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 also 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 a 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 had to be cancelled 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 Upper Valley community. We want to showcase local dancers, choreographers, performing artists, dance schools and community dance groups, to highlight the diversity of existing dance styles, and to give a chance for these 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 local dance artists, choreographers, dance schools and community dance groups. Opportunities for dance artists to present their talents to the general public and on the local level are rare.  Similarly, the public of the Upper Valley has few opportunities to view and appreciate what their dancing neighbors are up to, whether it’s ballet, modern, country dancing or other nontraditional dance styles. TJDF is providing this new and unique platform for dancers and audiences to share their love of dance in all its forms. During the festival weekend, local dance schools affiliated with TJDF will be offering a variety of dance classes of many styles.

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
  • An evening of dance performances at one of the downtown WRJ theaters.

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 are affordable and children under 12 are free.

If you would like to make a tax deductible gift, please use the donation form 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 Junction Dance Festival is her brainchild.

Hailey Swett, Secretary

Hailey discovered at a young age that dancing through life is more fun than going about it any other way. A graduate of The Sharon Academy, Hailey has been studying modern and ballet for over a decade at her two homes away from home – ­­­­­­­Open Door and White River Ballet Academy – and has also choreographed several high school musicals. Hailey is currently a student at Tufts University where she is continuing to dance and learn. Hailey is a TJDF founding member.

Marguerite Ames, Treasurer

Marguerite has danced all her life, with most of her training in modern dance.  Her current interests include baroque dance, performing regularly in historical operas at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and traditional Irish dance. An art historian by training, she has made a career as a teacher of history and theater at the Marion Cross School. She is a supporter of the arts and TJDF founding member.

  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 15 years. With the “Ensemble Marie” she created two Events in Hanover NH, one at the Black Family Visual Center in 2017, two at the Hood Museum in October 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.

Joan Allen
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.