Alyah Baker, MFA in Dance '21, discusses gender norms in NYT article

Recent MFA in Dance graduate Alyah Baker weighs in on the strict gender norms in ballet that often put pressure on women to conform—and how more dancers who refuse are finding they're not alone. 

Read The New York Times article ...

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Thomas F. DeFrantz on Transcending Language Through Dance

thomas f defrantz

On Wednesday's CoastLine: Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz studies African American history, writes books, and he DANCES. We'll hear why he sees dance as a technology to translate feeling and transcend language -- and white supremacy.

Listen for CoastLine Wednesday at noon on 91.3 FM, WHQR Public Media, Hanover Co/Wilmington, NC. Find the...

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NEA supports project led by Duke Dance professor

The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD), a community that supports scholars and artists committed to dance of the African diaspora, has been awarded $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts, the organization announced on May 12. 


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Ava LaVonne Vinesett Presents at the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association 2021 Conference

About this Event: Join the African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association (ADRSA) ONLINE via LIVE STREAM for its 9th conference!
Sponsored by Ase Ire Communiversity, Congress of Santa Barbara(KOSANBA), Center for African and African American Studies at Southern University at New Orleans, WaWaWa Disapora Centre, MAAFA San Francisco Bay Area

This year's theme, Praising and Raising the Dead: Life, Death, and Rebirth in Africana Religions, will explore concepts of life...

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MFA Dancers Participate in RESIST COVID/TAKE 6!

Alyah Baker, Amanda Edwards and Courtney Liu

The Nasher Museum of Art's exhibition RESIST COVID / TAKE 6! emphasizes the disproportionate impact of the deadly virus on the lives of communities of color. Three MFA in Dance candidates-Alyah Baker, Lee Edwards, and Courtney Liu-had their original choreography selected to be part of this project. 

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Fifth Annual Black Religion Spirituality & Culture Conference

harvard conference image

Andrea E. Woods Valdés will be a featured speaker at this event. 

About The Event: The Black Religion, Spirituality & Culture Fifth Annual Conference aims to create a safe and meaningful space for B.I.P.O.C. cultural-heritages and traditions of being and becoming. We will facilitate much-needed conversations around the global militarization of police and police brutality against Black and Brown folx across the African...

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SLIPPAGE on the Cover of Theater Magazine

theater magazine featuring slippage

SLIPPAGE is delighted to relate that our performance texts for Soundz at the Back of My Head is featured on the cover of Theater, the journal published by Yale School of Drama and Duke University Press.  Volume 50 No. 3 includes a text by SLIPPAGE affiliate Quran Karriem about his work on the performance work, as well as the performance text by Thomas F. DeFrantz.  In addition, the journal includes an overview to the entire TalkingDancing series, which includes i am black [you have to be...

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Alyah Baker named 2020-2021 Graduate Arts Fellow in Social Choreography and Performance

alyah baker

Congratulations to MFA in Dance at Duke candidate Alyah Baker for being named Kenan Institute for Ethics Graduate Arts Fellow in Social Choreography and Performance for the 2020-2021 academic year! In her research, Baker is committed to foregrounding the body as she explores power, the politics of place, and identity. Read more: ...

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Video: How Duke Dance adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic

alyah baker

The Chronicle spoke to Alyah Baker from the Duke Dance program about what changes the program saw as a result of COVID-19. Video by Brandi Steirn.

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Duke Dance Program Students Find Collective Resonance During COVID-19

Students enrolled in Dance 122: Intermediate Ballet this fall had the opportunity to collaborate with instructor, and MFA candidate, Courtney Liu to create a piece exploring the boundaries between classical ballet and contemporary styles: "Blurring the Lines: Finding Collective Resonance During COVID-19."

"The piece builds upon the classroom journey to find a collective way of being, dancing, and breathing--even when we are separated by physical distance." explains Liu. 


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Vinesett Considers the Physical Investment of Dancers in N.C. Dance Festival Work

Ava LaVonneVinesett

Duke Dance Program Professor Ava LaVonne Vinesett is one of only 20 choreographers selected to participate in the North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF). Traditionally a touring festival that brings modern and contemporary choreographies to audiences across the state, this year NCDF will be a virtual celebration of its 30th season. 

In a “normal” year, choreographers would submit a dance for adjudication with a panel reviewing the...

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Foundations of Equity - Continuing the Conversation [or First Year Facilitated Conversation]

Duke University’s Identity and Cultural Centers are offering multiple opportunities for members of the Class of 2024 to continue the conversation originating from the Foundations of Equity training provided during Orientation 2020. These 90- minute staff led small group conversations provide an opportunity for our newest community members to continue to consider the foundational concepts related to equity. It also provides an opportunity to take a closer look at anti-Black racism with the...

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Welcome to the Dance MFA Cohort- Class of 2022

The Duke Dance Program recently welcomed its second MFA cohort to campus. Lee Edwards, Amari Jones, and Davian “DJ” Robinson are the newest masters candidates to join the Dance Program. The Master of Fine Arts in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis is a two-year, full-time terminal degree in Dance dedicated to embodied knowledge and practice-led movement discourses. The program endorses dance as a politically, socially, and spiritually transformative force in society and engages...

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SLIPPAGE sponsors CADD|DSA Collaboration on Dance

SLIPPAGE is proud to announce that the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance joins the Dance Studies Association to co-host a 3-part program series focusing on Black dance. This  series will be an exploration of the politics, aesthetics, and alchemy of African diasporic dance.  The series will kick off September 26 at 11 AM EST  with curated highlights from the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance February 2020 conference, Fluid Black::Dance Back. CADD Executive...

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Andrea E. Woods Valdés named Director of the Dance Program

image of Andrea E Woods Valdés. Photo by Alec Himwich.

Dear Duke and Durham communities:

It gives me great pleasure and pride to begin to serve as the Director of the Duke Dance Program. I would like to thank Dr. Purnima Shah for her leadership and direction thus far as my colleagues and I continue to envision the viable and valuable futures for dance and what it encompasses within our program and beyond. I look forward to engaging with each of you, all the more so during these uncertain times. While we wish for the health and safety of...

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The Laboratory for Social Choreography at Duke University in partnership with the Centre for Social Dreaming presents



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DukeEngage Communications team interviews Purnima Shah

The DukeEngage Communications team interviewed Purnima Shah, Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance and Director of DukeEngage-Ahmedabad. This profile is part of an interview series that aims to share how DukeEngage programs impact community members, partners, and students. 

To read the article, go to: https://dukeengage....

