A work by Assistant Professor of Dance Rachel Barker has been chosen for the 2017 North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF) touring roster. Each year, the NCDF, a program coordinated by Greensboro-based Dance Project, brings professional modern and contemporary dance choreography from North Carolina artists to audiences across the state. In 2016, Associate Professor of Dance E. E. Balcos was chosen as a NCDF touring artist. For this 2017 season, the NCDF’s 27th, a panel of NCDF adjudicators and Dance Project directors selected nine professional choreographers through a blind adjudication process. Performances will take place in October and November in Durham, Greensboro, and Asheville.
Barker will present Welcome, a 33-minute trio featuring dancers Audrey Baran, Caitlyn Swett, and Sarah Ingel. Barker created Welcome in 2016, funded by a UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant and a North Carolina Dance Alliance Fellowship. The work addresses questions about vulnerability in performance and explores improvisation as a creative process, incorporating spoken work and humor. Welcome was performed on the UNC Charlotte Faculty Dance Concert and at the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Event Showcase in Durham. "At once humorous and desperate, Welcome explore themes of vulnerability and 'human-ness,' while questioning the roles of performer and the boundaries of the fourth wall, Barker wrote in a program note.
Welcome has also been accepted for presentation at the Seattle International Dance Festival and will be performed there on June 11 by dancers Caitlyn Swett, Sarah Ingel, and Bailey Anderson.
Barker joined the Department of Dance in Fall 2015 and serves as the Dance Education Coordinator. She was named the 2016 NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellow and was a visiting artist at the international On Site/In Site Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. In the summer of 2016, she conducted site-specific research as an artist-in-residence with collaborator JoAnna Mendl Shaw at the Sedona Summer Arts Colony in Arizona.
Performance of Welcome at the Faculty Dance Concert. Photo by Chris Record.