In 1996, The Van Dyke Dance Group was created. It was formerly a part of the Gamble/Van Dyke Dance Company which began in North Carolina as a collaboration between Jan Van Dyke and John Gamble in 1989.
During the early years, The Van Dyke Dance Group toured statewide and to cities such as Washington DC, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York, as well as internationally, to Lyons, France and Lisbon, Portugal.
Although in recent years, Van Dyke's dances have been shown across the United States in places like Vermont, Detroit, Nebraska, and New York City, the company has been focused on work within the statewide community.
|Dancing at the Green Hill|
On Friday, May 3, we performed a short concert of dances designed for the gallery space. Two dances from the Van Dyke repertory were presented: Untitled Elegy, with music by Arvo Part and The Circle, danced to an original score by Greensboro musician Frank Vulpi. Both dances were arranged for performance in the round, allowing viewers to walk around the space and see the dances from all four sides.
|Fall Season -- October 4, 5, and 6|
As part of the 17 Days Festival in Greensboro, the company presented concerts at the UNCG Dance Theater on Thursday-Saturday, October 4, 5 and 6 at 8:00 pm. Van Dyke premiered a quartet, Cruiser, with new music by UNCG musician Frank Vulpi, and reconstructed several dances from the company repertory spanning 20 years, including the duet from Field of Force (1993), Quatre Femmes (1997), and Untitled Elegy (2003).
One of the most exciting things about these shows was that several former company members joined us to dance in the older repertory pieces. Lisa Boguslaw was in the original cast of the duet from Field of Force and reprised her role. Laura McDuffee and Kelly Swindell were longtime former cast members of Quatre Femmes, and along with Virginia Freeman Dupont (who has been dancing beautifully with us for 18 years) performed their parts again. Additionally, Dupont and Swindell stepped back into Untitled Elegy for these concerts. Other company dancers were Elizabeth Lane Christopher, Lindsey Bramham Howie, Anne Morris, Mellisa Pihos, Jessica Smith, and Christine Bowen Stevens.
Freelance choreographer and UNCG alum, Justin Tornow, and Cara Hagan, who is on the faculty at High Point University, also contributed new work to the concerts.
Most recently, a free Greensboro performance of dances designed for the gallery space at the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art was given in March 2012. Two dances from the Van Dyke repertory were presented: DUALITY, a 2006 duet with music by Joe Morgan, danced by Virginia Dupont and Amanda Smith, and QUATRE FEMMES, a 1997 quartet danced by Virginia Dupont, Laura McDuffee, Melissa Pihos, and Kelly Swindell. Both dances were arranged for performance in the round, allowing viewers to walk around the space and see the dances from all four sides.
TIME, for five women, premiered on December 2 and 3, 2011 in the UNCG Dance Theater. On December 5th the same dance was shown with the new VARIATION ON AIR FOR THE G STRING in the Recital Hall in the School of Music, accompanied by the UNCG String Orchestra.
Earlier in the fall of 2011, the company shared a performance with UNCG colleague, John Gamble, and two guest choreographers, Sherone Price, a dance faculty member at Appalachian State University, and Carol Finley, Director of Dance at Meredith College. The concerts took place on October 20-22 in the UNCG Dance Theater.