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



Emilio Colalillo & emiMOTION

BCDF welcomes back choreographer Emilio Colalillo & his company emiMOTION back to the 7:30 pm National Showcase!

Emilio Colalillo is the founder & Artistic Director of emiMOTION. A company that focuses on putting works that are avant grade. They like to think and create differently with a high level of physical technique.

A Toronto based choreographer and dancer, his work has been presented around the US and has also toured the world in places like India! As a performer, he travelled to Dubai dancing in ‘The Jungle Book” and also travelled with Corpus Dance Projects to Japan, Denmark and SwedenHis resume could go on & on.

He actively has ideas and allows for his feelings, thoughts, and emotions to come about in his dances and his teaching methods. He wants to be aware of various cultural movement and educate himself in all dance genres to produce avant-garde dance works.

Question is, why come back to Boston? Well, Colalillo explains,

“Boston is a great city with amazing artists. Performing last year at BCDF was such a wonderful and welcoming experience. My company had a fantastic time and the talent from all over was incredible.  Boston is a phenomenal city to network and gain inspiration from artists and the city. “

You do not want to miss out because this will not only be a brand new piece for emiMotion, but also one of the fasted & sharpest pieces he has ever created.  

Make sure to buy your tickets here, so you can see emiMOTION!






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!




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. 




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! 


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