2023 Performances

7 dancers jumping in a white room.


BODYTRAFFIC uses the creative spirit of its Los Angeles home as a backdrop for delivering performances that inspire audiences around the globe to simply love dance. The company will present an exploration of identity through dance, showing SNAP by Micaela Taylor, Notes on Fall, a 2021 ADF-commissioned work by Brian Brooks, The One to Stay With by Baye & Asa, and PACOPEPEPLUTO by Alejandro Cerrudo.

Thursday, June 8 at 7:00pm
Saturday, June 10 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion

Digital program can be found here.

2023 ADF Fête

The 2023 Fête will take place at Parizäde immediately following the opening night performance. Dance the night away with BODYTRAFFIC and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Thursday, June 8 at 9:00pm

A dancer suspended mid-air during a back flip on a dark stage.

Rennie Harris Puremovement American Street Dance Theater

he acclaimed work Nuttin’ But A Word by Rennie Harris pushes the boundaries of street dance vocabulary and forces its audience to view street dance through a different lens. Challenging the viewer’s perspective of street dance or Hip-hop dance and its culture, Nuttin’ But A Word takes you on a dramatic and abstract journey while twisting, matching, juxtaposing, and pulling vocabulary and music in ways unimaginable. Harris chooses to end this work in a traditional Hip-hop celebration, which Africanists may refer to as the Bantaba.

Friday, June 9 at 7:30pm 
Saturday, June 10 at 1:00pm (Children’s Matinee)

Digital program can be found here.

4 dancers walk in front of colored panels. holding coffee cups and other accessories.

Mark Haim

This year’s rendition of This Land Is Your Land by Mark Haim will mark ten years since it was last performed at ADF and the beginning of a second decade of collaboration between ADF and the Nasher Museum of Art. The piece is based on a simple, continuously-mutating walking pattern and will be performed by 14 North Carolina artists using culturally-identifiable props such as Starbucks cups and cell phones. The work plays with perception of time and touches upon contemporary issues such as consumerism, destruction of the environment, and body image.
Please note: this performance contains nudity.

Tuesday, June 13 at 6:30pm
Tuesday, June 13 at 9:00pm
Wednesday, June 14 at 6:30pm
Wednesday, June 14 at 9:00pm

Digital program can be found here. 

A dance lifts another into the air as her kegs extend to the side in a middle split.


With SW!NG OUT, choreographer and ADF first-timer Caleb Teicher brings the best of the swing dance world to Durham, with live music by Eyal Vilner Big Band. What The New York Times celebrated in “Best of 2021” as “…the contemporary swing-dance show that… gave me the most joy of any dance production in 2021” was conceived by Caleb Teicher alongside their brain trust of collaborators Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, and Eyal Vilner. SW!NG OUT features exciting Lindy Hop choreography and improvisation and each performance concludes with an on-stage jam session, inviting audiences to join in the fun!

Thursday, June 15 at 7:30pm
Friday, June 16 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here.

Black and white photos of 5 NC choreographers.

Made in NC

The Made in NC program features the world premiere of five ADF-commissioned works by North Carolina artists. Renay Aumiller will present a work integrating ideologies and practices from Adrienne Marie Brown’s Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds into a choreographic process to explore its effects on inclusion and belonging within the cast and collaborators. Caroline Calouche is known for blending a variety of dance and circus arts disciplines in her choreography. Michelle Pearson, the artistic director of Black Box Dance Theatre, will be presenting a work about loss, love, and life. Kristin Taylor Duncan, a native of…

Saturday, June 17 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here.

7 dancers jumping in a white room.

 Celebration of Tony C. Johnson

In 2023, ADF celebrates choreographer, dance educator, and activist Tony C. Johnson by establishing a scholarship in his name. Help us reach our goal of $40,000 for the Tony C. Johnson Scholarship Fund! Text TONY to (844) 422-6444 or click here to donate now.

Monday, June 19 at 7:30pm

Many dancers wearing black and gold stand leaning to their right with their right arm extended downward across their bodies.

Joanna Kotze

For her ADF season debut, Joanna Kotze, who has been described as a “ruthlessly elegant dancer and choreographer” by Time Out New York, brings to ADF ‘lectric Eye. The hour-long dance performance responds to collective and personal loss and isolation and draws attention to the human body’s…

Tuesday, June 20 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, June 21 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Thursday, June 22 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here. 

