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Tommy Noonan's Assembly; photo credit: Yaniv Cohen
I Am Jasmine Powell, set piece used in Iridescence. Photo Credit: @artsandmarks
This preview has been provided by Dance Project and the NC Dance Festival.
Following its opening Creative Collaboration Exchange in Charlotte, Dance Project's NC Dance Festival 2022 is coming to Greensboro this October! Two different experiences bring people "up close and personal experiences in dance," says Executive Director Anne Morris. They are "opportunities to talk to artists" and to "feel like you can find a connection to the work."
The first event is a unique installation by 2019's NCDF Trailblazer Awardee Tommy Noonan (of Culture Mill in Saxapahaw, NC), based on extensive collaboration with artists from 5 other countries, as well as NC's own Carolina Performing Arts, centered around conversations about social structures and power dynamics. The seating on both nights of Assembly will be incredibly limited (about 30 seats), resulting in a unique, embodied exploration of the relationships between the physical location, the people involved, and ultimately, says Morris, "what our bodies mean in space" and what it means to come together.
The Mainstage Concert is the culmination of a blind adjudication process that aims to help introduce artists to new communities within the state. This year's performers hail from Greensboro, Asheville, Charlotte, Durham, and Hillsborough, and have drawn from such varied inspiration as hip-hop and drumline, Japanese butoh theatre, the graffiti created by protesters in racial justice movements, and personal experiences. The result is a striking, varied program that speaks to many different parts of the human experience in deeply personal and yet utterly relatable ways.
Beyond performances, 2022's NCDF features related events, including a Master Class with Nichole Vaughn-Diaz, and the continuation of its Monthly Dancer Chat, a virtual session meant for dancers of all levels, backgrounds, and affiliations to gather for some much-needed social connection.
October 6-7: Assembly
NCDF Trailblazer Awardee Tommy Noonan of Culture Mill presents the US premiere of Assembly. Assembly derives from Noonan’s work with NC-based artists, activists and Restorative Justice specialists, and exists in ongoing conversation with 5 other socially engaged dance artists from 5 other countries around the world, all tied together by a single performance score from Norwegian/Israeli Artist/Activist Mia Habib. As a hybrid installation, performance and social practice, Assembly invites audiences to consider the land where they gather: all that is not named in the past, all that might come to pass in the future, and all the ways in which distributive power exists differently in each present moment when bodies assemble. Assembly is a production of Culture Mill with support from Mia Habib Productions and Dance Project, also supported by The Norwegian Arts Council and Nordic Culture Fund – Globus Opstart.
October 8: Mainstage Performance
5 professional NC choreographers present new or recent dance work.
5 professional NC choreographers present new or recent dance work. Amelia Byrd’s (Greensboro) Womanifesto explores the struggle, freedom, and acceptance of a woman emerging into her adult life. Nicole Vaughan-Diaz’s (Asheville) duet, A Portrait of Them traces the impact of grief – its connections and distances –on a relationship. Iridescence, a solo by Jasmine Powell (Hillsborough) was created in the context of the protests for racial justice in 2020, responding to the waves of sorrow, community, guilt, support, promise, and action. Caitlin Dutton-Reaver (Durham) presents Dances on a Bench (on a Stage), a site-adaptive solo originally performed in Durham’s Brightleaf Square and on UNC-Greensboro’s Art Truck, featuring live, improvised performance with local musicians. Coming Home by Tamara Williams (Charlotte), is a section of a larger work, Morning Honeysuckle, Sunday’s Greed. Bringing in hip hop, Southern Baptist Church rhythms and southeastern Drumline, the dance explores the physical resistance of oppression in the United States and the celebration of perseverance by African Americans.
About Dance Project
We're building a stronger community through dance.
We do this by cultivating the field of modern dance in North Carolina, and have spent the past 30 years nurturing a vibrant, engaged, and inclusive community of artists, audiences, and students by providing opportunities for training, performance, collaboration, and employment.
Our 501(c)3 non-profit organization encompasses the NC Dance Festival, a statewide tour of NC choreography; The School, our community dance studio in the Cultural Center; our Outreach Programming, providing free and low-cost classes and performances in community settings; and The Van Dyke Dance Group, which performs and manages the repertoire of Dance Project founder, Jan Van Dyke (1941-2015).
About North Carolina Dance Festival
The NC Dance Festival, a production of the Dance Project, is an annual touring showcase of modern and contemporary choreography by NC artists. The Festival establishes a network of venues for professional regional choreography and performance, expanding accessibility of dance throughout the state while raising the profile of North Carolina’s own artists. The North Carolina Dance Festival has been supported by state and local arts councils as well as local and national foundations and individual donations.