Washington, District of Columbia
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

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Descriptions of the dances written by the adjudicators who selected the dances at each regional conference.

Representing the BAJA CONFERENCE: 

California State University, Fullerton, August by Colin Connor (guest artist)
This quartet, set against a spacious and storied relationship to the music, engages the
performers’ delicacy, strength and presence in a breathtaking, swirling choreography.

California State University, Long Beach, ASKQUESTIONSLATER: two of countless scenarios by Rebecca Bryant (faculty)
Through this layered sonic and video landscape people fall, catch, and reassure one another in scenarios designed to call attention to our current social minefield of love and fear.
University of California, Riverside, Fourtold by Alfonso Cervera, Irvin Gonzalez, Hyoin Jun, and Maggie Sniffen (graduate students)
This surprising operatic romp plays with audience assumptions and the nature of performance; we watch the cast navigate inner and outer narratives and partnering challenges while balancing their sense of being watched.
Representing the CENTRAL CONFERENCE: 

Knox CollegeThe Raven by Jennifer Smith (faculty)
Dark humor and wit are the driving forces behind this edgy retelling of Poe’s the Raven. The sophisticated sensuality of the dancer is haunting.
Wichita State University, nosuchSymbiosis by Cheyla Clawson Chandler (faculty)
Doomed lovers in an intricate relationship puzzle, performed by two dancers with sensitivity and daring.
Anderson University, Journey Draft 4 by Frederick Earl Mosely (guest artist)
Fresh, inventive choreography utilizing a very large cast. The musicality of the dance is powerful, physically driving and irresistibly joyful.

Grand Valley State University, The Swing of Things That No Longer Swing by Mackenzie Strom (undergraduate student)
This layered dance was full of nuanced imagery and ideas that developed as the work progressed, so that the viewer reflected back and better realized the work’s depth after the piece ended. The audio score thoughtfully integrated morse code, ambient sound, old radio audio of a baseball game, advertisements, and music to create an era-specifc environment that evoked post war era uncertainty. Masterfully danced by an ensemble of strong women, the sculptural lighting and simple, yet well designed costumes, complemented the themes of this work, which resonated with both history and currency.

Wayne State UniversitySeed by Meg Paul (faculty)
This sophisticated large ensemble work was exceptionally well danced and masterfully crafted. Full of careful attention to detail in movement, image, costume and lighting, the dance gave life to a community, infiltrated by a trio of dark and sinister characters who slowly divided and ultimately severed someone from that community. Through a deeply layered movement vocabulary that was executed with power, grace and artistry, the choreography evoked The Rite of Spring, and felt like a fabulous update to the classic dance after the master work’s recent centenary, while being a wholly new and interesting piece of dance in its own right.
Western Michigan UniversityThe Illusion has been just a dream by Carolyn Pavik (faculty)
An exceptionally well crafted, engrossing and chilling work that examined a disturbing historical subject (Charles Manson) and brought it to light in a fresh and innovative way through character development and compositional craft. This work managed to capture both the magnetic and disturbing qualities of Manson’s character, while shedding light on the time period in which the events took place. The dance skillfully showcased an excellent, powerful and fluid large ensemble of dancers. The work also simultaneously decentralized the story from the Manson character and emphasized his larger effect on a community of people, making the historical relevant and timely.


University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Conversations by Nathan Trice (guest artist)
A richly crafted work about a community in conversation reveals perspectives on human relationships and the human condition. Keith Jarret’s richly textured piano score provides a landscape for many bodies to speak many truths.
Virginia Commonwealth University, Amid by Kara Robertson (undergraduate student)
Combining fierceness and delicacy, four dancers inhabit the space against Nico Muhly’s ethereal and pulsating score. Their fluid strengths are a mixture of release and power creating interstitial spaces where bodies rise in voluminous exploration.
Radford University, passing. pausa. gap. by dana bellah (faculty)
An austere space dotted with chairs creates a theater of voyeurism juxtaposed by the gestural intimacy of disaffected bodies.

