ADF dancers.

Along with the ADF debuts of the Footprints choreographers, the season will also host the Festival debuts of the Stephen Petronio Company, Vertigo Dance Company (Israel), Ragamala Dance, and Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, who was recently acclaimed by OUT Magazine as the “best and brightest creative talent to emerge in New York City in the age of Obama.”

In one of the most exciting collaborations of the summer, the ADF and the North Carolina Museum of Art will co-present Shen Wei’s newest work, Undivided Divided, among the galleries of the Museum’s award-winning West Building. A limited amount of tickets will be sold for this exclusive event.

The 2012 Festival performances take place at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University, and the North Carolina Museum of Art. All performances will begin at 8:00 pm unless otherwise noted. Single tickets and subscriptions to ADF performances go on sale Monday, May 14th and can be purchased through the ADF website at Prices range from $18 to $60, with many savings options available. More detailed information about ticket prices and performing companies, including photos, videos, and press reviews will be available on the ADF website on April 1, 2012.


Doug Elkins & Friends
Thursday, June 14 at 7:00 pm
The 2012 season will open with an exciting one-night-only performance of Doug Elkins & Friends’ Fräulein Maria. Last seen at the ADF in 2009 and celebrated with rave reviews, Elkins’ rendition of Rogers and Hammerstein’s timeless musical, The Sound of Music, has delighted audiences across the globe with its brilliant humor and imagination. From Graham to Balanchine, hip hop to voguing, and much more, Elkins’ masterful wit and skillful craftsmanship effortlessly blend dance styles of every kind with the original score of this cinema classic. Having created over 40 original dances in his career, Elkins will delight audiences again with this heartwarming deconstruction of one of the world’s most famous love stories.

Stephen Petronio Company
Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16
Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike from around the globe, Stephen Petronio is widely recognized as one of the leading dance-makers of his generation. Over the past 25 years, he has built the Stephen Petronio Company into an explosive troupe of wildly talented dancers with powerfully provocative dance works that synthesize new music, visual art, and fashion. Making their ADF debut, they bring Petronio’s breathtaking work Underland, originally created in 2003 for the Sydney Dance Company. Petronio visits the dark side in this vividly surging work inspired by the bittersweet songs of Australian songwriter, Nick Cave. Powerfully startling solos, duets, and ensemble work are danced with perfection as Underland unravels a fractured world filled with hope and despair.

Scottish Dance Theatre (Scotland)
Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23
Following a rave reviewed performance of James Wilton’s electric duet, Drift, at the 2011 ADF Gala, the Scottish Dance Theatre returns to the ADF for their first US full company debut. Along with an encore performance of Drift, the evening will feature the US premiere of DOG, choreographed by one of Europe’s most original and exciting artists of this time, Hofesh Shechter. Created specifically for the company, this honestly raw yet sophisticated work delves into Darwin’s essentials for survival through a satirical lens, while remaining a treat for the mind and the senses. The company will also present the US premiere of Lay Me Down Safe by Kate Weare, a tender foray into the human conflict when faced with desire and loss.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30
Children’s Saturday Matinee at 1:00 pm by Hubbard Street 2
As a repertory company with unparalleled versatility, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago remains one of the most original and forward-thinking contemporary dance companies.  They continue to present the works of numerous choreographers and styles and will do just that this summer at the ADF.  The company will present Twyla Tharp’s new work, Scarlatti (2011), created specifically for Hubbard Street and set to seven sonatas and one fugue by Domenico Scarlatti. The company will also perform 2012 Scripps/ADF Awardee William Forsythe’s 1993 work, Quintett, a joyously complex and contemplative contemporary ballet that shines with Forsythe’s choreographic genius. This quiet masterpiece is set to Gavin Bryars’ Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet as it explores themes of loss, hope, fear, and joy. Additionally, the company will present Too Beacoup by Sharon Eyal, Batsheva Dance Company’s House Choreographer.

William Forsythe will be presented with the 2012 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award prior to the performance on Saturday, June 30th.

