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This featured preview is part of a publicity exchange with the NC Dance Festival. For more information about CVNC's publicity exchange program, follow this link.
Each year, the NC Dance Festival, a program coordinated by Greensboro-based Dance Project, brings professional modern and contemporary dance choreography to audiences and students across the state. The Festival provides up-close and personal experiences with dance through performances, classes, conversations, and more. Co-presented by Goodyear Arts, the 2023 NC Dance Festival returns to Charlotte for a 2-night run of a performance featuring 4 professional choreographers/companies from across NC. The works to be presented were selected by adjudicators and mark the first time the festival has been presented over 2 evenings, allowing the works more breathing room and the chance to be appreciated more fully.
Co-director Anne Morris is excited because, as a whole, she says, "I think it's going to be a really special and unique experience for people who come." She explains that elements of this year's festival will be "different to passively watching a dance performance" - especially with ShaLeigh Dance Works' excerpt of “enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight," in which participating audience members will actually be guided through the performance in a non-visual sensory experience (read more below)! This season's focus has been on intersectionality, and a cultural conversation broader than the scope of dance itself, all presented through thought-provoking yet engaging and accessible dance works focused on the very principle of community engagement.
NCDF at Goodyear Arts
October 6-7, 7:30pm
Goodyear Arts, Charlotte
Admission is by donation ($25 suggested donation). RSVP online reserve one of the limited seats. For more info, visit our website.
About the Works
This concert features Joy Davis and Eric Mullis (Charlotte), ShaLeigh Dance Works (Durham), Lee Edwards (Durham), and Courtney White and Carol Finley (Raleigh) in a unique performance experience. Their work offers opportunities to experience authentic human connection and invites the audience to think and feel in new ways. This mesmerizing blend of dance and theater will awaken all of your senses and linger long after the performance ends. An artist talk-back follows the performance.
ShaLeigh Dance Works (Durham) shares an excerpt of “enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight” as an immersive, interdisciplinary performance that proposes a new experience of dance and theater that engages senses beyond the visual. Specifically conceived with and for individuals who are low-vision and blind, the work invites the sighted audience to experience the show blindfolded and invites a few audience members to join the experience onstage. Participatory Audience members will ultimately be guided by a performer into the setting of the work, over a specific journey that tells a collective story through textures, movements, sounds, music, scents, storytelling, and audience participation. To indicate interest in participating on-stage, please visit our website to sign up.
“Halidom,” by Joy Davis and Eric Mullis (Charlotte), is a duet created in Tokyo and Kyoto in 2019. Together, they engage in conversation between the artists’ movement vernaculars and Japanese Butoh. In Lee Edwards’ (Durham) “reclamation: processing (through) lament,” the dancers explore the “now” and the waves of the past which we are constantly reckoning with, asking how rest, play, and joy exist alongside the chaos of our present moment. Carol Finley and Courtney White (Raleigh) present “Misfortunes,” a collaborative duet on stationary bikes that employs humor to challenge competition culture in group fitness environments and consider the randomness of what comes our way.
The NC Dance Festival and Dance Artist Alliance: CLT will co-host an artist mixer on Saturday, October 7 from 5-6 at Goodyear Arts. This is a chance to connect with NC Dance Festival artists and members of the local dance community to build a stronger statewide network for dance artists.
Support for this performance is provided in part by the NC Arts Council, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Stability Engineering, and other sponsors and donors.
Following this performance, the 23-24 NC Dance Festival Fall season continues with performances in Greensboro, as well as an artist residency program in Greensboro and Durham:
Artists Involved in NCDF Charlotte Performance:
Shaleigh Comerford (Durham) is an Irish & Native American choreographer and the artistic director of ShaLeigh Dance Works, a dance-theatre company based in Durham, NC and founded in 2005. Her work is driven by a desire to uplift powerful stories and voices that address the human condition in relation to inequalities and forces of erasure. Her work stresses our instinctive human need to connect regardless of race, class, age, ability, or gender. She is a graduate of Hollins University with a Master’s degree in Visual and Performing Arts. ShaLeigh began her formal dance training on scholarship with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre and the American Dance Festival and continued her training in NYC and at P.A.R.T.S in Brussels, Belgium. ShaLeigh’s choreography and commissions have been presented throughout the United States and abroad. She is a recipient of the 2018 Ella Pratt Fountain Emerging Artist Award and an awarded winner in the 2013 Tokyo Experimental Festival of Sound, Art & Performance. ShaLeigh currently serves as Adjunct Instructor of dance at Elon University and Washington & Lee University. She is a member of the statewide North Carolina Arts Accessibility Learning Cohort as well as the UpROOTing Ableism workgroup for Alternate ROOTS. She is also Founder and practitioner of ShaGa Movement.
