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

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!”

Boston Contemporary Dance Festival
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

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. 
Promo Photo 2

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.

Girls Trio
“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! 


More Please J&G
“More Please,” Denise Leitner


The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival Companies & Choreographers

BCDF is finally here!

So, what exactly is this festival? Well, on Saturday, August 16th at the Paramount Center, The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival will bring a diverse array of contemporary dance artists from across the U.S. to Boston, for a performance opportunity like no other. With an audience capacity of 2,000+, there will be dozens of talented companies performing to raise well-deserved recognition for Boston’s Contemporary Dance scene. Tickets will be available soon, so make sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter for updates on when they will be posted! For now, check out the outstanding Boston & national companies that have been chosen to perform:


OnStage Dance Company, The Legible Bod(y), Boston Dance Productions, Penumbra,

 Kinetic Synergy Dance Company

Danielle Pastuszak and Ryan Valente (Boston)

Allison Smith (Boston)

Angie Conte –  Angie Moon Dance Theatre (Boston)

Brian Washburn (Providence, RI)

Cayley ChristoforouExtensions Dance Company (Salem, MA)

Chantal Doucett (Danvers, MA)

Erica Ligeski – Company Four (Boston, MA)

Heather Budinscak – FreeFall Contemporary Dance Company (Bedford, NH)

Jessica Muise – Intimations Dance (Somerville, MA)

Sarah Katarina – Boston Community Dance Project (Boston)

Jennifer Gamache-Dublio – Eclipse Dance Company (Longmeadow, MA)


Aaron Atkins – Ballet Inc. (NY, NY)

Elizabeth Shea (Bloomington, IN)

FATIMA Logan – Vashti Dance Company (NY, NY)

Hee Ra Yoo – Yoo and Dancers (NY, NY)

Jessica Taylor – DAMAGEDANCE (Brooklyn, NY)

Katie Paquin (Providence, RI)

Robert Mark Burke (Elmwood Park, NJ)

Sheena Annalise – Arch Contemporary Ballet (NY, NY)

Zach Law Ingram – 6 O’Clock Dance Theatre (Miami, FL)

Emily Mayer – (Great Barrington, MA)

Colleen Edwards – Dragonfly Ballet Theatre (Portland, ME)

Junichi Fukuda – Fukudance (Portsmouth, NH)

Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp  – inFLUXdance

Jean Appolon – Jean Appolon Expressions (Boston, MA)


Andrea Dawn Shelley – iMee (Infinite Movement Ever Evolving) (Newport, RI)

Arielle Petruzella (Hoboken, NJ)

Dante Brown – Dante Brown | Warehouse Dance (Brooklyn, NY)

Ellenore Scott – ELSCO Dance (Long Island, NY)

Emilio Colallio – EmiMotion (Toronto, Canada)

Laurie Sefton – Clairobscur Dance Company (LA, CA)

Lydia Zimmer (Boston, MA)

Ayako Takahashi (Cambridge, MA)

Suzanne Beahrs – Suzanne Beahrs Dance (Brooklyn, NY)

Tara McCrystal – SPUNK and COmpany Dance (Reading, MA)

Margot Gelber (Houston, TX)

Michael Cerwinksi – Michael James New York (Brooklyn. NY)

Urbanity Dance with choreography by Andy Noble of Noble Motion Dance

Special Guest Choreographer – Andy Noble – Noble Motion Dance (Houston, TX)

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