Renay Aumiller Dances

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This week, we interviewed choreographer Renay Aumiller as part of our ongoing series of blog posts profiling companies and choreographers who will be performing at this year’s BCDF. Renay Aumiller is the Founder and Artistic Director of RAD, or Renay Aumiller Dances. Taken from her website (renayaumillerdances.com):

Renay Aumiller Dances (RAD) is a project-based contemporary dance company located in Durham, North Carolina. We work to create innovative and thoughtful choreography for the concert stage and alternative venues.

PC Jen Guy Metcalf

Q: Where is your company located?
A: Durham, NC

Q: When was your company founded?
A: 2012

Q: Did you found the company? If so, why?
A: Yes, I founded this company because I was ready to commit to a project-based dance company that created dances that are quirky and funny, and/or poignant and responsive to cultural environments. I moved to Durham in 2011 from Illinois and fell in love with its community. I wanted an avenue to create works that didn’t have to fit a mold – works that had time to be explored – and creating RAD was the logical next step. After our premiere performance in 2013, we quickly gained momentum and are continuing to share many works with the North Carolina community and beyond.

Q: What is the name of the piece you are presenting at BCDF this year?
A: The Biggest Fan

Q: When and where did your piece premiere?
A: March, 2016 at Elon University’s McCrary Theater

Q: What themes and motifs does your piece touch upon?
A: Comedy, performance theories, and fans.

Q: What inspired the creation of this piece?
A: This dance was inspired by a duet I co-created with Will Schneider in 2008 called “Ham and Balls.” In that duet, we wanted to create a dance that exposed the creative process of dance making in a humorous, fun way. I brought those elements into “The Biggest Fan” while poking a little fun at the act of performing, trying to win the largest fanbase, and the hilarity associated with ego in the “biz”.

Q: Anything else you’d like to include?
A: This dance was created in collaboration with the dancers, Hallee Bernstein and Lucas Melfi. It also was made possible through the support of Elon University, who donated the rehearsal space, props, initial lighting design, and original venue.

Q: Lastly, Why did you apply to BCDF?
A: A friend of mine shared the call for applications from BCDF and without hesitation, I applied. I love Boston, and am thrilled to have a chance to share our work with the community. I am also a large supporter of celebrating local contemporary dance scenes, and this seems like a perfect opportunity to meet other dancers and choreographers across the country. One of our dancers, Lucas, grew up there, so it is a sort of homecoming for him as well.

 
You can see RAD’s “The Biggest Fan” at the 7:30 BCDF performance on August 13, 2016! Buy your tickets here.

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BCDF 2016 Announcement

After a brief, one-year hiatus, the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival will return on August 13, 2016 for a full evening of dance.

2013 Kate Cook by Michael Seamen

With companies like RAD: Renay Aumiller Dances and choreographers like Ilana Goldman coming in from all across the nation, the day is sure to be an unforgettable, do-not-miss event.

Performances will be at 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM at the Boston University Dance Theater on August 13, 2016.

You can buy your tickets here.

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Andy Noble & NobleMotion

 One of Houston’s “A-list” dance companies.

                          – Dance Magazine by Nancy Wozny

BCDF is truly honored that Andy Noble, co-artistic director of this “A-list” dance company, will be presenting not just one piece at the 7:30pm National Showcase, but the audiences will be graced upon TWO of his works. 

Based in Texas, NobleMotion was founded in 2009. The artistic directors of NobleMotion Dance are a husband and wife team & collaborate on all facets of the company. While NBD is relatively young, artistic directors had been collaborating & producing dance for over 15 years.

The company’s driving missions is collaboration, specifically with light and technology artists. The company is actually one of the few contemporary companies that has two light/tech artists built into the organization.

 

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Lynn Lane Photography

 

Why did Noble chose Boston? Well, he explains,

 “Expand NobleMotion’s audience to a new region and share the stage with other dynamic companies from across the country. Boston is a great city and we are excited to introduce our work to the community. We actually know several of the other participants in this years festival, so it will be a bit of a reunion for us as well.”