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Dream a Little Dream

Social Dreaming Matrix Spring 2020

Every Thursday afternoon from May through mid-June, people from across the world gathered online to share and discuss something we all experience—night-time dreams. Hosted by Duke’s newly formed...

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Garage Ballet: Teaching Dance When Parked at Home

Through the completion of the spring semester, students attended Courtney Liu’s Dance 121 "Advanced Beginning Ballet" every Monday and Wednesday without fail. They moved from their traditional, open dance studio at the Rubenstein Arts Center into modified personal spaces: pushing the dining room table and chairs against the wall or re-arranging the sofa and coffee table to yield a few...

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Dance Program Awards Three Undergraduates

The Dance Program at Duke University recently presented three undergraduates with awards celebrating ongoing achievements in the discipline.


“Congratulations to our awardees, dance major Cordelia Hogan and minors...

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Anne Talkington: "A Drug's Journey" - Dance Your PhD 2019/2020

image of anne talkington

“A Drug’s Journey” - View the video:
Based on thesis work: “A physiologically-based pharmacokinetic model for clearance and targeting of nanomedicines”

When we take medication, where does it end up in the body?

Many drugs are coated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to help extend their circulation time. However, some people produce antibodies against this coat. These antibodies clear the drugs from...

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2020 Collegium for African Diaspora Dance Registration Now Open

The next Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) conference will be held at Duke University, February 21-23, 2020.  Click here to go to the CADD website.

The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) is an egalitarian community of scholars and artists committed to exploring, promoting, and engaging African diaspora dance as a resource and...

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Taking Shape: The MFA in Dance at Duke

Now a few months into the inaugural year of the MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis, the program has begun to build exciting momentum. An inspiring first cohort of students are combining group coursework with more individualized research, studying the intersection of a variety of disciplines. Michael Klien,...

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Meet the Inaugural Cohort of Duke’s MFA in Dance

MFA cohort image by Robert Zimmerman

Central to Duke’s new MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis is the integration of intensive dance and movement research with study across disciplines. Read the DukeArts article:

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9 books about dance that will change how you see the art form

Prof. Thomas F DeFrantz' “Dancing Revelations: Alvin Ailey’s Embodiment of African American Culture” included in this list from Linda Murray, The New York Public Library’s curator of its dance division. READ ARTICLE.

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Welcome, MFA Students!

MFA class image

The first class of the new Dance MFA: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis is here! L/R: Ife M. Presswood, Ayan Felix, Susan Webb, Naomi Washington Roque, Courtney Liu, Alyah Baker, Juliet Irving, Courtney Crumpler. ...

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Thomas F. DeFrantz to be one of three international judges for the newly-minted LIVE ARTS prize

DeFrantz image

For the first time ever, ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival is proud to present the shortlisted artists of The ANTI Festival International Prize for Live Art during the 2019 Festival in Kuopio, Finland, where each shortlisted artist/collective performs their work. Shortlist LIVE! is a completely new and unique entity of events around the prize in which the shortlisted artists are performed live during ANTI Festival, and the winner of the prize is decided by the jury after the performances....

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News from Prof. Sarah Wilbur

sarah wilbur, Photo credit: Troy Blendell (2018)

Sarah Wilbur recently returned from guest teaching graduate arts curators this summer at Wesleyan University’s Institute for Curatorial Practice and Performance (ICPP), a center for the academic study of the presentation and contextualization of contemporary performance. 

Her course introduced students to a variety of creative strategies that artists and curators draw on to successfully navigate the ever-changing conditions of the global cultural economy. 

Wilbur and co-...

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Connie Zhou writes about her experience in the Dance for Parkinson's Disease program

Prof. Sarah Wilbur has been advising dance minor Connie Zhou’s distinction project, which has involved field placement and interning in Brooklyn, New York, with the Dance for Parkinson’s Disease program. Connie wrote a blog post for her DukeEngage position and you can read it here:

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Barbara Figge Fox (WC’61) Honors Dance Mentor, Julia Wray, with Library Gift


The former English major and Woman’s College graduate recalls her experience as a student dancer at a time when campus life looked quite different than it does now. Read the article in Duke Libraries Magazine.

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Kristin Clotfelter to teach Beginning Ballet and Intermediate Ballet in the Fall

kristin clotfelter image

Guest Instructor, Kristin Clotfelter, is scheduled to teach Beginning Ballet and Intermediate Ballet, Fall 2019. 

  • DANCE 120/Beginning Ballet/MW 03:05 PM-04:20 PM/Rubenstein Arts Center 224
  • DANCE 122/Intermediate Ballet/TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM/Rubenstein Arts Center 224

Kristin Clotfelter is interested in exploring the complexities of the temporal human condition through the metaphysics of dance and performance. She co-directs Studio C Projects, a Durham based...

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Congratulations to Our 2019 Graduating Students!

2019 grads: Onastasia Ebright, Julia Kemper, Emma Crossman

L/R: Onastasia Ebright (dance minor), Julia Kemper (dance major), Emma Crossman (dance minor).

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Keval Kaur Khalsa's "Mindfulness in Human Development" Research Team Present at the 2019 Bass Connections EHDx Talks

khalsa ehdx team

Keval Kaur Khalsa's Mindfulness in Human Development research team presented at the 2019 Bass Connections EHDx talks on April 9 in Gross Hall on Duke’s West Campus.  In a 5-minute Ted-type talk, team members Alejandra Gomez and Alizeh Sheik shared findings from this year’s work ―  a statistically significant improvement in emotional regulation for middle school students that participated in the Y.O.G.A. for Youth program at public middle schools in Chapel Hill.  Alejandra and Alizeh led the...

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Sarah Wilbur Receives Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops Award

sarah wilbur image

Congratulations to Sarah Wilbur for being awarded a Faculty Book Manuscript Workshops award by the Franklin Humanities Institute! ...

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Blue Devil of the Week: Dancing Through Past and Future

Thomas DeFrantz teaches students to explore historical topics by merging dance and technology.


Photo by Jared Lazarus

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Congratulations Dance Award Winners for 2019!

Julia Wray Memorial Dance Award: Julia Kemper.  

  • Julia Wray Memorial Dance Award celebrates the memory of a much beloved Julia Wray who for many years was the leader and passionate protagonist for dance at Duke and in North Carolina. It is awarded to a senior who has shown outstanding leadership in our program.

Clay Taliaferro Dance Award: Megan Mauro.

