Mon, Mar 6

American Dance Festival Announces 2017 Season

17 ADF Debuts | 8 World Premieres | 9 ADF Commissions

Durham, NC, March 6, 2017—The American Dance Festival (ADF) today announced its 2017 schedule, ADF’s 84th season, running June 3-July 29. The summer includes 71 performances by 30 companies and choreographers in 11 different venues.

ADF Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter said, “Forty years ago when ADF moved from New London, Connecticut, to Durham, North Carolina, the festival stimulated a renaissance. North Carolina welcomed us with open arms and, according to Anna Kisselgoff in The New York Times, ‘Southern hospitality is not a myth…the outpouring of support was visible at every level.’ ADF chose Duke University as the site of its new home over nearly fifty other invitations from all around the country, in part because of North Carolina’s demonstrated enthusiasm for the performing arts. It has been an exhilarating forty years and we look forward to many more.”

Program highlights include ADF and the North Carolina Museum of Art’s co-presentation of Monica Bill Barnes’ Museum Workout as well as the return of their popular Happy Hour at PSI Theatre at Durham Arts Council. An Opening Night Gala performance will feature homegrown North Carolina companies, choreographers, and dancers. dendy/donovan projects and Claire Porter & Sara Juli will present ADF-commissioned world premieres. The festival will introduce newcomers Sean Dorsey Dance, Kidd Pivot/Electric Company Theatre, and Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co. in powerful evening-length works.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company will present, for the first time, the full Analogy: A Trilogy with performances of Analogy/Dora: Tramontane, Analogy/Lance: Pretty aka The Escape Artist, and Analogy/Ambros: The Emigrant. Co-presented with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Yossi Berg & Oded Graf Dance Theatre returns in the provocative and witty work Come Jump With Me.

ADF welcomes back Paul Taylor Dance Company with two different programs featuring Taylor classics and works by Larry Keigwin and Doug Elkins, Pilobolus with best-loved repertory and a new ADF-commissioned  collaborative work with Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, and Mark Morris Dance Group performing with live music from the Durham Symphony and the North Carolina Master Chorale.

ADF 2017 also introduces to its stage Hillel Kogan with his comical message of coexistence in We Love Arabs, and Heidi Latsky Dance returns with a FREE performance of On Display at Duke Homestead.

The 2017 Festival Performances will take place at the Durham Performing Arts Center, Reynolds Industries Theater, and Baldwin Auditorium. ADF’s Out-of-the-Box Series will take place at Sheafer Theater, Living Arts  Collective, The Ark, Duke Homestead, the North Carolina Museum of Art, PSI Theatre at the Durham Arts  Council, and The Nasher Museum of Art. Single tickets and subscriptions go on sale Tuesday, May 2nd, and prices range from $10 to $62 with many savings options available. Tickets can be purchased through the ADF website at More detailed information about ticket prices and performing companies, including  photos, videos, and press reviews, are also available on the website

Monica Bill Barnes & Company
Museum Workout
North Carolina Museum of Art
Saturday, June 3-Monday, June 5 | 9:00am, 10:15am, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm

Co-presented by ADF and the North Carolina Museum of Art, Museum Workout is an experiential piece that blends a choreographed physical workout with a guided museum tour. Led by Monica Bill Barnes and her long-time dancing partner Anna Bass, audiences perform choreographed movement as they travel to works of art selected by collaborator Maira Kalman. The first workout of each day and all workouts on Monday, June 5, will take place while the Museum is closed to the public.

Happy Hour
PSI Theatre at Durham Arts Council
Tuesday, June 6-Friday, June 9 | 6:30pm

Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass play two utterly ubiquitous male characters. But as female performers, they can never become these characters. In their persistent failure to become these icons, we can see something more special—two individuals desperate to wrest new meaning from our most familiar ideas of ourselves. The happy hour continues after each performance at Bull McCabe’s Irish Pub. Join Monica and Anna for a cool one!

