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It's Time to Dance Under the Influence

What better way to start the spring season than with a dance? Dance Under the Influence returns once again this year with some the most alluring and talented artists from around the globe. Opening at the MAD (Museum of Arts and Design) from March through June, come and see the diverse dancers take the stage in magical rhythm and precise beat. Performances include a wide range of genres: tap, flamenco, post-modern dance, Indian classical dance, and much more. Revisiting this year’s show will be renowned tap dancer and choreographer Jason Samuels Smith and flamenco artist Nelida Terido. Notable newcomers are Kathak master Prashant Shah and modern African fusion dancer Khaleah London, along with the celebrated Stephen Petronio and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II Company.

Dance Under the Influence is guest-curated by Valerie Gladstone. Music is by Jonathan Batiste for the March 30th and 31st performances commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.

2012 Program Line-up is as follows:

March 2 and 3, 2012—NIGHTS OF RHYTHM
Juan de Juan, Jason Samuels Smith, Prashant Shah, Nelida Tirado, with guest musicians

Juan de Juan, one of the world's leading flamenco dancers, started his career in the company of the great Antonio Canales. He formed his own troupe in 2004, bringing it to the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Hong Kong and Athens festivals, as well as to New York's City Center.

The choreographer/dancer Jason Samuels Smith has appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with The Stars," and starred in the Tony Award-winning Broadway show "Bring in Da'Noise, Bring in Da'Funk." With his own tap company A.C.G.I (Anybody Can Get It), he tours the world with "India Jazz Suites" and "Charlie's Angels: A Tribute to Charlie Parker."

Prashant Shah spent over 25 years training with Padma Bhushan, a world-renowned Kathak (Indian Classical Dance) exponent and founder of the Kadamb Centre for Dance and Music in Ahmedabad, India. Dubbed the "Fred Astaire of Kathak" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Shah has toured Asia, Europe, and the United States as a solo artist as well as a leading dancer of the Kadamb company.

The flamenco artist Nelida Tirado has performed at theaters and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and with major companies such as Noche Flamenca and Compania Maria Pages. She had top billing in the Broadway hit show "Riverdance." Also an accomplished Latin dancer, she worked with Tito Puente and performed with him for President Bush at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C.

March 30 and 31, 2012
Jonah Bokaer, Holley Farmer, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company II and Jared Grimes and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards in a new work with original music by pianist and composer Jonathan Batiste

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards has been in almost every major tap movie or show that has appeared since the '80's. Her career includes roles in "Black and Blue" and the Tony Award-winning "Bring In Da'Noise, Bring In Da'Funk," as well as the film, "TAP" with Gregory Hines.

Jared Grimes has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Gregory Hines, Jerry Lewis, Fayard Nicholas and for President Obama and Senator Ted Kennedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. His theater credits include "The Scottsboro Boys," "Sammy," and "Broadway Underground," which he directed.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Company II. New artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Robert Battle has had his works performed by the Ailey company as well as by his own troupe, Battleworks. He was honored as one of the Masters of African American Choreography by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2005.

Jonah Bokaer expands the possibilities for live performance through choreography, digital media, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. While only 30 years old, he has not only worked with such legends as Merce Cunningham and Robert Wilson, he has already won a New York Dance and Performance Award "Bessie" for establishing the arts organization Chez Bushwick. Bokaer also cofounded CPR, the Center for Performance Research, in Brooklyn, which provides affordable space for rehearsal and performance, innovative arts programming, and education in New York City.

Holley Farmer has worked with the Merce Cunningham Company and Twyla Tharp and collaborated with such musicians as Brian Eno and the band Radiohead and artists Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. For her leading role in Tharp's Broadway hit "Come Fly With Me," she received an Astaire Award nomination. She also won the New York Dance and Performance Award "Bessie" for sustained achievement.

Jonathan Batiste comes from a celebrated family of musicians in New Orleans and has performed in over 40 countries and collaborated with artists such as Prince, Jimmy Buffet and Wynton Marsalis. He's a Juilliard graduate, a Movado Future Legend award winner, and the youngest Steinway Performing Artist.

