Ayodele Casel Teams Up With Arturo O'Farrill For World Premiere At The Joyce

Ayodele Casel Teams Up With Arturo O'Farrill For World Premiere At The Joyce

Continuing its season-long dedication to including live music in its programming, The Joyce Theater Foundation (Linda Shelton, Executive Director) presents a world premiere from the collaborative forces of Ayodele Casel and Arturo O'Farrill. The Hoofer Award-winning tap dancer and the six-time Grammy-winning musician come together to pay tribute to their mutual roots in Afro-Latin culture at The Joyce Theater from September 24-29.

Tickets, ranging in price from $10-$55, can be purchased at www.Joyce.org, or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street. For more information, please visit www.Joyce.org.

Tap sensation Ayodele Casel is known for simultaneously honoring the artists who have paved the way for her work and moving the artform to new, unexpected heights. Drawing from a shared musical lexicon in Afro-Latin jazz, Casel has teamed up with Grammy-winning pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill to create a world premiere that pays homage to their artistic history and joyously blurs the boundaries of multiple dance and music genres. The pair is joined by an ensemble of world class musicians and tap dancers, exploring and flowing seamlessly from salsa, rhumba, and danzón to modal jazz and stride piano to create a genre-bending world that is all their own.

Ayodele Casel was recently named a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University to continue her work inspired by cultural heritage of tap dance, following her 2018-2019 position as Artist in Residence at the same prestigious institution. Ayodele is a native New Yorker and began her professional training at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts; she is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper. She premiered her one-woman show, "While I Have the Floor" at the Spoleto Arts Festival in 2017 to rave reviews, the same year she was honored with a Hoofer Award, recognizing her as a leader in the tap community for her unique contributions to the form and for inspiring future generations. A frequent collaborator with New York City Center, she choreographed Carole King and Maurice Sendak's Really Rosie for Encores! Off Center, created an interactive performance piece for their five-borough "On the Move" tour, and danced as a soloist in Fall for Dance, ¡Adelante Cuba!, and Jeanine Tesori's Jamboree. Hailed by her legendary mentor Gregory Hines as "one of the top young tap dancers in the world," Ayodele has also worked with Jazz Tap Ensemble, American Tap Dance Orchestra, and as the only woman in Savion Glover's company Not Your Ordinary Tappers. She is the Director of Grad Programs at A BroaderWay Foundation and the co-director of Original Tap House and Operation: Tap. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally, and she continues to strive to make tap dance a relevant presence in the arts.

Arturo O'Farrill is a pianist, composer, and educator. Born in Mexico and raised in New York City, he received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo's professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. He is a six-time Grammy Award winner, most recently for Best Instrumental Composition for his powerful "Three Revolutions" from the album Familia - Tribute to Chico and Bebo. His work in the dance world can be seen in commissions from and performances with Ballet Hispánico, Malpaso Dance Company, and Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Open Door, set to several of his compositions and recordings. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music.

The Joyce Theater Foundation ("The Joyce," Executive Director, Linda Shelton), a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community for over three decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and The Joyce renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. Ownership was secured by The Joyce in 2015. The theater is one of the only theaters built by dancers for dance and has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 400 U.S.-based and international companies. The Joyce has also expanded its reach beyond its Chelsea home through off-site presentations at venues ranging in scope from Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater, to Brooklyn's Invisible Dog Art Center, and to outdoor programming in spaces such as Hudson River Park. To further support the creation of new work, The Joyce maintains longstanding commissioning and residency programs. Local students and teachers (K-12th grade) benefit from its school program, and family and adult audiences get closer to dance with access to artists. The Joyce's annual season of about 48 weeks of dance now includes over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 150,000.

The Joyce Theater presents Ayodele Casel & Arturo O'Farrill from September 24-29. The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm; Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm; and Sunday at 2pm. A Curtain Chat, a free post-performance talkback with members of the company, will take place on Wednesday, September 25. The Sunday, September 29 performance at 2pm is part of the Family Performance Series, with tickets available for kids for only $10. Tickets, ranging in price from $10-$55, can be purchased at www.Joyce.org, or by calling JoyceCharge at 212-242-0800. Please note: ticket prices are subject to change. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at West 19th Street. For more information, please visit www.Joyce.org.

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