6 dancers in various stages of jumping.


Pilobolus, an ADF favorite and regular, returns to Page Auditorium this summer with a repertory program which includes Sweet PurgatorySolo from the Empty Suitor , and two new works made in collaboration with alumni of…

Friday, June 23 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Saturday, June 24 at 1:00pm (Children’s Matinee)
Saturday, June 24 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here. 

7 drummers sit together on stage.

Faculty & Musicians Concert

The ADF school faculty and musicians will take center stage and share their remarkable talent with the community. ADF is dedicating this year’s season to Gerri Houlihan during the concert.

Sunday, June 25 at 5:00pm

Immediately after, join us at the ADF Scripps Studios (721 Broad Street) for a reception honoring Gerri Houlihan! Click here for the details.

Digital program can be found here.

7 dancers jumping in a white room.

Teaching Tribute

The 2023 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching will be presented to Jody Gottfried Arnhold, educator, advocate for dance, and founder of Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) 92NY. A free screening of her documentary PS DANCE! The Next Generation will follow the award ceremony.

Wednesday, June 28 at 7:30pm

Multiple dancers partner together low to the floor.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

For over 40 years, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company has shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through creation and performance of over 140 works. ADF-commissioned work Curriculum II, which premiered in June 2022, applies the ideas of Cameroonian historian and political theorist Achille Mbembe, Nigerian-born writer and scholar Louis …

Content Warning: Curriculum II explores the historical and persistent connection between race and technology and the pursuit of what is human. There is nudity and adult content/language. The visual installation includes hanged, whitewashed Black dolls and nooses. There is a physical reference to a Hitler salute. Attendees who may be sensitive to these elements, please take note. The performance utilizes strobe-like video and lighting effects.  

Thursday, June 29 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Friday, June 30 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here.

A dancer is lifted on their back by the arms of others.


Founded in 2007, staibdance is an Atlanta-based contemporary dance company that values the provocative power of movement. staibdance is presenting fence at its ADF debuta work which is a journey into a messy world of power struggles and dismissed histories and an examination of how “otherness” can rob our power or become its source. Founded upon dramatic, life-changing events Staib encountered as a child in Iran, fence is staibdance’s most political and socially driven work to date. Staib’s intensely physical movement vocabulary bonds with traditional Iranian dance to explore unrest felt personally and globally.

Saturday, July 1 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Sunday, July 2 at 5:00pm

George Staib, Artistic Director of staibdance, will be hosting a pre-show discussion on July 2 at 4:15. The discussion will take place in the Ruby Lounge right across from the theater. Come get an inside look into the creation process that brought “fence” to life.

Digital program can be found here. 

5 dancers leap through the air in an industrial setting.

Kyle Marshall Choreography

At their ADF debut, Kyle Marshall Choreography is presenting ADF-commissioned Onyx and AliceOnyx digs into the origins of rock and roll revealing the Black and Brown people whose sounds, performances, and personalities created this revolutionary genre. Through the setting of improvisational scores, character embodiment, and flowing phrase work, Onyx reflects on the fame, influence, appropriation, and erasure that riddles the legacy of so many Black and Brown artists. Through this embodiment of history, Onyx serves to recognize and celebrate these groundbreaking musicians while widening our perspective of the Black American cultural experience.

Please note: This performance contains bright lights.

Thursday, July 6 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Friday, July 7 at 7:30pm

Digital program can be found here. 

Black and white headshots of 3 choreographers.

Footprints 2023

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.

Saturday, July 8 at 7:30pm
Sunday, July 9 at 3:00pm

Digital program can be found here. 

5 dancers wearing flowing blue dresses form a V on stage.

Sean Dorsey Dance

Trailblazing transgender choreographer Sean Dorsey (San Francisco) comes to Durham with the North Carolina premiere of Sean Dorsey Dance’s new work: The Lost Art Of Dreaming invites us to reconnect with longing, embrace expansive imagination, connect with joy and pleasure, and propel ourselves toward loving Futures…

Thursday, July 13 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion

Digital program can be found here. 

