Wake Forest Dance Festival returns to Joyner Park Oct. 5

Monday, September 23, 2019 - 9:00am

The Wake Forest Dance Festival (WFDF), the Triangle’s only free outdoor dance festival featuring international and national performers, will return to E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, on Saturday, Oct. 5.

The most anticipated performances during the day-long festival will be comprised of works by visionaries in the field of dance including Paul Taylor Dance Company alumni and dancers of Ailey II, the second company of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City.

Founding Artistic Director of Carolina Ballet Robert Weiss is being honored during the festival for his significant contributions to the art of dance in the state of North Carolina and beyond. His work Meditation from Thaïs will be performed by Carolina Ballet principal dancers Marcelo Martinez and Lara O’Brien.

“The Wake Forest Dance Festival brings some of the most sought-after dancers to the Triangle, and we encourage families, performing arts enthusiasts and the public to come out to Joyner Park and take advantage of an inspiring day of dance,” said WFDF Founder and Artistic Director Mariya “Masha” Dashkina Maddux, a Wake Forest resident and former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City.

Presented by ARTS Wake Forest and the Wege Foundation, in partnership with the Town of Wake Forest and Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources, WFDF is supported by United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

The 2019 festival begins with an educational technical rehearsal in the morning and concludes with a festival performance from 5-6:30 p.m. During the day, a walking tour throughout Joyner Park will feature dance performances showcasing works by emerging choreographers.

Performances during the festival include:

  • Laura Halzack and Michael Trusnovec, alumni of the internationally acclaimed Paul Taylor Dance Company, will perform a duet from Roses, created in 1985 by one of the most celebrated choreographers of American Modern Dance, Paul Taylor.

  • Grace Bergonzi and Kyle H. Martin will perform Ebb and Flow—a duet that calls to mind the rush and calm of the ocean tide created by Ailey II Artistic Director Troy Powell.

  • Helen Simoneau Danse will perform an excerpt from DARLING, the newest work created by the acclaimed choreographer and founder of the company Helen Simoneau.

  • African American Dance Ensemble will close the Festival Performance with a work choreographed by Ivy Burch performed to live African drumming.

The festival’s program schedule for the day will be:

  • 9:30 a.m.–Noon, Technical Rehearsal
    Attendees who want a behind the scenes look can attend the Technical Rehearsal, which is a run-through of the Festival Performance that will take place later in the day. Some of the performers and the stage manager will be available to answer questions and provide a deeper understanding of the dances.

  • 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Tour in Motion
    A guided walking tour beginning at the top of every hour that gives attendees the opportunity to experience different dance genres in intimate outdoor settings at four locations throughout Joyner Park. This section of the festival highlights local and regional emerging choreographers and dance performers.

  • 5-6:30 p.m., Festival Performance
    The culminating Festival Performance will feature professional dance artists and local and regional advanced dance students.

In addition to dance, the event will also feature local organizations and artists who will have booths set up in Joyner Park near the main stage. The American Dance Festival, Dancing Angels Foundation, Destiny Dance Institute, Supremia Dentistry, Town of Wake Forest and ARTS Wake Forest will have informational booths and the Wake Forest Guild of Artists will be displaying and selling dance-inspired art from paintings to sculptures and jewelry. All methods of payment will be accepted, and a percentage of the art proceeds will support the festival.

The inaugural WFDF paid tribute to long-time Wake Forest dance instructor Elizabeth “Betty” H. Holding and her dance legacy as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette. ARTS Wake Forest, WFDF and Holding’s family—some who still reside in Wake Forest—will award several $500 scholarships to some of the area’s most advanced dance students who will be featured at this year’s event.

Visionary sponsors of the event are ARTS Wake Forest, Wege Foundation, The Newman Family Foundation, Town of Wake Forest, Destiny Dance Institute and Supremia Dentistry. Angel level sponsor is Carol Maddux. Dreamer level sponsors include Arrow Tree Boutique, Dancing Angels Foundation, Hoffmaster CPA, PLLC, Holly Eishenhour, McPherson Eye Care, PhysioFit of NC and Relevé Dancewear. Scholarship sponsors are The Betty Holding Dancers Fund, Alto Jonio Dance, American Dance Festival, Dancing Angels Foundation and Fini Dance New York. The festival’s in-kind sponsors are Communicopia, Hampton Inn, Mohan Rao Photography, PTM Photo & Video, and Strategic Insights Brand Marketing.

View the complete list of performances, choreographers, dancers, sponsors and volunteers on the WFDF website www.WakeForestDanceFestival.org and www.facebook.com/WakeForestDance.

About Wake Forest Dance Festival 

The Wake Forest Dance Festival is the Triangle’s only free outdoor dance festival featuring international, national and regional professional dancers, and local and regional rising advanced dance students. The festival showcases a variety of dance genres, including classical ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz and world dance. Since 2017, the family-friendly event has brought a day of dance to the Triangle in an outdoor setting at E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest. For more information, visit www.WakeForestDanceFestival.org and www.facebook.com/WakeForestDance.

E. Carroll Joyner Park