American Vernacular Dance Week Andrew Carroll June 14, 2016 Click on the See More for the lineup of teachers at American Vernacular Dance Week 2015! Augusta has long been a beloved place for dancers the world over, with a 41-year history of featuring internationally acclaimed artists such as Sandman Sims, Frankie Manning, Brenda Bufalino, Assane Konte, Eileen Carson-Schatz and Benoit Bourque. Our new emphasis on American Vernacular Dance provides an immersion for dancers from a broad range of backgrounds. 2015’s focus Jazz as Crossroads offers individual attention with master teachers and cross-cultural perspectives with renowned guest-lecturers. Students not only become better dancers, but place dances in a historical and cultural context making them richer, fuller and more satisfying. In addition to Solo Charleston, Lindy Hop, Percussive dance, and Urban Dance, the week will feature Will Mentor & Becky Hill teaching square dance calling, and evening dances with a stunning collection of musicians including Mike Falty, Mick Glasgow, Benjamin Lieb, Aaron Olwell, Shane Leonard and Grammy-award-winning Rhiannon Giddens. Please come to the week ready to dance hard, think hard and play hard in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia! Tuition is $450 plus room & board. Registration is now open! To register, specify American Vernacular Dance Week. Dance week participants all follow the same track of classes. Ann Kilkelly (Coordinator & Vernacular Jazz) is a Professor of Women’s Studies and Theatre Arts at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She received two Smithsonian Senior Fellowships for research in the NMAH Archives Center and a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative research grant. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the New York Tap festival and in many concerts of original work with artists like Elise Witt, Beverly Botsford and Solazo. Among her mentors and teachers she includes Brenda Bufalino, Katherine Kramer and a host of other masters she has encountered over 25 years of dancing. Emily Oleson (Coordinator) Is the co-founder of Good Foot Dance Company with an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, College Park. In the fall of 2013 she set up the first American Vernacular Dance Major at Davis & Elkins College. She received The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Local Dance Commissioning Project grant in 2013 for The Meaning of Buck Dance by Urban Artistry with Good Foot Dance Company and Baakari Wilder. She organized numerous intensive workshops and concerts and has performed at several national and international festivals of dance and music including Wheatland Music Festival; Boxwood Festival; Battle of the Crews, USA vs. France,C; Newport Folk Festival and Performatica. She currently performs with the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Good Foot Dance Company. Greg C. Adams (Guest Lecturer: A Critical Heritage View of Minstrelsy’s Legacy in American Vernacular & Popular Music) is an archivist, ethnomusicologist and musician. For twenty years, Greg Adams has been collaborating with scholars, collectors, musicians and instrument builders to foreground the banjo’s multicultural history. Grounded in critical heritage research and programming, Greg’s efforts include fieldwork in West Africa, NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant and serving as an apprentice to noted Malian ngoni player and griot Check Hamala Diabate. In 2014, Greg was a guest curator for the Baltimore Museum of Industry exhibit Making Music: The Banjo in Baltimore and Beyond. Rhiannon Giddens (Guest Lecturer: A Critical Heritage View of Minstrelsy’s Legacy in American Vernacular & Popular Music) is an American original—an artist with an unforgettable voice who culls the music of our collective past to point the way to the future. Reviving, interpreting and recasting traditional material from a variety of sources has been central to Giddens’ career, especially in her groundbreaking work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The CCDs have shared the role African-American performers and songwriters played in U.S. folk music history, while making recordings that are vital, contemporary and exuberant. Rhiannon is also making a mark as a solo performer and in other collaborations like T-Bone Burnett’s The New Basement Tapes project. Christopher Wilkinson (Guest Lecturer: Dance, Big Bands & the Musical World of Black Mountaineers in the 1930s) Christopher Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Music History at West Virginia University, was a faculty member of its School of Music from 1976 to 2013. Beginning in 1988, his research focused on African-American music with particular attention to jazz history before World War II. In addition to articles and presentations on this topic, he produced two book-length