Dean College, Mine by Alyssa Davis (undergraduate student)
A millennial anthem that passionately and physically insists on being seen and heard. Smart, well-crafted and provocative, the performers own the choreography and text, and deliver with a fervor that is captivating.
University of Hartford/Hartt School, As the Sand Falls by Jackie Nowicki (guest artist)
A delicate yet powerful performance, that skillfully melds recognizable and familiar technique with idiosyncratic movement vocabulary. She performs with an honesty and vulnerability that is transformative.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Almost But Not Yellow by Leila Awadallah (undergraduate student)
A sophisticated, richly layered work that invites you to discover it, Almost But Not Yellow is full of enigmatic imagery that enhances its choreographic body.
Columbia College of Chicago, Double Dutch Training Ground by Keyierra Collins (undergraduate student)
Double Dutch Training Ground is a compelling work, dense with movement language that is original, authentic, and urgent. The work is a timely commentary on the African American female experience that embraces the powerful nature of the spoken word and an eloquent weaving of contemporary movement with the Africanist aesthetic.
Minnesota State University, Mankato, Television: Or (And Now, Our National Anthem) by Daniel Stark (faculty)
Television: Or (And Now, Our National Anthem) is a fully realized work that is both beautifully crafted and playfully irreverent, speaking to the powerful influence of television culture on contemporary American rituals.

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Almost But Not Yellow by Leila Awadallah (undergraduate student)
A sophisticated, richly layered work that invites you to discover it, Almost But Not Yellow is full of enigmatic imagery that enhances its choreographic body.
Representing the NORTHEAST CONFERENCE:  

Rutgers University, A Conversation on Drowning by Javier Padilla (undergraduate student)
Using a large ensemble, this inventive and well crafted dance transports us to a ghostly world where quirky movement language develops as the performers navigate loss.

Queensborough Community College, Here by Marjani Forte (guest artist)
An abstract architectural movement construct offers an articulation of the physical langugages of the moment, one that seems to engage and express an embodied technology at work.

Long Island University Brooklyn, Unframed by Alenka Cizmesija (guest artist)
A lush and complex quintet that utilizes a quiet yet dynamic vocabulary of intricate gestures and full body dancing. The work reveals a complete atmosphere and world.


Western Wyoming Community CollegeVisible Sketch v.3 by Britta Joy Peterson (faculty)
An imagistic evocation of a unique world inhabited by committed mover/vocalists whose transformative journey visits a series of evolutionary states.

Utah Valley University, Still Life With Flight by Sarah Donohue (faculty)
The blossoming of a danced relationship revealed through precise and surprising, full-bodied musical phrasing and superbly nuanced gesture.

University of Wyoming, Excerpts from The Winged by Jose Limon (guest artist)
A brilliantly realized reconstruction of an exquisite classic modern dance performed with precision and creature-like embodiment.

Representing the SOUTH CONFERENCE: 

Belhaven University, I Am Not A Plastic by Sung Yong Kim (guest artist)
In the intense and idiosyncratic I Am Not A Plastic, formal structure and personal vision blend to form a unique theatrical experience of exceptional craft, concentrated performances, and sustained invention.

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Puebla - Los Chinacos by Rafael Zamarripa (guest artist)
Puebla – Los Chinacos is a beautifully executed dance in the tradition of Mexican Folklorico. The dancers and musicians personify the rich cultural tapestry of Mexico with precision, percussive footwork, and vibrant costumes transforming the stage into a celebration of community.


University of Texas at Austin, Poem (Part 1) by Alex Ketley (guest artist)
This group piece demonstrated movement vocabulary that was quite stunning with sequential movement flow through limbs, spine and entire body in relationship to folding tables as key set elements within the work. The choreography presented it self through a sophisticated structure that thoroughly explored every conceivable idea/thought of movement in relationship to the set piece(s) with care and sensitivity to the space and to each other. Additionally, the individual dancers each displayed a high level of artistry and technical ability.
Sam Houston State University, We Are Greenwood by Elijah Alhadji Gibson (faculty)
This powerful piece presented a cohesive dance that demonstrated versatility and strength in performance with an ensemble of dancers that were athletic, energetic and responsive. The choreography was used as a tool to investigate relevant social issues.

