About

History

It was late summer in 2019, when the idea for a dance festival emerged among Upper Valley dance artists gathered in a meeting at Open Door to share their work and projects. The idea caught on quickly, and fueled by enthusiastic support from dancers and the community, the idea morphed into an actual project.

It seemed obvious that the festival should take place in White River Junction, a town where art is already omnipresent, which has several successful dance schools, available performing studios and two theaters. What followed effortlessly was the name “The Junction Dance Festival”.

After a year of structuring, planning, coordinating and successful fundraising, the founding committee was prepared to launch the first Junction Dance Festival in the summer of 2020. Unfortunately, like many other performing art events, the festival was called off due to the Covid 19 pandemic. We decided again to cancel the 2021 festival as Covid guidelines for large public gatherings were not permitted at the time.  Although disappointed we are determined to continue our efforts and bring to you the Junction Dance Festival in 2022.

Purpose

The Junction Dance Festival, Inc., is a non profit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Vermont. It is established to promote the understanding and appreciation of Dance in all of its forms through performance.

Mission

The mission of The Junction Dance Festival is to spotlight dancing by and for the greater Upper Valley community. We want to showcase dancers, choreographers, performing artists and community dance groups, from Vermont, New Hampshire and farther afield. The festival highlights the diversity of existing dance styles, and gives a chance for the participating artists to express their talent and love of dance.



The Junction Dance Festival or TJDF for short: What is it ?

TJDF is a weekend of dance entertainment and performances with the participation of dance artists, choreographers, dance schools and community dance groups from Vermont and New Hampshire and beyond. It is a forum for dance artists to meet and mix with the public of the Upper Valley.  We want the community to experience the full spectrum of dance style whether it’s ballet, modern, contemporary, hip hop, country dancing and nontraditional dancing, and at the same time give the public opportunities to participate in events such as parade, workshops, classes and social dancing.

What will you find at TJDF ?

  • Open doors at various dance schools with free classes and student demonstrations
  • Master classes from professional dancers
  • Site specific dance events
  • Street dances
  • TJDF “Anything Goes” parade
  • Performances at the Briggs Opera House.

How much does it cost?

TJDF is made possible by the generous contributions from private foundations, local businesses and people from the community. All outdoor and studio events are free to the public.  Tickets for theater events may be donation based or affordable  (children under 12 are free).

If you would like to make a tax deductible gift, please address the check to The Junction Dance Festival and send to PO Box 605, Norwich, VT 05055, or use the Paypal button for online payment, in the Support section of the website.

You can also contribute by volunteering your time. Please contact us at info@thejunctiondancefestival.org






Board Members

  Elizabeth Kurylo, President and Executive Officer.

Elizabeth was born in France where she began her dance career. In the 90’s, she left the profession to pursue a degree in physical therapy at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ. She never really stopped dancing and choreographing while being a therapist, but now that she is retired, she is free to focus all her energy and renewed passion into creating new works with dancers from the Upper Valley community.  She is dedicated to help dance artists develop their creative potential and to make dance accessible to all audience. The ChoreoLab residency and Junction Dance Festival are her brainchilds.

   Joan Allen, Vice President

Joan has been dancing since childhood, specializing in classical ballet and traditional English and American dance. More recently, she’s added Scottish and Baroque dance. She also enjoys choral singing and has appeared in musical theater productions. Her profession is natural resource conservation. Joan is pleased to be joining the JDF Board in 2021.

 Erin McNulty, Secretary

Erin lives in Plainfield, NH. She is a contemporary dance artist and educator. She holds degrees from Boston University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, UK, and is currently working towards her MFA through Goddard College. She holds dance faculty positions at Boston University, Wilmington Dance Academy, and Lebanon Ballet School, and teaches barre fitness at Mighty Yoga NH. She also worked for six years as Lead Teaching Artist and Instructional Coach for Boston Ballet’s Education & Community Initiatives. Her choreographic work for the stage and on film has been supported by New England Foundation for the Arts, the Shawna Shea Memorial Women in Film Fellowship, and the City of Boston www.ErinKMcNulty.com. Erin was one of the selected 2022 ChoreoLab residents and TJDF performers. She became a board member in September 2022.

    Edward P Childs, Treasurer

Edward has served on a number of non-profit boards during his 35 years in Vermont, including the Montessori School (Norwich), the Upper Valley Music Center and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. He currently represents the town of Corinth on the board of E.C. Fiber. Edward composes music in his spare time. His wife, sister and daughter are all dance artists.

  Marie Fourcaut

Marie Fourcaut, born in Algeria and raised in France, began her professional dance career in Paris at the age of 16 and has worked with leading modern dance companies around the world. She collaborated and performed in acclaimed productions with Martha Clarke. She has taught yoga and her own movement classes in the Upper valley for the past two decades. With the “Ensemble Marie” she created events in Hanover NH,  at the Black Family Visual Center in 2017, and at the Hood Museum in 2019. Most recently, she and Carla Kimball, created a film around Carla’s Installation at AVA Gallery, “ Memories in Solitude”. Marie is a TJDF founding member.

  Julie Frew

Julie Frew grew up dancing in the Washington, DC area before attending Kenyon College, where she graduated with a Drama and Psychology double major and Dance minor.  She then spent several years immersed in the NYC modern dance scene before relocating to the Upper Valley to attend medical school.  She currently lives in Norwich, VT with her family and studies and performs ballet, modern, contemporary, improvisation, and percussive dance techniques.  Julie is excited to bring more dance to the Upper Valley community through the Junction Dance Festival. Julie is a TJDF founding member.

  Ruth Mayer

Ruth Mayer is a former soloist of The American Ballet Theatre. As a resident of the Upper Valley since 1990, she has taught, choreographed and performed with many of our arts organizations. She is currently teaching ballet at her studio in Thetford, VT. Ruth is a TJDF founding member.