  • Clay Taliaferro Dance Award, instituted in 2006 to honor this...
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Wanted: Part-Time Publicist

Please view the official job description here:

In addition, and to ensure we know about your application, please email your resume to Christina Price, Business Manager for the Dance Program:

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A Faculty Retreat Incorporates Body Movement into the Writing Experience

dance writing image

A Feb. 15 writing retreat taught scholars how to get their writing moving. The retreat, a collaboration between Duke Arts and the Duke Faculty Write program mixed traditional writing tricks with embodied movement tools. It was co-taught by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson from the Thompson Writing Program and Sarah Wilbur from the Duke Dance program.

Read the full article in Duke Today: https://...

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Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz to present lecture at Ohio State University

Dr. Thomas DeFrantz will deliver the William Hammond Lecture on the American Tradition entitled, "American Traditions in Dance and Its Study." 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 5:00pm
Schulz Lecture Hall, Sullivant Hall 220, 1813 N. High Street, Columbus OH, 43210

More information:

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News from Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F DeFrantz in the Ruby, 2019

Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz will be performing twice at New York Live Arts in the next two months. 

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Spring Writing Retreat


The Duke Faculty Write Program and Duke Arts invite you to a one-day writing retreat, Friday, February 15, 2019 - 9:30am to 5:00pm, to keep (or get) your writing moving this semester. The retreat offers time to write independently in a comfortable, relaxed space. Throughout the day, the retreat facilitators will offer short tips to help you boost productivity, satisfaction, and enjoyment in your writing. The retreat is offered at...

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Get to Know the Duke MFA in Dance Faculty: Sarah Wilbur

Sarah Wilbur

We had the wonderful opportunity to sit with Sarah Wilbur, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Dance, and gain some additional perspective on the new MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis. Sarah discusses with us the uniqueness of the program, coursework that she is developing, and advice for prospective applicants. Read more to hear some of her valuable guidance for applicants looking to craft their research proposals to be a part of the first graduate class, starting Fall...

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Prof. Sarah Wilbur's Essay Included in New Volume

Professor Sarah Wilbur's essay “Endangered Strangers: Tracking Competition in US Federal Arts Funding” was published last week in the Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition (NY: Oxford U Press, 2018), edited by Sherril Dodds. 
The Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition asks how competition affects the presentation and experience of dance and, in response, how dancing bodies negotiate, critique, and resist the aesthetic and social structures of the...
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What to Expect from Duke’s New MFA in Dance: Interview with Michael Klien

MFA abstract image

With the announcement of Duke University’s new MFA in Dance, there looms a sense of excitement and possibility for what the inaugural class (Fall of 2019) will bring to the growth and development of the program. We took a moment to sit with the director of the MFA in Dance, Michael Klien, to gain some deeper insight into what to expect from this new offering and who should apply.

At the heart of Duke's MFA in Dance is the theme of Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis....

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News from Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz

Thomas F. DeFrantz enjoyed a busy summer and first part of the fall!  DeFrantz led a research group at ImPulsTanz called “afroFUTUREqu##r” that encouraged the group to think about dancemaking in relationship to shifting social identities embedded within an afrofuturistic making.  DeFrantz conducted research in a group concerned with Improvisation as a social practice in Denmark and Sweden, and taught in a new “mobile architecture” MFA program at the Centre National de la Danse in Montpellier...

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Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Funds Ambitious, 3-year Arts Initiative at Duke

Gift enables Duke to set a new standard in immersive arts education and community engagement using the Rubenstein Arts Center.

Read the article:

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ANNOUNCEMENT: New MFA in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis (starting Fall 2019) at Duke University

equipping the imagination for social transformation

The Duke University Dance Program announces a new MFA in Dance program scheduled to start in Fall 2019, applications for which will be accepted onwards of June 2018 (our new, comprehensive website should be active by May 2018). Please contact our staff, Jennifer Prather,  if you wish to join our MFA mailing list. For specific enquiries regarding the MFA,...

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Duke Announces Three-Year Partnership with American Ballet Theater

Duke University and American Ballet Theatre have announced a three-year partnership to begin in January 2019.  

The wide-ranging, immersive partnership marks a significant new investment in the arts at Duke, said Duke University President Vince Price and ABT Executive Director Kara Medoff Barnett, who announced the partnership at a recent gala opening of Duke’s Rubenstein Arts Center. It was initiated and...

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Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz featured in Netta Yerushalmy work, "Paramodernities", at Jacobs Pillow

"Paramodernities" at Jacob's Pillow deconstructs dance, by Tresca Weinstein, Read about the choreographer and the performance, including Prof. DeFrantz's contribution to the work:

photo: Paula Lobo

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SLIPPAGE at Moogfest 2018

SLIPPAGE is hosting two events as part of the 2018 Moogfest.


1. AfroFuturism + Performance +...

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Washington Post Article: "Arts at the modern university: More than a diversion," by Scott Lindroth, vice provost for the arts at Duke University

April 13, 2018 - This has been quite the week for the arts at Duke! The duARTS Duke Arts Festival this year included more than fifty events, and the first student production in the Ruby’s von der Heyden Studio Theater debuts tonight (Hoof ‘n’ Horn’s Chicago). In the midst of this momentum, I’m pleased to share that The Washington Post published a piece I wrote about the work we all do for the arts at Duke:

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ChoreoLab 2018 Honors Retiring Professor Barbara Dickinson

barbara dickinson photo

The Duke University Dance Program presents its spring dance concert, ChoreoLab 2018, as a tribute to retiring professor Barbara Dickinson at 7:30 p.m. April 13-14 in Reynolds Industries Theater on Duke’s West Campus.


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Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz discusses The Bullcity Black Theater Festival on WUNC-FM's "The State of Things"

Listen to the podcast here:

Throughout modern history the work of African-American artists has often been appropriated for the financial and cultural gain of those outside the black community. Black artists bare their souls to create provocative art, but their work is sometimes...

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Podcast: Dr. Rosalind Canizares on "Overuse Injuries in Dancers"

photo of Dr. Rosalind Canizares

Check out the podcast interview that alum Dr. Rosalind Canizares has on the website, Physiotherapy Performance Perspectives, on "Overuse Injuries in Dancers."  Please see the links below and share with whoever you think may benefit from hearing it!  There are other good topics on the site, too. 

Physiotherapy Performance Perspectives website:...

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African Diaspora Dance Conference Focuses on Themes of Joy and Defiance

The third bi-annual conference convened by the Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) will explore African diasporic dance as a resource of both joy and defiance.

