Durham Blossoms as a Mecca for Dance

Day for Dancing

Hundreds of women showed up for classes at Day for Dancing. Several small dance companies were born out of the experience. (courtesy Herald-Sun)

Durham’s dance scene took off in the 1970s. March 1, 1975, a pivotal day known as Day for Dancing, was begun by Jacqueline Erickson Morgan and repeated for four years.

In 1978 the American Dance Festival relocated from Connecticut College to Duke, bringing its historic program and a rich modern dance tradition.

Chuck Davis

The Dance Heritage Coalition has recognized Chuck Davis as one of the first 100 irreplaceable dance treasures in the United States. (photo by Jay Anderson, courtesy American Dance Festival)

In 1984 Chuck Davis established the African American Dance Ensemble, moving African dance onto stages throughout the world.

Kathy Silbiger, in her tenure at Duke University Institute of the Arts, became the area’s most daring dance programmer, bringing in avant garde companies, local talent, and dance of all kinds from around the globe.


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