#DXis40: Dance Exchange’s 40th Anniversary

Celebrate 40 years with us! 
In 2016 we open the door to a fifth decade of gathering, moving, and making at Dance Exchange.

2016-17 Projects

Growing Our Own Gardens  What if the world we need isn’t the world we have? We create a new one. Growing Our Own Gardens, a multidisciplinary, community-driven performance project conceived and directed by DX Associate Artistic Director Matthew Cumbie, is rooted in queer world-making. Through dance, spoken word, and drag this project will explore identifications and disidentifications with queerness, and reflect on what our queer future might look like.

Off-site/Insight: Stories from the Great Smoky Mountains Imagine some of the oldest people in North Carolina dancing alongside some of the oldest mountains in the world. Conceived and directed by DX Executive Artistic Director Cassie Meador along with a local artist cohort, this site-responsive intergenerational dance performance project will unearth stories of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the surrounding region, and the people who have made the park what it is today. This project is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and National Park Service’s Imagine Your Parks initiative.

Future Fields From our founding fields to our future fields, the American food system has defined our countries relationship to land and each other. DX Executive Artistic Director Cassie Meador will explore how the human impact on land and climate shifts the way our food grows and is grown. Partnering with major agricultural programs, and working alongside farmers, environmental scientist, and historians, Meador will utilize performance and dance-based practices to shift the ways communities come to face and talk about the ways our food system shapes our lives.

The OAC Initiative

KM_C224e-20160518112800Dance Exchange’s interdisciplinary work supports and build our capacities as individuals, communities, and organizations to ignite inquiry and inspire action. In our 40th season, we are advancing these efforts by developing and articulating new ways for creating artistic work that enhances local value and impact beyond our own involvement.  In July 2016, we launch Organizing Artists for Change, or OAC, a new initiative that offers a range of opportunities to join Dance Exchange in extending the relevance that our dancemaking can have. Read more about OAC here.



donate-nohtIn recognition of our 40th anniversary, Dance Exchange is launching an 18-month campaign to keep our organization gathering, moving, and making for many years to come. Click here to help us cross the threshold to a fifth decade of Dance Exchange by giving a gift today to support future programming, projects, and keeping our home studios looking beautiful. Or, make a donation via check (payable to Dance Exchange) or credit card by contacting Silvia Roberts at 301-270-6700 ext. 20 or silviar@danceexchange.org. Thank you in advance for your generous gift and steadfast belief in Dance Exchange!

#DXis40 Public Engagements

#dxis40In July 2016, DX held three evening events open to the public taking place throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. The evenings of discussion and engagement connected our local community with of the leading artists in the dance field who expand the ways dancemaking can have an impact in our lives and on our world. Visit our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for photos and video, and follow #DXis40 for more updates and events throughout our 40th season.

Anniversary Kick-Off: 2016 Summer Institute

Our 2016 Summer Institute brought together 40+ participants, alumni, and faculty from all over the world to experience daily movement classes, sessions in core practices, and meaningful dance making beyond the studio with partners in forestry, health care, human rights, and science education. DX artistic director Cassie Meador and DX artists and alumni were joined by founder Liz Lerman to lead this year’s institute. Read more about this year’s institute on the blog, which featured reflections from some participants.

A Brief History of Dance Exchange

Over our forty-year history we have:

  • Created more than 250 groundbreaking dance works that explore content as far ranging as nuclear physics, immigration, ecology, prayer and action, aging, and the advancement of racial equity.
  • Expanded where the dance is happening through thousands of performances that have taken place in forests and hospitals, on stages, in shipyards and senior centers, and along a 500-mile walk.
  • Engaged and collaborated with partners as diverse as scientists, city planners, foresters, human rights lawyers, arts presenters, and fellow dancemakers and artists.
  • Developed an ever-evolving body of creative practices that we share and advance through our institutes, customized trainings, publications, online toolbox, and programming in our studios.