So, what will the choreographer be presenting at BCDF?

First, his piece choreographed for his company NobleMotion, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity, well maybe not a life time, but something that hasn’t been witnessed in ten years!

As Co-Artistic Director, Andy Noble generally does not perform with the company & has not danced professionally in 10 years. He has always wanted to perform with lead dancer Jesus Acosta. He explains how excited he is for this opportunity, however a bit nervous. Well, the nerves are not needed since here at BCDF we are honored that the festival will be the first place he chose to dance after his performance hiatus.

 

Second, Noble will be traveling early for BCDF as he will be setting a piece on Urbanity Dance that will also perform in the National Showcase. Urbanity is feels privileged and honored that Noble has taken out the time to set work on their company.

 

Make sure to check out NobleMotion on Facebook & Twitter! 
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Lynn Lane Photography

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Cayley Christoforou & Extensions Dance Company

Our youngest choreographer Cayley Christoforou shows artistic maturity beyond her years in her piece “Noire”, which will be performed at the 12 pm show.

This young choreographer from the Boston-area is senior at Salve Regina University. While studying English Communications & Dance, she is an integral part of Salve Regina’s dance community not only does she hold the Public Relations chair for the largest club on campus, SRU Dance, but has also a member & choreographer of Extensions Dance Company since her freshman year.

Run by Artistic Director Lindsay Guarino, Extensions is a highly elective company at the university that allows dancers to work with renowned choreographers. However, this is not her first time on the BCDF stage. In previous years she was selected to perform with the Urbanity Summer Intensive and will again this year.

In her choreographic repertoire in the contemporary style, “Noire” is her most notable. It has seen the stages of the Boston University from the Adjudicated Concert ACDFA 2014 to the Salve Regina Arts Scholarship Gala.

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So, what should you expect from “Noire” at BCDF? Well, Christoforou takes on a twist on the modern day female persona. Christoforou explains,

“Inspired by the “bad ass” female persona, I try to take on feminism across the globe. My piece addresses the powerful, independent, and well-put together female persona portrayed in modern dance society alongside the personal breakdown a female may experience. A female encounters trials and tribulations during her life, which I display through each female’s individuals smudging of their black lipstick.  Hence, the name of my piece “Noire”, which means black in French. The end displays that a female will eventually rise above to “kiss off” the initial reason for her breakdown.”

This opportunity creates an experience that means everything to her. BCDF for Christoforou, “Gives young people from around the area not only an understanding of this influential art form, but allowing Boston to step up as a prominent dance city just like New York and LA.” BCDF allows for her to grow as choreographer on an international stage. This festival is a stepping-stone to see what the background of a festival entails all on her own. 

We can’t wait to see where Cayley will go! Make sure to check out her page HERE! 

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 By: Mckenzie Price

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Heather Budinscak & FreeFall Contemporary Dance Company

BCDF welcomes FreeFall Contemporary Dance Company from Bedford, NH, alongside their founder Heather Budinscak.

 

Founded in 2013, this fresh face companies mission is to enrich and engage the lives of others through modern dance; to energize the audience using musically driven, athletic movement that loves the floor, flies through the air and eats up all the space in between. FreeFall is made up of a handful of very talented yet completely diverse individuals. Each has a unique background that shapes the dancer they have become.

Loving the vivacity & energy in Boston, Budinscak knew she had to take her company to this city. She explains,

“It has a vibrant lifeblood that nurtures a growing community of dancers, especially, at this time, contemporary dancers. This will be FreeFall CDC’s debut performance in Boston and I am so excited to share our work there, alongside many talented fellow artists.”

You do not want to miss the company performing “Reckless Secrets” at the 12 pm Boston Showcase at BCDF. So, what exactly is this piece about?