studies: Jazz on the Road: Don Albert’s Musical Life and Big Band Jazz in Black West Virginia, 1930-1942. Phil Jamison, Warren Wilson College (Guest Lecturer: History of Appalachian Step Dance) is nationally-known as a dance caller, old-time musician and flatfoot dancer. He has performed and taught at festivals throughout the U.S. and overseas since the early 1970s. He has danced with the Green Grass Cloggers since 1980 and his flatfoot dancing was featured in the film Songcatcher (2000), for which he also served as Traditional Dance Consultant. Over the last thirty years, he has done extensive research in the area of Appalachian dance, and his book Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics will be published in 2015. Phil teaches at Warren Wilson College, where he also coordinates the Old-Time Music and Dance Week at the Swannanoa Gathering. Margaret Morrison, Barnard College, Columbia University (Guest Lecturer: Tap Dance as an American Art Form in the Jazz Era) is a rhythm tap soloist, choreographer, playwright and dance scholar whose performance and research explores race, gender, sexuality and history in tap dance. She performs, choreographs and teaches across the US, Europe and Brazil and critics have hailed her as a “consummate artist who breaks the mold.“ Margaret began her career in 1986 with the American Tap Dance Orchestra, directed by Brenda Bufalino. Her scholarship is published in Dance Research Journal, she is Education Advisor of the ATDF, and faculty at Barnard College. Laurie Goux (Afro-Caribbean Dance Warm-up) has been performing and choreographing since 1981. In 1995 she formed Spirit Wing Dance Ensemble under the guidance of her mentors Tommy Gomez and Jimmy Payne, Sr. and she served as dance administrator for Boulevard Arts Center for 5 years. She was artistic director and co-presenter of “Keep the Legacy Alive: Tribute to Katherine Dunham” and Katherine Dunham Awards 1996-1998. Goux has performed in the works of Claudia Gittleman, Loretta Livingston, June Finch, Shirley Mordine, XSight! Performance Group, Jan Erkert, Carol Bobrow, Tommy Gomez and Martha Clarke’s “Haiku”. She currently teaches dance at D&E. Karen Hubbard (The Authentic Jazz Dance of Pepsi Bethel) is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at UNC Charlotte and a dance educator and scholar. Her dance training includes ballet-based jazz, modern-jazz and Dunham-based jazz. She also studied/performed authentic jazz with Savoy Lindy Hopper and ADJ Theatre artistic director Pepsi Bethel. Her favorite professional memories include being an NBC Hullabaloo Dancer, Ermengarde in Hello Dolly! on Broadway and a Paper Doll Munchkin dancer in the film The Wiz! She teaches master classes (US, British West Indies, South Africa) and publishes on jazz dance history and teaching methodologies. Hubbard holds an MA in Dance from Ohio State University and a Certificate in African/Kenyan Studies from the University of Nairobi as a Fulbright-Hays Scholar. Matthew Olwell (Flatfooting Fundamentals) has been performing and teaching as a dancer and percussionist at festivals and theaters across North America and Europe since 1996. He has studied with some of the finest teachers in percussive dance, including Baakari Wilder, Donny Golden, Eileen Carson and The Fiddle Puppets. Matthew danced for nine years with the Maryland-based Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, with whom he performed in Riverdance. In 2006 he co-founded Good Foot Dance Company and currently performs with Maivish. Mary Christensen (Lindy Hop Fundamentals) has been swing and blues dancing since 2000 and is the founder of the dance community at Yale University, where every dancer both leads and follows. The focus of Mary’s work is empowering dancers to create safer, less hierarchical, more inclusive communities. She lives in New York City where she is faculty at Dance Manhattan and coordinates the weekly dance Gotham City Blues. She travels across the US and around the world to train new and existing dance teachers and organizers in how to make their classrooms more student-centered and their communities more diverse and welcoming. Edwin Roa (Mambo & Latin Jazz) is a professional dancer who has devoted his career to the study of partner dance. His interest in music, cultures and the perspectives of partner dance have encouraged him to experiment and eventually develop a method of teaching social partner dance that he now calls Zabor. Edwin is deeply interested in the connectivity and the improvisational aspect of partner dance. He has danced with the Latin Ballet of Virginia, co-founded the Charlottesville Salsa Club and the Richmond Social Dance Club and traveled to Cuba and Argentina to study the music and dance culture there. Edwin is currently a faculty member at JMU. Mike Falty (Solo Charleston, Partner Charleston in Lindy Hop) Described as “embodying jazz,” Falty’s