May 4 and 5, 2012
Payal Kadakia and Sa Dance Company, Khaleah London, Jodi Melnick and Stephen Petronio

Trained in various Indian classical and folk styles, Payal Kadakia is known for her creative choreography and has earned acclaim for her mastery of many traditions. Her troupe Sa Dance has performed at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, Peabody Essex Museum, and at NYC Fashion Week.

Khaleah London has performed with companies in the UK, Trinidad, and in the United States, and made her debut with her own troupe, Layers, in Senegal in 2009. Her works, have been presented at Dance Theater Workshop and Symphony Space, among others. She gives workshops at Ballet Hispanico, Long Island University and Yale University.

Jodi Melnick has performed with the Twyla Tharp Dance Company and choreographers Sara Rudner, John Jasperse and Vicky Shick, at venues such as The Kitchen and La Mama. She was a guest artist with the Trisha Brown Dance Company and has collaborated and performed in the video/film works of Burt Barr and Charles Atlas. She won two "Bessie" awards for sustained achievement in dance in 2001 and 2008.

Stephen Petronio has built a body of work with some of the world's most talented and provocative artists including composers Nico Muhly, Laurie Anderson, and Diamanda Galás; visual artists Cindy Sherman and Anish Kapoor, and fashion designer Benjamin Cho and the late performance artist Leigh Bowery. Founded in 1984, his company has performed in 26 countries, and won commissions from Dance Umbrella Festival/London, Festival International Montpellier-Danse, and The Joyce Theater and Wexner Center for the Arts.

June 1 and 2, 2012
Souleymane Badolo, Bridgman/Packer Dance, Misnomer Dance, Claire Porter

Souleymane Badolo, who was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, is the director and founder of Kongo Ba Téria, a company that fuses traditional African dances with Western contemporary dance. He has had a distinguished career working with the renowned African choreographer, Gnapa Béatrice Kombé, and acclaimed French choreographer Mathilde Monnier, among others, and has performed at Danspace and DNA in New York.

Bridgman/Packer Dance—the innovative duo of Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer—bring together live performance and video technology to create highly visual and visceral theatrical experiences. Magically populating the stage, they blur the line between image and reality. Recipients of a Guggenheim Fellowship and multiple National Endowment for the Arts grants, they have performed worldwide and at New York City venues including the Baryshnikov Arts Center and City Center Fall For Dance Festival.

Misnomer Dance Theater has performed in the United States and abroad, with seasons at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and The Joyce Theater, among other venues, and has also conducted large-scale, cross-medium collaborations, from choreographing Bjork's "Wanderlust" video to creating an 8,000 square-foot labyrinth with the Danish Dance Theater.

Claire Porter has performed her Portables, a collection of funny and poignant character sketches, internationally and in the New York City area—at PS 122, Joe's Pub, Dance Theater Workshop, The Kitchen, The Joyce Theater, The Bottom Line and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She has also brought them to the American Dance Festival, The Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, Jacob's Pillow and The Kennedy Center.

All programs will be held in MAD's Theater at 7:30 pm.
All tickets $20 General, $12 MAD Members and Students with Valid ID.

For more information on performances and tickets visit:

MAD (Museum of Arts and Design)

2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

Dance Gallery Festival 2011

VON USSAR danceworks presents the 5th Annual Dance Gallery Festival, featuring original works from emerging and renowned choreographers from around the country on October 7, 8, 13, 14, and15, 2011. 

The Dance Gallery Festival is produced and curated by VON USSAR danceworks under the artistic direction of Astrid von Ussar and Mojca Ussar.  Founded to address the scarcity of affordable venues available for presentation of modern dance, the festival showcases the works of both established and emerging choreographers in a state of the art theater.

Photo Box D

The New York City opening on Thursday, October 13 - preceded by a wine reception - will present the "Best of" Dance Gallery Festival, a presentation of works by eight choreographers whose dances have graced the stages of the festival over its five year history.  The performance includes dances by Camille Brown, CorbinDances, Rick McCulough, Jeremy McQueen, NobleMotion Dance, somebodies dance theater, Mojca Ussar and VON USSAR danceworks.

