Here and Now: NC Dances

ADF Debut


Reynolds Industries Theater

Wednesday, June 18 at 7pm & 9pm


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ADF and the NC Dance Festival (NCDF) are delighted to co-present four dance works by North Carolina choreographers. Selected by nationally recognized choreographers Mark Dendy, Adele Myers, and Zoe Scofield, the works of the four chosen artists celebrate dance being created here and now, at home in North Carolina.

Renay Aumiller Dances will present Acquiring Dawn, inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. This work portrays a post-apocalyptic environment, a world of dualities: hope and despair, truth and prophecy, and nature and industry. Gaspard & Dancers’ work Annatations, by Gaspard Louis, evokes a dream state where the souls that perished in the catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake reconnect before moving on to their final destination, a place where all life began. A Place Apart, a tender yet strong duet for two men choreographed by Diego Carrasco Schoch, uses text and Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata to depict intimacy, entanglement, support, and the need for space inherent within relationships. Leah Wilks’ company Vector presents Mess and asks the questions, “How does the body react when the world makes no sense? Does it shut down? Does it ignore or fight back? Does it try to control, to compartmentalize, to make meaning out of nothing? Can it ever learn to let go?”

Download large print programs here.


About NCDF

NCDF is an annual production of the Dance Project, under the direction of Jan Van Dyke. Dance Project, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been operating in North Carolina since 1989, coordinating the NC Dance Festival, directing the dance program at City Arts, and managing Artistic Director Jan Van Dyke’s current company, the Van Dyke Dance Group. The festival establishes a network of venues for professional regional choreography and performance, expanding accessibility of dance throughout the state while raising the profile of North Carolina’s own artists. We strive to build the state’s dance community and create an open, supportive environment where ideas can be shared. NCDF encourages the public in the arts, particularly in terms of building awareness and exposure to contemporary dance. For more information, please visit www.ncdancefestival.org.

About renay aumiller

Renay Aumiller has presented her dance works in New York City, Chicago, Louisville, Urbana, IL, Kansas City, MO, and the Triangle/Triad areas of North Carolina as the Founder/Artistic Director of Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD). She dances and tours with Lauren Kearns and The Kearns Dance Project, and has performed with numerous choreographers and companies including Renée Wadleigh, Christian Von Howard, and Chicago- based contemporary companies, The Dance Team and Thread Meddle Outfit.  Additionally, Aumiller toured Taiwan, Cambodia, and Italy with internationally acclaimed Improvisation master, Kirstie Simson.

Aumiller’s education includes earning a BA in Dance Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MFA in Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her graduate studies, she was awarded the Vannie L. Shiery Scholarship for outstanding performance (2007), Wanda Nettl Prize for Choreography (2008), Hamstrom Award for artistic integrity (2008), and the Pat Knowles Travel Award (2009).  Professionally, Aumiller was the 2011 North Carolina Dance Alliance Choreography Fellow and has received grants through Elon University and the NC Dance Alliance. She has served as dance faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Beloit College, and currently instructs choreography and technique courses at Elon University and Meredith College. Ms. Aumiller has enjoyed guest residencies at NC State University, Washington and Lee University, Appalachian State University, Iowa State University, Salem College, NC Governor’s School West, and Enloe Magnet High School. She also teaches regularly at Arts Together in Raleigh, NC and ADF’s Samuel H. Scripps Studios in Durham, NC.

about gaspard louis

Gaspard LouiswWas born and raised in Haiti. His experience includes being a dancer and choreographer with the cutting-edge and internationally renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater. In addition to performing, touring, and teaching globally with Pilobolus, he collaborated on nine major dance works during this formative decade with the company. He has also choreographed for Freespace Dance Company in New Jersey and Kentucky University Dance Ensemble. Currently, he directs The American Dance Festival’s year-round creative movement outreach program, which provides free dance classes to Triangle youth as well as being a guest teacher at Elon University.  He founded his dance company Gaspard&Dancers in 2009, in order to create his own personal vision of dance in North Carolina.  The past couple of years he has created two works as part of planned trilogy about the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which has personal resonance for him, as this is his country of origin.  With each of these works, he has explored themes of loss and aspiration on personal, communal, and national levels.  He has always sought to push the envelope technically and creatively in his choreography.  He hopes that his work engages the audience in a way that is emotional and visceral.

 about diego carrasco schoch

Originally from Southern California, Diego received his formative training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and went on to dance with Fort Worth Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, and then to Milwaukee Ballet, where he stayed for 12 years and achieved the rank of Principal Dancer. He has created work for North Carolina Dance Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, and the Milwaukee Ballet School, as well as for several universities, including several works for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he served as a member of the Contemporary Dance Faculty. Drawing from his Chicano heritage, he often explores themes of duality, gender, identity, and spirituality and embeds his work with Latino imagery, rhythms, and ideas. He currently performs and choreographs in and around the Durham area and teaches modern technique at American Dance Festival’s Samuel H. Scripps Studios and the Raleigh School of Ballet, and dance composition and ballet at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He also serves as an Assistant Repetiteur for the Salvatore Aiello Trust. Diego is excited to have the opportunity to present his work at the American Dance Festival.

about leah wilks

Leah Wilks is a Durham-based dancer, teacher and choreographer.  Recently, as a performer, she has worked with Renay Aumiller Dances, Gaspard&Dancers, Shaleigh Dance Works, Nicola Bullock, Anna Barker, Mamela Nyamaza, Ann Sofie Clemmensen, and Department of Improvised Dance.  Leah is currently on faculty at Carolina Friends School, 9th St. Dance, Studio A DanceArts, and the American Dance Festival where she teaches everything from ballet to contact improvisation to release technique.  Throughout it all, Leah has always been creating dances inspired by the questions to which she has no answer. She is the proud co-director of VECTOR with the brilliant Jon Haas.