Hillel Kogan
The Cary Theater
Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14 | 7:30pm
Reynolds Industries Theater
Friday, June 16 | 8:00pm
Saturday, June 17 | 7:00pm

ADF Debut!

We Love Arabs is the comical story of a Jewish choreographer and an Arab dancer who want to create a show that carries a message of coexistence and peace, a successful endeavor that demolishes the wall of prejudice, and an  examination of everyday behavior that is executed with humor and subtlety. The performances in Cary are co- presented by ADF and the Town of Cary.

Opening Night Gala Performance
African American Dance Ensemble
Carolina Ballet
Charlotte Ballet
Elizabeth Burke and Luke Hickey
Durham Performing Arts Center
Thursday, June 15 | 6:30pm

ADF Debuts and World Premiere!

The African American Dance Ensemble returns to ADF with their exuberant brand of dance and music.  JOYEMOVEMENT’s solo, Fit The Description, is a love letter to all who have been accused of being a suspect because of the color of their skin, their hairstyle, their spunk, their clothing style, the shape of their nose, the color of their teeth, how they laugh, who they worship, or where they eat lunch. Charlotte Ballet will perform Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16. With a musical score that ranges from Dean Martin to traditional Israeli songs, Minus 16 uses improvisation and Naharin’s acclaimed Gaga method in this exhilarating work. In celebration of ADF’s 40th year in Durham, the festival commissioned Dialogues by Artistic Director Robert Weiss and Resident Choreographer  Zalman Raffael of the Carolina Ballet. Tap dancers Elizabeth Burke and Luke Hickey will also perform. The evening’s performance begins with the season dedication to Alan D. Roses, M.D., ADF’s late board chairman, and with a presentation by local children attending Pilobolus’ Shadow Camp.

Tommy Noonan
Sheafer Theater at Duke
Sunday, June 18 | 5:00pm
Monday, June 19 | 8:00pm

ADF Debut!

John is a new solo by North Carolina native Tommy Noonan, based in part on The Illustrated Biography of John Travolta, as well as on figures such as TV audience warmup-artist Jay Flats, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and other various televangelists, late-night infomercial personalities, talking heads, entertainers, and politicians.

Claire Porter & Sara Juli
Reynolds Industries Theater
Tuesday, June 20 and Wednesday, June 21 | 8:00pm

World Premiere!

The duo, first paired by ADF in 2015, Claire Porter & Sara Juli present their latest ADF-commissioned collaboration, The Lectern. Living according to rules is the demand on all of us. We are surrounded by the rules of our laws, protocols, manners, and expectations. But what are these rules? What are the rules of the game we’re playing? And what happens when rules take over? Using movement, text, sound, song, and a catwalk runway,  acclaimed comedic performers Claire Porter and Sara Juli upend our day-to-day, necessary-to-survive, rule-rituals in The Lectern and find the hilarious in the rule-bending of our daily lives. 

Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co.
Reynolds Industries Theater
Friday, June 23 | 8:00pm
Saturday, June 24 | 7:00pm

ADF Debut!

Bill Young/Colleen Thomas & Co. revive Young’s 30 year-old Interleaving, a piece combining four separate dances, For Wall Unfolding (an all female quintet), Double Bill (a trio), and two quartets, Music Minus One and Sambosamba. This unusual choreographic concept uses these four dances that have traditional beginnings, middles and ends, but instead of a linear presentation of those sections, Young has grouped them together: all four beginnings are performed sequentially, then all four middles and, finally, all four ends. The evening will begin with a performance by North Carolina's Natalie Marrone and the Dance Cure, chosen from eighteen entries by a jury of local arts presenters consisting of Aaron Greenwald, Executive Director of Duke Performances, Sharon Moore,  Director of NC State LIVE, and Amy Russell, Director of Programming for Carolina Performing Arts.

Living Arts Collective
Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25 | 1:00pm and 7:00pm
Monday, June 26 and Tuesday, June 27 | 7:00pm

ADF Debut!