Dance Black Joy: Global Affirmations and Defiance will take place February 16-19, 2018, at Duke University and brings a variety of dance scholars, practitioners, and educators for three days of critical dialogue and...

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The Ruby Featured in Local Newspaper

The Durham Herald Sun featured shots of the Advanced Intermediate Ballet class, taught by Assistant Professor Julie Walters, in a video short about the new Rubenstein Arts Center.

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Lecture Performance by Thomas F. DeFrantz/SLIPPAGE: White Privilege

Co-presented by Gibney Dance and Theater magazine (Yale)

Monday, January 15, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Gibney Dance, Studio H, 280 Broadway (Entrance at 53A Chambers Street), Manhattan
Free / RSVP

Is everyone always automatically expected to share the concerns of people of color? Do we all really have to pay attention to race, religion, sexuality, ethnicity? What constitutes “white...

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Prof. DeFrantz Travels to Australia

_IN CONVERSATION - Thomas DeFrantz & Philipa Rothfield

Date: Saturday, 16 December
Time: 6-8pm
Where: Dancehouse, SKYLAB, 150 Princes Street, North Carlton, Victoria 3054

Thomas DeFrantz and Philipa Rothfield, long time collaborators and friends, will discuss the aesthetics and politics of black dance in DeFrantz' work. Visit the Dancehouse website...

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Trustees Approve a Degree in Master of Fine Arts in Dance

From Duke Today, 12/2/2017: "...the trustees approved a degree in Master of Fine Arts in Dance: Embodied Interdisciplinary Praxis. The program is open to all forms of dance and human movement -- artistic, aesthetic, social and therapeutic. Moreover, it will provide an exclusive collaboration with the American Dance Festival, which is based in Durham.

The new MFA seeks to attract dance artists who recognize the potential of all forms of creativity, be it traditional, contemporary or...

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November Dances showcase visually stunning talent, student choreography

Duke’s annual dance showcase, the November Dances, proved to be a visually stunning display of athleticism and art last Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18. The concert presented by the Duke Dance Program featured ballet, modern, jazz and African dance performances, with many of the performances being...

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Job Announcement for a New Faculty Hire in Dance

Duke University Dance Program
September 12, 2017

Position: Assistant or early Associate Professor of the Practice (regular rank)
Qualifications: Ph.D. and/or MFA in Dance required; teaching experience in an undergraduate / graduate dance program preferred.

Position Qualifications: The Duke University Program in Dance seeks an outstanding, ambitious dance researcher and movement practitioner who will contribute to the development of the...

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Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz presents award at 2017 Bessies

Choreographer and scholar Thomas F. DeFrantz presented writer Eva Yaa Asantewaa with the 2017 award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. READ ARTICLE.

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2017 Dance Program Newsletter

Featuring recent news about Dance Program students and faculty.

Edited by: Dr. Purnima Shah

Please click the image below to view the Newsletter.

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Video: Symposium "Accumulations:Exploring the Legacies of Trisha Brown"

View the montage video of the 2016 symposium "Accumulations: Exploring the Legacies of Trisha Brown "



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The Dance Program mourns the loss of Chuck Davis

image of chuck davis

Baba Chuck Davis, who was the Dance Program's first Professor of African Dance, is being remembered not just for his contributions to dance, but for the many hugs and blessings of peace he bestowed during his decades in Durham.  

Please visit our tribute page: If you would like to contribute comments, please email our publicity director, ...

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Duke Forward Campaign

"Dear Friends, Thank you all for working with our development team to bring to life the growth and impact of the arts at Duke.  It was lovely to watch you dance, to hear you reflect on the value of arts in the classroom, and inspiring to hear how the arts enrich your lives.  I am grateful.  Best, Dick Brodhead" Richard Brodhead, President of Duke University’s, thank-you note to Professor Andrea E. Woods Valdés and students, Sara Yuen and Molly Paley, for their...

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Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz Honored for Dance Scholarship

Thomas F. DeFrantz has won the 2017 Award for Outstanding Scholarly Research in Dance from the Congress on Research in Dance. The award recognizes an exceptional scholar for sustained contributions to dance research. In making the announcement, the awards committee scholarship by DeFrantz has contributed substantially to understanding of aesthetics and race politics and has inspired a reevaluation of race and dance history. DeFrantz will receive the honor at the organization’s annual...

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Duke Sex-Ed Squad Film Screening Feedback Session

Greetings Colleagues/Friends!

I’m thrilled to invite you to a Feedback Screening that features, (among others), the Duke Sex-Ed squad in scenes they created as part of my Performing Sexual Health course this past fall.  The Duke scenes, along with scenes created by students at NCCU and UNC-CH, were shot by documentary director/editor/producer Matt...

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Dance Memory: Summer Research Opportunity

Looking for something interesting to do this summer?
Given your dance experience, you might be interested in this research opportunity.

Memory for Movement Lab
--How dancers learn & remember
--How audiences perceive & remember

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Indian-American performer brings a classical form of Indian dance to teach Duke students

Mythili Prakash

Indian-American dancer Mythili Prakash residency in Bharatanatyam dance at Duke University  launches the Duke India Initiative.

Mythili, a dynamic young Bharatanatyam dancer and choreographer, will visit Duke February 1-5 and March 1-5 to offer a residency at the Duke Dance Program. The residency includes workshops and choreographing a piece for Duke student dancers for presentation at the Duke Dance Department’s mainstage concert, ChoreoLab, at 7:30...

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Andrea E. Woods Valdés presents work at the Shimmer: The Art of Light Festival

Asst. Professor Andrea E. Woods Valdés will present her video installation, "new moon sister" at the Shimmer: The Art of Light festival. Works by various artists will be installed between Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Go to for more information.

Friday, February 10, 2017 - ...

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Diasporic Dance Humanities 2017

The Dance Program and African & African American Studies (AAAS) will convene a series of events that underscore the reach of diasporic dance humanities in Spring 2017.

  • January 31, visual artist and choreogrpahic collaborator Lamont Hamilton will visit the Duke campus in an artist residency, sharing work he recently showed at...
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All You Need Is Art

Prof. Thomas F. DeFrantz featured in article, Crystal Bridges continues to inspire on fifth anniversary.”

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Duke Symposium Explores the Legacy of Dance Innovator Trisha Brown

Durham, N.C. – SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology, in association with Duke Performances, announces the one-day symposium, ACCUMULATIONS: Exploring the Legacies of Trisha Brown.


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Thomas F. DeFrantz Edits New Volume

"Choreography and Corporeality - Relay in Motion", editors: Thomas F. DeFrantz, Philipa Rothfield. 