Thursday, July 5-Saturday, July 7
Children’s Saturday Matinee at 1:00 pm
As one of the pioneering American arts organizations of the 21st century, Pilobolus continuously brings audiences brilliant and thought-provoking works full of imagination, wit, and choreography that puts audiences on the edge of their seats. Along with a program that includes some of their timeless repertory, the company will present two ADF commissioned world premieres that feature collaborations. Their first partnership, with MacArthur “Genius” and award-winning master juggler, Michael Moschen, turns the art and act of juggling into an investigation of a geometrical universe where gravity defying dancers must find harmony with the celestial machine. Their second premiere features a collaboration with internationally renowned Belgian choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. This cyborg of dance takes place in a mirrored world between Tron and Metropolis and examines the penetrating and emotional journey through a time that is seemingly yet to come. The company will also perform Sweet Purgatory (1991), originally commissioned by the ADF for the company’s 20th anniversary, and The Transformation (2009).

Vertigo Dance Company (Israel)
Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14
Founded in Jerusalem in 1992 by Artistic Directors Noa Wertheim and Adi Sha’al, acclaimed Israeli dance troupe Vertigo Dance Company makes their ADF debut with their beautiful and dynamic work, Mana. Choreographed by Wertheim, Mana brings to the stage a quiet and restrained strength as it explores an individual’s struggle to reconnect with himself and the transformation that happens subsequently from within. Their movement teems with energy, momentum, and fluid athleticism while the dramatic moving set and costumes bring audiences to a place where the dancers boundaries are set, pushed, and broken throughout the journey developing onstage.

Paul Taylor Dance Company
Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21
Children’s Saturday Matinee at 1:00 pm
As an artist whose career has spanned over five decades, Paul Taylor remains one of the world’s most prolific and praised choreographers of all time. He continues to challenge and mystify audiences with new repertory while his classic works remain just as powerful and relevant. In a program slated with classics, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will present one of his most famous works, Aureole, originally commissioned by the ADF and now celebrating its 50th anniversary. Set to baroque music by George Handel, this lighthearted dance shows the timelessness of Taylor’s romantic and stunning choreography. His 1970 work Big Bertha, not seen at the ADF since 1979, follows a happily married couple and their daughter through their visit to an amusement park. Yet as with many of Taylor’s works, beyond the surface level of this comedy lies a hair-raising exploration of life’s deepest tragedies. The company will also perform Gossamer Gallants (2011), a hilarious glimpse into the mating rituals of insects, and Piazzolla Caldera (1997), a sizzling view of the social identities and attitudes found in the passionate tango.

Mark Morris Dance Group
Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28
Children’s Saturday Matinee at 1:00 pm
Since 1980, Mark Morris Dance Group has been creating dance works that defy the boundaries between modern and ballet. Heralded for their commitment to live music, their performances at ADF will all be accompanied by the Mark Morris Dance Group Music Ensemble. With one of his most exciting programs of work to be seen on the ADF stage, the company will present an evening comprised almost entirely of dances never before seen at the Festival. The company will perform Festival Dance (2011), a beautiful piece set to a tender and graceful piano trio by Nepomuk Hummel. In an homage to some of Morris’ earlier days, this lighthearted and charming work is a masterful blend of folk elements, intense musicality, and Morris’ signature movement aesthetic. The performance will also feature the waltz inspired work Canonic ¾ Studies (1982), Rock of Ages (2004), and Silhouettes (1999).


Keigwin + Company
Tuesday, June 19-Thursday, June 21
Under the direction of Larry Keigwin, this electrifying contemporary dance company brings a bold and refreshing vision of dance that seethes with sensibility, wit, style, and heart. Keigwin + Company bridges the gap between artistry and entertainment, creating works that continue to engage dance audiences of all kinds. They will perform their newest work, Contact Sport, commissioned by the ADF, which premieres in New York City just before coming to ADF. With Keigwin’s signature athletically charged and vigorous movement, this work explores the continuously evolving and sometimes tumultuous relationships between four brothers. Originally commissioned by the ADF in 2004, Natural Selection navigates the theory of evolution from within a miniature world. The company will also perform 12 Chairs (2012) and Megalopolis (2009), a hyper-kinetic synthesis of hip hop and contemporary dance inspired by both fashion and the social behaviors of insect colonies, with Steve Reich’s Sextet for Six Marimbas and M.I.A.’s World Town and XR2 propelling it in all directions onstage. Additionally, Mr. Keigwin will perform his newest solo, Panic, that examines the tension and anxiety that builds within repetition and pattern.