ADF, in association with Living Arts Collective, presents Clock that Mug or Dusted, part two of a three-part suite– one great, bright, brittle all togetherness–a glorious, hilarious, and, yes, messy, homage to feminist performance  artists, from Anna Halprin to Janine Antoni, and their focus on the body as a canvas for social change, rebellion, community, and personal expansion brought to you by beloved drag/dance bio-fem icon Cherdonna Shinatra.

Beth Gill
Reynolds Industries Theater
Wednesday, June 28 and Thursday, June 29 | 8:00pm

ADF Commission!

Bessie award winner Beth Gill returns to ADF with her latest work co-commissioned by ADF, The Walker Art  Center, and The Yard. Gill’s deliberate and contemplative choreography explores the tension between formalist  structures and psychological themes, where layers of meaning unfold over a prolonged sense of time.

Durham Performing Arts Center
Friday, June 30 | 8:00pm
Saturday, July 1 | 7:00pm
Children’s Matinee | Saturday, July 1 | 1:00pm

World Premiere!

Festival favorite Pilobolus returns! On the Nature of Things explores the birth of desire and its intertwined connection to shame and revenge. Rushes was the first of Pilobolus’s International Collaborators Projects and is the result of Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollak’s collaboration with Pilobolus Artistic Director Robby Barnett and the company. Finally, the company will present the world premiere of a new ADF-commissioned collaboration with  Abigail Washburn and 16 time Grammy Award-winning banjo legend Béla Fleck. Additional repertory to be announced.

Sean Dorsey Dance
Reynolds Industries Theater
Wednesday, July 5 and Thursday, July 6 | 8:00pm

ADF Debut!

The Missing Generation is a dance-theater work that gives voice to longtime survivors of the early AIDS epidemic. This powerful show is a love letter to a forgotten generation of survivors–those who witnessed and experienced the loss of part of an entire generation of gay and transgender people to AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s.

Paul Taylor Dance Company
Durham Performing Arts Center
Friday, July 7 | 8:00pm
Saturday, July 8 | 7:00pm
Children’s Matinee | Saturday, July 8 | 1:00pm

One of the world's most highly respected and sought-after ensembles, the Paul Taylor Dance Company will present two different programs of classic and new works. On Friday evening, the company will perform Cascade, Syzygy, and Larry Keigwin’s Rush Hour. Saturday night’s program will consist of 1978’s Airs, Black Tuesday, set to songs from the Great Depression, and Doug Elkins’ work The Weight of Smoke. 

Heidi Latsky Dance
Duke Homestead
Sunday, July 9 | 5:00pm


In association with Duke Homestead, ADF presents Heidi Latsky Dance’s On Display, a deconstructed art exhibit/ fashion installation and commentary on the body as spectacle and society's obsession with body image. On Display is a structured improvisation movement piece designed to be performed by diverse people. The installation allows performers and the public alike to fully witness each other.

Yossi Berg & Oded Graf Dance Theatre
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Monday, July 10-Wednesday, July 12 | 7:00pm

Co-presented by ADF and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Come Jump With Me is a daring,  provocative, and witty work that examines the relevancy and significance of creating art in the urgent political reality of Israel. In the explosive political and social reality, this work indeed pushes the limits and “plays with fire,” both literally and visually.

dendy/donovan projects
Reynolds Industries Theater
Wednesday, July 12 and Thursday, July 13 | 8:00pm

World Premiere!

The ADF-commissioned Elvis Everywhere is dendy/donovan projects' latest work.  “America is Elvis Presley–the most beautiful, talented, rebellious nation in the history of Earth. And now, you’re in your Vegas years. You’ve squeezed yourself into a white jumpsuit, you’re wheezing your way through ‘Love Me Tender’ and you might be about to pass away bloated on the toilet. But you’re still the King.” – John Oliver

Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre
Durham Performing Arts Center
Friday, July 14 | 8:00pm
Saturday, July 15 | 7:00pm

ADF Debut!

Created by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young, Betroffenheit evokes the state of shock and bewilderment that is all encompassing in the wake of a disaster. Touching on themes of loss, trauma, addiction, and recovery, Betroffenheit is a boundary-stretching hybrid of theater and dance. The piece is co-created by Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre.