main objective is to spread the love of good old-fashioned, American-born swing music and dancing to as many people as he possibly can. Falty brings to the dance floor an incredibly diverse social and performance dance talent that includes not only Lindy Hop but also Cakewalk, Black Bottom, Traditional Jazz, Tap, Charleston, Breakaway, Balboa, Big Apple, Blues and many other American jazz dances. He travels the world teaching, performing and leading Falty & the Defects. He was mentioned in the New York Times for his “ingenious choreography,” is a member of the Camp Hollywood Hall of Fame and choreographed “The Australia Routine,” a lindy hop routine used by many of the world’s top swing dancers. He also, conceived “Doin’ the Jive,” a world famous swing line dance. Becky Hill (Square Dance Caller’s Collective) is a percussive dancer and square dance caller. She coordinates The Mountain Dance Trail for Augusta and is the Dance Director for Davis & Elkins College Appalachian Ensemble. In 2013 she choreographed for the “Carry It On” project for Wheatland Music Festival¹s 40th Anniversary. She has danced with Footworks PercussiveDance Ensemble, Good Foot Dance Company, Rhythm in Shoes and Nic Gareiss, having performed at the Newport Folk Festival, Augusta Heritage Center, Wheatland Music Festival and many others. She has won several flatfoot dance competitions throughout Appalachia including Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival and recently finished an Augusta production film Reel ‘Em Boys, Reel ‘Em. Becky is constantly inspired by old-time dancers and hopes to carry on their steps and stories. Will Mentor (Square Dance Caller’s Collective) is a contra and square dance caller from northern Vermont known for his clear teaching, upbeat wit and relaxed stage presence. His experienced, smooth style of facilitating dances delights dancers wherever he goes. Baakari Wilder (Tap Dance as Jazz Music) is internationally known for starring in Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk. His dancing has delighted audiences around the world in places such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, France, Africa, Brazil and Japan. He has appeared on Jazz Central on BET, CBS’s Secret Talents of the Stars and an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Time Warp. He also appeared in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. He serves as assistant artist director of Capitol Tap, a new company residing in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Washington Performing Arts named him the 2014 Pola Nirenska Award recipient for Outstanding Achievement in Dance. Junious “House” Brickhouse (Urban Dance Sampler) is executive director and founder of Urban Artistry and an award winning educator, performer, choreographer and community leader. He began his dance journey in the Atlanta and Washington, DC, underground dance scenes. In 1997 he moved to Europe to mentor under Denmark’s Special FX (Out of Control) and Scotty76 of the Assassins Crew in Germany. He has now become an ambassador for urban dance and was named a Master Instructor by the Maryland Historic Trust and awarded the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award. Brickhouse’s work has been seen at the Kennedy Center, Sidney Harman Hall and the Performing Arts Center at Strathmore. Teena Marie Custer (Vernacular Jazz & Breaking) is a dancer, teacher and choreographer and has an MFA in Dance from Ohio State University. She battles and performs internationally with Venus Fly Trap and Get Down Gang. She has won b-girl battles such as Enter the Cypha, UnderGround Movement and the “House Cypher” award at Chicago’s Slick City event. She has choreographed for over 20 university dance departments around the US and has appeared on BET, MTV’s MADE and was the assistant choreographer for the film Leading Ladies. Her work has been presented at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London, The American Dance Festival, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Ford Amphitheater in LA and the American College Dance Festival Gala Concert. She is on faculty at Slippery Rock University and at the American Dance Festival at Duke University and has performed with Ephrat Asherie, Dance Dance Alloy, Attack Theatre and Ursula Payne. Tasha Barnes (Vernacular Jazz &S House Dance) is a dancer, entrepreneur, educator and ambassador of culture from theWashington, DC, area. Tasha serves as an Artistic Director, Performing Artist and Wellness Advisor with Urban Artistry, Inc. She trains, performs and educates in many styles and disciplines including House, Hip Hop, Waacking and Lindy Hop. Inspired greatly by her dance family, Assassins Crew (DC Chapter), Tasha continues to expand her skills and knowledge as an artist and competitor. Tasha is most well-known for earning the distinction, along with fellow director Toyin