Performances on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 include:

Et Tu choreographed by Kyla Barkin and performed by BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT

Quitte Me Pas choreographed by Dorcas Roman and performed by Dorcas Roman Dance Theatre

RedBlueGreen choreographed by Pascal Rekoert and performed by Flexicurve

Otro Portal choreographed and performed by Paola A. Georgudis

4Ward and 4Gotten choreographed by Spencer Gavin Hering and performed by infinite Movement Ever Evolving (iMEE)

Light is Calling choreographed by Kazuko Hirabayashi and performed by Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre

Being choreographed and performed by Khaleah London / LAYERS

Somewhere in Between choreographed by Jessica Mayhew

Roundabout choreographed by Andy Noble, Dionne Sparkman Noble and performed by NobleMotion Dance

Inscriptions choreographed by Sarah Stanley

Cage Free choreographed by Betsi Graves and performed by Urbanity Dance

Fellow Travelers choreographed by Astrid von Ussar and performed by VON USSAR danceworks
For the second consecutive year, Dance Gallery Festival will also perform in Texas at Sam Houston State University on October 7 and 8.  Choreographers/companies featured in the Texas festival include BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT, Hope Stone Dance, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, infinite Movement Ever Evolving (iMEE), Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, NobleMotion Dance, Paola Georgudis, Urbanity Dance, VON USSAR danceworks, and Trent D. Williams, Jr

For more information please visit: .


Dance Gallery Festival
October 13-15, 2011

The Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 W. 55th Street (at 9th Ave)
New York City

Also performing:
October 7-8. 2011

Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, Texas

National Dance Week-NYC

The 7th annual National Dance Week-NYC (NDW-NYC) runs June 17 - 27, 2ndw-Dancer011 at a variety of venues throughout New York City.

National Dance Week-NYC is a yearly festival that advocates dance conditioning and wellness. NDW-NYC offers more than 100 free dance, fitness and wellness classes over the course of 10 days. The organization moves beyond traditional dance forms to teach participants how all dance genres benefit mind, body and spirit.

Read more: National Dance Week-NYC

LES Fest 2011

The Theater for the New City's 16th Annual Lower East Side (LES) Festivallesf-ACBaker of the Arts runs this year from May 27 - 29, 2011 at 155 First Avenue in the Lower East Side area of Manhattan, New York City.

The Arts featured include a visual art exhibition, a film and video festival, plays and poetry, dance performances, and musical acts of all types.

In addition, the Street Festival features Outdoor Performances by some 20 musicians, poetry, performance art and dance by 20 poets and performers, and several comics.

Visual Artists in the Lobby, curated by Carolyn Ratcliffe – Over 40 artists are exhibiting, including:

  • Amy Cohen Banker
  • David Barish
  • Elliot Berke
  • Mario Bustamante
  • Lois Carlo
  • Victor Cevallos
  • Kathy Creutzberg
  • Dennis Edge
  • Haim Elisha
  • Keiko Kato
  • Kathleen McDermott
  • Jerry Pagane
  • Carolyn Ratcliffe
  • Bonnie Rosenstock
  • George Smol
  • Karl Sobel
  • Keicocco Suzuki


Cobu5293. Directed by Yako Miyamoto. Performed by Yuki Yamamori, Micro Fukuyama, Namiko Yamada, Yoco Ogawa. Cobu is a live rhythm performance group. Their motto is "Dance lilesf-KLunnke Drumming, Drum like Dancing".

E-Dance – Body rhythm of Chinese Traditional Dance. Danced by Cha-Lee Chan. Movement arrangement by Cha-Lee Chan and Wai-Yee Chan. Two combinations utilize arm and leg movements to demonstrate basic Chinese traditional dance technique in slow and quick tempo.

Kitty LunnInfinity Dance Theater. In The Beginning: A Creation Story, choreography by Kitty Lunn, music by William Catanzaro. Dancers: Kitty Lunn, Toni Taylor

Laura Shapiro QuicksilverdancePart 2, Coal Miners' Daughters. Conceived and directed by Laura Shapiro. Performed by Marjolayne Auger, Kiori Sherwood-Kawai, Trayer Run-Kowzun, Mari Sakahara

Thunderbird American Indian DancersHoop Dance and The Old Style Warriors Dance. Participating are Louis Mofsie-Director, Alan Brown, Raymond Leung, Marie McKinney

Film & Video:

Pearl on the Ocean Floor (Documentary)
Directed by Robert Adanto
Featuring Shirin Neshat, Shadi Ghadirian, Parastou Forouhar, Sara Rahbar
Iranian female artists speak on issues of identity, gender, and the role Art plays in challenging the traditional stereotypes often associated with women in Iran.

