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American Dance Festival

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American Dance Festival, photographer Bruce R. Feeley


The American Dance Festival, heralded by Clive Barnes in the New York Post as "the world's greatest dance festival," has been an unparalleled center of creative activity and a national force in education for over seventy years. Noted as "the country's foremost and most enduring organization devoted to creativity in American modern dance," by Anna Kisselgoff in The New York Times, ADF is celebrated for its vision and commitment to the promotion, presentation, and preservation of modern dance. Since 1934 ADF has remained committed to commissioning works, to serving the needs of dance, dancers, and choreographers, and to enhancing appreciation of modern dance. ADF has been the scene of over 535 premieres and commissions. A creative laboratory dedicated to nurturing and sustaining modern dance, ADF is a magnet for choreographers, dancers, students, teachers, critics, musicians, and scholars, drawing them together to experiment, collaborate, learn, and create in a supportive environment The ADF School is among the oldest training grounds for professional and young modern dancers and ADF's wide range of programs currently includes performances, national and international professional services, humanities projects, community out-reach, educational programs and classes, preservation efforts, archives, and media projects. 

Pictured above: American Dance Festival students perform Shen Wei's world premiere Near the Terrace (2000), commissioned by ADF. (Photograph by Bruce R. Feeley. American Dance Festival Archives.)



Essay by Amanda Wick -- Selected resources