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Dara Nicole Capley (she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, and educator based in Somerville, Massachusetts, a former homeland of the Pawtucket Peoples. She is originally from Florida, where she received early training with Gloria Gaither before moving on to train under Peter Stark and Ivonne Lemus at Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory. After training, Dara found freelance work for a year with Brandon Ballet and The Sarasota Opera before dancing in Nashville Ballet’s second company for two years.

Dara joined Festival Ballet Providence in 2015 under the direction of Mihailo Djuric. During her time with Festival Ballet Providence, Dara performed works by Yury Yanowsky, Mary Ellen Beaudreau, Christopher Huggins, George Balanchine, José Limón, and many others. Dara has also originated soloist roles for Viktor Plotnikov, Ty Parmenter, and Katherine Bickford.

Throughout her training and career, Dara has sought education from teachers and choreographers with whom she was not currently training or working to broaden her knowledge and approach to dance. Some of the master teachers Dara has been privileged enough to take a class or regularly work with include Dominic Walsh, Gina Patterson, Banning Bouldin, Jennifer Archibald, Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, Marcus Schulkind, Jun Kuribayashi, Jennifer Nugent, and Kurt Douglas.  

Dara choreographed her first piece, Vivisection, for the Rhode Island Women’s Choreography Project in the spring of 2019. Dara fell deeply and quickly in love with this form of expression and was fortunate to receive multiple choreographic commissions from directors attending the premiere. Some of the works Dara has created since then include The Noonwraith, which was made entirely over Zoom as Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s emerging choreographer, The Yawn, commissioned by Festival Ballet Providence’s School, a work which placed in Youth America Grand Prix’s Boston top twelve, and Into Reality commissioned by Revolve Dance Project and accompanied by singer-songwriter Chrissy Stewart. Dara’s work f..-.r.-.o---n -.t-i..e.r.-. was set to premiere in March 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and instead premiered in Atlanta, GA, USA in March 2022. In the summer of 2022, Dara was commissioned a second time by Revolve Dance Project and created a trio titled what will you take with you? accompanied by the folk band Laden Valley. Kathryn Boland reviewed the work in Dance Informa and said of the dancers, “Contrasts and tensions between their separate movement offerings even counterbalanced one another. A relationship in space between the dancers all grew through these qualities – yet, like blobs oozing upward in a lava lamp, they were also fully distinct as autonomous agents.”

In 2023, Dara expanded her work to include film choreography, starting with choreographing the music video for Mel Fine’s “Like He Gets to Love Her.” A single-take video, filmed in the historic second-hand store Boomerangs in Jamaica Plain, was a thrilling and challenging entry into film work. Mel Fine hired Dara again later in the year to choreograph and co-direct with Stephanie Houton for a yet-to-be-released music video for their song “BF.” Stephanie and Dara collaborated again in the fall and co-directed the recently released music video for James McCarthy’s “Dancing with a Shadow,” which featured dancers Katherine Bickford and Jacob Hoover.

Currently, Dara performs with Jo-Mé Dance Theater, Abilities Dance Boston, and various freelance projects, including a recent show by Jessi Stegall at the Institute of Contemporary Art. She also teaches with Franklin School for Performing Arts and Midday Movement Series. Dara is currently in process for a new work commissioned by Dean College, as well as engaging in ongoing work-in-progress showings around the Greater Boston area for her new full-length work, Eucalyptus. This work first premiered at Somerville ArtBeat 2023, supported and curated by the Somerville Arts Council and Mayor Katjana Ballantyne, and Dara has shown new excerpts of Eucalyptus in 2024 through Midday Movement’s “Rough Drafts” program and an upcoming showing with WIP Boston."

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