Artists Featured in Graphic: Aparna Ramaswamy of Ragamala Dance Company, Johnnie Cruise Mercer, Luke Hickey.
Photos by Nadia Halim, Sarah Silver, and Deb Fong.

ADF brings the best of modern dance to the Triangle for its 89th season

April 5, 2022 (DURHAM, NC) The American Dance Festival (ADF) is thrilled to announce the full schedule for its 89th season. The season includes performances by both emerging and established companies, highlighting the breadth and excellence of modern dance. 

ADF performances will be in multiple venues across Durham June 3–July 20 and will return to Raleigh and the Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Theater in the Museum Park September 8–11 as ADF presents a series of outdoor performances in association with the North Carolina Museum of Art.

“ADF is coming back strong with our first full season in three years. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome audiences back with over 25 dance companies performing both indoors and outdoors in 2022,” said Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter.

“Over the past two years, ADF has provided dancers, choreographers, and companies with much-needed opportunities to perform virtually, in site-specific locations, and outdoors. We could not have found these amazing stages and connected these artists to audiences without the steadfast support of the community, and we can’t wait to bring everyone together again safely to be immersed in a full season of live performances,” Nimerichter continued.

ADF will present the 2022 Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement to acclaimed choreographer and visual artist Shen Wei. Shen Wei, whose company is celebrating its 22nd year since its founding at ADF, will be in residence this summer as a part of the Footprints program, where he will set a new ADF-commissioned work on students. The award will be presented at the Footprints program on July 16

ADF 2022 will honor longtime supporter Giorgios Bakatsias, a visionary North Carolina restaurateur, with a dedication ceremony before the performance from Rennie Harris Puremovement on June 17. Also, ADF Fête, a season-opening celebration honoring Bakatsias, will be held at one of his restaurants, Parizade, following the performance. 

The 2022 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching will be awarded posthumously to noted author and scholar of cultural studies Dr. Kariamu Welsh in a ceremony on June 19. 

ADF fan-favorite Pilobolus (June 24–25) returns with an ADF-commissioned world premiere, and Monica Bill Barnes & Company (July 9-10) is back with The Running Show, documenting the life of a dancer through movement, interviews, and stories. The show features a large cast of local performers and ADF students. 

The program Made in North Carolina (June 21) will present four ADF-commissioned world premieres by five North Carolina choreographers inside Reynolds Industries Theater and outdoors in front of Duke Chapel. Works will be presented by Chris Yon & Taryn Griggs, Ramya Sundaresan Kapadia, Justin Tornow, and Jose Velasquez.

Following a crowd-pleasing fall 2021 performance, A.I.M by Kyle Abraham (June 28–29) is back for their fourth year with the ADF-commissioned An Untitled Love, an evening-length work that celebrates culture, family, and community. 

After rave reviews at ADF in 2019, Rennie Harris Puremovement (June 17–18) returns with RENNIE HARRIS LIFTED: A Gospel House Musical, an evening-length gospel House work including local singers and dancers. 

Also returning is Sara Juli (July 12–15) with her one-woman show Burnt-Out Wife, a solo that takes on topics such as intimacy, loneliness, monogamy, and other marital taboos. Janis Brenner (July 12–15) will explore the myriad ways a daughter “became” her late parents in Inheritance: A Litany.  

Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy’s South Indian Bharatanatyam ensemble Ragamala (July 6–7) last performed at ADF in 2012 and will return 10 years later with their latest evening-length piece and ADF commission, Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim. Israel’s highly regarded Vertigo Dance Company (July 19–20) will also perform One, One & One.

Building on the success from last fall’s series at the NCMA, ADF will present a wide spectrum of dance styles from September 8-11 outdoors at the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater. Micaela Taylor’s The TL Collective will make their ADF debut, while Limón Dance Company will present an ADF commission by ADF alumni Chafin Seymour. PHILADANCO!, an explosive company from Philadelphia, is sure to get audiences moving, and Chapel Hill native Luke Hickey will bring an exciting evening of tap dancing and live music. 

The 2022 festival performances will take place at Duke University’s Reynolds Industries Theater, Page Auditorium, and the von der Heyden Studio Theater in the Rubenstein Arts Center, as well as the Fruit (Durham) and the North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater (Raleigh). 

Single tickets go on sale Tuesday, April 26th, and prices range from $15 to $60 with many special offers and discounts available. Tickets can be purchased through the ADF website at americandancefestival.org.

