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OUR PURPOSE

Stewart/Owen Dance seeks to enrich the community of Western North Carolina with the education, promotion, and creation of contemporary dance by building a sustainable ecosystem where professional dance artists can thrive. We work toward this purpose by providing high-quality educational programming for newcomers and professionals alike; hosting a nurturing, inclusive work culture; and reflecting the area’s vibrant culture through inventive, elegant, and rigorous performances. 

IN THE COMMUNITY

 

Stewart/Owen Dance is the resident dance company of Asheville's beloved Wortham Center for the Performing Arts and is the first company commissioned by the Wortham to create a new work. The company leads ongoing community dance classes for adults and provides educational outreach programming and performances for public schools and community organizations in Western North Carolina. They believe dance has a distinct ability to inspire, connect, and heal individuals from all backgrounds and experiences.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

 

Gavin Stewart and Vanessa Owen, a husband and wife duo, are the co-founders of Western North Carolina-based Stewart/Owen Dance. Their bespoke repertoire includes an exciting collection of contemporary choreography that’s as “intimate and intricate” (Washington Post) as it is “humorous, elegant, and wild” (Seattle Dances).

 

Stewart and Owen's award-winning choreography has been presented by festivals and companies across the U.S., and their careers have taken them across the globe on fifteen U.S. State Department tours to teach, perform and choreograph contemporary dance with Washington D.C.-based Company E. 

In 2017 they made North Carolina their home base where they work to cultivate the craft of storytelling through movement. Working with regional dance artists, writers, musicians, and storytellers, these cross-genre collaborators cultivate the craft of storytelling through movement — even choreographing music videos for Moses Sumney, Sylvan Esso, and Ben Phantom. 

 

The Company won the Audience Choice Award and a commission for new work from NYC’s Dance Gallery Festival (2019), was voted "Artists Who Most Pushed the Boundaries with the Human Body" by Asheville Fringe Festival (2020), a North Carolina Regional Artist Project Grant (2020), two North Carolina Artist Support Grants (2021, 2024), a North Carolina Grassroots Arts Program Grant (2023), the inaugural North Carolina Choreography Fellowship from Trillium Arts (2023), and a commission from American Dance Festival (2024 premier). Throughout the pandemic, they focused on producing COVID-conscious dance experiences for live audiences, including sold-out drive-up performances at the Asheville Outlet Mall, and guided walk-along dance exhibits presented by the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

MEET THE COMPANY

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Co-Artistic Director, Co-Founder

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Co-Artistic Director, Co-Founder

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Jamal Abrams

Dancer

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Megan Jones Medford

Dancer

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Madeline Badgett

Dancer

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Taylor Railton

Dancer

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Jeff Ewing

Dancer

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