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American Dance Festival

ADF 8: Opening Night (2) and Closing

Lightsey Darst | Posted 10.14.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

I love dancers' parties. The floor's full and no one's drunk, with every style and move you can think of unleashed, celebrated, spun, from electric boogaloo to sixties go-go to glam jazz to the running man.

ADF 7: Opening Night (1): Footprints

Lightsey Darst | Posted 10.06.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

Opening night for the Footprints concert at Duke's Reynolds Industries Theater feels like convocation: the house is packed and buzzing with ADF students ready to applaud their friends. When the lights go out, everyone leans forward.

ADF 6: "I Have to Do It. I Have to Give It a Try" -- the Students Speak

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.29.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

Why the diversity? Because modern dance encourages it, for one thing. If classical ballet still inclines toward symmetrical rows of swans, in other types of Western dance the pendulum's swung towards a gathering of individuals, varied in look and movement background.

ADF 5: Learning From the Past: Duane Cyrus Rehearses Martha Graham

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.25.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

Rehearsal for Martha Graham's Helios, Durham School of the Arts. The usual dancer pile-up -- dancers stretching, listening to music on their headphones, even singing along.

ADF 4: 'Just Try It' -- Rehearsal with Leah Cox

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.23.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

"Keep being powerful," Cox intones to one dancer. "Heartfelt, real, physical, physical. In your center, you're still very much alive. We can feel it."

ADF 3: Building the Big Show

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.22.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

"The ground is shifting." Students hurly-burly across the dance floor, legs flying out from under them. "Birds are diving," the tall woman at the center of the whirlwind calls out. Hands shield the students' heads; they duck and skitter.

ADF 2: The Cognitive Scientist in Residence - Dance and Memory

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.17.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

"I'm interested in how the mind works," Dr. Ruth Day says. She has the enviable title of ADF Cognitive Scientist in Residence -- which makes her, so far as she knows, the only cognitive scientist in residence at any dance festival.

American Dance Festival (1)

Lightsey Darst | Posted 09.15.2013 | Arts
Lightsey Darst

If the mention of a summer dance festival and school conjures up Fame-like visions for you -- long-legged lovelies stretching in crowded halls, ragged leg warmers, bare shoulders and naked ambition -- getting to know the American Dance Festival may take a little adjustment.

You're Never Too Old to Express Yourself

George Heymont | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
George Heymont

Because we live in a youth-oriented society, many Americans need frequent reminders that most artists age like wine and cheese. Over the course of the...