Company Four

BCDF welcomes Boston Company, Company Four, to the Boston Showcase!

Formed in 2012, Company Four strives to extend the life of the adult dancer by providing opportunities for community performance activities, engagement in technical dance training, & continued expression of self through dance. They are extremely passionate about telling stories through dance, making dance accessible to self-proclaimed “non-dancers” and providing opportunities for artists to create and share work.

Consisting of four members (obviously), Boston is consisted home for the company, since they rehearse out of Reading, MA. Company Four explains,

“The Boston Contemporary Dance Festival is a catalyst for putting Boston on the map for contemporary dance. New York and LA are the first cities that come to mind when thinking of dance as an industry. Let’s get Boston on that list.”

Company Four will be performing their piece, “Everything Happens in Threes,” in the Boston Showcase at BCDF! So, what should you expect from their piece? First, it is the first work they have purposefully set as a trio. But, wait isn’t it company “four”? Well, their fourth company member is due to give birth to twins at the end of July. How exciting! Should they change their name to company six now?!



Kristyl Roderiques Photography

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Suzanne Beahrs Dance

Suzanne Beahrs has been called a “rising name” by the New York Times.

Well, on August 16th you will have the chance to view this rising name’s piece of work. So, what is Suzanne Beahrs Dance all about? This company is all about  investigating & celebrating the impermanent human experience through kinetically driven modern dance. This means teasing out every ounce of juice in the present moment, being connected to one another and ourselves.
Excerpts of Suzanne Beahrs work ,”Amid,” a celebration of the exquisite power in our broken, impermanent selves, have been presented at Judson Church, Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, Gibney Dance Center, Dance New Amsterdam, Cora Dance, and in outdoor parks around NYC.
However, you will have a chance to view this full piece at the 7:30 PM BCDF National Showcase. Siobhan Burke of The New York Times explains what is so appealing about the work, 
“The most appealing aspect of Amid was the internal rhythm and grounded, silken quality shared by the [dancers]… Observing their connectedness, the kinesthetic equivalent of friends who can finish each other’s sentences, you got the sense that they had been dancing together for a very long time.”
Beahrs  explains what an opportunity BCDF is for her & the company, “For us BCDF is a tremendous opportunity to take a first tour to a cool city that is relatively close to our home in NYC. It’s also working so well because of all of the other dancing happening nearby. I’ll be teaching at Green Street Studios on August 16 1-3 pm and we’re performing at Built on Stilts in Martha’s Vineyard on August 17 and in Easton on August 14. None of this would have happened for us if we weren’t first accepted to this festival.” Well, here at BCDF we are excited Suzanne Beahrs Dance was accepted to present work at the National Showcase! 
Make sure to like Suzanne Beahrs Dance on Facebook!




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Robert Mark Burke

Robert Mark Burke currently finds himself as a dancer, choreographer and teaching artist throughout New York &  New Jersey.  He graduated cum laude with a BFA in Dance from Mason Gross School of the Arts.  Robert is currently a company member with Randy James’s 10 Hairy Legs.

Robert’s work has also been shown at numerous events, and he even recently received the Dance Express Choreography Award, an award given to a BFA Senior choreographer in recognition of their body of choreographic work over four years. And, get this. Burke is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.

As an artist,  Burke is interested in the interpersonal and interpersonal relationships that can occur between dancers and the environment around them. He explains,

“I attempt to research and answer questions such as: what does the audience see? What is important for the audience know? How can I challenge the audiences understanding of my work, and in this challenge, how can I further develop my understanding of my own work? I am interested in creating dances that spark an emotional and physical reaction from both the audience as well as the dancers and in recent months have found myself exploring not only the art of movement but also the art of theatricality.”

As this young choreographer continues on his artistic journey, he hopes to expand his body of work by exploring different processes to create each work. Burke explains what makes himself as a choreographer unique,

“As a choreographer, I am interested in creating a body of work that covers a vast array of aesthetics and topics. No two pieces are alike.  From contemporary ballet to dance theatre, the company continually challenges me to create new and exciting work.”

His work will be presented t the 3pm National Showcase, and in fact is the first time Robert Mark Dance will be represented outside the NYC-Metro area. So, what should you expect from his piece? Well,”one crude son” is based of off the work of photographer Gregory Crewdson.  The work is influenced by his use of juxtaposition & light.

Make sure to purchase your tickets HERE, so you will be able to view Robert Mark Burke’s work. 




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Colleen Edwards & Dragonfly Ballet Theater

 Dragonfly Ballet Theater has one goal: to bring back the story to ballet.


Colleen Edwards, Artistic Director of DBT, believes contemporary ballet is a great tool to do that. The company wants to bring people into the theater to connect with dance in an accessible way so they become new fans of dance.

Before residing in Portland, ME, Edwards explains why it is so important to have a festival in the city she once lived in,

“It is important for Boston to have this festival because of the diversity not only of the people in this city but the dancers and choreographers that accumulate in Boston.  I lived in Boston for six years and always felt that for the amount of dancers the studios and schools turn out there wasn’t an equal amount of performance opportunities to offer them. Boston has been waiting a long time for this festival!”

So, what exactly should you expect from DBT at  the BCDF National Showcase? Well, Their piece “Cumulus” is actually about the evolution of a thunder storm and the use of space really tells the story, the dancers slowly make their way toward the audience through the choreography, much like one would experience a storm moving your way!

Make sure to “like”their Facebook page! 

Dragonfly Ballet Theater BW photo promo

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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

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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

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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! 


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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!

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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

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