Joy Davis (Charlotte) is a dance artist, advocate, educator and performer. She is a Senior Countertechnique Teacher; and founded joyproject in 2005 as a platform for creation, collaboration and production, having created numerous independent works and commissions. She is co-founder of the dynamic duo, The Davis Sisters, alongside multi-disciplinary artist Alexander Davis; together they received a Schonberg Residency at The Yard and were commissioned for numerous projects by the Boston Center for the Arts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Wesleyan Center for the Arts, amongst others. Joy received an MFA in Choreography and Performance from Smith College and has taught worldwide, including Boston Conservatory at Berklee since 2016, as a Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University, as a Guest Teacher at The Juilliard School, and at festivals including One Body One Career Countertechnique Intensive, American Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. She was a 2022 Goodyear Arts Resident in Charlotte, recipient of the North Carolina Choreographer's Residency, and is Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance at Davidson College.
Lee Edwards (Durham) is an interdisciplinary movement artist, memory worker, and embodied storyteller working in dance, sound, video, and ethnography. Their practice takes shape through the use of performance, installation, improvisational and somatic techniques, collaboration, and writing. Originally from Mount Vernon, NY, Lee's love of dance was first nurtured with family and friends at home, school, and church. Their formal training started at The Dance Theatre of Harlem School, after which they received their BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia (2015). Lee has performed with companies Lela Aisha Jones | FlyGround, Putty Dance Project, Dancespora, KCBC, and Jo-Me’ Dance. They have worked with choreographers Michael Mao, Jasmine Powell, Raphael Xavier, and Joanna Kotze. Lee completed their MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis and Master's Certificate in African and African American Studies from Duke University (2022). They are a recipient of the 2021-2022 Kenan Institute of Ethics Graduate Arts Fellowship in Social Choreography and Performance. Lee is currently based in Durham, NC; exploring care as embodied practice, the prefix "re", and spatial/temporal orientation as a person with overlapping and intertwined roots in the Northeastern and Southeastern regions of the United States.
Carol Kyles Finley (Raleigh) is a professor of Dance at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC where she also serves as Department Chair for Dance and Theatre and artistic director for Meredith Dance Theatre. Her works for stage have been performed in many venues on the east coast, in Ohio, Seattle, and numerous regional and national American College Dance Association concerts. Her works for camera have been screened in national and international festivals. She has served as guest artist at James Madison University, Florida State College Jacksonville, NC State University, Middle and High schools across North Carolina, and regularly teaches as a guest with the NC Governor’s School. Carol holds a degree in Graphic Design from NC State University and an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University.
Eric Mullis (Charlotte) is an NC-based artist whose work bridges the disciplines of dance, philosophy, cultural anthropology, and digital aesthetics. In 2020, he received a Fulbright scholarship to teach dance technology in Taiwan and, in 2023, received an Arts and Technology grant from the Knight Foundation to continue research on Motive Forces, a dance theater piece that centers on digital abstraction. Eric has published widely on contemporary dance - most recently, the book Instruments of Embodiment: Costuming in Contemporary Dance (Routledge 2022). He is chair of the Philosophy and Religion Department at Queens University of Charlotte and Director of Goodyear Arts, a non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting independent artists in Charlotte, NC. For more see ericmullis8.com.
Courtney White (Cary) is an Assistant Professor at Meredith College and an active part of the dance community throughout the triangle. Her work has allowed her to teach, perform, present, and produce work nationally and internationally. She has served as a guest artist at The University of North Carolina Greensboro, James Madison University, The University of Memphis, Dogwood Dance Project, and various Middle and High Schools in North Carolina. She earned an MFA in Choreography from The University of North Carolina Greensboro and a BA in Dance concentrating in performance and choreography from Meredith College.
About Dance Project:
For more than 30 years, Dance Project has been inspiring, educating, and entertaining Greensboro and the state through the NC Dance Festival, our School (a community studio in the Greensboro Cultural Center), and our community engagement and performance programs. Founded and directed by Jan Van Dyke until her death in July 2015, Dance Project is now directed by Anne Morris and Lauren Joyner. Our mission is to cultivate the field of modern dance in NC, nurturing a community of artists, audiences, and students by providing opportunities for training, performance, collaboration, and employment. Our vision is to build a stronger community through dance. We believe that communities that have strong arts programs are stronger communities, and that dance training/experience helps to create smart, creative, empathetic, and involved citizens and community members. More info at: www.danceproject.org