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
Tuesday, June 26-Thursday, June 28
Having made a splash in the world of dance with an evocative interdisciplinary body of work that examines humanity’s identity and diversity as it relates to personal history, Kyle Abraham is quickly establishing himself as one of today’s most innovative and provocative artists. He, along with his company, Abraham.In.Motion, will make their ADF debut this summer with his 2010 smash hit, The Radio Show. This evening length work investigates the effects of the loss of communication within a community, from the discontinuation of a radio station, to the onset of Alzheimer’s and aphasia within a family unit. His luscious, bold, and fearless movement vocabulary is driven by a score that fuses smooth soul, hip hop, and contemporary classical music, making for an evening of unforgettably breathtaking dance.

Monica Bill Barnes & Company
Sunday, July 1-Tuesday, July 3
Described as “one of the wittiest young choreographers around,” Monica Bill Barnes returns to Durham for her company’s first solo concert on the ADF stage. Her all female company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, has been celebrated for her hilarious works that celebrate the joys of individuality, comedy, and the idea that “all the world’s a stage.” Barnes & Company will perform an ADF commissioned world premiere, a duet between Anna Bass and Monica Bill Barnes, as well as two works from her repertoire. Inspired by the beauty and mystery of vaudeville and silent films, Mostly Fanfare (2010) is a poignant and intoxicating examination of the hardships of life onstage. Everything Is Getting Better All the Time (2010) explodes with heart and tenacity as four women, dressed in men’s suits, take an inquisitive look into the complexities of their characters’ onstage relationships.

Ragamala Dance
Tuesday, July 10-Thursday, July 12
Heralded as one of the Diaspora’s leading Bharatanatyam companies, Ragamala Dance has broken the bounds of the traditional South Indian classical dance form and seamlessly carried it into the 21st century. Born and raised in South India, Artistic Directors Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy bring together the culture’s unique sensibility of mysticism, myth, and sanctity onto the contemporary dance stage, creating a captivating experience that is unlike any other. Their ADF debut will feature Sacred Earth (2011), a work inspired by two transient art forms: kolam floor drawings and Warli wall paintings. This collage of the senses uses the visual beauty onstage along with the live musical accompaniment to develop and explore the interconnectedness of humans and the vast landscapes that shape them.

Brian Brooks Moving Company
Monday, July 16-Wednesday, July 18
Since 2002 the Brian Brooks Moving Company has been presenting mesmerizing dance works throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Artistic Director Brian Brooks has developed a rigorous and versatile movement vocabulary that builds momentum through his brilliantly intuitive use of space, motion, and music, establishing him as one of today’s most riveting choreographers. The company will present it’s newest work, Big City, that examines the emotional and physical rebuilding that takes place after destruction. Intricate phrase-work and musicality bring a subtle grace to this unfolding story of despair and hope. Brooks himself will perform his 2007 solo, I’m Going to Explode, a hybrid of dance techniques, sports, parkour, street dance, and physics that investigates the body’s intrinsic use of force when compelled by its surroundings. The performance will also feature Descent (2011), a work that explores the dependent relationship between bodies, and the mesmerizing duet from his 2010 work Motor.

Monday, July 23-Wednesday, July 25
Noted as one of the most exciting Festival performances each year, the Footprints program (formerly called Past/Forward) brings renewed energy to ADF’s ongoing mission to support the skillful work of groundbreaking choreographers through commissions. With three world premieres happening in one evening, audience members will get to experience the ADF debuts of three innovative choreographers as they set works on the talented ADF Six Week School students. Canadian born choreographer and ADF/MFA graduate Helen Simoneau has won numerous accolades for her solo and ensemble work over the past five years including winning The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010 in New York City. Her choreography has been presented in Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. Drawing upon the blend of movement languages of the blues, slave and spiritual rituals, and contemporary dance, 2012 Joyce Award recipient Reggie Wilson has created a potent and energizing style all his own. He is currently the artistic director for his Brooklyn based company, Reggie Wilson/Fist & Heel Performance Group. Former Trisha Brown dancer and assistant director Jodi Melnick has had a vast career in dance, theater, and opera. Her dance language is created from an investigation of nuance, gesture, and the emotion that emanates in the human form. She recently collaborated on a new solo with Ms. Brown entitled One of Sixty Five Thousand Gestures.


