Duke Dance Program Spring Dance Series

Join us throughout the months of March and April as the Duke Dance Program presents its "Spring Dance Series" that celebrates faculty, graduate, and undergraduate performances, projects, and installations. Due to campus protocols regarding COVID-19, the department was unable to present its annual "ChoreoLab" performance this semester. Instead, we offer a wide selection of virtual events, as well as smaller in-person opportunities that adhere to Duke social distance protocols. Please check back as events are confirmed. 

Calendar of Events (updated April 14)

March 19-March 21 | times vary
Faculty Work: Keval Kaur Khalsa
Virtual conference
Register here

Embodied Learning Summit "What is Yoga?: An Ancient Practice in a Modern World" 

An annual conference hosted by the Duke University Mindfulness and Human Development team which aims to provide a community space for yoga education and celebration. This year's summit will focus on learning about yoga history and the cultural appropriation of yoga, addressing inequity and inclusivity within our own communities, and returning to yoga’s roots as an embodied spiritual practice. Keynote speaker is Susanna Barkataki, an Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition. 

March 20 | 12:00-3:00pm
Faculty Work: Andrea E. Woods
Virtual performances and workshops 
For more information, visit here

Virtual wimmin@work 2021– 5 Years Strong!

The Hayti Heritage Center and Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods Present "Virtual wimmin@work 2021 – 5 Years Strong!" A wimmin's herstory month celebration that brings a range of eclectic performance from dance, and original song and music, to the art of healthy eating, spoken word, and krav maga. This year you can participate in three virtual wimmin@workshops in songwriting, self-defense, and jazz dance.

Featuring: Zoia Cisneros, Dorothy N. Clark, Kimberly Gaubault, Jaimie Lee, Lexi Lockhart, R.N Harris F.L.I.G.H.T Dance Drum Troupe, Say Kola, Kristi Vincent Johnson, Clarissa Kussin, Kamara Thomas, and Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers with hattie gossett.

March 22-March 26
MFA Thesis Project: Alyah Baker
Installation | Rubenstein Arts Center
Hours: (8am-10pm) Monday -Thursday; (8am-6pm) Friday

Quare Dance: Fashioning a Queer, Black, Fem(me)inist Aesthetic in Ballet

A multi-media performance installation that examines the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and ballet, with a particular focus on the stories of Black Queer Women. Artists Alyah Baker (MFA candidate '21), Kiara Felder, Cortney Taylor Key, and Audrey Malek combine Black feminist epistemologies with movement, images, text, and material artifacts to imagine and embody new possibilities for ballet. The installation and artists involved trouble dominant discourses on dance and identity, presenting important yet previously overlooked counternarratives. Quare Dance queers our understanding of ballet and the ballerina, offering a fresh perspective on what ballet is and can be as it moves into the 21st century.

March 23 | 7:00pm
MFA Thesis Project: Courtney Liu
Live-streamed performance
Vimeo Live: Watch here

Waters to Waters: Between Yu & Flow

Reflecting the intersecting dual tracks in pedagogy and choreography that have shaped Courtney Kristen Liu’s MFA research at Duke University, the final presentation unfolds in two parts. The first program, a live-streamed proscenium performance featuring ten undergraduate dancers and interactive projections by Mingyong Cheng, is the finale of her choreographic work during the MFA. Both the process and final product have been dedicated to the exploration and cultivation of engaged artistic flow states in the studio and onstage. Liu and students investigate various facilitators, inhibitors, and characteristics of flow including intention, curiosity, bliss, distraction, collective engagement, joy, peace, and suspension of time. The title, Waters to Waters: Between Yu & Flow, reflects the combination of eastern and western flow/yu practices that inform the final work. 

Dancers: Claudia Chapman; Allison Chen; Tessa Grabowski; Emma Martinez-Morison; Megan Mauro; Nicole Park; Isabella Rundell; Jillian Suprenant; Florence Wang; Michael Wen

Conceived, choreographed, and directed by Courtney Liu, MFA candidate in Dance; projection design: Mingyong Cheng (MFA candidate in Experimental and Documentary Studies); music editor: John Hanks; music: Michael Wall, Bensound, and Tristan Barton; lighting design: Leah Austin; live Vimeo audiovisual feed: Austin Powers; costumes: Melody Eggen; assistant to the choreographer & swing: Gabrielle Cooper; technical assistance for projection design: Zetao Yu

March 25: 11:00am and 7:30pm
March 26: 10:00am, 2:00pm, and 9:00pm
March 27: 7:00am, 11:00am, and 7:30pm
March 28: 7:00am, 12:00pm, and 4:00pm (with conversation to follow)
MFA Thesis Project: Juliet Irving
Live-stream performances: Watch here

I Am. We Are

A series of 360-degree immersive, popup performances situated in Duke Forest that manifests new worlds and ways of being for Black femme to exist within. Groove alongside southern Black femme as they trace their sense of self and care through movement to initiate a collective reimagining of Black girl possibility. Using blacklight, UV paint, and other found materials, Juliet and her collaborators construct internal and external spaces that push them to relate to their environment and themselves in otherwise ways. The series will be live-streamed with each performance being unique in content and duration. The recordings will be available to view on the artist's channel.

