Sheena Annalise & Arch Contemporary Ballet

“The audience speaks volumes to the beauty of the piece… there were audible gasps…”


Are you ready to gasp over Arch Contemporary Ballet at the 3pm National Showcase? Well, get this because Arch Contemporary Ballet’s Artistic Director & Founder, Sheena Annalise, choreographs everything in SILENCE. A new work is completely finished and set before bringing in a composer,who then creates an original score for the new ballet work. This choreographic process brings a new experience for audiences to really connect to the movement.

Annalise explains,

“Over and over, ACB is noted for creating linear heaven with all female partnering for audiences and I am so glad audiences see and feel this when watching our performances. The line of the body is very important in the creation of my work, and often inspires many of the movement phrases in my pieces. I utilize the strengths in my beautiful dancers to create lifts, partner sequences, and stunning lines and resonates to audiences around the country.”



Their piece, “World’s Joy,” will be making an excerpt premiere at BCDF14. And, get this: it was a collaboration with NYC’s drumming sensation The Last Drummers. How cool is that? Check out Sheena Annalise interview below:




 Why perform in Boston? 
Boston is a hub for dance, community, and the performing arts as a whole. Being so close to our home, NYC, it is a great place to expand relationships with audience members near but not too far! Arch Contemporary Ballet performs nationwide throughout the year and are always excited to come back to Boston!

What are you hoping to gain from this experience?
As a returning company to BCDF, we hope to continue building relationships with audience members and companies who have followed our work since last year’s BCDF performance! We hope to engage new audiences, create new relationships with companies world wide, and give a piece of our hearts to Boston’s rising contemporary dance scene.

Tell us a fun fact about your piece. 
“World’s Joy” will be making an excerpt premiere at BCDF14 and was a collaboration with NYC’s drumming sensation The Last Drummers. After much success, The Last Drummers now play for artists around the country. ACB is excited to make their debut in the realm of ballet, and audiences will surely be delighted.

Make sure to check out Arch Contemporary Ballet on Facebook & Instagram at @ArchBallet!


Guillame Gaudet Dancers Kaitlyn Salisbury Sheena Annalise


Arielle Petruzzella & Zella Dance

Jenifer Thompson of the NY Dance Examiner once said, “a very different, beautifully bizarre world was created” about the work of Arielle Petruzzella. Well, on August 16th you will be able to witness this “bizarre world” in front of your very own eyes.


To begin, Arielle Petruzzella, from Hoboken, NJ,  graduated with honors with her BFA in Dance, and Bachelors in Communications from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, in May of 2013 where she received the Margery J. Turner Award for sustained choreographic excellence.

This choreographer has been choreographing and presenting her own work at numerous festivals and theaters since 2006, the Symphony Space Theater in New York, NY as part of the Young Choreographers Festival , at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, as part of NYC10 at Dixon Place in New York, and several others!

Petruzzella’s will be presenting her work titled “Mechanical Humanity” at the 7:30 PM National Showcase. This piece came from examining the work of Sherry Turkle, professor of technology and society at MIT and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. However, there is a specific section from “Alone Together” that really stuck out to the choreographer for her work:

“Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring”

Check out her interview below as she talks about her company & what a positive experience she thinks BCDf is: 


What are you hoping to gain from this experience?

I believe that it is hugely beneficial to get out of ones regular environment and see what other people are producing around the country. I think its great that BCDF is brining together choreographers from all over the country together in such a wonderful city to participate together and to share their art and their unique perspectives.

Tell us a fun fact about your piece. 

“Mechanical Humanity” explores how machines, industry, and technology are replacing human interaction and the role of humans in society. Much of the research for this piece came from examining the work of Sherry Turkle, professor of technology and society at MIT and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. “Human relationships are rich and they’re messy and they’re demanding. And we clean them up with technology. And when we do, one of the things that can happen is that we sacrifice conversation for mere connection. We short-change ourselves. And over time, we seem to forget this, or we seem to stop caring, (Sherry TurkleAlone Together)”.

