ADF’s Creative Healing Parade

Trinity Ridge Neighborhood

Saturday, October 3, 5 p.m.

$5 suggested donation

It’s not your everyday parade: the performers will remain in place while the audience, in their cars, stays in motion. But the unorthodox procession will safely bring live dance back to the public when American Dance Festival presents its first-ever Creative Healing Parade, this Saturday afternoon in Durham’s Trinity Ridge neighborhood.

“People asked us to think of ways to help the community heal and support artists who are dying to be expressive,” executive director Jodee Nimerichter says. She persuaded 25 of her neighbors on Rolling Hill Road and Pathwood Lane to let regional choreographers stage works in their driveways and lawns, as viewers drive slowly by during the hour-long event.

Over 70 local dancers, musicians, and visual artists from companies including The Bipeds, Black Box Dance Theatre, Gaspard&Dancers, and KT Collective will perform during four fifteen-minute circuits, beginning at 5 p.m.

Nimerichter compares the experience to “a moving sculpture garden” more than a conventional dance concert. Though onlookers won’t see entire works as they drive through, those who haven’t seen enough during one circuit can circle around and go through again.

“I love that the audience is in motion,” says Culture Mill choreographer Tommy Noonan. “It emphasizes choreography as an ongoing process, liberates it from the traditional theatrical frame, and liberates the audience in their relationship to it—they can visit, linger, or move on.”

The offbeat format appeals to longtime dancemaker Renay Aumiller. “We’ve had to rethink everything about how to make performance-based art” during the pandemic, she notes. “Dancers are proving it these days: We really work well with limitations.”

Healing “goes back to the beginnings of why we dance,” choreographer ShaLeigh Comerford says. “Connection and community is something we’re absolutely all craving. Finding a way for us to safely co-exist in performance and make an artistic offering will feed us as much as it feeds those driving by.”

Comment on this story at

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.