Collaborators: Alyah Baker, Lee Edwards, Ayan Felix, Amari Jones, Ife Michelle Presswood, and Namajala Naomi-Roque Washington

March 26 | 12:00pm
MFA Thesis Project: Courtney Liu
Live-streamed Artist-in-Conversation
Join here

SylphSense: Ballet Pedagogy, Body Image, & Flow States

A live-streamed Artists-in-Conversation presentation through Duke Arts, where Courtney Liu (MFA candidate '21) will present progressive pedagogical advances that have the potential to reduce self- and other- objectification in the ballet classroom. Segments of choreography inspired by these pedagogical tools are weaved throughout the presentation as Liu shares how interdisciplinary research in pedagogy and choreographic inquiry have worked in tandem to uncover unexpected revelations.  

April 3-April 4 
Video (link to come)

The Butterfly Effect 

Students from Performance Technology will create interactions with objects developed in the course. 

April 7
Senior Capstone Project: Megan Mauro
(link and time to come)

My Intersection: Dance, Identity, Injury

A presentation of Megan Mauro's (Dance '21) Capstone project.

April 12-April 18
(link to come)

Web-gallery of Creative Gifts 

Students from this spring's Interdisciplinary Performance Project (service learning) will co-create and publish an e-gallery of video archived performances, sound/media compositions, fiction/poetry, and visual artifacts in response to weekly creative care gatherings and storytelling sessions with community partners from Dementia Inclusive Durham. 

Music, sound, video, and media composition: Brittany J. Green; applied theater and improvisation: Amy Sawyers-Williams; music, rhythm, and movement: Teli Shabu

April 12-April 23
Faculty Work: Ava LaVonne Vinesett
Rubenstein Arts Center | Murthy Agora Commons, Studio 129
M-F: 12:00-6:00pm; S & S: 1:00-6:00pm 
In-person viewing open to Duke students, faculty, and staff, following SymMon protocols
Live-streamed April 12 at 12:00pm: https://vimeo.com/event/874209/5c9ba8b767

:: Preparing Grounds :: Portals and Portability ::

Members of the Duke African Repertory Ensemble are joined by Indigo Yard Gals for this work.

The lynching of Black bodies was a ritual gathering ...trees as witnesses of these acts of terror …in several African diaspora spiritual traditions, “practitioners recognize forests, rivers, and oceans as natural resources embodying spiritual subjects" (Concha-Holmes, 2012)…what might we imagine as held memories by these spiritual subjects? how do we create points of access, or portals to engage in acts of remembrance and recovery? we are preparing grounds to reclaim, re-consecrate, re-articulate, restore, remember and reimagine liminal spaces as accesses to restoration …points of contact between the world of what is seen and unseen realms.

Video and photography: Caroline Almy. 
Video and photography by: Jessica Almy-Pagán. 
Video by: Domingo B. Vinesett. 
Installation design by: Jessica Almy-Pagán and Ava LaVonne Vinesett. 
Choreography for Duke African Repertory Ensemble by: Ava LaVonne Vinesett and dancers. 
Choreography for Indigo Yard Gals by: Ava LaVonne Vinesett. 
Dancers: CC Croxton, Bonita Joyce, Amoké Ocean, Ife M. Presswood, Ashley Rea, Tria Smothers, Oesa SaVionne Vinesett, Namajala Naomi Washington, Adrianna Williams. 
Music by: Omar Sosa. 
Candomblé rhythms performed by: Beverly Botsford, Domingo B. Vinesett, Richard J. Vinesett (musical director). 
Sound engineering by: Erik Koehler and John Hanks. 
Readings from Sherese Francis’ Lucy’s Bone Scrolls: The Black Speculative Mystery School - CC Croxton, Yemarishet Macharia, Amoké Ocean, Ife Presswood, Ashley Rea, Adrianna Williams. 
Costumes by: Ava LaVonne Vinesett. 

With deep gratitude to Scott Price and Omar Sosa Management for their generous support.   

Thank you to Sherese Francis for reminding us to ask “What if?”

Thank you to gina Breedlove, our medicine woman who continues to hold space and reminds us “to be intentional about bearing witness”.

Thank you to Kati Henderson, Bill Le Fevre, Orla Swift and the staff of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens for their assistance and accommodations.    

The Ruby staff is AMAZING!
John Kolba
Marcy Edenfield
Ali Shumar
Erik Koehler
Christopher Scully-Thurston

Duke Dance Program: 
John Hanks
Lee Edwards
Avery Lythcott-Haims
Sophia Jeffery

Friends of IYG support:
Sidy Touré
Sherone Price
Braima Moiwai
Noni Davis
Cici Stevens 

To the lives in the unseen realms, this is an act of remembrance, this is our medicine, this is our journey.

April 16
Senior Capstone Project: Cordelia Hogan
Rubenstein Arts Center lounge
Watch here

A Project in (Self) Reflection

A video presentation of Cordelia Hogan's (Dance '21) capstone project. 

April 16
Video: Watch here

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane's "Continuous Replay: Come Together"

A virtual filmed performance of an innovative Jones/Zane choreography restaged by Duke faculty and former company member Andrea E. Woods Valdés and featuring Duke students. Presented through Duke Arts.