What makes your company unique?

Zella Dance is interested in creating innovative pieces of work that are accessible to diverse audiences. We believe the same piece of work should be able to be appreciated by high art audiences as well as a novice viewer. We value choreography that can express the virtuosity and power of the performer while still expressing thought provoking ideas. We intend to bridge the gap between works that generate an emotional response from an audience and works that are scientific and methodical in their approach.

Make sure to check out her work on Vimeo!

arielle FLTC 42_0

Lydia Zimmer

BCDF welcomes Boston independent choreographer Lydia Zimmer to the National Showcase!

Lydia Zimmer, a native to Nova Scotia, Canada,  joined the Boston Conservatory Dance Division where she received her B.F.A. ’11 Magna Cum Laude on The Conservatory Scholarship.

She has also trained at numerous  American programs such as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow Contemporary Traditions, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Northwest Dance Project, Boston Ballet, etc. The list just goes on & on!

Lydia has created a number of solo works that have been featured in venues including The Alex Theater and Civic Arts Plaza, She is currently working as a Solo Artist and she will present independent work at the 7:30 pm National Showcase August 16th.

So, what exactly is Lydia Zimmer bringing to BCDF? She explains,

“Based on nightmares, odd dream images, and underlying anxious tones brought on by music, Bonne Nuit is a mash up of sorts. I am creating an evening length show to premiere in NYC for December and this solo piece has developed out of what has come up so far in the process!”

Check out her interview below: 

Why is it important for Boston to have a contemporary dance Festival?

I think it is important for every major city to have a dance festival! Of course this can’t always happen, and most of the time only well known companies get the chance to perform. BCDF is the perfect performance and networking opportunity for select individuals and companies who are trying to become better known in our (the greater) dance community. It showcases new talent and that is what every city needs, support for the financial underdog, and support for the arts – specifically dance! I just love Boston, too.


What are you hoping to gain from this experience? 

At BCDF I am hoping to connect with like-minded artists! I wish to cast a web out into the Boston dance community, and afar, for future collaborations/projects. I am also always looking to create with artists from other mediums!


What makes your company unique?

As most choreographers work with improvisation, I also love to work predominantly in this field while creating with dancers. Perhaps what makes ‘Lydia Zimmer + Dancers’ (I am performing solely under my own name for BCDF) unique is the aesthetic of our movement. I like to have my dancers tap into odd movement patterns, specific tasks; the way the body moves from point A to point B. My dancers’ input is very important to me – I work with very beautiful and passionate movers!


Make sure to “like” Zimmer on Facebook! 


Jean Appolon- Artistic Director of Jean Appolon Expressions

Jean Appolon Expressions, is not your typical contemporary dance company at all.

Founded in 2011, Jean Appolon Expressions is a Haitian contemporary dance company. The mission of JAE is to preserve and advance Haitian folkloric dance as one of the world’s precious cultural resources, and to make high quality dance education available to young Haitians without financial resources. Combining Modern technique, Haitian folkloric dance and live traditional drumming, JAE inspires and educates audiences about Haitian culture, traditions & current issues.

The Co-founder & Artistic Director, Jean Appolon is a highly successful choreographer and master teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Receiving his earliest training opportunities in  Port-au-Prince, Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. at the Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the Joffrey American Ballet School. From there he completely flourished making a name for himself in the dance world, especially the city of Boston.

We are ecstatic to present such a prominent dance figure in the Boston area at the BCDF 3pm National Showcase. Appolon explains the opportunities BCDF creates for his himself & his company,

“Because Jean Appolon Expressions fuses contemporary technique with Haitian folkloric dance, it often gets boxed into an “ethnic or traditional dance category. In today’s dance world, this type of synthesis is some of the most important work being done because it preserves traditional dance within a more contemporary format. By performing at the Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, we are hoping to gain increased exposure in our local, regional and national contemporary dance networks.”
Make sure to check out Jean Appolon Expressions on Facebook & Twitter!