This book renews thinking about the moving body by drawing on dance practice and performance from across the world. Eighteen internationally recognised scholars show how dance can challenge our thoughts and feelings about our own and other...

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2015-2016 Dance Program Newsletter

Featuring recent news about Dance Program students and faculty.

Edited by: Dr. Purnima Shah

Please click the link below to download the Newsletter PDF

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Duke New Student Programs

We thought you might be interested in how Duke New Student Programs is preparing our first year students to come to campus. Take a look at their YouTube channel here:...

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Please welcome Michael Kliën to the Dance Program

Michael Kliën, Ph.D. will join the Duke Dance Program faculty in Spring, 2017. Professor Kliën has worked individually and collaborated extensively all over Europe and the USA in an artistic capacity, as well as an academic educator. He has guest-taught at six MFA programs in European universities. "My teaching offers ...

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Thomas F. DeFrantz Featured Performer in Moogfest

Duke Dance Program Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz will be one of several Duke professors featured in Moogfest, a three-day celebration of art and technology, which kicks off its first Durham appearance, centered on downtown performance venues, hotels and clubs, May 19-22.

Professor DeFrantz's performance,...

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Dance and the Museum: Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz on New Hit Exhibit

Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz explains the significance of the show "Dance! American Art 1830-1960" on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Click here to read the article in Duke Today.


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Duke Flags Lowered: Humanities Advocate Srinivas Aravamudan Dies

Srinivas Aravamudan, professor of English and former dean of the humanities at Duke, died on Wednesday. He was 54....

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Chuck Davis Emerging Choreographer Fellowship

image of chuck davis

Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) announces a new fellowship in honor of DanceAfrica founding elder Baba Chuck Davis. This unique opportunity is open to emerging choreographers, offering dance practitioners a chance to travel to Africa and study with one or more experts in African dance, as determined by the awardee’s project proposal. The fellowship offers up to $9,000 in funding for travel, accommodations, and research expenses.

The selection committee is comprised of various members...

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“Africa in Circum-Atlantic Perspective: Feminist Performance Routes”

A conversation in movement with four female dance artists of the African diaspora
April 10 – 13, 2016

Convened by: Thomas F. DeFrantz (Chair, AAAS), Dasha Chapman (Postdoc, AAAS),
Mario LaMothe (Postdoc, Women’s Studies), Ava LaVonne Vinesett (Associate Professor, Dance) and Moarabi Kakabalo (Undergraduate, Engineering)

April 10 – 13, 2016, Duke University will host a four-day...

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American Ballet Theatre Names Kara Medoff Barnett New Executive Director

American Ballet Theatre has tapped Duke Alum ('00) and former Dance Program student, Kara Medoff Barnett, as its executive director. ...

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Guest of Honor, Dean Valerie Ashby’s remarks for November Dances 2015

valerie ashby

It is my sincere pleasure to join you this evening.  Thank you so much to Purnima and to everyone in the Dance program for the gracious invitation.  I hope that you are anticipating with as much excitement as I am the performances that we will witness.

I must tell you that I am thrilled by what this department, these faculty members, staff members, and students mean to the liberal arts education that we are able to deliver in Trinity.  I am inspired by all that my colleagues in this...

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Call for Papers! Contemporary Ballet: Exchanges, Connections and Directions

An SDHS Special Topics Conference at the Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York University, and the Department of Dance, Barnard College, Columbia University

May 20-21, 2016 

Call for Papers

Contemporary ballet is undoubtedly a recognizable genre for most dancers. It is...

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Rubenstein gives $25 million for new $50 million, 71,000-square foot Arts Center

The new Arts Center is expected to be a “game-changer for the arts at Duke” at the corner of Anderson Street and Campus Drive across from the Nasher Museum of Art.  Construction is set to begin next month.

Link to Duke Chronicle article, by Amrith Ramkumar, Monday, October 5:

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Duke Dance Program Seeks New Faculty Hire

The Duke University Program in Dance seeks an outstanding dance researcher and artist practitioner who will contribute significantly to the new MFA in Dance: Live Art and Embodied Practice, in teaching, research, and the advising of MFA thesis projects. We welcome an individual who will both expand and extend the areas of expertise of the current faculty in terms of research, international engagement, and teaching across degree programs (MFA and BA). We value a colleague whose research is...

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"Therapeutic Potential of a Drum and Dance Ceremony Based on the African Ngoma Tradition"

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has published an article by Prof. Ava LaVonne Vinesett, Miurel Price, and Dr. Kenneth H. Wilson called "Therapeutic Potential of a Drum and Dance Ceremony Based on the African Ngoma Tradition." The research and clinical trial was made possible through the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation and the Duke Dance Program.


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Therapeutic Potential of a Drum and Dance Ceremony Based on the African Ngoma Tradition

The link below is for the article Ava LaVonne Vinesett, Kenneth H. Wilson, and Miurel Price published through the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.  This was made possible through the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation and the Duke Dance Program.


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Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) Conference, February 19 - 21, 2016: Call for Proposals

CADD hosted our inaugural conference, Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance at Duke University, February 7-9, 2014. The next CADD conference will be held at Duke University, February 19-21, 2016.  Click here to go to the CADD website.

The Collegium for African Diaspora Dance (CADD) is an egalitarian...

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Perserverence in the Face of Resistance

Andrea Woods Valdés

Read Prof. Andrea E. Woods Valdés inspirational article published by Duke Magazine. 

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2014-15 Dance Program Newsletter

dancer image from newsletter

Featuring recent news about Dance Program students and faculty.

Edited by: Dr. Purnima Shah

Please click the link below to download the Newsletter PDF


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Dance teacher, choreographer Jan Van Dyke dies

The Dance Program mourns the loss of this wonderful artist.  Please join family and friends of Jan Van Dyke for a memorial gathering on Saturday, August 22 at 3:00pm in the Dance Theater on the UNCG campus. The program will celebrate Jan’s life and career as an artist, scholar, teacher, and friend through selected speakers and video. A reception will follow the program. Please be aware that seating in the theater is extremely limited, and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis...

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Dance Program's Natalie Marrone choreographs dance for film coming to Durham in August

The feature film, "Alto," written and directed by Mikki del Monico, is the Women's Feature at the NC Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, August 14-22. Duke Dance Program instructor Natalie Marrone's choreography, using traditional Italian dance, serves as the pivoting point in the film starring Annabella Sciorra, Diana DeGarmo, Billy Wirth, Lin Tucci, and Natalie Knepp.
Shot on location in New York City, Marrone choreographed the Italian Festival scene with dancers from North...