More detailed information about ticket prices and performing companies, including photos, videos, and press reviews, is also available here on the ADF website

2022 Performance Schedule

ShaLeigh Dance Works
June 3 at 7:30 pm and June 4–5 at 2 pm & 7:30 pm, The Fruit, Durham
World Premiere ADF Commission!
enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight is an immersive interdisciplinary performance that does not solicit the viewer’s sight but rather all their other senses. Specifically conceived with and for individuals who are low-vision and blind, the work proposes a new sensorial experience of dance and theater. The work will be presented to a live audience who can choose to experience the show blindfolded and invites six audience members to join the experience onstage.

Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre
June 16 at 7:30 pm and June 17 at 8:30 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
World Premiere ADF Commission!
The third in a trilogy following Carne Viva (2016) and Make Believe (2018), Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre continues its investigation of religious iconography to explore themes of love and romance with the ADF-commissioned world premiere of Devotion (2022).

Rennie Harris Puremovement
June 17 at 7:00 pm and June 18 at 1 pm (Children’s Matinee) & 7:30 pm, Page Auditorium, Durham
Rennie Harris Puremovement American Street Dance Theater, who wowed ADF audiences in 2019 with their joyous performance of Rennie Harris FUNKEDIFIED, returns to ADF with RENNIE HARRIS LIFTED: A Gospel House Musical, an evening-length gospel House work featuring a live choir. Harris addresses the topics of morality, spirituality, and community through his newest work. It is based on the organic spiritual tapestry of House music and dance which is often referred to as going to “church.” Evening performances will include local dancers and gospel singers.

Made in North Carolina: 4 commissions by NC choreographers
June 21 at 7:30 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
World Premieres! ADF Commissions!
An evening of new ADF-commissioned dance works by five North Carolina artists celebrating dance being created right here, at home. The artists chosen include ADF veterans Chris Yon and Taryn Griggs presenting a darkly humorous ensemble piece, interdisciplinary movement artist Justin Tornow with a collaborative work, Bharatanatyam dancer, choreographer, instructor, and Carnatic vocalist Ramya Sundaresan Kapadia, and hip-hop and street dance performer Jose Velasquez. 

Helen Simoneau Danse and Stephen Petronio & Johnnie Cruise Mercer
June 23 at 7:30 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
World Premieres! ADF Commissions! Two Companies!
Delicate Power is a new work for Helen Simoneau Danse that examines how individuals hold and exert power through voice and body. The work will feature an original score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and musician Caroline Shaw, with dramaturgy by Melanie George and costume design by Quinn Czejkowski.

Stephen Petronio and Johnnie Cruise Mercer bring their specific embodied histories to a dance of intentional and unconscious connections. The result is a new duet generated from movement and space-based improvisational scores, with original music by Monstah Black, a collaborator who has worked closely with both artists. Together, they embark on a choreographic experiment, a generational conversation between bodies fueled by their similar/different queer-radical pasts.

June 24 at 7:30 pm and June 25 at 1 pm (Children’s Matinee) and 7:30 pm, Page Auditorium, Durham
World Premiere ADF Commission! Company Celebrating its 50th Anniversary!
The internationally renowned movement company Pilobolus brings a world premiere ADF-commissioned piece to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The children’s matinee will entertain the imagination of the whole family with a program that includes Behind the Shadows, a shadow performance revealing the technique behind their innovative process.

A.I.M by Kyle Abraham
June 28 & 29 at 7:30 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
ADF Commission!
An Untitled Love is MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Kyle Abraham’s newest evening-length work. With music from the catalog of Grammy Award-winning R&B legend D’Angelo, this creative exaltation serves as a thumping mixtape celebrating culture, family, and community.

Abby Z and the New Utility
June 30 at 7:30 pm, July 1 at 8:30 pm, and July 2 at 3 pm & 8:30 pm, Rubenstein Arts Center, von der Heyden Studio Theater, Durham
ADF Commission!
Choreographer Abby Zbikowski and crew have created a genre-bending work that brings together a mosaic group of dancers to redefine purpose for themselves as they labor their way through complex, demanding, and often perplexing physicality as a means to confront expectations and dive into the unknown head on. Utilizing the skills they have honed through their practices in movement traditions including (but not limited to) street dance, post-modern dance, contemporary African forms, tap, synchronized swimming, soccer, and martial arts, the cast draws from an arsenal of physical possibility to shatter assumptions of established forms and test the group’s own physical and mental limits. Working with Senegalese dance artist Momar Ndiaye as dramaturge, this work embodies the amalgam of contemporary living, chock full of cultural collisions, unlikely relationships, minor to major misunderstandings, and a desire for logic, and being hard-wired to survive.