Mahloul, a Palestine Journey (Documentary)lesf-Mahloul
Directed by Gary Brackett
Actors from the Living Theater visited refuge camps, social centers, womens‛ centers, and villages, and captured the voices from the front lines of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

A Question of Solitude
Conceived and Scored by Peter Dizozza
Developed at La Mama ETC with George Ferencz
Dedicated to the James Bond Legacy. Uncle James and Senior Bond infiltrate a secret plot to occupy inner earth while Jimmy, confronting his solitude, helps two fallen Presbyterian missionaries escape the clutches of HAARM.

Icy Trouble (Animation)
Conceived and Directed by Ian James and William Electric Black
An animated short for kids showcasing the benefit of exercise and eating healthy.

Death &Taxes (Documentary)
Produced by the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee
Meet 28 people from around the US who talk about why and how they resist paying taxes for war and where that choice takes them.


Judy Gorman – In Pete Seeger's words "Judy Gorman is a wonderful singer and musician." Her blues rooted songs seek to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Liz Magnes – Solo jazz piano, performing material from Porgy & Bess.lesf-LBurrows

Tammy Grimes – Singing "The Rose" by Amanda McBroom, "How Deep Is The Ocean" by Irving Berlin and "If Love Were All" by Noel Coward. Accompanied by Christopher Denny on piano.

Vinie Burrows – A vignette of a Honduran woman is from her solo show, Sister! Sister!


Jennifer Blowdryer – Jennifer Blowdryer is a local writer who is currently working on The Bitches Guide to the Lower East Side. She performs spoken word frequently.

Valery Oisteanu – Oisteanu is performing/reading poetry from his new book in progress Present for a Rainy Day, poems dedicated to New York's poets and artists, friends and adventures in his travels.

Lissa Moira curates the Poetry Program in the Community Space Theater
Featured Guest: Richard West with a tribute to "Word Warrior" and Grand Old Fug, Tuli Kupferberg, with Anita Steckel. Other poets include Dixie Lee, Tom Savage, Liz Roberts and Richard Weber, among others.


Chinese Theatre WorksA Day at the Office. Conceived by Bert Weschler and Kuang-Yu Fong. Performed by Kuang-Yu Fong. Inspired by the movement and staging from Chinese Opera, this piece combines Western and Chinese theater technique to tell a story that takes place in a modern office.

Combat Dating – Find out what happens when beastly attraction turns deadly in this a sex farce. Directed by George Ferencz, written by C.S. Hanson, with Jason Howard, Jenne Vath

Eugenia Macer-Story – Captain Midnight's Spyglass Heart, a new play in a series of published short stories and plays entitled The Captain Midnight Transmissions by Eugenia Macer-Story. Featuring Cathie Boruch and Neal Kodinsky. A magickal adventure with Atlantean sorcerers & spirit mediums loose outside the ordinary timeline.

New Stage TheatreOh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls! is an original play inspired by the life and art of Anita Berber, the iconic dancer/poet who epitomized for many the decadence of Weimar era Berlin. Conceived and directed by The New Stage Theatre Company's Founder/Artistic Director, Ildiko Nemeth. Texts written by Ildiko Nemeth and Mark Altman. Choreography by Julie Atlas Muz and Peter Schmitz. Performed by Peter Schmitz, Kaylin Lee Clinton, Sarah Lemp, Catherine Correa, Markus Hirnigel, Denice Kondik, Jeanne Lauren Smith, Fabiyan Pemble-Belkin, Florencia Minniti, John Rosania and Maria Cuartero Toledo.

Youth Performances include:

  • Lakota Youth Arts Program
  • New York School of Rock
  • SupercuteRachel Trachtenburg - Vocals/Ukulele, June Lei - Vocals/Keyboards/ Ukulele, Julia Cumming - Vocals/Ukulele/Guitar.

This staggering array of things to see, hear and enjoy fills the whole Memorial Day weekend, which will hardly leave time for going anywhere else. And all of the performances are Free!

For more information, visit

Lower East Side (LES) Festival of the Arts
May 27 - 29, 2011

Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue (between E. 9th & E. 10th Streets)
New York City

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