Every fall (FADE) and spring (SADE), the Appalachian Dance Ensemble becomes the creative laboratory for the Dance faculty and students. As faculty begin to dream about what type of dance that they would like to create, upper level students audition to choreograph for their peers. The creative process continues as large numbers of students vie for approximately 45-50 roles. Throughout each semester, rehearsals for 6-8 different dances are held in the evenings and weekends, to bring the new works to life. The original choreography for the ensemble is primarily modern, with influences from ballet, jazz, and pop culture. Dances range from abstract, to expressionistic, to rhythmic works of sheer physical energy. The ensemble is a concert for young and old alike, as it exudes the joy of dance!
Auditions for both concerts are open to all interested students and are held in the fall (early in the semester for the fall concert, late semester for the spring concert) The range of choreography for both concerts is eclectic including works by ASU faculty, advanced students, and guest choreographers. Student choreographers are chosen by audition.
A second fall concert is produced in conjunction with the North Carolina Dance Festival (NCDF), which has toured to ASU every fall since 1996. NCDF is produced by the North Carolina Dance Project under the direction of Jan Van Dyke. As one of the original hosts of the touring portion of this festival, ASU has presented work from over 30 different North Carolina professional dance companies and choreographers during the yearly fall performances. Each year, the Appalachian Dance Ensemble choreographers and dancers present work alongside the professional touring artists who are chosen to participate. The opportunity is challenging, rewarding, and extremely educational for all students involved.