Paul Taylor Dance Company
July 1 at 7:30 pm and July 2 at 1:00 pm (Children’s Matinee) and 7:30 pm, Page Auditorium, Durham
One of modern dance’s most esteemed companies returns to ADF with the classic Taylor works, Cloven Kingdom and Syzygy. The company will also perform choreographer Michelle Manzanales ’s new work Hope is the thing with Feathers.

Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy’s Ragamala Dance Company
July 6 & July 7 at 7:30 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
ADF Commission!
Rooted in the expansive South Indian dance form of Bharatanatyam, Ragamala Dance Company manifests a kindred relationship between the ancient and the contemporary. In their latest evening-length performance, Fires of Varanasi: Dance of the Eternal Pilgrim, eleven dancers conjure a realm where time is suspended and humans merge with the divine. Award-winning creators Ranee Ramaswamy and Aparna Ramaswamy imagine a metaphorical crossing place that enters into a ritualistic world of immortality, evoking the birth-death-rebirth continuum in Hindu thought to honor immigrant experiences of life and death in the diaspora.

Monica Bill Barnes & Company
July 9 at 7:30 pm and July 10 at 5 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
A 7-year-old falls in love with dance at her first recital. 40 years later, she works every day to stay in the game. At 70 she keeps moving. Co-created by Monica Bill Barnes and Robbie Saenz de Viteri, The Running Show documents the life of a dancer through movement, interviews, and stories. Local dancers join Monica Bill Barnes on stage, learning their parts over one week. Robbie Saenz de Viteri interviews each cast member, incorporating their voices and stories into the show, giving the audience an unprecedented look into the life of a dancer as a new kind of sports hero who keeps moving against all odds.

Sara Juli
July 12 & 14 at 7:00 pm and July 13 & 15 at 9:00 pm, Rubenstein Arts Center, von der Heyden Studio Theater, Durham
ADF Commission!
Sara Juli’s Burnt-Out Wife takes on topics such as intimacy, loneliness, monogamy, and other marital taboos. Juli employs her comedic text-driven dance style to explore the decay and detritus of marriage with equal parts wit and vulnerability. Taking place in a Pepto-Bismol pink bathroom, this evening-length dance-theater-comedy will spark intimate conversations while blowing up the institution with humor, reflection, and a complete reimagining.

Janis Brenner
July 12 & 14 at 9:00 pm and July 13 & 15 at 7:00 pm, Rubenstein Arts Center, von der Heyden Studio Theater, Durham
ADF Debut!
Inheritance: A Litany is a journey into the myriad ways a daughter “became” her late parents. She inherited her father’s nose, her mother’s singing voice, her father’s sarcasm, mother’s fragile bones… as well as a lifetime of objects, lessons, and even thoughts and ways of being in the world. This poetic narrative, dance-opera-play, and comic drama by internationally acclaimed artist Janis Brenner reveals aspects of a family’s story as well as the nature of how we become who we are and uncovers what makes us each unique, complicated, and fragile human beings. 

July 16 at 7:30 pm* and July 17 at 5:00 pm, Reynolds Industries Theater, Durham
World Premiere ADF Commissions!
The Footprints program, which bridges ADF’s performance series and education programs, delivers an outstanding presentation of three ADF-commissioned world premieres, performed with impeccable technique and infectious energy by ADF students. This season’s choreographers are Charles O. Anderson, Artistic Director of Dance Theatre X, an Afro-contemporary dance theater company, and head of the dance program at UT Austin, Kimberly Bartosik, founder of Kimberly Bartosik/daela, choreographer, performer, educator, and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, and Shen Wei, choreographer, visual artist, Artistic Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts, MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, and the 2022 recipient of Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement.
*Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award presentation to Shen Wei

Vertigo Dance Company
July 19 & 20 at 7:30 pm, Reynold Industries Theater, Durham
Israel’s highly regarded Vertigo Dance Company performs One, One & One, choreographed by Noa Wertheim and set to a powerful score by Avi Belleli. Performed on a dirt-covered stage, the work creates an arresting sensory experience as it explores the individual’s desire for wholeness and spiritual connection to the natural world.

Micaela Taylor’s The TL Collective
September 8 at 7:30 pm, North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater, Raleigh
ADF Company Debut!
In the five years since Micaela Taylor formed The TL Collective (“To Love”), the group has become one of the most celebrated in the United States, and their appearances across the country have drawn critical praise. Audiences have been enraptured by Taylor’s choreography work as seen during recent presentations of BODYTRAFFIC and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance at the American Dance Festival. It is with great excitement that we present her own company with the ADF debut of The TL Collective. 