Coker College, Curveless Smile by Tierra Foxworth and Tammaka Staley (undergraduate students)
This work is a sophisticated layering of images resulting in a temporal convergence of character image, gesture and speech that offers a mature statement, directly, but with no sacrifice of complexity.

Florida State University, Poem (Part 1) by Alex Ketley (guest artist)
An abstract architectural movement construct offers an articulation of the physical langugages of the moment, one that seems to engage and express an embodied technology at work.

Representing the WEST CONFERENCE: 

Sonoma State University, For Example by Hannah Ingwerson (undergraduate student)
A stirring rendering of light and movement that evoked mystery, wonder and remorse. Exquisitely crafted work that speaks equally to the cognitive, affective and kinesthetic realms.
California State University, Fresno, As It Has Been Done by Anandha Ray (guest artist)
Guts and imagination, fierce women, animal ferocity, riveting surprises on an endless journey. This dance takes artistic risks.


Representing the BAJA CONFERENCE: 

1st Alternate: Irvine Valley College, Buffalo by Stephanie Gililand (guest artist)
In this primal sextet, the dancers sway and coil in a hypnotic ode to the wild animal.
2nd Alternate: Scripps College, a self-portrait dedicated to Einstein by Stella Hoft (undergraduate student)
This dance is a whirlwind of whimsical and absurd virtuosity; a chameleon of physicality, this young woman is puppet, chanteuse, and philosopher.
Representing the CENTRAL CONFERENCE:  

1st Alternate: Ball State University, Venir Autor by Tyler Ring (undergraduate student)
An intellectually stimulating piece that navigates the interior landscape of heart and mind.
2nd Alternate:  University of Central Oklahoma, Ataxia by Miranda Ingram (undergraduate student)
A powerful ensemble depicts the collapse of their world with feral intensity.

1st Alternate:  University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, Untitled #7 by Robert Daniel Holmes Maynard (graduate student)
An exceptional solo for a fluid and powerful dancer that integrated imagery from classic visual art, sculpture, the iconography of high fashion, and whacking and voguing. This work carefully balanced the contemporary, couture, classic art and club life cultures into a stunning dance piece. Simple yet striking lighting, beautiful costuming, and superb dancing illuminated the ideas of the work with elegance and authority. 

2nd Alternate:   The Ohio State University, One Hour by Serena Chang (undergraduate Student)
The sensitive dancing of this ensemble, smooth and intricate partnering, an ebb and flow of the dancers’ energy both through performance intention and choreographic layering, made this work stand out. Strong performances by the cast, as well as interesting and at times surprising choreographic choices, brought this work together well.


1st Alternate: East Carolina University, The House by Kanon Sapp (undergraduate student)
Set against an evocative poem by Warsan Shire, The House exposes stirring images of seven female dancers made transparent by the glaring illumination of their bodies’ hidden stories.
University of Maryland, College Park, Poem of Change by Mustapha Braimah
Powered by Mutabaruka’s poetry about oppression, this dance is a call to action demanding change in unjust social systems. The poetry of the two black bodies and the cadence of the voice combine to forcefully question our complacency.


1st Alternate:  UMASS Amherst, Interludium by Thomas Vacanti (faculty)
This duet reveals an interplay of arms that separate and recombine like strands of spiraling DNA. The delicate, tensile, expressivity of the performers, encourages the viewer to lean in and pay attention.

2nd Alternate:   University of Vermont, Fine Line by Mollie Morgan (undergraduate Student)
The soloist performs with an expressive vulnerability and economy of movement that embraces the altar of life. The Allan Watts text is a buoyant rhythm supporting her journey.