Roy Assaf
Ate9 Dance Company
Reynolds Industries Theater
Tuesday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 19 | 8:00pm

ADF Debuts!

Roy Assaf’s all male trio, The Hill, which won first prize in the 27th International Competition For Choreographers in Hanover, Germany, is based on the Hebrew song Givat Hatahmoshet–about Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill, the site of bitter battles in the Six Day War. Ate9 Dance Company’s Exhibit B explores the difficulty that the Israeli conflict brings to daily lives. Choreographer Danielle Agami continues her collaboration with composer Omid Walizadeh with a mashup of hip hop and Iranian music. 

Mark Morris Dance Group
Durham Performing Arts Center
Friday, July 21 | 8:00pm
Saturday, July 22 | 7:00pm
Children’s Matinee | Saturday, July 22 | 1:00pm

Mark Morris Dance Group brings their 1981 masterwork Gloria to the DPAC stage. With music by Antonio Vivaldi, performed live by the Durham Symphony, the North Carolina Master Chorale, and members of the Mark Morris Dance Group. The company will also perform Excersions with music by Samuel Barber and A Lake set to music by Franz Joseph Haydn. Mark Morris Dance Group’s evening performances are dedicated to the North Carolina Arts Council in honor of its 50th Anniversary.

Jennifer Nugent & Paul Matteson
Kimberly Bartosik/daela

The Ark, Duke University East Campus
Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23 | 7:00pm & 9:00pm

ADF Debuts!

Kimberly Bartosik/daela presents Ecsteriority4 (Part 2), a 32-minute dance constructed within a landscape of power and desire, where irrational impulses create a feeling of urgency and the inevitability of violation. Jennifer Nugent and Paul Matteson have collaborated for over sixteen years with a shared interest in movement invention that at once honors and challenges personal range. Note to Self explores the arising and passing away of support and the ever-changing nature of intimacy over time, the reality of coming together and falling apart, again, and again.

Reynolds Industries Theater
Tuesday, July 25 and Wednesday, July 26 | 8:00pm

ADF Debuts and World Premieres!

Footprints delivers an outstanding presentation of three ADF-commissioned world premieres and two  reconstructions by groundbreaking artists, performed with impeccable technique and infectious energy by ADF students. Two of Scripps/ADF award winner Lucinda Childs’ minimalist works, 2013’s Kilar and 1993’s Concerto, will be performed. After making his ADF debut in 2015 with his co-created Awkward Magic, Gregory Dolbashian returns. Dolbashian’s choreography has been described as “fluidly inventive” by the The New York Times. Canada’s Shay Kuebler’s work crosses the boundaries of martial arts, theater, and dance and strives to discover new, compelling, and challenging forms of physical art. Gesel Mason’s pieces seek to create meaningful, relevant, and compelling art events as a way to encourage compassion and inquiry.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company
Durham Performing Arts Center
Thursday, July 27 & Friday, July 29 | 8:00pm
Saturday, July 29 | 7:00pm

World Premiere of the Full Trilogy!

Bill T. Jones with Associate Artistic Director, Janet Wong, and his company, developed three evening-length works titled Analogy: A Trilogy. The complete trilogy, performed for the first time at ADF, brings into light the different types of war we fight and, in particular, the war within ourselves. Works to be performed are Analogy/Dora:  Tramontane, Analogy/Lance: Pretty aka the Escape Artist, and the ADF-commissioned Analogy/Ambros: The Emigrant

Additional performances and events include:

The 2017 ADF season will be dedicated to Allen D. Roses, MD prior to the Opening Night Gala performance at DPAC on Thursday, June 15 at 6:30pm.

The 2017 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching will be awarded to celebrated dance educator and choreographer Liz Lerman in a ceremony on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 5:00pm in Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University.

Join the stellar staff of musicians from the ADF School as they share their considerable talent with the entire community at the ADF Musicians Concert on Sunday, July 2 at 7:00pm in Baldwin Auditorium at Duke University.

