About Center Dance Ensemble
A dance company with history
Center Dance Ensemble was founded in 1988 with the dual mission of creating original works of the highest artistic quality and designing arts education opportunities and programs for students throughout the Valley.
In the 28 years since, we have created more than 80 original works. And we are proud to be generally recognized as the premier modern dance company in Arizona, with many of the other local dance companies, choreographers and dancers having roots in CDE.
Giving back to the community
As the resident modern dance company at the Herberger Theater Center, CDE presents four major concerts throughout the season, and we partner with the Herberger in producing several special opportunities for students, including the Young Artists’ Competition and the Wolf Trap Field Trips. Our educational outreach program is thriving.
Dances are created especially for CDE by Artistic Director Frances Smith Cohen and by international and national guest choreographers. Major works performed by the companies include: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue and Light by Cliff Keuter; First Movement/Last Concerto, The Yellow Shark and Songs of My Mother by Donald Dadey; Siyotanka and Footworks by Diane McNeal Hunt; and Snow Queen, Hamlet/the Ballet, Carmina Burana, The Ballad of Barbara Allen and La Llorona by Frances Smith Cohen, as well as major works by Toronto-based choreographer Michael Montanaro and Vancouver choreographer Robyn Allan.