Sogunro, of being the first US team and the first female team to win the world championship for House Dance in the 2011 Juste Debout World Street Dance Competition in Paris. Kwame Opare (West African Dance Warm-up) is a classically trained West African dancer. He was principal dancer with Kankouran West African Dance Company under the tutelage of Assane Konte, toured with the Broadway show STOMP and founded DishiBem Traditional Contemporary Dance Group. He has created award-winning work that speaks to social issues around the World and is renowned for his ability to engage an audience and effectively transfer meaning and purpose. Kwame holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland College Park. He is an Arts Education specialist, professor of dance at the University of Maryland, a Maryland State Arts Council artist and k-12 teaching artist. Carol Burch Brown (Staff Musician) is an award-winning inter-media visual artist and musician who teaches in the Studio and MFA Programs in Creative Technologies at Virginia Tech. Her interdisciplinary work is often collaborative, incorporating elements of sound art, photography, video and drawing. Burch-Brown’s art has been exhibited in several galleries. She is a member of Junk DNA and has performed at several New York theatres including the Millennium Stage Series at the Kennedy Center. Jabari Exum (Staff Musician) is a percussionist, hip-hop vocalist, poet, actor and entrepreneur. In 1997 Jabari became an artist in “Hip-Hop Theater” and has received guidance from extraordinary artists such as Bill Summers, Stevie Wonder, Mamady Keita, Djimo Kouyate, KRS-One, Sonya Sanchez, Debbie Allen, Chad Boseman, Marc Cary, Cora Coleman and Grady Tate. Jabari Exum is presently a member of Hueman Prophets (Hip-Hop Theater Duo), Farafina Kan (West African Percussion Orchestra) and SAHEL (African diaspora music). Mick Glasgow began playing music at a young age and has followed a winding and creative path in the tradition of the self-taught musicians of rock and early jazz. He is a drummer, guitarist, songwriter, rock band leader and has studied and transcribed early jazz trumpet parts from original source recordings. Mick, along with Michael Gamble, leads the popular dance band The Low-Down Sires. Mick’s current mission is to study the early jazz standards of New Orleans and Chicago, preserve their traditional arrangements and present that vintage sound for today’s dancers. Steve Hobert (Staff Musician) uses the piano, accordion and voice to open up hearts and fire up imaginations. He has toured around the world with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, as a guest with symphony orchestras such as Detroit and Calgary, performing as a soloist and accompanist at theaters, jazz clubs and festivals, as well as composing and arranging for big bands, world music ensembles and film. Steven released his 2nd album “Ocean Eyes” in September of 2014 featuring piano-driven explorations interweaving flowing improvisations, classical and folk melodies, jazz harmonies and hip-shaking grooves. Shane Leonard (Staff Musician) has performed with MIT’s Balinese Gamelan, Sarah and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Evan Ziporyn (Steve Reich), Sean Carey (Bon Iver), various string bands, jazz groups and more. He learned traditional fiddle and banjo in the homes of masters Lee Sexton and Clyde Davenport, learned West African drumming and American roots music through the Exploration School at Yale University and is a member of the Eau Claire Music School faculty. Currently, Shane tours with Field Report and Kalispell. Ben Lieb (Staff Musician) is a long-time student and advocate of life-giving energetic exchange between musicians and dancers. He has studied Appalachian flatfooting, clogging, tap, French-Canadian, Lindy Hop, Balboa, Charleston, Shag, West Coast Swing, Salsa, Bachata, Rueda de Casino, Merengue, Cumbia, Argentine Tango and Argentine Milonga. He spent a decade studying various styles of American music on violin, banjo, guitar, trombone and clarinet. He has played for Lindy Hop dances with The Low-Down Sires, Kungpao Chickens and The Hot Baked Goods. Aaron Olwell has playing music for more than half of his life. Fiddler’s conventions, trips to the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheiol, house parties and square dances to take up much of his time. He makes wooden flutes in the Olwell Flute Shop his father founded almost 30 years ago. He recorded the underground sensation Light & Hitch, one of the few bands to sell out a first pressing of albums without playing any gigs. Most recently Aaron has focused on the more humorous side of music, including pump-organs, chocolate flutes and double slide whistle. He is also learning to call square dances and plays clarinet in Boxcar Speakeasy, a roots jazz band. Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.