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Courtney Liu debuts in the Phantom of the Opera

Congratulations to Courtney Kristen Liu on her debut in the New York Broadway cast of the Phantom of the Opera, June 13, 2015! LINK:

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Dance Across the Diaspora: A Historical Lens on a Black Cultural Movement

Saturday, July 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Atlanta, Georgia (July 7, 2015) – To inaugurate its stunning 2015 season, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) presents the all-day Symposium “Dance Across the Diaspora: A Historical Lens on a Black Cultural Movement” on Saturday, July 18 at the High Museum of Art. Through discussion, presentation and participatory offerings, local, national and international dance experts, scholars and...

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Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation & Communities of Color

June 27-28, 2015
Duke University // SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology

SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture and Technology at Duke University will host a two-day event on June 27 and 28, 2015 to address how curatorial practice and live arts presenting can engage the particular concerns of audiences and artists of color. Configurations in Motion: Performance Curation and Communities of Color will gather performers, curators, scholars, presenters, and managers from throughout...

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Senior Dinstinction Projects by Ellen Brown and Rebecca Holmes!

The Duke Dance Program would like to congratulate Ellen Brown (left) and Rebecca "Becky" Holmes (right) for achieving a Distinction with their senior projects!

Ellen Brown, senior in Dance and Psychology, titled her project "The Effects of Emotion in Dance Performance on Observers’ Immediate Emotional State."

Dance major Rebecca Holmes' project was titled "Dance in Elementary Education as a Means to Increase Collaborative and Creative Development of Students" which included an...

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"Alto" film wins Audience Choice Award at Festival!

image of Natalie Marrone

Adjunct instructor Natalie Marrone choreographed a crucial dance scene for the film, "Alto," which recently won the Audience Choice Award at the VisionFest film festival at Tribeca Cinemas in New York. Natalie also announced that the film has been accepted into the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco.

Marrone’s choreography, using traditional Italian dance, serves as the pivoting point in the film ALTO starring Annabella Sciorra, Diana DeGarmo, Billy Wirth, Lin Tucci, and Natalie...

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Congratulations to Ellen Brown!

Her final project, a few notes of mine, from Dance for the Camera (Dance 306s) has been chosen to be featured in the University of South Florida Dance Shorts: College Film Festival Gala. Her work will be screened on April 18th, 2015 in the Concert Hall at 7:30pm.

See more Duke Dance for the Camera works -...

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Faculty Response to the Recent Racially Charged Events on Campus

Dear members of the Duke community,

The recent racially charged events on campus, including the display of a noose on the Bryan Center plaza, bring to us all a heightened awareness of the persistent effort required to ensure that Duke is experienced by all as a welcoming community that embraces diversity.  At yesterday’s event on the Chapel steps, undergraduate students, graduate students, and members of the administration spoke eloquently to affirm of Duke’s commitment to this ideal...

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Thomas F. DeFrantz Presents Talk at the International Colloquium

The International Colloquium: The Contemporary African in the Performing Arts - Theoretical, Poetical and Pedagogic Perspectives

The central aim of the colloquium is to increase the dialogues among artists, researchers and educators who are dedicated to the studies of contemporary afro-Brazilian and african diasporic cultures and their insertions with the field of Performing Arts. This international meeting intends to share and compare different approaches and research methodologies,...

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Duke Performances Announces Arts Administration Internship

Duke Performances is seeking ambitious, highly-motivated, organized, and detail-oriented individuals at the undergraduate or graduate level with an interest in arts administration to assist the Duke Performances staff for summer (mid-May to mid-August) and academic year (early September to late April) internships. Internships are paid and provide a unique opportunity to learn about and be directly involved in all facets of arts administration from a leading university-based arts presenting...

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ChoreoLab 2015 to pay tribute to a departing dean

The Duke University Dance Program will present its spring dance concert, ChoreoLab 2015, at 8 p.m. on March 27-28 in Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or from the Duke Box Office ( or 919-684-4444).

This year’s ChoreoLab will be presented as a tribute to Dr. Laurie Patton, who is stepping down as the Dean of Trinity College Arts and Sciences to accept the position of President at Middlebury College.


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Dance group performs, teaches art of flamenco in Durham

Flamenco dance group

From the Raleigh News & Observer: "Duke Dance Program Hosts Series." by Jonathan M. Alexander,
February 28, 2015.



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HOT WATER - Water, Peace & War - Call for Contributions

'HOT WATER – Water, Peace & War' will form a virtual exhibition, made by entries from artists, scientists, activists and youth from around the world.
Deadline 14 March 2015. Detailed info in EnglishEspañol & ...

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Please Welcome New Ballet Instructor, James Strong

James Strong has 14 years of professional experience performing ballet and modern dance in diverse styles from a broad spectrum of choreographers. James strives to teach students proper classical technique while emphasizing musicality, personal expression and the performance aspect of the art form. His previous performance experience with San Francisco-based Smuin Ballet, Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley, and Koresh Dance Company has given him a rich and rewarding outlook in defining the...

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A Sublime Touch, From Head to Heel

"Odissi Stars at a Dance Festival in Chennai, India" - Read the recent article in the New York Times regarding the Nrityagram company, which will be in residence and performing at Duke, January 20-22. (For more info, go to Events)


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2014 Newsletter

Dance Program image

Editor's Report on the Duke University Dance Program, Purnima Shah, Editor.  

View 2014 Dance Newsletter

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Mary Hinkson (March 16, 1925 – November 26, 2014)

Prof. Andrea Woods Valdés writes: "Hi Friends, just passing on the news. I few years ago I did a phone interview with Mary for an article I wrote about her friend and fellow Graham dancer, Matt Turney. Seeing Mary Hinkson (also from Philly) dance in "A Dancer's World" was a turning point in my life."


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November Dances 2014

Duke dancers in ChoreoLab

New Modern, African, Ballet, and Jazz works by dance faculty: Andrea E. Woods Valdés, Ava LaVonne Vinesett, Tyler Walters, Nina Wheeler and advanced student choreographers: Ellen Brown, Stephanie Joe, Haylee Levin, and Anne Talkington. 

Friday, November 21 
Saturday, November 22
8 p.m. | Reynolds Industries Theater

Read all about it in the Duke...

