Durham, NC – May 3, 2023 – The American Dance Festival (ADF) is dedicating its 90th anniversary season to Gerri Houlihan, educator, choreographer, and performer. ADF will celebrate Houlihan’s 40th anniversary of teaching at the festival’s annual season in Durham. She has also taught as part of over 15 ADF cultural linkages worldwide. In 2005, ADF awarded her the Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She served as Co-Dean from 2011 to 2013 and then as Dean of the ADF School in 2014 and 2015 and has been Director of ADF’s dance professional workshops for more than ten years. Houlihan made Durham, NC, her home in 2015 and began offering her widely popular adult Joy of Movement modern dance classes at the ADF Samuel H. Scripps Studios soon after. Since 2018, she has overseen ADF’s International Choreographers Residency Program.

“Gerri’s impact on the American Dance Festival’s educational programs over the past four decades has been profound. She has nurtured hundreds of dancers, choreographers, and educators from around the world at different points in their lives. She has helped us share American modern dance techniques, history, and ideas in countries with little or no exposure to this field. And most recently, she has helped us build an even stronger dance community in Durham. We are thrilled to announce that ADF has established the Gerri Houlihan Scholarship Fund in her honor. Our goal is to raise $40,000 within the next two years leading up to her 80th birthday,” stated ADF Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter.

Gerri Houlihan studied at The Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and José Limón dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Company, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991 to 1999, Houlihan directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, FL. Houlihan taught at Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and now Professor Emerita. This summer, Houlihan continues teaching at the ADF Samuel H. Scripps Studios and the ADF School, where she will lead a workshop for professional dance educators from June 25 through July 1. As the founder and artistic director of the Big Red Dance Project, Houlihan leads the multi-generational company in bringing performances to the Triangle. Upcoming Big Red Dance Project performances will take place from May 5 through 7 at the Durham Arts Council.

Click to contribute here: Gerri Houlihan Scholarship Fund. For more information, please contact ADF at (919) 684-6402 or email sbowdoin@americandancefestival.org.