NCCAkron Shares 21st Century Dance Practices Artists

NCCAkron Shares 21st Century Dance Practices Artists

The National Center for Choreography-Akron (NCCAkron) and The University of Akron School of Dance, Theatre, and Arts Administration (DTAA) are proud to announce the fifth year of 21st Century Dance Practices, a capsule series of classes guest taught by today’s working dance artists. The six choreographers include Ruby Morales (Phoenix, AZ), Takahiro Yamamoto (Portland, OR / Boston, MA), Christopher Unpezverde Núñez (New York, NY), Hélène Simoneau (Montreal, Québec / New York, NY), Angelina Ramirez (Tucson, AZ), and J’Sun Howard(Chicago, IL).

21st Century Dance Practices is a capsule series that represents genres, geographies, and cultural and social contexts outside the traditional binary of modern dance and ballet in a conservatory setting. This year’s lineup includes artists who question identity and movement through cultural and social dance forms like breaking, cumbia, and flamenco; explore interdisciplinary practices such as spoken word and accessibility; and utilize improvisation and mind-body integration. The series will challenge students to stretch past the basic dance curriculum and receive benefits beyond the typical one-off master class.

“As a research and development space for the national dance landscape, NCCAkron seeks to build a bridge between 20th century working knowledge and building a 21st century dance ecosystem,” says NCCAkron Executive/Artistic Director Christy Bolingbroke. “By collaborating with The University of Akron, we support our founding partner by challenging its dance program to expand its definition of dance to something broader than ballet or modern dance faster than it can currently evolve its curriculum and operating structure.”

21st Century Dance Practices takes place for six of the 15 weeks in DTAA’s Modern I-IV Spring 2024 semester. Bolingbrokeadds, “This connection to different artists making their own careers in dance is crucial to students’ understanding of what dance can be and what is possible with a degree from The University of Akron.”

The capsule series is the annual spring phase of Ideas in Motion, a larger initiative launched in 2020 and supported by NCCAkron, The University of Akron, The University of Akron Foundation, and the Mary Schiller Myers Lecture Series in the Arts.

In addition to teaching classes, visiting artists will participate in recorded interviews for NCCAkron’s podcast Inside the Dancer’s Studio. Hélène Simoneau and J’Sun Howard will also bring some of their respective casts to continue developing their current works and offer work-in-process showings to the UA community and the general public.

NCCAkron will work with founding partner DANCECleveland to support Hélène Simoneau Danse. DANCECleveland will host a master class and work-in-process showing, both held at The Natatorium of Cuyahoga Falls on Saturday, March 9: master class 10-11:30am and work-in-progress showing at 3pm. COLLIDE and the City of Cuyahoga Falls are partners for these events. 

J’Sun Howard will offer a work-in-process showing in Guzzetta Hall on The University of Akron campus the week of March 18. Date and time TBA.

Both work-in-process showings are free.

Visit to learn more.

Photo credits (L to R): Ruby Morales (photo Shaunté Glover), Takahiro Yamamoto (photo DJ Schaller), Christopher Unpezverde Núñez (photo Walter Wlodarczyk), Hélène Simoneau (photo Whitney Browne), Angelina Ramirez (photo Steven Meckler), and J’Sun Howard (photo courtesy of the artist).

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