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ADF students in the Ruby in 2018. Photo by University Communications.

About ADF

Heralded as “one of the nation’s most important institutions” by the New York Times and as “the world’s greatest dance festival” by the New York Post, the American Dance Festival’s sustained record of creative achievement is indivisible from the history of modern dance. Since 1934, ADF has remained committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields. Remaining true to the goals of its founding artists, ADF’s programs are developed based on its mission: to encourage and support the creation and presentation of new modern dance work by both established and emerging choreographers, to preserve our modern dance heritage through continued presentation of classic works as well as through archival efforts, to build wider national and international audiences for modern dance, to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the art form and its cultural and historical significance, to provide a sound scientific and aesthetic base for professional education and training of young dancers, and to maintain a forum for integrating and disseminating information on dance education.

“Forty years ago when ADF moved from New London, Conn., to Durham, the festival stimulated a renaissance. North Carolina welcomed us with open arms. ADF chose Duke University as the site of its new home over nearly 50 other invitations from all around the country, in part because of North Carolina’s demonstrated enthusiasm for the performing arts. It has been an exhilarating 40 years and we look forward to many more.”

—ADF Executive Director Jodee Nimerichter

Watch the ADF 2019 Highlights.