Well, it stems from an old saying that everyone seems to know, “See not evil, Hear no eve, Say no evil,” & the iconic, humorous image of the 3 monies in their corresponding poses.  There the similarities end as the piece delves into the darker side of secrets, gossip and the inevitable consequences of one’s actions.  And get this, during the rehearsal process, Budinscak was constantly asking the dancers to keep their eyes covered. We can only imagine the collisions that happened there.

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Heather continues to explain why this festival is a wonderful oppoutunity, 

       “As I continue to grow this new company I hope to share FreeFall’s energy and message with as many people and communities as possible. BCDF is a wonderful opportunity to begin this endeavor, and meet a multitude of talented of artists. A city full of talented minds and bodies is the perfect place to stumble and explore!”

 

Make sure to “like” FreeFall Contemporary Dance Company on Facebook!

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Chantal Doucett

If you ever have the pleasure of viewing Chantal Doucett’s work, it will leave a lasting impression. Trust me.

This young choreographers movement is what one would call: mature. It is clear age does not matter. Containing very quirky and sharp ticks, her choreography is very visual, pattern based with many rhythm changes. And get this: she will be presenting not just one, but TWO pieces in the Boston Showcase at 12pm.
One piece will be performed by the Urbanity Dance Summer intensive, while her other piece to the classic song, “Ave Maria,” will be represented by Urbanity Dance, whom she is a choreographer & dancer for. She explains how her piece with Urbanity is pushing & moving her into to push outside her comfort zone in the world of choreography,

 

“I tend to work with Dj beats, so the work I’m presenting for the festival is my usual choreography with a musical twist. I also strayed away from creating a comical work which is normally an unintentional outcome.  I worked hard to have zero comical moments!”

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Michael Seamans Photography, BCDF 2013



 
Doucett has had the opportunity to present work in the first inaugural and second Boston Contemporary Dance Festival.  This choreographer refers to the festival a “community of creators under one roof.” She explains what she has discovered in years past & what should hopes for this year’s festival,

 

“After participating in this festival for the past 2 years I have discovered so many new companies to connect with.  Every year I anticipate discovering new talent that inspires me. This year I hope to gain even more connections among my fellow participants. “

 

Besides BCDF, her work has also been shown at Boston GreenFest, Dance for Life, Urbanity’s NEXT, & Outside the Box Festival at the Boston Commons. You do not want to miss out on a chance to see her work.

 

Buy your tickets HERE to see Chantel Doucetts work!

 

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival

Michael Seamans Photography BCDF 2013

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Brian Washburn

BCDF welcomes Urbanity dancer, Brian Washburn, as a choreographer to the Boston Showcase.

Born in Providence RI, Brian Washburn is somewhat new to the city of Boston. Inspired by the moves of Michael Jackson & introduced to classical dance by the Urban Nutcracker at a young age, this choreographer & dancer knew he wanted to pursue dance. 

Moving to Charlotte, NC, he enrolled in Northwest School of Arts as a dance major all for the remainder of his high school years. From there,  he returned to New England so he could be a teaching apprentice at Tony Williams Dance Center, eventually taking on roles, such as, Rat King, Russian male lead, Soldier Doll, and even Mini Meyer, a role usually performed by Tony award winning dancer, Yo-el Cassell.

Now, a current dancer with Urbanity Dance, Washburn explains why Urbanity is where he belongs,

“It isn’t just somewhere I dance. It has been a safe place. Somewhere where I could grow and find myself through movement, innovative and incredible in many ways.”

Brian had the opportunity to perform in the festival last year, however BCDF is excited to present Washburn in another light: a choreographer.  He explains,

“I’m hoping to come away from this experience with a new light so to speak. I have choreographed but never had it showcased on such a large scale. I hope to get feed back from everyone that I can and learn and grow more and more as a dancer and choreographer.”

So, the question is: what will this choreographer be bringing to this large scale festival? Well, get ready because this piece utilizes elements most do not typically see in contemporary dance: martial arts & park out.

