The Joyce Theater Premieres Jason Samuels Smith's IMAGINE and CHASIN' THE BIRD, Now thru 7/7
The Joyce Theater presents Emmy Award-winning choreographer Jason Samuels Smith in celebration of his first season of full-length programming at The Joyce with a performance that features two world premieres from tonight, July 3 through July 7.
Emmy Award winning choreographer Jason Samuels Smith celebrates his first season of full-length programming at The Joyce with a performance that features three works, including two world premieres: Imagine (world premiere); excerpts from Charlie’s Angels: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2009); and Chasin’ the Bird (world premiere). These three interrelated works, all of which are set to the music of legendary saxophonist Charlie Parker, follow Smith’s artistic process from conception through development and final production.
The program begins with the world premiere of Imagine, a solo piece choreographed and danced by Smith. Set to music performed by a live five-piece band, Imagine reveals how Smith’s experimentation with sound and movement led to his process of creating Charlie’s Angels: A Tribute to Charlie Parker (2009), excerpts of which follow Imagine.
Charlie’s Angels, conceived while Smith was performing in the world premiere of Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap!, was born out of the idea of re-creating the music of Charlie Parker through tap dance. The work features three of taps most sensational female dancers--Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards—Chloe Arnold (Cobu 3D) and Michelle Dorrance (Stomp)
The evening will culminate with the world premiere of Chasin’ The Bird, a theatrical project that is a continuation – of sorts – of Charlie’s Angels. Combining a diverse mixture of tap as a musical, theatrical, and visual art form enhanced by the artistry of live musicians, Chasin’ the Bird features the talents of many accomplished artists. The work is written by Craig mUMs Grant (“Oz”) and directed by Dule Hill (“The West Wing,” “Psych”) & Awoye Timpo. It is danced by Baakari Wilder (Bring in Da'Noise, Bring in Da'Funk, Bamboozled), Zakiya Young (StickFly, The Little Mermaid), Frank Harts (A Raisin In The Sun), Chloe Arnold and Michelle Dorrance.
Among his numerous awards and accolades, Jason Samuels Smith received the 2009 Dance Magazine Award and won both an Emmy and American Choreography Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for the Opening number of the Jerry Lewis/MDA Telethon in a tribute to the late Gregory Hines. Mr. Samuels Smith has appeared as a special guest on Fox's hit series “So You Think You Can Dance,” as a choreographer for Grammy Artist Mya on CBS's “Secret Talents of The Stars,” and as an associate choreographer for ABC's “Dancing With The Stars.” Other performance credits include the Tony Award winning Broadway cast of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk, the critically acclaimed Imagine Tap! and Savion Glover’s NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers), among many others. Mr. Samuels Smith’s company A.C.G.I. (Anybody Can Get It) is currently developing Charlie's Angels: A Tribute to Charlie Parker features choreography on a trio of some of the most talented women performers today. Additionally, Mr. Samuels Smith continues a collaboration with YouthSpeaks for the Living Word Project set to tour again this year. He is also currently shooting a documentary called Tap Dreams, which highlights the global tap community and rewards audition winners with the chance to attend popular tap festivals in the US. He aims to create opportunity for tap dancers and is known worldwide as an advocate and spokesperson for tap.