The American Dance Festival recently unveiled the schedule for its eighty-fifth anniversary, which features fifty-three performances across seven Durham venues from June 14 through July 21.

This year, women choreographers take center stage in two featured programs: Wondrous Women, with solo performances by Michelle Dorrance and Rhapsody James, and Footprints, a concert featuring work by Dafi Altabeb, Jillian Pena, and Abby Zbikowski.

Another highlight of the festival: ADF and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will


Places Please!, a show that takes the audience behind the scenes to experience the frenetic and turbulent moments before a performance. It’s put on by two New Yorkers: Nicole Wolcott, whose performances have been lauded by TheNew York Times, and Larry Keigwin, an alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera. The performance takes place on June 22 at the brand new Von der Heyden Studio Theater, which opened earlier this year.

Other performances feature choreographers who call North Carolina their home. They include Murielle Elizion, whose ADF debut on July 8–9 will explore gender-based violence, strength, and perseverance through personal exploration and narrative at Durham Fruit and Produce. Stick around afterward to hear a post-show discussion featuring Elizion and Val Hanson from the Dispute Settlement Center in Carrboro.

We’re also anticipating a world premiere by the renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, which holds some of the world’s largest archival material of classic African-American dance works, on June 16 at Reynolds Industries Theater.

Tickets for the upcoming performances go on sale on May 1.