Limón Dance Company
September 9 at 7:30 pm, North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater, Raleigh
ADF Commission! Company Celebrating its 75th Anniversary!
In performances of musicality, athleticism, and drama, the contemporary emerges out of the classics with the Limón Dance Company. With the company’s classic works and collaborations with contemporary choreographers, we see how powerful dance of the past and present can invigorate each other and us. The company, celebrating its 75th anniversary, will perform Limón’s classics Psalm, Air for the G String by Doris Humphrey, and a co-commission by ADF and the Limón Dance Company, Suite Donuts by ADF alumni Chafin Seymour.

September 10 at 7:30 pm, North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater, Raleigh
The award-winning Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!) is celebrating 51 years of providing exceptional dance performances and training to dancers and audiences throughout the US and around the world. The innovative and energetic company will perform Between the Lines inspired by the architectural drawings of Frank Lloyd Wright, This Place motivated by the idea and feeling of community, and Conglomerate paying homage to the rich history of Black Dance in Philadelphia.

Luke Hickey
September 11 at 7:30 pm, North Carolina Museum of Art’s Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Amphitheater, Raleigh
Chapel Hill native Luke Hickey presents the percussive revue A Little Old, A Little New.  Directed and choreographed by Hickey, the work accentuates the powerful synergy created when tap dancers and jazz musicians are in conversation while offering an exciting array of historical and contemporary musical explorations. This high-energy and virtuosic evening of world-class dance and live music offers something for everyone, leaving the audience feeling further connected to the treasured American art form of tap dance. 

Special Offers & Ticket Information

ADF offers a variety of ways to save on tickets. Performance package discounts offer the best way to save big. Enjoy more dance when you buy tickets to multiple performances at once.

The ADF Go program is designed to make modern dance more accessible and affordable for young art enthusiasts in our community. Audience members between the ages of 18 to 30 have the opportunity to purchase a $15 ticket to most ADF performances. Tickets may be purchased on the day of performance either online or at the box office. Patrons must present a valid ID when picking up tickets. 

Single tickets and group tickets to ADF performances will go on sale to the general public on April 26, 2022. Tickets range in price from $15 to $60. 

Tickets will be available for purchase online at americandancefestival.org or through the Duke University Box Office. If you need further assistance you can contact the Duke University Box Office at 919-684-4444“>919-684-4444 on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12–3pm.

Additional performances and events 

Join the stellar musicians from the ADF School as they share their remarkable talent with the entire community at the ADF Musicians Concert on Saturday, June 25 at 5 pm in Reynolds Industries Theater. 

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 3 at 5 pm in Reynolds Industries Theater at Duke University. 

ADF’s Movies by Movers will screen films at the Downtown Durham Public Library on June 25, July 2, July 9, and July 16. All screenings begin at 2 pm. ADF’s Movies by Movers is an annual festival dedicated to the celebration of the conversation between the body and the camera. All screenings are FREE! 

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 Landing of the Bryan Center, complete with live music, face-painting, and more. Tickets for the Children’s Saturday Matinee series are $12 each. 

The 2022 Children’s Matinees at Page Auditorium include Rennie Harris Puremovement (June 18, 1 pm), Pilobolus (June 25, 1 pm), and Paul Taylor Dance Company (July 2, 1 pm). 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 300 dance students and artists from around the world arrive on the campus of Duke University to discover a world of dance through intensive training taught at the ADF School. Under the direction of Dean Leah Cox, the school hosts the Summer Dance Intensive (June 16July 17), the Pre-Professional Dance Intensive for dancers ages 1317 (July 3July 17), and the Dance Professional Workshops (various dates available). 

ADF’s Samuel H. Scripps Studios

ADF will offer twelve dance camps this summer for young dancers aged 6-17 years including Dance Adventures, Summer Dance Days, Teen Dance Camp, and Shadow Camps with Pilobolus. 

Promotional photographs and press reviews of performing companies available upon request.

This season is made possible through the generous contributions of the SHS Foundation and Duke University.

Thank you to all our major sponsors!


Amy Hoppe

About ADF: Since 1934, ADF has been a recognized leader in America’s homegrown art form, modern dance. ADF is committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. The best companies in the world premiere work as part of the festival held each year in Durham, North Carolina. The festival has commissioned 453 works and premiered over 700 pieces including dances by Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Bill T. Jones, Eiko Otake, and Paul Taylor. ADF trains dancers both with its summer intensive programs for pre-professional and professional dance artists and year-round classes for movers of all levels and ages. Choreographic residencies provide artists with the necessary space and time to create. ADF shares the benefits of dance with free workshops like ADF Project Dance, in-school and after-school outreach programs, and the Parkinson’s Movement Initiative, movement classes for people with Parkinson’s and their care partners.