[Durham, NC] – The American Dance Festival (ADF) will dedicate its 82nd season to distinguished teacher, choreographer, and ambassador for dance, Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis. The ceremony honoring Dr. Davis will be held Thursday, June 11th at 7:00pm prior to the season opening performance of Shen Wei Dance Arts at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
Dr. Davis is the founder of the African American Dance Ensemble and the New York-based DanceAfrica. A native North Carolinian, he has traveled extensively to Africa to study with leading artists. In 1980 his growing reputation as one of the foremost and accomplished teachers and choreographers in the traditional techniques of African dance compelled ADF to recruit him for the position of Artist-in-Residence and to head its outreach program in North Carolina. Dr. Davis has also been an ADF faculty member and traveled to Indonesia as part of ADF’s International Linkages Program.
He has been a panelist for several programs of the National Endowment for the Arts and is a recipient of the AARP Certificate of Excellence, the North Carolina Dance Alliance Award, the 1990 North Carolina Artist Award, and the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He has served on the board of the North Carolina Arts Council, and in 1992 he received the North Carolina Award in Fine Arts, the state’s highest honor. He received honorary doctorates from Medgar Evers College and Williams College.
Dr. Davis received a Dance Magazine Award in 2004, the 2005 Community Dance Educator of the Year Award, the 2006 Balasaraswati Joy Ann Dewey Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching, a New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award for outstanding service to the field of dance in 2014, and is cited as one of “America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures” by the Dance Heritage Coalition.
Dr. Davis is a friend and protector for many under-served and often neglected communities. He brings the joy of dance, the excitement of rhythm, and the intensity of humanity to everything he does. ADF Director Jodee Nimerichter stated “ADF, Durham, and the dance world are far richer places today because of Baba Chuck’s love and exuberance for the field.”