Each year, the remarkable and talented ADF faculty present a concert of their own choreography, performed by ADF students and faculty. The ADF Faculty Concert will take place on Sunday, July 16 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm in Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University.

ADF’s Movies by Movers will screen films July 12-15. Moving images, moving bodies. Movement and film just go together. ADF’s Movies By Movers is a bi-annual festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the body and the camera. Please visit the ADF website for times, locations, and the full screening schedule.

ADF will continue to host panel discussions with visiting choreographers and companies, offer free creative movement classes for youth, and hold post-performance discussions throughout the course of the summer.

Kids’ Activities

The Children’s Saturday Matinee Series presents performances by three of the acclaimed professional dance companies that perform during the season. These one-hour performances are specially curated to ignite and inspire the imaginations of children, and each one is followed by a FREE Kids’ Party in the DPAC lobby, complete with live music, face-painting, snacks, and additional activities. The 2017 Children’s Matinee series will take place at DPAC at 1:00pm on July 1 (Pilobolus), July 8 (Paul Taylor Dance Company), and July 22 (Mark Morris Dance Group). ADF will also continue its Kids’ Night Out program, where all youth ages 6 to 17 receive one complimentary ticket to any evening performance with the purchase of an adult single ticket or subscription.

Dedication to Education

Each year, over 400 dance students and artists from around the world arrive on the east campus of Duke University to discover a world of dance at the ADF School. Under the direction of Dean Leah Cox, the school hosts the Six Week School (June 15-July 29), the Three Week School for Pre-Professional Dancers (July 8-29), and the Dance Professionals Workshop (various dates available).


The ADF Go program is designed to make modern dance more accessible and affordable for young arts lovers in our community. Audience members between the ages of 18 to 30 have the opportunity to purchase a $10 ticket to most ADF performances at DPAC and Reynolds Industries Theater. Tickets may be purchased online or at the box office. Patrons must present a valid ID when picking up tickets.

Ticket Information

Single tickets and subscriptions to ADF performances will go on sale to the general public May 2, 2017 and may be purchased via one of the methods listed below. Tickets range in price from $10 to $62. 

Tickets for DPAC
Durham Performing Arts Center Ticket Center, The American Tobacco District
123 Vivian St., Durham, NC
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 10am-2pm

Tickets for Reynolds Industries Theater, Nasher Museum of Art, Sheafer Theater, Living Arts Collective, and PSI Theatre at the Durham Arts Council
Duke University Box Office
Bryan University Center
Duke University West Campus
Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm

Tickets for The Cary Theater
919- 462-2055
122 E. Chatham Street, Cary, NC
Tuesday through Friday 11am- 6pm
Saturday 10am-1pm
Monday 4pm–8pm at the Cary Arts Center (101 Dry Avenue, Cary)

For press reservations please contact Lisa Labrado at [email protected].


Promotional photographs and press reviews of

performing companies available upon request.

About ADF:

Throughout its 84-year history, ADF has been a nationally recognized leader in our indigenous art form of modern dance. Generations of dancers and choreographers have come to ADF as students, taught as faculty, and created and performed work as professional artists. Each summer, ADF has been the beating heart of the dance world. The best companies in the world premiere work on ADF’s stage, much of it commissioned by the festival. Other festivals and season programs are measured against ADF. Over 26,000 people see performances by more than 20 companies each season. The festival has commissioned 418 works and premiered 681 pieces including dances by Martha  Graham, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Taylor. Each summer at ADF, more than 420 students from some 20  countries and 40 states study with ADF’s 70 faculty members. They come as kids in leotards with as many doubts as dreams. They leave as dancers and artists—and sometimes even new members of companies. Lives change in those 6½ sweaty weeks. Beyond the summer, ADF maintains year-round dance studios offering movement classes to over 770 participants, provides over 190 free classes to more than 3,200 local dancers, and offers choreographic  residencies providing artists with the necessary space and time to create.