Make sure to grab your tickets for BCDF now, so you can see Brian Washburn present his piece in the 12pm Boston Showcase!

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Katie Paquin

Katie Paquin is a young choreographer hoping to burst her way onto the dance scene, & what better way then presenting her work at BCDF?

In 2013, Paquin graduated college with a B.A. in dance & has been choreographing work ever since. She has the passion & determination, to one day build her own company, but until then she has a small group of dancers who will come together for her to set choreography on. Oh, the power dance has.
A  Rhode Island native, Boston is the closest big city to the choreographer. Question is, what does Paquin hope to gain from BCDF? She explains,

“As a relatively young freelance choreographer, I am hoping to gain lost of knowledge and exposure from this experience. I am trilled to have been chosen to perform my work and share the stage with so many talented companies. I hope to learn and grow as a choreographer.”

So, what work is Katie Paquin presenting at the 3pm National Showcase on August 16th? Well, this is a piece she holds close to her heart, as it will be performed in her honor her grandmother at the festival, who passed away after this piece was choreographed. She drew inspiration from her grandmother being such an incredibly strong women who overcame every obstacle that she was faced with in life.
Make sure to buy your tickets fast because you do not want to miss out on an opportunity to view this piece. 
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Laurie Sefton & Clairobscur Dance Company

Clairobscur Dance Company is all the way from one of the most iconic dance cities, Los Angeles. We are honored that BCDF with be the first time this company will get a glimpse of what  performing on the East Coast is like.

 

Founded by Artistic Director and resident choreographer, Laurie Sefton, she is committed to creating works that are emotional, unique and technical.Her work is grounded in versatile athletic prowess, yet topical and timely.

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“More Please,” Denise Leitner Photography

So, what will the company be presenting at our 7:30 pm National Showcase? Well, Sefton’s piece “More, Please” brings to life the constant inundation that women often experience in their struggle to have it all- relationships, work, art, sex, a full and fulfilling life. The choreographer explains,

“More Please” delves into our desire to do and be everything at once, to ourselves, and to others. Life is a constant juggle full of balance and shifting relationships, values and priorities- constant questioning and pushing. Time moves so quickly and as a woman in today’s society expectations are high. We must fulfill many roles and strive to have everything at once, to achieve our personal and professional goals and often be relied upon to be the emotional rock for many others. What about our desires, needs, disappointments?

So, the question is why “Clairobscur?” Well, its name is the French translation of chiaroscuro, a 17th century painterly term which means an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly an object. How intriguing is that? 

 

Make sure to follow Clairobscur on Facebook, Twitter, and their blog! 

 

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“More Please,” Denise Leitner

 

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Emilio Colalillo & emiMOTION

BCDF welcomes back choreographer Emilio Colalillo & his company emiMOTION back to the 7:30 pm National Showcase!

Emilio Colalillo is the founder & Artistic Director of emiMOTION. A company that focuses on putting works that are avant grade. They like to think and create differently with a high level of physical technique.

A Toronto based choreographer and dancer, his work has been presented around the US and has also toured the world in places like India! As a performer, he travelled to Dubai dancing in ‘The Jungle Book” and also travelled with Corpus Dance Projects to Japan, Denmark and SwedenHis resume could go on & on.

He actively has ideas and allows for his feelings, thoughts, and emotions to come about in his dances and his teaching methods. He wants to be aware of various cultural movement and educate himself in all dance genres to produce avant-garde dance works.

Question is, why come back to Boston? Well, Colalillo explains,

“Boston is a great city with amazing artists. Performing last year at BCDF was such a wonderful and welcoming experience. My company had a fantastic time and the talent from all over was incredible.  Boston is a phenomenal city to network and gain inspiration from artists and the city. “

You do not want to miss out because this will not only be a brand new piece for emiMotion, but also one of the fasted & sharpest pieces he has ever created.  

Make sure to buy your tickets here, so you can see emiMOTION!

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