BCDF welcomes Bryna Pascoe to her new home as one of our headliners for the National Showcase!

Pascoe, from Chicago, has a BFA from The Juilliard School and was a Hubbard Street main company member from 2013-2014.  She was also a company member of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal (2009-2013) and Compagnia Aterballetto (2006-2009).  She would always improvise to warm up for her shows and started to discover her own style and vocabulary of movement.  

Choreographing allowed her to dive deeper into choices she would make on the fly.  She describes her aesthetic as animal inspirations over contemporary ballet technique.  She explains that each choreographer she worked with has influenced her style in some way.  She loves recognizing those moments- “little unintentional shoutouts”- in her own work.

Pascoe will be presenting her piece, “Petit,” in this year’s National Showcase.  The inspiration behind the piece is the movements at dusk of a creature of her imagination.  It explores the subtle strength of the female form.  Pascoe describes the process of how this piece was created,


“This piece was created for a young dancer at Visceral Dance Chicago. I wanted to give her a chance to explore her choices of focus and dynamics, allowing for each time it is performed to be slightly different. The breaks in the melody allow the dancer to reset and take a new approach to each small phrase.”


Don’t miss Bryna Pascoe’s piece, “Petit” in this year’s National Showcase August 12th at 7:30 PM!


BCDF welcomes Elliot Emadian to Boston for the first time!

Emadian has always had an interest in choreographing, even from a young age.  He explains the memory of having a Bob Fosse VHS hour long tape that he would constantly watch growing up.  From that young age he started to make “terrible” dances but was always encouraged to push, try new things, and keep going.  Now, he is inspired most by visual things, such as text, color, and photographs.  He is also a mathematics major, so he is invested in ratios, balance, and patterns in movement and overall design.

Emadian will be presenting his piece, “Mouth to banana or banana to mouth… The gay one?” in this year’s National Showcase.  His piece was inspired by his experience as a gay man.  It touches upon the internal struggle of wanting to feel part of a community of queer people, while still defying stereotypes and misconceptions. Emadian loves to use humor and satire in his work, and this piece is a perfect example of that.  He explains:


The idea for the piece came out of the middle school joke I used to hear that which way you ate your banana at lunch determined if you were gay or not. From there, I googled “Am I gay?” and was greeted with several online quizzes claiming to be able to determine the answer accurately.”


What’s a fun fact about Emadian?

He worked as a research scholar in aerial dance and performed in an aerial dance concert swinging 40 feet above a crowd!


Don’t miss Elliot Emadian’s piece, “Mouth to banana or banana to mouth… The gay one?” in this year’s National Showcase August 12th at 7:30 PM!


pc: Kevin Remington

Valerie Alpert, the artistic director of VADCO in Chicago, has always wanted to come to Boston, and she now has the opportunity to join us here to present her work August 12th in the National Showcase!

Alpert has had a very eclectic training background.  Her early dance training began at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.  From there, she went on to earn her BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois and her MFA in Dance from the Ohio State University.  As a company member with Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth and Zenon/Jazz Dance Company, she worked with internationally known choreographers and performed assorted repertory across the United States.

Alpert explains that she was always making up movement as a child, and choreographing became her most comfortable way to express herself.  She describes her movement aesthetic as musical, organic, and physically passionate.  Her biggest inspiration comes from the human condition and the connections that occur when bodies interact.

Alpert will be presenting her piece, “Until Home” in this year’s National Showcase.  This work took 8 months to create and is the longest time period she has spent creating a new work.  She explains the inspiration behind her piece:


“The initial inspiration for “Until Home” came from my fascination with “walking trees” (Socratea exorrhiza), trees with root systems that allow them to move toward sunlight based on the seasons. These trees reminded me of the displacement of people that has occurred throughout our history. I am intrigued with the human condition to adapt and carry on until one finds a safe place to call home. It is the notion of determination and traveling long distances in order to survive that sets the foundation of this work.”


Alpert gives the advice that, “if you have a strong desire to do something, even if it is against all odds, do it anyway.”  She is passionate about sharing her work and believes it is crucial that the dance world finds ways to work together through dance.  Don’t miss her piece “Until Home” in the National Showcase on August 12th at 7:30 PM!

Check out VADCO’s website HERE!


pc: Blink Photo Tulsa


This will be Michelle Cantua’s festival debut, and you do not want to miss it!

Cantua, from Houston, Texas, has a BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and is currently pursuing a MFA in Dance.  In the summers of 2013 and 2014, she trained at the American Dance Festival.  This summer, she attended the Dance Italia Contemporary Workshop in Lucca, Italy.  As a graduate student, she finds that her biggest inspiration comes from her peers, as everyone brings something new and different to the table.

Cantua will be presenting her piece, “To What End” at this year’s festival.  Her piece explores the themes of time, clocks, and circularity.  She explains the inspiration behind her piece:


“The inspiration behind “To What End” is our human experience of time.  I did a lot of research on different cultural perceptions of time and thus led me to create this work based off of my research.”


Don’t miss “To What End” in this year’s National Showcase on August 12th at 7:30 PM.


Michelle Cantua - To What End - Barnstorm - 2017 - Photographer Lynn Lane - WEB-59

  pc: Lynn Lane

Renay Aumiller Dances

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.

ChrisWaltPhotography_  22261(1)

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.

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.


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! 
Lynn Lane Photography

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.


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! 


 By: Mckenzie Price

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.


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!


Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