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

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