Jessica Taylor & DAMAGEDANCE

“Jessica Taylor’s choreography is “reminiscent of Picasso’s monumental dancers from his ‘classical’ period. Terrific stuff from this young company. If the chance comes to see more from them, take it,” explains Mark Harding of The Shimmy Skinny, Edinburgh.

Well, like Mark Harding said, if you have the opportunity to witness Jessica Taylor’s choreography, you should take it, and lucky enough YOU WILL! Taylor will be bringing her company DAMAGEDANCE, to BCDF this year, for the 3:00 pm National Showcase.

Founded in 2010 by Taylor, DAMAGEDANCE of Brooklyn, NY, takes on a specific mission. This mission involves the dancers getting comfortable with themselves, mostly in the sense of accepting their flaws and then utilizing them to more them even stronger and more confident dancers.  Through their choreography, the company invites audiences to view their flaws and imperfections as opportunities for individuality and growth, encouraging a self-awareness and self-reflection.

Taylor has not only served as a member of the industry panel and as a choreographer for ADC’s Guest Artist Series in NYC, but her work has been shown across the US.

So, what work should you expect from her work “Our Masks” at BCDF? Well, the piece is about social survival- adapting to our surroundings, and becoming different versions of ourselves in those different scenarios.   Check out Taylor’s interview below: 

Best for messy faces - but I like the clean faces favorite even bette


Why Boston? 

First and foremost, we want to perform in Boston because it will be our Boston debut!  Furthermore, we want to perform and get our work to other neighboring east coast cities to network, building connections and community and spread our artistic vision – after all, New York City is not too far away, so it’s accessible!


What are you hoping to gain from this experience?

In addition to having another travel experience with my company, I’m hoping to network, see companies that I haven’t seen or heard of before, and be a part of a diversified and eclectic performance lineup.


Tell us about your piece. 

The work we are presenting, “Our Masks”, is about social survival – adapting to our surroundings, and becoming different versions of ourselves in those different scenarios.  We have been presenting the work for almost 10 months now and the concept still pops up in conversations between company members in every day life…it has opened an ongoing dialogue in which we are simply noticing these behaviors within ourselves and becoming more fascinated with them.


Tell us something interesting about your company.

     DAMAGEDANCE’s mission involves getting uncomfortable with ourselves, mostly in the sense of accepting our flaws and then utilizing them to make us even stronger and more confident dancers.  Every rehearsal is a growing process where, in the safety of the studio, we can go through healthy processes of picking ourselves apart and then work toward putting ourselves back together again, still with those quirks and abnormalities shining through.


Make sure to check out DAMAGEDANCE on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram! 




By: Cayley Christoforou

Andrea Dawn Shelley & Infinite Movement Ever Evolving

At the  first glimpse of Andrea Dawn Shelly’s resume the first word that pops into your head is, “Woah.”


This choreographer & dancer is not only is the Co- Founder & Associate Artistic Director of Infinite Movement Ever Evolving, but also has danced and presented choreography everywhere you can name.

The truth is, we could name COUNTLESS festivals, companies, universities, etc. that Shelly has set work on and presented her outstanding work, but you would be reading for days. Check out her outstanding bio.

But in the meantime, what exactly is Infinite Movement Ever Evolving, aka iMEE? Founded in 2009 by Shelly & Spencer Gavin Hering, their commitment belongs to  bringing audiences back into the theater to renew their love affair with the art of dance with their artistic voice is intended for to things: to be welcoming and enlighting. 

iMEE is a professional touring dance company highly dedicated to presenting new works created by emerging & established choreographers and collaborating with other dance organizations, theatrical artists, visual artists, & musicians.  Erin Smith from CASA Magazine explains, 

“Through the innovative collaboration of artistic mediums, the artists of iMEE (Infinite Movement Ever Evolving) remind us that violins can dance, sculptures can breath, and dancers can speak.”

