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Dance Under the Influence Returns this Spring to Theater MAD

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Following last year's sold-out inaugural season, Dance Under the Influence returns with a schedule "packed with groundbreaking newcomers and icons of contemporary dance. Revealing the interplay between dance and other artistic disciplines, Dance Under the Influence provides a platform for innovators in tap, flamenco, postmodern dance, Indian classical dance, and a variety of cross-disciplinary dance forms. Each night in the Theater at MAD several choreographers present works full of excitement, humor, and beauty. After the performances, the dancers engage with the audience in a post-performance question-and-answer session. Together these elements not only showcase some of the best of today's contemporary dance, but also explore the artistic process behind each choreographer's creative endeavor."

Among the performers returning to the series for an encore are the 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.


ABOUT THE SERIES

Dance Under the Influence is guest-curated by Valerie Gladstone.

Music by Jonathan Batiste for the March 30th and 31st performances commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.

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.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE

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.


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by Barnett Serchuk