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Fall 2014 Dance For The Camera

See our blog for new works by: 
Katalina Bock, Ellen Brown, Cindy Li, Claire Tucker, Julie Bellantoni, AJ Laudenslager, Haylee Levin, Natalie Lubin, Claire Tucker, Lauren Rosen. Featuring dancers: Sarah Atkinson, Casey Black, Cosette Glodstien, Stephanie Jo, Kendall Covington, Melissa Lee, Jennifer Margano, Anika Richter, Kaley Thornton.

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Namely, Muscles...but first, the spine

Read all about Christina Lan's experience in the Experiential Anatomy Workshop led by visiting artists Kate Trammel and Sharon Babcock.

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Blog: Ava LaVonne Vinesett​ writes about being in Brazil not for the World Cup

Ava LaVonne Vinesett​, Director of Undergraduate Studies & Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance and Faculty Director of the Baldwin Scholars Program, writes about being in Brazil not for the World Cup.

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Richard Vinesett to teach West African Drumming workshop

On Friday, September 5, 11:45AM-1:00PM, Richard Vinesett, Director of Music for African Dance within the Dance Program, will conduct a class on West African drumming in the Ark Dance Studio. 

This class will be in conjunction with Dance 375-Music for Dancers. Students will learn about the musical instruments used to perform this music, basic rhythms, how to hear a break, and more. No prior experience necessary. 

There are a limited number of spaces available for Duke students,...

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SLIPPAGE presents: where did i think i was going? [moving into signal]

Conceived and Performed by Thomas F. DeFrantz,  DUKE Professor of African and African American Studies, Dance, and Theater Studies, with Kenneth David Stewart.

SLIPPAGE: Performance|Culture|Technology announces the premiere of where did i think i was going? [moving into signal], a dance technology interface work, to be performed at the PSI Theater at Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris Street, Durham, NC, on August 28 and 29, 2014.    

Performances are at 7pm Thursday and Friday,...

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John Hanks:"Full Tilt Boogie" at the American Dance Festival

John Hanks, Staff Associate with the Duke Dance Program, provides live accompaniment for American Dance Festival classes at Duke University, whether the dancers need a slow warm-up piece, a waltz, or a "full-tilt boogie." He's an improvisational one-man band!" View Youtube video:

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Duke Office of Civic Engagement - Civic Lives: Keval Khalsa

Keval Kaur Khalsa, a Faculty Advisory Board member of the Duke Office of Civic Engagement, discusses how Duke helps her engage in the community, why universities are an important incubator for artists, and why yoga and movement are essential de-stressors for her students.

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The Ark Studio gets a new floor and locker room

Here some photos of the new dance floor in the Ark, as well as snapshots of the new locker rooms located in the lower level.


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Moonlighting the arts: Professors by day, performers by night

Read this Duke Chronicle article featuring Duke Dance Program Professors, Thomas H. DeFrantz and Keval Khalsa.

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Duke Arts Journal: Andrea Woods Valdés: Dancer, Teacher, Scholar

Andrea Woods Valdés, Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance at Duke, is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Her academic focus is on women in the arts, Afro-Cuban dance and music, and the history and culture of the African diaspora. She is also a video artist and musician. .... CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

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Cardea Fellow and senior Miurel Price is studying how dance therapy can improve the health of elderly populations.

Price is a Program II major studying artistic holistic therapies and their contribution to healthcare, with a specific focus on dance therapy. Holistic therapies are forms of alternative medicine that focus on healing the whole person—including their psychological, physical and social needs—rather than a specific disease or issue.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina native began working with Grace Healthcare of Durham, a local nursing home, to fulfill a service-learning requirement for a...

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Bass Connections Project Funds Yoga Research

Keval Kaur Khalsa, Associate Professor of the Practice of Dance & Theater Studies at Duke University, and Michele Berger, Associate Professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, have received a Bass Connections grant from Duke University for their research project Mindfulness In Education & Human Development.

Launched by a $50 million gift from Anne and Robert Bass, Bass Connections supports interdisciplinary teams...

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SOULOWORKS celebrates turning 20 with multimedia production

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 01:14 PM. By Susan Broili; special to The Herald-Sun. 

If a theater production could be compared to a bagel, Andrea E. Woods’ new show would be of the everything variety. That’s because, for the first time, she’s been able to concoct an evening-length work that has everything she’s always wanted to include. Her new work, “The Amazing Adventures of Grace May B. Brown,” features dance, music, singing, narration, folk art and photographic images.  ...

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Thomas F. DeFrantz in the New York Times

Professor DeFrantz and SLIPPAGE played a contributing roll in a recent Dance Theater of Harlem performance of “past-carry-forward.”  Read the New York Times review here: .

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Monica Hogan Danceworks Masterclass

Monica Hogan Danceworks held a contemporary masterclass at Duke University on Saturday, April 19th in the Ark Studio. The class was led by Duke Dance alumnae Monica Hogan (T'12) and Courtney Liu (T'13).  Beginning with a warmup and some improvisation exercises, they finished off with some repertory movement from recent performances in NYC.  Location: Ark Dance Studio.  This masterclass was sponsored by the Duke Dance Program Backstage Events.

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Read the intro to "Black Performance Theory," edited by DeFrantz & Gonzalez, free on @Scribd.

Black Performance Theory, edited by Thomas F. DeFrantz and Anita Gonzalez

Published by Duke University Press

"Black performance theory is a rich interdisciplinary area of study and critical method. In this collection of new essays, some of its pioneering thinkers demonstrate the breadth and depth, innovation, and critical value of black performance theory."


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Senior Distinction Dance Projects Show Range of Academic Disciplines

Since Duke University began allowing distinction projects for seniors outside their majors, the Dance Program has seen an explosion of students combining their academic disciplines with their love of dance.  Trinity College approved the possibility of students graduating with distinction in a field outside their major about four years ago to recognize the fact that a number of students do develop a secondary interest sufficiently to be able to do distinguished work in that area, said Norman...

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Elizabeth Corbett Residency

Elizabeth Corbett

Ballet forward: (re)thinking and (re)forming western classicism in dance, a new Duke University Dance Program initiative, presented the Elizabeth Corbett Residency – April 3-5. Titled "Forsythe Improvisation Technologies Workshop Series", Ms. Corbett led students in an...

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Spring Dance Concert Pays Tribute to Duke Graduate’s Musical Legacy

After what seems like the longest winter, this spring’s dance concert by the Duke Dance Program, “ChoreoLab 2014,” offers to “reset your clock” as well as pay tribute to a Duke graduate who passed away in 2007.
ChoreoLab 2014 will be performed Friday and Saturday, March 28 – 29, at 8 p.m. in the Reynolds Industries Theater in the Bryan Center on Duke’s West Campus.
Barbara Dickinson, Professor of the Practice of Dance, has choreographed a modern piece for 11...