Here at BCDF, we are excited to welcome Shelly, as she will be presenting her piece “Frozen Angels” at the 7:30 pm show.  The piece displays a pas de deux in a sensual manner, in which she was in inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda, specifically, “I Like For You To Be Still.” Within the complex relationship between the dancers and spoken word, a tug of war exists through movement and poetry. And, get this: not only will Shelly present her work, but this will be her first time back on stage after a  2+ year absence due to a broken foot & two surgeries!

Over the years, iMEE has shared their vision all over to Miami, West Palm Beach, Irvine, Santa Barbara, New York City, Houston & even Italy. However, we are truly honored that  this will be their first performance in not only Boston, but the New England area, as well. Therefore, you do not want to miss out on the opportunity to see this piece at the Paramount on August 16th. 

In the meantime, make sure to check out iMEE on Facebook & Twitter !

iMEE_Frozen Angels Photo by Simon Gentry


By: Cayley Christoforou

BCDF is Ecstatic to Welcome Ellenore Scott & ELSCO Dance!

If someone mentions the name Ellenore Scott, instantly the first word that comes to mind is: unique. This young choreographer & dancer who has made a nationally recognized name for herself is the true definition of what it means to have a unique style unlike any one else’s.

Established in 2012, ELSCO Dance, was created with one goal in mind: to redefine the dialogue of dance. It is clear with Ellenore Scott’s strong foundation in concert dance & access to commercial dance through her finalist finish on “So You Think You Can Dance?” makes her uniquely positioned to take on this mission. Not only does Scott herself completely embody what it means to be different, but ELSCO Dance displays interesting qualities for a modern dance company, making them a stand-out in the dance world.  The company not only performs in live shows but live streaming rehearsals, producing dances for films and engaging out audience outside of the normal “concert” performance.

Here at BCDF, we are honored for Scott’s company, ELSCO dance, to present a piece choreographed by the artistic director herself . But the question is, why Boston especially when one is based in the dance city itself? Well, Scott explains,


“BCDF was a great platform for my company to perform nationally. Boston is an exciting city that is rich in history, culture and inspiration! The art scene is Boston is not one to be missed. As an NYC based company, we only performed in NY until we toured to Boston. From performing in BCDF, I was able to meet contacts interested in my work, future audience members and potential board members. It was a great platform for ELSCO and we are so grateful to be back!”

Now ELSCO’s second year at BCDF, Scott will be bringing a piece that was specifically choreographed for the festival. This new piece will be a prequel in ordinance to the all male trio she presented at the festival last year called, “Run, Boy!”displaying another trio with a character from last year reintroducing why he ran away in the first place. You do NOT want miss out on an opportunity to see this piece at BCDF 2014. In the meantime, check out our interview below with Ellenore Scott herself:

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival
Michael Seamans Photography BCDF 2013


What are you hoping to gain from this experience? 

As a returning choreographer, I am hoping to connect with not only audience members but also other nationally acclaimed choreographers. The work selected for this program is truly inspirational and being a part of this experience definitely motivates me when I return home to NY and work with my company.


What is your favorite media quote you ever received? 

“An especially touching moment was during the last piece of the evening, when the technicalities of being outdoors had rendered the iPod useless. The choreographer herself, Ellenore Scott (ELSCO Dance) came up and sang, narrated, and counted the piece of music. It was so heart felt and raw to see the woman who made the work be so flexible and able to adapt to the environment. In this, I realized that the point of the whole evening was to capture the versatility and hunger of dancers and choreographers in New York City, and it did. – Jane Sato of


Tell us something interesting about your company. What makes your company unique?

We are the true hybrid of commercial and concert with the label! We perform the work that I want to create and hope to connect with dancer viewers in a different why. We also love to utilize social media to help with our preparations, including costume design, phrase work and Q&A sessions during our rehearsal live streams!


Make sure to follow ELSCO dance on FacebookTwitter, and their blog

Umi Akiyoshi Photography


By: Cayley Christoforou


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