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NEW YORK CITY CENTER LIVE @ HOME Announces Virtual Programming Featuring Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck and More

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NEW YORK CITY CENTER LIVE @ HOME Announces Virtual Programming Featuring Misty Copeland, Tiler Peck and More

New York City Center President & CEO Arlene Shuler today announced New York City Center Live @ Home virtual programming including a newly commissioned weekly performance series conceived and curated by tap dancer Ayodele Casel, alongside frequent collaborator Torya Beard, called Ayodele Casel's Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us, and the popular Studio 5 series curated and hosted by Alastair Macaulay and featuring Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns, and Tiler Peck in a special five-part event titled Great American Ballerinas. The much-loved social media series Encores! Archives Project, which revisits selections from City Center's illustrious musical theater vault, also continues through September.

"During these uncertain and turbulent times, it is even more important that City Center provides a platform for artists to develop and share their work," said Shuler. "I'm excited that City Center Live @ Home programming showcases some of the extraordinary dance artists who are part of our extended family. This has been a challenging time for so many and I am personally grateful for the support City Center has received from our loyal audiences. I hope you will all tune in as we launch these new online initiatives."

In keeping with City Center's founding mission to provide access to the best in the arts for all, City Center Live @ Home programs will premiere for free on City Center's YouTube page and website at NYCityCenter.org.

Ayodele Casel's Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us

For this new virtual series, Ayodele Casel has curated a group of artists who will present seven different video performances-solos and duos created and performed by a multigenerational and multicultural group-to be released weekly at 12pm beginning Tuesday, July 14 (through Tuesday, August 25). Co-directed by Casel and Torya Beard, the series is a continuation of her Diary of a Tap Dancer project and will feature performances from Casel and other tap artists including Amanda Castro, Starinah Dixon, Andre Imanishi, Ryan Johnson, Lisa La Touche, Ted Levy, Michela Marino Lerman, Anthony Morigerato, Makenna Watts, and more. Kurt Csolak serves as editor of the series, with Darren Biggart and Anthony Morigerato acting as creative producers.

"We all have something to say. We have something to give, something to communicate about who we are and where we've been," said Casel. "Diary of a Tap Dancer is predicated on the belief that by revealing our stories, we expose our shared humanity and provide a deeper understanding of how our life experience moves the dance."

Casel began her relationship with City Center in 2016 performing her solo piece, While I Have the Floor, as part of the Encores! Off-Center Jamboree and was invited that October to reprise the work as part of the Fall for Dance Festival. She choreographed and performed in the 2017 Encores! Off-Center production of Carole King and Maurice Sendak's Really Rosie, with Torya Beard serving as assistant choreographer. Both Casel and Beard served on the Encores! Off-Center Artist Board for three years. Casel also appeared with Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in a one-night-only event as part of the ¬°Adelante, Cuba! Festival in 2018. In April 2019, Casel, along with O'Farrill, and Beard as creative director, helped launch City Center On the Move, a community engagement initiative first presented as part of City Center's 75th Anniversary Season. In partnership with NYC Parks Arts, Culture & Fun, On the Move brings world-class artists directly to New Yorkers in their own neighborhoods.

Studio 5 | Great American Ballerinas

City Center's Studio 5 goes virtual with a five-part series-Great American Ballerinas-featuring performance excerpts from three of today's leading ballerinas: Misty Copeland, Sara Mearns, and Tiler Peck, curated and hosted by dance critic and historian Alastair Macaulay. In this special series, each dancer works in a live coaching session with another acclaimed dance artist, including Nina Ananiashvili, Merrill Ashley, Alessandra Ferri, Stephanie Saland, and Pam Tanowitz.

In July, New York City Ballet (NYCB) principal dancer Tiler Peck, famous for her prodigious technique and musical skill, works with former NYCB star and ballet master Merrill Ashley, who created numerous roles for Balanchine and is credited with establishing unprecedented levels of technique in the 1970s and '80s. Together they will explore a selection of Balanchine solos with Ashley coaching Peck. This program begins live streaming on Thursday, July 16 at 3pm and will be available to view through Wednesday, July 22.

NYCB principal dancer Sara Mearns has become known as one of America's foremost interpreters of the dual role of Odette-Odile in Swan Lake. She will explore this classic role alongside "one of the twelve greatest ballerinas of all time" (Daily Telegraph), Georgian ballerina Nina Ananiashvili. This program begins live-streaming Thursday, July 30 at 12pm and will be available through Wednesday, August 5.

In September, Peck works with former NYCB ballerina Stephanie Saland (Sep 16) on the "green" solo from Jerome Robbins's Dances at a Gathering-the only female solo in the hour-long quintessential piano ballet. Saland was coached in the role by Robbins himself, who also choreographed a number of roles for her in the 1970s and '80s.