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Urban Bush Women Residency, 1/26-2/8, 2014

Urban Bush Women

The Dance Program was honored to have members of the Urban Bush Women dance company participate in a two-week residency from January 26 to February 8. Founder Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Paloma McGregor and Bennalldra Williams conducted two masterclasses for Duke Dance majors and minors in the Ark. They also invited students from Durham's Hillside High School to two Dance for Every Body workshops. Jawole was a guest artist in the dance composition class, Beyond Technique: Art of Performance,...

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Clay Taliaferro visits Art of Performance classes

On Friday, Feb. 21 and Monday, Feb. 24, students in the "Beyond Technique: Art of Performance" classes had the opportunity to work with Emeritus Professor Clay Taliaferro. Also an award-winning performer and choreographer, Clay generously spent time with Dance Program students. 

"My studio work (technique) or, as I prefer to call it, exploration of movement, continues to...

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Woods Valdes: Soulowork, Feeling Orange Again, Attitude

Along with the creation of a new soulowork, Feeling Orange Again, Andrea E. Woods Valdés continues to write for Attitude: The Dancers Magazine. In February, she was a guest artist at Hollins University, teaching modern dance and providing a dance for the camera lecture demonstration based on her new and previous video works. She is also currently collaborating with UNC Fellow/African Diaspora Historian/visual artist Tammy L. Brown on Back Water Graffiti. Woods will perform the choreopoem for...

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Walters: directs Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive

Tyler Walters continues to lead the Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive as Director. This year’s five-week program hosted 140 students from as far away as Paris, France, and Hawaii. These students were selected from more than 400 who auditioned during a 13-city national audition tour. Guest faculty for the program included dance luminaries Susan Jaffe and Michael Vernon, as well as Duke’s own Andrea E. Woods Valdés. The culminating performances at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh’s...

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Janus Walters: Reflections ballet, Carolina Performing Arts, audition tour

Julie Janus Walters staged excerpts from the Gerald Arpino ballet Reflections for the spring mainstage concert, ChoreoLab, danced by the Duke Ballet Repertory Ensemble. Acting as répétiteur for the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation, she created an educational opportunity for Duke Dance Program students to learn and perform this classic Arpino work. Julie was pleased to have this opportunity to work with the foundation in preserving Arpino’s repertory.

2013 also marked the...

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Vinesett: Embodied Offerings & commissioned choreography

Ava Vinesett was the Volunteer/Signage chair for the 2013 Across the Threshold Conference Planning Committee. At the conference, she presented a workshop titled, “Embodied Offerings.”

For November Dances 2012, she choreographed a new piece, “Reaching Into the Before Time,” developed in collaboration with sculptural installation artist, Cici Stevens, with support from the Collaborative Arts Grant, administered by the Vice Provost for the Arts and the Council for the Arts.


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Shah: Teaching Award, Indian Dance Essays & video

In April 2013, Duke University conferred the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Teaching Award on Purnima Shah. She is the third faculty member within the Dance Program to receive the award, after Profs. Clay Taliaferro and Ava Vinesett. The award recognizes truly outstanding teaching in the Trinity College.

Purnima published two essays, “Performing Migrations: the Journeys of Indian Dance in America” in Attendance: the Dance Annual of India, 2013; and “Physio-Spiritual Transcendence...

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Khalsa: Y.O.G.A, university course, Trillium Fellow

As the Regional Coordinator for the non-profit organization Y.O.G.A. for Youth, Keval Kaur Khalsa coordinated and served as a lead teacher for an 8-week pilot program in Orange County, N.C. Y.O.G.A. for Youth, which delivered yoga classes to 187 students in the Communities in Schools After 3 afterschool programs in all seven middle schools in Orange County. After 3 enrichment programming serves underachieving students in grades 6-8. The pilot program was overwhelmingly successful, and...

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Hanks: China with ADF

Duke Dance musician John Hanks returned in August 2012 from a three-week stay in Henan Province, China, where he worked with American Dance Festival to begin teaching the bi-yearly Music for Dancers course offered by the Dance Program. In addition to playing for classes, maintaining the website for the Dance Program and the 2013 Across the Threshold Conference, and other campus activities, he has had an active musical life off-campus. He played drums for the month long run of Playmakers...

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DeFrantz: Bass Connections, SLIPPAGE residencies, and professional works

Thomas F. DeFrantz received a Bass Connections Information Society and Culture Theme for the project “Live Processing and Live Art.” The project will be undertaken by DeFrantz with Tyler Walters (Dance) and Martin Brooke (Electrical and Computer Engineering). DeFrantz also received funding from the Mellon-funded Duke Humanities Writ Large for an arts initiative project “Performing Culture: Performance Studies, Live Arts, and African and African American Studies” that will involve the...

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Dickinson Studies Age and the Dance Artist

Barbara Dickinson continues her research on “age and the dance artist.” She argues that in the ballet and modern dance tradition, only few mature and aging artists continue an ongoing process of discovery, transition and transformation, a process that continues to build on their embodied wisdom. Such aging artists are fully immersed in their careers as creators, performers and teachers by constantly reinvestigating and reinterpreting new possibilities in dance. Along these lines, Barbara...

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Duke Students Bring Summer Dance Camp to China

Five Duke dance students spent this past summer in China, introducing into the country a new concept: summer dance camp. Their trip is the latest episode in a remarkable history of engagement between dancers from Duke and China. It’s a story that says a great deal about the passion, commitment, and entrepreneurial spirit of Duke’s dance community.


Hsiao-mei Ku

The incubator is the DukeEngage program in Zhuhai and its guiding spirit, Hsiao-mei Ku. For the past four...

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Duke at the ACDFA Conference in 2013

This year, Dance faculty Keval Kaur Khalsa and four dance students spent five days of their precious spring break at the ACDFA Southeast Regional Conference at the University of South Florida in Tampa, March 16-17, 2013. Keval introduced Kundalini Yoga & Meditation to approximately 75 students and faculty attendees in two workshops during the Conference. Some of the personal highlights for Prof. Khalsa were: participating in a Yin Yoga class with former Duke visiting faculty member...

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Dance Luminary Judith Jamison to be Honored at Commencement 2013

Amidst the highly choreographed pomp and ceremony of Duke University's Commencement this year, an honorary doctorate will be awarded to a true pioneer in choreography, Judith Jamison. For Duke's flourishing Dance Program, it will be an occasion to savor....

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