4 dancers in colorful costume lift a 5th above their heads on stage.

Paul Taylor Dance Company

In addition to the repertory pieces Piazzolla Caldera and Brandenburgs, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to ADF this season with a new piece, Somewhere in the Middle, by Amy Hall Garner which premiered in 2022. Somewhere in the Middle is an adrenaline-fueled dance highlighting the athleticism and beauty of the Taylor Company, all to music of Wynton Marsalis, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington, and other Big Band favorites.

Friday, July 14 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Saturday, July 15 at 5:00pm 

Digital program can be found here

3 dancers on stage, induing one standing, one leaning, and one sitting in a wheelchair.

Resident Island Dance Theatre

Resident Island Dance Theatre will make its U.S. and ADF debut with Ice Age, an emotionally thrilling, physically integrated quartet co-choreographed by RIDT’s Artistic Director Chung-An Chang and French dance maker Maylis Arrabit. The 55-minute piece is performed by two dancers in wheelchairs and two standing dancers. As the world locked down during the COVID-19 pandemic, the work took shape—to explore the different ways that people navigate and connect in their own cultural environments.

Tuesday, July 18 at 7:00pm *post performance discussion
Thursday, July 20 at 7:00pm *post performance discussion

*post performance discussion is with Resident Island Dance Theatre and ZviDance on Tuesday, July 18, and Thursday, July 19 from 8:15 -8:45pm in the Ruby Lounge

Digital program can be found here. 

6 dancers form a V on stage with their legs in a lunge and their arms outstretched wide.


ZviDance presents Migrations, a dance performance collaboration between Zvi Gotheiner, composer Scott Killian, lighting designer Mark London, and seven dancers. Migrations is in line with Gotheiner’s previous works that reflect on the collision of humanity with nature. The company focused its creative attention on bird migration imagery and tendencies as a poetic mirroring for the current acceleration of human migration as a result of wars and the diminishing of life-sustaining resources. These concepts serve as a point of departure for the creation of Migrations.

Tuesday, July 18 at 9:00pm *pre-performance discussion
Thursday, July 20 at 9:00pm *pre-performance discussion

*pre-performance discussion is with Resident Island Dance Theatre and ZviDance on Tuesday, July 18, and Thursday, July 19 from 8:15 -8:45pm in the Ruby Lounge

Digital program can be found here. 

Ballet Hispánico

In the ADF-commissioned Papagayos, Omar Roman De Jesús allows us to enter the upsidedown forest, where paradise comes ready laden with wings, and psychedelic stories write themselves out of order. A three-second love ritual between two birds transforms into a movement poem celebrating the pleasure of human physicality.

Friday, July 21 at 7:30pm *post performance discussion
Saturday, July 22 at 1:00pm (Children’s Matinee)
Saturday, July 22 at 7:30pm

Ballet Hispánico provided some amazing study guides for those who are attending the Children’s Matinee. Check them out here!

Digital Program can be found here.

Cara Hagan sits on a rainbow-colored staircase.

Cara Hagan

The American Dance Festival and the Nasher Museum of Art co-present the world premiere of an ADF-commissioned site-specific work. Her new work were we birds?, was created in collaboration with composer, Amanda Addleman. It explores experiences of upheaval, prolonged states of limbo, and the subsequent reorganization of one’s life following the disorientation of migration. Whether by choice or circumstance, movement on a large scale is often paired with discombobulation. When we manage to pull ourselves back together, what remains out of place? What was never in place to begin with? Audiences will listen to the sound score on their cell phones.

Tuesday, August 22 at 7:00pm
Tuesday, August 22 at 9:00pm

Digital program can be found here. 

Les Ballet Afrik

In their latest work, New York is Burning, Les Ballet Afrik draws inspiration from the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning and its depiction of voguing as a powerful expression in the face of racism, homophobia, and the stigma of the AIDS crisis. Commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, New York is Burning reflects the aspirations of a diverse group of dancers in a city beset by health, racial, and financial crises. Highlighting the importance of community and connection to ancestry, Les Ballet Afrik continues to provide a space for individual expression and radical acceptance.

Thursday, September 14 at 7:30pm
Friday, September 15 at 7:30pm