I Promise

The Company’s newest dance-theatre work, I Promise, draws on the imagery of rioting and rebellion to question how we define our tribe, what connects us, and what separates us. The title is a response to Martin Luther King’s iconic 1963 speech, “I have a dream.” I Promise is the sentiment of remembering to carry the dream forward. The physicality of this dynamic group work is driven from the desire to rebel and fueled by Comerford’s vision to transform unspoken emotions into physical sensations. “The irony of describing this work in words, is that we can not speak about the details that drove us to create it which reveals the reality of where we are as a society.” Solos, duets and large ensemble work create the tension of sharing this metaphorical weight and how each dancer inevitably longs to defeat it in his or her own personal way. Comerford states that the piece is hopeful in its aim and that to rebel supposes that there is something worth fighting for.

This work has proudly been selected for presentation as part of the 2017-2018 Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA) season. December 15 and 16 at 8pm and December 17 at 7pm. The Fruit, 305 S Dillard Street, Durham NC.

Additional Touring Venues: The Duke Energy Theatre [Charlotte, NC], Carolina Theatre [Durham, NC]

Press: “Rousing group work.” Site Terrific: A Third Friday When the Durham Dance Scene Just Worked, Michaela Dwyer, Indy Week, 20 September 2017


ShaLeigh Dance Works is excited to present the world premiere of Aló, the company’s first evening length work as a part of  Durham Independent Dance Artists’ (DIDA) first complete curated season of local dance.

Aló is performed in the round and invites the audience into a rich and intimate shared experience. The work is driven by the desire to explore the instinctive human need to connect and how it paradoxically intersects with both the longing to be seen and the desire to hide our inner worlds. It plays with the gap between the stage and the audience, between the dancers and the spectators, so that the separation exposes connection and that which remains is us.

Press Release

imagine emotions so intense that they make your body speak. ~Majid Bastani 4/2/2015

treasured, tender, and bold. ~Lucia Del Vecchio 4/1/2015

The community Comerford created onstage reflected love and connection – as opposed to the fear and division that pervades our culture today ~Susan Broli 5/4/2015

The dance as a whole has a most satisfying formal balance, as themes and variations spiral around to a conclusion that posits connection to others as a more powerful desire in humans than that for separateness. ~Kate Dobbs Ariail 5/1/2015

Dedicated to [ ] because of [ ] (and vice versa)

The company’s most revered work, Dedicated to [ ] because of [ ] (and vice versa), received a standing ovation at its 2007 debut at Judson Church.

Dedicated is a complex dance theater work that explores the deeply personal and cultural landscape of gender and violence. Referencing political and pop culture icons, Actor and playwright Richard Kirkwood joins the dancers as an explosive opposing force to the repetition of their movement language. Kirkwood and Comerford co-wrote the text as an ever-changing context that builds on shifts of power. The result is a multilayered dance theatre experience marked by a desire for reclamation.

This work has proudly been selected for presentation by the American Dance Festival, the North Carolina Dance Festival, the American Dance Guild and the Triangle Dance Project.

Additional Touring Venues: Movement Research at Judson Church [NYC], Hudson Guild Theatre [NYC] The Flea Theater [NYC], ArtsCetera [Brooklyn, NY], The Field’s FAR Space [NYC], Dance Theatre Workshop [NYC], Jones Auditorium [Raleigh, NC], Valborg Theater [Boone, NC], Aycock Auditorium [Greensboro, NC], Robinson Hall [Charlotte, NC], Community Arts Center [Wilmington, NC], PSI Theatre [Durham, NC]

a marvelous surprise ~Kate Dobbs Ariail, CVNC 6/25/2015

flaunts a complex of references … and content. ~Lightsey Darst, Indy Week 9/16/2013

a sinewy, fluid quality…grounded and fierce/ ~Lisa Thomas May 2006

sensitive and dramatic. ~The Lynchburg Ledger December 2004

a sweet nightmare…dreamily searching. ~GoTriad January 2006

stark and inventive. ~The News & Observer 20 June 2006