The American Dance Festival, the nation's oldest and largest summer dance enterprise, will take up new residence at Duke University in Durham, N.C., this coming summer. The ADF will be severing its connection with the University of Connecticut in New London, the site of the event for the past 30 years and of 160 premieres presented under festival auspices.
Duke was chosen as the new festival home after study of overtures from more than 40 interested groups. What tipped the scales toward Duke, according to festival director Charles Reinhart, was "their energy, their enthusiasm, and the breadth of their support."
The development office at Duke, together with the locally based Liggett Group corporation, has pledged to administer a campaign to raise a $1 million trust fund for the ADF over a three-year period. One of the major reasons for the departure from Connecticut was the college's request for an additional $15,000 from ADF, whose funds come from the National Endowment for the Arts and other contributors.
Facilities at Duke available to ADF will include the 1,600 seat page Auditorium on campus, as well as classrooms, rehearsal space and other amenities which will be "somewhat better" than at Connecticut, Reinhart says.
Also to be relinquished will be the week of performances at Newport, R.I., which the ADF has presented the past two years. "We're going to devote all our energies to the move," Reinhart said. The projected six-week 1978 summer program at Duke will include over 30 performances, as well as adjunct programs in criticism, video, dance therapy, dance education and community outreach.
The decision to move to Duke was reached in consultation with a specially appointed advisory panel whose members included dance consultant June Arey: Marilyn Glassman, president of the New London Friends of the Festival; Rhoda Grauer, executive director of the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation; Stuart Hodes, dance department chairman at NYU; choreographer Robert Joffrey; and Peter Zeisler, director of the Theater Communications Group.