9 Must-See Events at American Dance Festival
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American Dance Festival returns for its 40th year from June 3–July 29, bringing some of the world's most acclaimed dancers to Durham and beyond. Ranging from provocative social commentary to sidesplitting theatrical comedy that'll make you fall out of your seat, this world-renowned festival has something for all appetites. Here's our breakdown of standout shows, events and parties you cannot miss this season. Get ready for a wild ride! (Psst—Offline members get an exclusive offer, keep reading for details!)

Past Experiences

If there is one show you absolutely, positively cannot miss this year, it's Happy Hour. Back by popular demand since its 2015 debut, Monica Bill Barnes & Company's Happy Hour is part office party, part dance show, part karaoke—yes, you read that right. This hilarious, gender-bending performance simply must be seen to be believed. After the show, wind down and meet the artists over a brew at Bull McCabes.

Location: PSI Theatre

Show Times:
Tuesday, June 6, 6:30p
Wednesday, June 7, 6:30p
Thursday, June 8, 6:30p
Friday, June 9, 6:30p

This experience has 13 bookmarks and 127 views.

Offline users can attend any performance (except the Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s Museum Workout at NCMA) for just $10! Use our exclusive offer code OFFLINE10 at checkout to redeem your discount. Enjoy the show!

This experience has 126 bookmarks and 2234 views.
Photo by @ Gadi Dagon

Hailing from Israel, Hillel Kogan's We Love Arabs is the story of Jewish choreographer meets Arab dancer. The show carries a message of coexistence and peace, squashing notions of prejudice and executed with humor.

Show Times:

The Cary Theater
Tuesday, June 13, 7:30p
Wednesday, June 14, 7:30p

Reynolds Industries Theater
Friday, June 16, 8:00p
Saturday, June 17, 7:00p

This experience has 1 bookmarks and 115 views.

At the Opening Night Performance, a rich variety of NC-based dancers and groups will take the stage at DPAC for a night of spectacular choreography, opened by an adorable troupe of middle school-aged dancers from ADF's Shadow Camp. After the show, dancers and audience members will move to The Rickhouse for the Fête, complete with dinner, drinks, music and, of course, more dancing!

If you want to elevate your ADF experience, the DPAC Opening Night Performance and Fête package is a must-do—for $140, you'll experience one of the most memorable date nights ever! Plus, proceeds from the combo ticket go toward the ADF Fund, providing scholarships for talented young dancers and ensuring the future of the festival!

This experience has 5 bookmarks and 120 views.
Photo by @anchkanita
Free Outdoor Evening Yoga Session
Free, Duke East Campus, Durham
Wed June 21, 7:00p

American Dance Festival is teaming up with lululemon to bring you a free evening yoga flow on the lawn of Duke's East Campus. Bring your own mat and water bottle and spend an hour lunging and stretching under the sunset sky.

This experience has 85 bookmarks and 437 views.

Cherdonna is another perfect example of how eclectic and diverse American Dance Festival is. This performance pays homage to feminist artists by mixing elements of biography, modern dance, performance art and drag—and you're going to love it.

Location: Living Arts Collective

Show Times:
Saturday, June 24, 1:00p and 7:00p
Sunday, June 25, 1:00p and 7:00p
Monday, June 26, 7:00p
Tuesday, June 27, 7:00p

This experience has 5 bookmarks and 52 views.
Photo by @ Lydia Daniller

Sean Dorsey is widely known as the country’s first acclaimed transgender modern dance choreographer—now that's some serious cred. Catch the magic in action at The Missing Generation, a dance-theater work that remembers the generation of gay and transgender lives involved in the turmoil 80s and 90s AIDS epidemic.

Location: Reynolds Industries Theater

Show Times:
Wednesday, July 5, 8:00p
Thursday, July 6, 8:00p

This experience has 2 bookmarks and 55 views.

2017 is a special year—it marks the 40th anniversary of ADF and Elvis' death. Spooky, right? To honor both occasions, dendy/donovan projects' performance, Elvis Everywhere, and afterparty are Elvis-themed! Shows are ticketed, afterparty (which includes a costume contest, karaoke and more) is free. Don't forget your white jumpsuit!

Location: Reynolds Industries Theater

Show Times:
Wednesday, July 12, 8:00p
Thursday, July 13, 8:00p

Afterparty: 9:30p–12a at The Tavern

This experience has 0 bookmarks and 50 views.

Kidd Pivot and Electric Company Theatre puts on a show that's dark, theatrical, strange and beautiful all wrapped into one.

"Betroffenheit evokes the state of shock and bewilderment that is all encompassing in the wake of a disaster. Touching on themes of loss, trauma, addiction, and recovery, Betroffenheit is a boundary-stretching hybrid of theater and dance." –ADF

Location: DPAC

Show Times:
Friday, July 14, 8:00p
Saturday, July 15, 7:00p

This experience has 5 bookmarks and 57 views.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company is one of the most famous and established companies in the festival lineup, making it a must-see in and of itself. The performance will feature the third part of a trilogy the company began performing in 2015, inspired by the book The Emigrant by W.G. Sebald. This will be the full trilogy's world premiere!

"Bill T. Jones with Associate Artistic Director, Janet Wong, and his company, developed three evening-length works titled Analogy: A Trilogy. The complete trilogy, performed for the first time at ADF, brings into light the different types of war we fight and, in particular, the war within ourselves. Works to be performed are Analogy/Dora:Tramontane, Analogy/Lance: Pretty aka the Escape Artist, and the ADF-commissioned Analogy/Ambros:The Emigrant." –ADF

Location: DPAC

Show Times:
Thursday, July 27, 8:00p
Friday, July 29, 8:00p
Saturday, July 29, 7:00p

This experience has 4 bookmarks and 82 views.
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