Mearns also returns with choreographer Pam Tanowitz (Sep 23) to explore new solo material created for her. Both artists have extended their artistic range in recent years-Tanowitz revealing her distinct choreographic voice through a witty and inventive post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary and Mearns expanding her repertory to include works by modern dance pioneers Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and Merce Cunningham, among others.

In the final program of the Great American Ballerinas series (Sep 30), Misty Copeland, the first African American principal ballerina with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, revisits Juliet's solo scenes in Act Three of Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet with international ballet star Alessandra Ferri.

All virtual Studio 5 events will be streamed for one week on City Center's YouTube page and website at NYCityCenter.org/Studio5. Following the week-long streaming period, members will receive exclusive access to an archive of the full series. For information on becoming a member (starting at $100) visit NYCityCenter.org/Support or email Membership@NYCityCenter.org.

Ayodele Casel's Diary of a Tap Dancer V.6: Us
NYCityCenter.org/Tap

New performances every Tue, Jul 14 - Aug 25, 12pm
Ayodele Casel and special guests

Amanda Castro is a multidisciplinary artist. She is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts, where she studied under Glen Eddy of Nederlands Dans Theatre and Andre Tyson from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Recent credits include Singin' in the Rain (Olney Theatre Center) and 42nd Street (Ordway Center). @acastrodance

Starinah Dixon is an assistant director, choreographer, and original principal dancer of world-renowned tap company M.A.D.D. Rhythms. She has performed as a guest with companies such as Michelle Dorrance's Dorrance Dance and as a part of Savion Glover's All Funk'd Up. Dixon has taught and performed at the most distinguished tap festivals in the country including the LA Tap Fest, DC Tap Fest, RIFF Dallas, and more.

Andre Imanishi is a 2020 National YoungArts winner and was most recently seen at The Joyce Theater as part of the Ayodele Casel + Arturo O'Farrill production. His tenacious approach to training, passion for hoofing, and unique point of view, has garnered invitations to perform with Cartier Williams, the Bernstein Tribute at the Kennedy Center, Ziggity Bop, The Giz, Ayodele Casel, New York City Center's On the Move, and more.

Ryan Johnson is the co-founder and artistic director for SOLE Defined percussive dance company, and an artist-in-residence at Dance Place in Washington, DC. His work weaves together the techniques, history, and aesthetics of tap dance, body percussion, stepping, and theater to forge works that reclaim Black narratives. @rkj.dance

Lisa La Touche is co-founder of Training Dayz alongside Danny Nielsen in Calgary, and founder of Tap Phonics. La Touche has performed, choreographed, and taught worldwide on various independent projects. Recent credits include Shufi??e Along, choreographed by Savion Glover and directed by George C. Wolfe. lisalatouche.com

Ted Levy made his Broadway debut in the smash hit Black & Blue, and collaborated with George C. Wolfe and Gregory Hines on the choreography of Jelly's Last Jam (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award). Other credits include: Spike Lee's Malcom X, PBS' Precious Memories (Emmy Award), Ted Levy and Friends, Dancing Under the Stars, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk!, and more. @tedlouislevy

Michela Marino Lerman is a globally sought-after tap dance artist, performer, choreographer, educator, and all-around creative spirit. Lerman has performed, choreographed, produced, and directed many projects throughout her career and has performed with masters including Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Savion Glover, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, Barry Harris, Wynton Marsalis, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Marcus Roberts, and many more. michelataps.com

Anthony Morigerato is a tap dancer, producer, director, content creator, writer, and Emmy-nominated choreographer. Morigerato is the executive producer and artistic director for AM Dance Productions. He is currently the co-artistic director for American Tap Festival and Operation: Tap, and continues to teach and choreograph for dance organizations, festivals, competitions, theater schools, and dance studios all over the world. amtapdance.com

Makenna Watts is a Florida-based tap artist. She is a member of Sole Talk Youth Company and has represented Florida in the Southern Open Rhythm Collective's Youth Program.

Studio 5 | Great American Ballerinas
NYCityCenter.org/Studio5

Thu Jul 16, 3pm (on view through Jul 22)
Tiler Peck with Merrill Ashley, Balanchine solos

Thu Jul 30, 12pm (on view through Aug 5)
Sara Mearns with Nina Ananiashvili, Swan Lake

Wed Sep 16, 5pm (on view through Sep 22)
Tiler Peck with Stephanie Saland, Dances at a Gathering

Wed Sep 23, 5pm (on view through Sep 29)
Sara Mearns with Pam Tanowitz, New Work

Wed Sep 30, 5pm (on view through Oct 6)
Misty Copeland with Alessandra Ferri, Romeo and Juliet


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