NCDA Dance Awards Show 2017

November 18, 2017

at the Stephen D Hyers Studio Theater, in the Greensboro Cultural Center


A Showing of Works by:

* Rachel Barker  ~ NCDA Choreography Fellow

* Chris Yon  ~ NCDA/NCDF New Works Award Artist

plus other special guest artists …



110713_Yon_012Chris Yon, NCDA/NCDF New Works Award Artists 2017,  is a performer, choreographer, teacher, and recent transplant to North Carolina. He mostly performs, choreographs, and sometimes curates, with and for Taryn Griggs. As a performer, he has worked with and for Yoshiko ChumaJustin JonesKarinne Keithley, David Neumann, and Kristin Van Loon. Yon’s choreographies have been presented nationally and internationally at the American Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop, Performance Space 122, La Mama, Symphony Space, The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Gershwin Hotel, CBGB’s, The Knitting Factory, Walker Art Center, The Southern Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl, Philadelphia Dance Project, ODC Theater, Velocity Dance Center, Highways Performance Space, Pieter, Project Art Centre (Dublin), Tangente (Montreal), CiteDanse (Grenoble), and Legion Arts (Cedar Rapids). His work has been commissioned by The Danish National School of Performing Arts (Copenhagen), The Wooden Floor (Santa Ana), Irish Modern Dance Theatre (Dublin) and d9 dance collective (Seattle). He has had residencies and space grants from MANCC, The Yard, SILO and BAX. Co-founder of Ur, your neighborhood dance palace in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2003-2005. Recipient: 2003 NYFA Fellowship for Performance Art, 2005 BESSIE Award for Performance, 2009 SAGE Award for Choreography, 2011 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreography, 2015 City Pages Best Choreographer. BFA, NYU. MFA, University of Iowa. Presently, he is an adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University in Boone and shares a rehearsal and teaching practice with Taryn Griggs in Statesville.

Notes from Chris about his new work:  The dance I am making is an, as yet untitled, solo for my long time collaborator and life partner Taryn Griggs.  We have been working from collages of images of historical modern dancers, instructional diagrams for aerobic disco routines, and illustrations of disembodied hands to create our own idiosyncratic vocabulary.  Taryn’s performance is witty and dark.  She is trying to strike a tone of soothing and calm while still reflecting a world that is doom and gloom.


back of your neck hair flyingRachel Barker, NCDA Choreography Fellow, is a choreographer, educator and performer from Salt lake City, Utah. She is currently based in North Carolina where she is an Assistant Professor and the Dance Education Coordinator in the Department of Dance at UNC Charlotte. Her choreographic work has been presented in venues in Seattle, WA, Columbus, OH, and throughout Utah and North Carolina. She will be presenting her new work Welcome at both the Seattle International Dance Festival, and the North Carolina Dance Festival this coming year. Rachel was a visiting artist at the international On Site/In Site Festival in Winston-Salem, NC and conducted site-specific research as an artist-in-residence with collaborator JoAnna Mendl Shaw at the Sedona Summer Arts Colony in Arizona summer 2016. Rachel has studied with and performed the work of artists Bebe Miller, John Jasperse, Keith Johnson, Cyrus Khambatta, and Donna Uchizono, among others. She has taught at The Ohio State University, Brigham Young University, ACDFA and other festivals, and directed a high school dance program for three years. Her current choreographic research lies in building connections between dance and the various publics, audiences, or communities wherein it might exist, as she investigates improvisation both as performance and process. This research manifests through site-specific work, re-imaginings of the traditional stage space, and exploration of vulnerability in performance. Rachel is an active artist-educator, working to define her research both in the pedagogic and artistic realm. She continues to present her pedagogical research at the National Dance Education Organization Conference (NDEO), and has also presented at the North Carolina Dance Education Organization Conference (NCDEO). She received an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University where she was a three-year Distinguished Fellow, an MA in Teaching from Westminster College, and a BFA from the University of Utah.

About Rachel’s new work:  Welcome is a 33- minute trio created in 2016 by Rachel Barker in collaboration with the performers. This piece stems from research questions revolving around improvisation and awareness, vulnerability in performance, and the relationship of performed improvisation to set choreography. In making this work, one of Barker’s guiding questions was: How can I create something that pushes the performers to be fully aware, engaged and vulnerable in the moment, in order to fully connect to each other, their audience, and their surroundings? At once humorous and desperate, Welcome leads the audience on a stream-of consciousness-like journey through disparate emotional states and happenings. It explores “human-ness” through a mixture of movement and spoken word, while questioning the roles of performer and the boundaries of the fourth wall.

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