1st Alternate: Beloit College, Faux Fur by Gina T'ai (faculty)
A work with a soul and a sense of importance, Faux Fur is devastatingly truthful, conceptually grounded and smartly crafted. The dancers internalize the objectification of the female body, delivering a biting commentary on the compulsory sexualization of women.
2nd Alternate: University of Wisconsin - Madison, Influx by Tiffany Merritt-Brown (undergraduate student)
The skillful fulfillment of a clear vision, Influx is gifted in stage design and meticulously performed.

Representing the NORTHEAST CONFERENCE:  

1st Alternate:  The College at Brockport, Journal by Jiali Wang (graduate student)
Lost in memory. This duet allows the past and future to fuse through subtle physical connections, for a brief moment in time.

2nd Alternate:   Montclair State University, M-a-rgin by Stephen Galberth (undergraduate Student)
A strange and compelling landscape of semaphoric gesture and solitary action that is mesmerizingly performed by a trio of beings.

Representing the NORTHWEST CONFERENCE:  

1st Alternate:  Weber State University, Washer Ashore: Alan Kurdi by Rodolfo Rafael (undergraduate student)
An emotionally wrenching, well-crafted, movement portrait of a community in distress, performed by an invested cast.

2nd Alternate:  University of Oregon, Anatomy of a Tropical Home by Brad Garner (faculty)
A visually compelling, complex, layered, boldly performed dance utilizing animation and shadows to deliver multiple perspectives on creating structure.

Representing the SOUTH CONFERENCE:  

1st Alternate:  University of the Arts, Phase 3 by Mikhail Callisre, Chanel Howard, and Antonio Wright (undergraduate students)
Featuring articulate dancing and dynamic stage personas, Phase 3 interrogates societal expectations of achievement and competition.  Adjudicators praised the commitment and exceptional skill of the performers, the potency of the composition, and the treatment of the subject matter.

2nd Alternate:   Northwestern State University, on the rocks by Joshua William DeAlba (undergraduate Student)
A well-crafted and humorous treatment of Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo à la Turk”, on the rocks portrays the follies of an energetic group of party goers.  The choreographer showed great facility in working with Brubeck’s challenging score and the performers deftly executed the piece’s shifts between high-velocity dancing and physical comedy.


1st Alternate: University of New Mexico, Alegrias by Nevarez Encinias (graduate student)
Sensual and powerful, this male solo is an exciting display of the dancer’s artistic and cultural journey through flamenco dance. The work provides a platform for the performer to display his exceptional rhythmic abilities and understanding of the nuances associated with this cultural form.
2nd Alternate: New Mexico State University, The Manipulator by Colette Miller and Jermey Edmondson (graduate students)
This duet provided a voyeuristic look into the intimacies and intricacies between two individuals. The choreography explores the complexities of the male/female dynamic and the ever shifting roles inherent in relationships.

Representing the SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE:  

1st Alternate:  Emory University, Moat by George Staib (faculty)
This work occurs in a space defined by motivated spontaneity, charged by a communally explored sense of place and animated by an element of texture and sensation that is engaged with unending inventiveness.

2nd Alternate:  University of South Florida, Fingerprints by Paula Nunez (faculty)
This performance includes the audience in its surreal, character-driven and articulately stylized journey.  It is self-aware, self-referential and self-interrupting and offers an experience that is both fascinating and  elusive.

Representing the WEST CONFERENCE: 

1st Alternate: Scottsdale Community College, Confessions by Angela Rosenkrans (faculty)
Striking kinetic architecture and dynamics, liquid shape shifting exquisitely performed.
2nd Alternate: Sacramento State University, Into the Dust by Linda "Starrie" Le (undergraduate student)
A visceral remembering and revitalizing of American history. Committed multi-ethnic cast reminds us of the power of community in facing displacement due to environmental degradation.


Contact Information

  • Diane DeFries or Samantha Greymont
    Phone: (240) 428-1736
    Email: NationalFestival@acda.dance

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Header Photo Credits:  Quiver choreographed by David Justin, University of Texas, Austin; Photo by: Lawrence Peart, 2014 National College Dance Festival

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