ACDT Performances


Festival of New Dance

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT) presents the Festival of New Dance from Thursday, March 26, through Sunday, March 29. Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 6 p.m. on Sunday.


The festival has been postponed due to COVID-19 and will be rescheduled. Stay tuned.

–Artist works by Susan Collard, Giles Collard and Kathy Leiner. 
–Artist works by Cilla Vee, Melissa Wilhoit and A Eithne Hamilton. And a new creation by Liz Lang with film/video by Greg Herman & video by Geo Lynx.

The event features six choreographers’ interpretations of new dance, presented in performances of 25 minutes or less. Two master classes, held on Saturday and Sunday, offer hands-on instruction to the community. All events take place at the BeBe Theatre in Asheville.

“New dance is a vague term that can be interpreted with many different styles, elements and visions,” says ACDT director and founder Susan Collard. “My husband and I want to bring to our community different ways to see and take part in the art of dance.”

Participating choreographers are Cilla Vee, Giles Collard, A Eithne Hamilton, Kathy Leiner, Melissa Wilhoit and Susan Collard herself. Invitees were selected based on their ability to create quality work within a limited time frame, push creative boundaries, collaborate with artists in other disciplines and challenge audiences with unique dance styles that explore movement possibilities. Susan Collard’s concept uses bamboo, the infusion of original sound and voice by Liz Lang and collaboration with a film maker.

“Some choreographers are using paint, others are experimenting with film and props,” says Susan. “One person is making large screens for special visual effects, while another is experimenting with sound and light and yet another is exploring the possibilities of toys and dance combined.”

Kathy Leiner’s work is inspired by Women’s History Month and the 100 year anniversary of the 19th amendment. She explores physical and conceptual issues surrounding control and freedom within the isolation and intimacy of paper walls between the audience and performer. Drawing inspiration from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, the experiment delves into the process of a woman’s journey to and from oppression.

“I read the story over and over again,” says Leiner. “The imagery and layers of concepts within it are the jumping off point for a shared experience for the performer and the audience.”

Leiner will teach Sunday’s master class on creative processing. Saturday’s class, taught by Melissa Wilhoit, will focus on Limón technique. The classes are offered at a discount with the purchase of a ticket for performances.

“I look forward to participating because the festival invites artists to experiment with new works without boundaries, and gives the space to share our process through workshops too,” says Leiner.

BeBe Theatre is located at 20 Commerce Street, in Asheville. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for students and seniors. Purchase tickets at Learn more by visiting or by calling 828.254.2621.

You will receive a discount for the master classes if you purchase a ticket to a show.

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre (ACDT) is a non-profit professional dance company created in 1979. As western North Carolina’s first professional modern dance company, they believe that everything everywhere is dance and everyone is a dancer. ACDT is devoted to local and international work, forging collaborations and partnerships between Asheville artists and dance artists from around the world.