Stafford Berry, Jr.
B.A. from North Carolina Central University
M.F.A. in Choreography from Hollins University
STAFFORD C. BERRY, JR. is the Associate Artistic Director of the African American Dance Ensemble where he toured for 12 years, Managing Director of the Berry & Nance Dance Project, and is on the faculty of the American Dance Festival. He has taught, choreographed, and performed African rooted dance and theatre throughout the United States and the Caribbean. An advocate for the advancement of the arts, he has served on Dance Panels for the North Carolina Arts Council & the Durham Arts Council, and he’s served on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Dance Alliance. Mr. Berry has been a Master Teacher for the National Foundation for the Arts Competition in Miami, Florida. He has performed in works by (Dance) Melvin Purnell, Dennis Wayne, David Dorfman, Assane Konte, Dr. Kariamu Welsh Asante, Dr. Bill Banfield, Penny Bridgers, and Dr. Chuck Davis; (Theatre) Ed Shockley, Zadia Ife and August Wilson.
Originally from Chester, Pennsylvania, Mr. Berry received his formal education in theatre, dance, and music from Temple University & North Carolina Central University, and received his MFA from Hollins University/ADF. He is eternally grateful for the knowledge imparted to him from several masters in the US and in Africa, including Les Ballet Africaines, the National Dance Company of Guinea, West Africa. In 1996, Mr. Berry was certified as a teacher of the Umfundalai Technique and in 1997 was Assistant to the Choreographer for Kariamu & Company, with whom he’d also been a principal dancer for 5 years. In 1992 he co-founded the Seventh Principle Performance Company and in 1997 he co-founded the Berry and Nance Dance Project.
Mr. Berry’s choreographer’s awards and grants have been numerous. He was awarded the Neumann Cultural Enrichment Grant to create a new work (1994). He received a North Carolina Arts Council Choreographers Fellowship (2000), a Cooper Foundation Grant (2002), two Five County Arts Grants from the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance in PA (2003, 2004), a Ford Foundation Grant to create a new ballet in collaboration with Dr. Chuck Davis (2004) and most recently, an Emerging Artist grant from the Durham Arts Council which will allow him to create new music for a ballet (2008). His work, a combination of dance, theatre and music, can be seen in the archives of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.