A Postcard from Gloria McLean, President of American Dance Guild
The American Dance Guild 2014 Honors Joan Myers Brown, Douglas Dunn, and Bill Evans
The American Dance Guild is thrilled to be back with their yearly Performance Festival from Thursday, December 4 through Sunday, December 7 at New York City’s Ailey Citigroup Theater. Thirty-three choreographers will be presenting a broad scope of work, and we're excited to be honoring dance greats Joan Myers Brown (celebrating the 45th year of the founding of her company Philadanco!), Douglas Dunn, founder of Douglas Dunn & Dancers and Bill Evans, founder of Bill Evans Dance Company. We’re so grateful they will be presenting works with their companies!
Years ago, ADG was famous for its annual conferences, each year on a different theme or subject, such as “Women in Dance,” “Dance & Social Issues,” “Globalization” and “Dance & Technology.” These conferences would include lectures, discussions, classes and performances by some larger companies. Since I’ve been with the Guild, beginning in 2007, it seems that performance opportunities were the most important thing - choreographers want to show their work! Today, the conferences have morphed into the ADG’s Annual Performance Festival.
This year’s Festival has been growing in excitement. Every year choreographers apply to participate in the ADG Festival and a group of professionals adjudicate their work. Then we brainstorm and select potential honorees - those leaders in dance who we feel should be recognized. So, the energy and character of each year’s festival is quite unique.
This year we are stretching to honor not two, but three outstanding leaders in dance. Joan Myers Brown, the founder of Philadanco!, is a real powerhouse - Joan was honored last year by President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Honor in the Arts. Many of her dancers have joined Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, like Hope Boykin who will perform a solo on Thursday. On Friday night, her company will perform a work by Ronald K. Brown, which was made for them entitled Gatekeepers.
Bill Evans, a much loved educator, kinesiologist and director of his company for 40 years, will dance a solo on opening night, and his company will present Colony on Sunday. Douglas Dunn was at the center of the New York dance scene since the 70s, when he was a young radical with Grand Union and the Merce Cunningham Company. He went on to establish his own company and become famous internationally. Douglas Dunn & Dancers will perform Near Miss on Thursday and Saturday. There are also many wonderful mid-career artists performing this year...
I am very grateful to my team, the Festival Committee, who are all volunteering their time to make ADG Festival ’14 possible - Mary, Sue, Lance, Kaoru and Catherine - thank you! It could not happen without these dedicated people!