DUNCAN DANCE SOUTH
Duncan Dance South is a regional dance company focused on preserving and passing on the works of early modern dance artists Isadora Duncan and Florence Fleming Noyes, and on creating new works rooted in these early modern dance techniques. Activities include masterclasses, workshops, residencies, and performances.
Recent performances include Orpheus Reimagined, in collaboration with Portara Ensemble, produced by Metro Dance and the Nature Conservancy at the Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville, TN, originally scheduled for March 2020 with a premiere date of March 2022.
EARLY MODERN DANCE
At the turn of the twentieth century, the early modern dance practices of Isadora Duncan and Florence Fleming Noyes revolutionized movement in a variety of contexts, from concert dance (Duncan), to progressive education, to the woman suffrage movement (Noyes), to mind/body therapeutic practices. Historically termed natural, rhythmic, aesthetic or Greek dancing, today these dance techniques are living movement practices that are accessible for all bodies and generate feelings of boundless freedom, harmony, and joy.
Famed for her bare feet, silk tunics, and free spirit, Isadora Duncan (1877- 1927) revolutionized turn-of-the-twentieth century concert dance. Duncan identified the solar plexus as the initiatory center of all emotive and expressive movements and trained a generation of dancers who preserved and passed on her movement technique, as well as her extensive repertory of dances, through a body-to-body legacy still active today. Visit Isadora Duncan Archive for more information about Duncan's dance repertory.
"For me the dance is not only the art that gives expression to the human soul through movement, but also the foundation of a complete conception of life..."
-Isadora Duncan, The Art of the Dance
Working with the same center of initiation, but terming it "the spot," Florence Fleming Noyes' (1871-1928) system features repetitive movement patterns guided by natural and Greek mythological imagery and designed to access and release creative inspiration. Preserved for nearly a century by a small community of summer- time practitioners, Noyes Rhythm continues to evolve as both a physical and philosophical life practice. Visit Noyes School of Rhythm Foundation for information about the summer program.
DUNCAN DANCE SOUTH: ORPHEUS REIMAGINED ARTISTS
Aaron Allen Jr is a contemporary dance artist from Chattanooga, TN whose research and choreographic practices are driven by queer artist and personal experiences centered around identity and safety. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Dance Performance from Middle Tennessee State University, as well as a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado Boulder. Creating safe spaces for movers to be themselves has been a constant guide in his technique classes and choreographic works. Aaron has performed in numerous cities; Shanghai, China, Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C., Oberlin, Ohio, and Tallahassee, Florida. Through athleticism and weight Aaron hopes to challenge his dancers and audience's perceptions of contemporary concert dance. As a teacher Aaron teaches contemporary jazz, contemporary modern, and house.
Meg Brooker is Artistic Director of Duncan Dance South and an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middle Tennessee State University. Meg has danced Duncan repertory and her own choreography in Russia, Italy, Crimea, Greece, the UK, and in the US in cities including New York, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, and Nashville. She is a founding organizer of the Isadora Duncan International Symposium and earned her Advanced Studies certificate in Duncan technique and repertory under the mentorship of Lori Belilove and was a company dancer for Lori Belilove & Company, resident performing company of the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. See ABOUT for full bio.
ELIZABETH DISHAROON WRIGHT
Elizabeth Disharoon Wright is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and The Juilliard School. Elizabeth spent over fifteen years as a principal dancer with the Isadora Duncan Dance Company, led by Lori Belilove in New York City. She performed nationally and internationally with the company and served as a master teacher for the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation. Elizabeth was also a senior member of Jennifer Muller/The Works for eight years, performing and teaching the Muller Polarity Technique. Elizabeth currently lives in Greenville, SC and is currently on faculty at Furman University and the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities.
McKay House is originally from Chattanooga, TN. She received her Bachelors in Dance from the University of Alabama in 2016. Since then she has conceived and performed original works at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Going Dutch Festival, and Kindling Art Festival. She lives and works in Nashville as a freelance dance and performance artist focusing most of her work on dance film and improvisation. She also teaches and organises for Nashville Contact Improvisation and has been a guest teacher of improvisation at several universities.
Jade Treadwell is from Jacksonville, FL. where she attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She holds a BFA and MFA degree in Dance Performance & Choreography from Florida State University. Professionally, she has performed with Staibdance, Clancyworks, and freelance work throughout DC, Maryland, and Atlanta. She is a Lecturer of Dance at MTSU where she teaches Dance Kinesiology, Performance, and Ballet & Modern Techniques. Additionally, she holds a MS in Exercise Science from MTSU and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. Her current research explores effective injury screening and rehabilitation protocols for university dance majors.
A native of N.C, Laurel holds a M.F.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in dance from the University of Alabama. While at NYU, she was a member of the ‘Second Avenue Dance Company’ and served as the Assistant Production Director. Serving four years as the dance instructor at Shelton State, Dance Etc., and Theater Tuscaloosa she then relocated to Nashville, where she served as an adjunct at Vanderbilt and Lipscomb University.Currently full-time Instructor/Coordinator at Middle Tennessee State University, Ms. Walker instructs technique and lecture courses, and choreographs for their pre-professional company.
SAVANNAH COOK (apprentice)
Savannah Cook is a sophomore at MTSU as a Dance Major. Savannah trained at Barfield School of Dance for nine years and now is a lead and assistant teacher. In 2017, she attended Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts for dance, and in the summer of 2019 she traveled to Moscow, Russia to perform in a festival at The People’s Friendship University with MTSU dance professor Meg Brooker. She has been a member of MTSU Dance Theatre for four semesters, performing in faculty and guest artist work, including a new work Junoesque, choreographed by Katherine Duke, Artistic Director of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company.
AUSTIN KRAFT (apprentice)
Austin Kraft has been performing with the MTSU Dance Theatre for four semesters, during which he has worked with several professors and understudied for guest artist Rebecca Steinberg. He has been in MTSU’s Joys of the Season performing a variation of Waltz of the Snowflakes choreographed by Meg Brooker. He has worked with student choreographers for MTSU Dance Student Gala and MTSU Performing Arts Company. He has also performed twice outside of the US. First in Guatemala, performing Gemelas by Chell Parkins at five elementary schools. Second in Italy, with staibdance performing Argento by artistic director George Staib; in the town square of Sant’ Agata.
VALKYRIE RUTLEDGE (apprentice)
Valkyrie Rutledge is an undergraduate attending Middle Tennessee State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in both dance and photography. Valkyrie trained competitively at Danceworks studio in Murfreesboro, Tennessee prior to her studies at MTSU. Since attending MTSU, Valkyrie has performed in the 2018 Joys of the Season concert, as well as the Spring 2018 and Fall 2019 dance concerts as a member of the dance program's pre-professional company MTSU Dance Theatre. In addition, Valkyrie has taught dance and creative movement at the Arts Center of Cannon County's 2019 Junior and Senior Summer Conservatories.