Shen Wei Dance Arts
Wednesday July 18-Thursday July 19 at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm
Having received critical acclaim around the world for his captivating work, Shen Wei continues to challenge audiences to experience his work in a new and unconventional way. This summer, the ADF and the North Carolina Museum of Art will present Shen Wei’s newest work, Undivided Divided, in a special engagement at the Museum’s new West Building. During the 45 minute site-specific piece, traditional performer-viewer relationships are reconfigured as viewers are invited to stroll amongst moving “displays” of painted dancers and interactive installations. The piece is inspired by conscious and unconscious human impulses and interactions with the environment and set to a shifting electronic score by So Percussion.

In collaboration with dance writer and critic, Nancy Wozny, and filmmaker, Steve Milligan, ADF’s newest video project, Inside Insights, gives patrons a deconstructed look into the 2012 performing companies and choreographers. Each video includes information on who the companies are, what they are performing, how each company fits into the modern dance world, and why they are a must see this season. Videos will be available on the ADF website by May 14th, 2012.

On Saturday, June 30 at 2:00 pm, following an exciting Children’s Matinee performance based on the beloved children’s story Harold and the Purple Crayon at DPAC, ADF will hold its first ever Durham Dances Day! ADF invites all community members to enjoy a FREE exciting afternoon of music, dance, a parade with Paperhand Puppet Intervention, arts and crafts with Scrap Exchange, activities with Angelina Ballerina, and much more! Parents are invited to bring their little ones for a meet-and-greet with the Hubbard Street 2 dancers, including photos and other interactive activities to go along with the story of Harold. Music will be provided by The Gravy Boys on the ATC stage, so community members are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy the sunshine while grabbing their favorite beer and snacks from one of the many ATC restaurants. Durham Dances Day is sponsored by American Tobacco, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and the City of Durham.

Each summer a talented staff of musicians works within the studio to inspire students daily as they study. For the first time, the ADF Musicians Concert will be held as part of the American Tobacco Music on the Lawn series on Friday, July 13 at 6:00 pm. Join them as they share their immense talent with the whole community in a free concert that features music of various genres and with something for everyone.

The 2012 Samuel H. Scripps/ADF Award for Lifetime Achievement will be presented to acclaimed choreographer William Forsythe by Jill Johnson on June 30th prior to the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago performance at DPAC. The company will perform Forsythe’s 1993 work, Quintett. The award carries a $50,000 prize and is given yearly to a choreographer who has made a significant contribution to the field of modern dance.

Mr. Forsythe will give a community talk on Sunday, June 31st at 4:00pm at White Lecture Hall at Duke University. The talk will be free and open to the public.

The 2012 Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching Award will be presented to Ana Marie Forsythe for her enormous contribution to dance education in a special ceremony on Saturday, June 16 at 5:00 pm. The ceremony will take place at White Lecture Hall at Duke University.

The 79th ADF Season will be dedicated to fervent arts advocate and ADF supporter, Mary Regan. Ms. Regan has worked tirelessly to promote the arts within the state of North Carolina and has been an ardent voice for the ADF. The dedication will be presented to Regan immediately prior to the Doug Elkins and Friends performance at DPAC on Thursday, June 14th at 7:00 pm.

On Sunday, July 8 at 2:00 and 8:00 pm, the ADF Faculty Concert will take place at Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University. The concert will feature the choreography of the ADF School’s renowned faculty members, with dancing by ADF dancers as well as faculty. The Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA performances will feature thesis projects and new works created by the students who are currently enrolled in this collaborative degree program. Two different performances will take place on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 at 8:00 pm at Reynolds Industries Theater.

The 17th annual International Screendance Festival, directed and curated by Emmy nominated filmmaker Douglas Rosenberg, will take place Friday-Sunday, July 6-8. The festival will feature chosen films that explore the ever-evolving relationship between the screen and dance. All screenings take place at White Lecture Hall and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

As part of the incredible tradition of presenting world-class performances, the ADF presents four one-hour matinees throughout the summer designed especially for children. The 2012 Children’s Saturday Matinee series takes place at the Durham Performing Arts Center at 1:00 pm on June 30 (Hubbard Street 2), July 7 (Pilobolus), July 21 (Paul Taylor Dance Company), and July 28 (Mark Morris Dance Group). In addition to the performances, a free Kids’ Party on the outdoor DPAC plaza will immediately follow the July 7, 21, and 28 matinees, complete with music, snacks, and additional entertainment. The ADF will also continue its Kids Night Out program, where all youth ages 6–16 receive one complimentary ticket to any evening performance with the purchase of a regular-priced adult ticket.

