Tony Danza, Ayodele Casel, Clifton Brown and More Join EMD On Stage This March

Tony Danza, Ayodele Casel, Clifton Brown and More Join EMD On Stage This March

Elisa Monte Dance (EMD), the newest organization to call Harlem home, will return to City College's Aaron Davis Hall for two original evenings of collaborative works in celebration of their 37th season. Artistic Director Tiffany Rea-Fisher, who succeeded founder Elisa Monte in 2016, will present her newest work The Best-Self Project, a full-length premiere on March 16. Rea-Fisher has also curated a mixed-bill program on March 17 that will showcase a collection of new and restaged works featuring celebrated icons Tony Danza, Clifton Brown, Ayodele Casel, and more.

Since the company's last Aaron Davis Hall appearance in 2016, where the torch passed from Monte to Rea-Fisher, EMD moved from Noho to Harlem and is paving a road of new collaborations, educational initiatives and re-imaginings of how dance is consumed by audiences of all ages. The Best-Self Project, Rea-Fisher's newest premiere, March 16, exemplifies this mission by creating a unique interactive synergy with the audience. Guided by an emcee, mimicking a civic discussion with elements of live and recorded music and Comedy Club-like moments, the work explores the significance of being your "best self" and how that evolves during the trajectory of life. The multi-dimensional choreography encapsulates an opening pointe solo, contemporary modern movement, 90's hip-hop, as well as themes of race, gender, sexuality and basic human rights.

Night of Stars, March 17, welcomes a range of collaborative performances that showcase EMD's humor, depth and intelligence, including a special performance by Rea-Fisher. The program includes: a vocal performance of I Wont Cry Anymore, by Emmy-nominated Tony Danza, backed by the ladies of EMD; a dynamic restaging of Rea-Fisher's female solo, Identity, on Alvin Ailey dancer Clifton Brown; a new collaboration with 2017 Hoofer Award winner Ayodele Casel; a re-imagining of Rea-Fisher's Heart of Glass, originally premiered at The Red Bull Stadium in front of 25,000 soccer fans during the Danone World Cup; and Tilted Arc, a reference to the "Tilted Arc" sculpture by Richard Serra, the most notorious public sculpture controversy in the history of art law-the NY Department of Transportation commissioned work was originally presented outdoor at Summer Streets. In a rare performance, Tiffany Rea-Fisher will also join these guest dancers on stage in a new tango-inspired duet alongside Rea-Fisher's mentee and company dancer Thomas Varvaro.

TICKETS and VENUE INFORMATION

General admission tickets that include a champagne toast are $40, $20 general admission, and $10 student with ID. Tickets are available for purchase at http://bit.ly/EMDADH18 . The performances will take place in the Marian Anderson Theater, located in the Aaron Davis Hall at City College of New York, March 16-17, 7:30 p.m.

Aaron Davis Hall is located on the campus of The City College of New York, between West 133rd and 135th Streets on Convent Avenue. Convent Avenue is one block east of Amsterdam Avenue and is the extension of Morningside Avenue beginning at 127th Street. The theater is accessible by the 1, A, D, C and C trains.

REPERTORY DETAILS:

The Best-Self Project (2018) - World Premiere

Choreography: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: various

Original Lighting and Costume Design: Michael Cole

Sound: Michael Thurber

Improv Coach: Anthony Vaughn Merchant

Pre/Post-show Coordinator: Torya Beard

The Best-Self Project is a civic conversation interpreted through and interrupted by dance. This project explores what it means to be your best-self in multiple situations while taking a global view of the issues of race, gender and basic human rights.

I Won't Cry Anymore (2018) - World Premiere

Choreography: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: Joe Williams

Lighting Design: Michael Cole

American actor Tony Danza sings while the ladies of EMD dance and interact with him to create a fun and light entertainment element in the program.

Identity (2012)

Choreography by: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: Kevin Keller

Does identity change with each hat we wear during the course of the day, the week, or a lifetime? What different personality elements accompany these changes? This commissioned work was funded by Milan Vetter, Carolynn Dilworth, and the EMD Young Executives board through the New Choreographers Fund.

Clifton Brown will dance this solo for the March 2018 Aaron Davis Hall program.

(not yet titled) (2018) - World Premiere

Choreography by: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: Twelve 45

Lighting Design: Michael Cole

Costume Design: Rachel Dozier-Ezell

The first time Tiffany Rea-Fisher has performed her own work since creating a duet for her and her husband in 2008-this work champions dynamic fast movement and intricate partnering.

(not yet titled) (2018) - World Premiere

Choreography by: Tiffany Rea-Fisher and Ayodele Casel

Lighting Design: Michael Cole

Before finding modern dance, Rea-Fisher believed she was destined to be a tap dancer. Re-exploring her tap roots with Ayodele Casel, who has redefined the genre over the last 20 years, this work bridges together two dynamic female perspectives into one premiere and danced by Casel.

Heart of Glass (2018) - World Premiere

Choreography by: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: Phillip Glass and Blonde

Lighting Design: Michael Cole

Costume Design: Rachel Dozier-Ezell

Originally conceived for the Red Bull Stadium, Heart of Glass explores the idea of multiple worlds co-existing in one reality and the unique experience that bonds these worlds together.

Tilted Arc (2017)

Choreography by: Tiffany Rea-Fisher

Music Credit: Kevin Keller

Lighting Design: Michael Cole

Costume Design: Rachel Dozier-Ezell

Commissioned by the Department of Transportation as part of their 2017 Summer Streets event, Tilted Arc references the sculpture by Richard Serra-the most notorious public sculpture controversy in the history of art law, removed from Foley Square in 1989 because of its "obstruction" to the pathway. Eight dancers perform a piece tracing the location of the once celebrated sculpture and investigating themes of immigration and obstruction of pathways.

Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff



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