All year long, ADF Project Dance brings the world of dance and performance to local youth through free creative movement classes, workshops, and more. This summer the Festival is proud to collaborate with UNC Television to bring dance and the special story of Angelina Ballerina to the community. Inspired by the award-winning children’s book series by author Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen Craig, 8-year-old Angelina Ballerina celebrates music and brings to life many forms of dance including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, classical, and ethnic. The ADF and UNC-TV will offer 3 workshops and activities for children throughout Durham during May and June. For more information on workshop locations, dates, and times, please visit

As part of ADF’s lifelong commitment to education, the 2012 summer will be the international home to over 450 students, teachers, choreographers, and dance professionals wishing to immerse themselves in the world of dance. The ADF School hosts numerous programs including the Six Week School (June 14-July 28), the Three Week School for Young Dancers (July 7-28), and the Dance Professionals Workshop (various dates available). Additionally, students in the Hollins University/American Dance Festival MFA Program will study at the ADF throughout the course of the summer and present their thesis projects at the end of the season.

This year, numerous international choreographers from countries including China, Germany, Taiwan, Russia, and Denmark will visit the ADF to participate in the International Choreographers Residency Program (ICR). Originally established in 1984, this six-week program is designed to foster a vibrant exchange of ideas among artists from around the world, encourage the creation of new dance works, provide immersion into American modern dance, and forge new collaborations. To date, 463 choreographers from 88 countries have participated.

Throughout the summer, ADF Festival Tours offer individuals, families, and community groups the special opportunity to witness modern dance in the making by going behind the scenes of the ADF. Led by ADF staff, visitors will experience ADF students and faculty in class and rehearsal as they demonstrate what makes the ADF summer a thriving creative laboratory. Tours can be scheduled by calling 919-684-6402.

Now a vital piece of the ADF puzzle, the ADF video blog May we have this CyberDance? provides everyone with an exclusive window into all the facets of the Festival. Multiple times each week the blog will be updated with special interviews, sneak-peaks, and unique glimpses into the daily lives of ADF students, performers, faculty, and staff.

Post Performance Discussions (PPDs) provide a unique opportunity for patrons to meet the Festival artists, ask questions, and gain insight into the creators’ work and vision. PPDs take place after select evening performances throughout the summer. Please see the official ADF calendar (available on the ADF website) for PPD dates.

In collaboration with Duke University’s library system, the ADF Archival Collection houses a multitude of film, videos, photographs, and records dating from the early 1930s. This summer an exhibit of vintage ADF t-shirts and their special back-stories will be on display in the Reynolds Industries Theater lobby at Duke University.

Single tickets and subscriptions to ADF performances will go on sale to the general public May 14, 2012 and may be purchased via one of the methods listed below.  Tickets range in price from $18 to $60.

For ADF@DPAC performances:
919.680.ARTS (2787)
Durham Performing Arts Center Ticket Center
The American Tobacco District
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC 27701
Tuesday-Friday 10 am-5 pm
Saturday 10 am-2 pm

For ADF@DUKE performances:
Duke University Box Office
Bryan University Center
Duke University West Campus
Monday-Friday  11 am-6 pm

For ADF@NCMA (Shen Wei Dance Arts) performance:
North Carolina Museum of Art East Building
2110 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
Tuesday–Thursday: 10 am–5 pm
Friday: 10 am–9 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 10 am–5 pm

By Triangle A&E

What about Bob Bob has over thirty years experience as Creative Director at notable advertising and marketing agencies in Manhattan and Raleigh Bob's creative has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Packaging Design Council, Magazine Design, Art Directors Club. In addition, Bob has been published in Graphic Design USA, American Graphic Design, and the Creativity Annual. In 2008, Bob was honored to Judge the Davey Awards for interactive and web design. Bob's passion for the arts has led him to utilize his talent and experience in support of the arts here in the Triangle by creating Triangle Arts and Entertainment.