American Dance Machine Workshop to Feature Works by Michael Bennett, Susan Stroman, and More!
American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21) will present a workshop presentation of four classic musical theater and film dance numbers on Thursday, June 28 at New York City Center, Studio 4 at 6 pm. Each piece has been coached by artists intimately involved in their original productions; numbers from Contact, A Chorus Line, Lovely to Look At and Jerome Robbins' Broadway will be presented. The evening will be directed by Artistic Director Margo Sappington and feature live music with musical direction by Tedd Firth. ADM21 is a new not-for-profit dance company founded by Executive Director Nikki Feirt Atkins, dedicated to creating a living and vibrant archive of classic and current notable musical theater choreography.
The June 28 workshop presentation will include “Simply Irresistible” from Contact, original choreography by Susan Stroman, staged by Tomé Cousins; “Music and the Mirror” from A Chorus Line, original choreography by Michael Bennett, coached by Donna McKechnie; “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” from the film, Lovely To Look At, original choreography by Hermes Pan, staged by Margo Sappington and coached by Marge Champion; and “Mr. Monotony” from Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, original choreography by Jerome Robbins, staged by Robert La Fosse.
Performers will include Charles Askegard, David Bushman, Jarrod Emick, Sean Ewing, Nina Goldman, Shannon Hammons, Derek Hanson, Angelique Ilo, Lauren Kadel, Naomi Kakuk, Fletcher McTaggart, Jeremy McQueen, Mayumi Miquel, Georgina Pazcoguin, Amar Ramasar, Rebecca Riker, Marcos Santana, Ariel Shepley, Jason Sparks, Matthew Steffens, Alex Wong and Amra-Faye Wright.
Nikki Feirt Atkins, Founder and Executive Director of ADM21 and Artistic Director, Margo Sappington, will continue the legacy of the late Lee Theodore, who established The American Dance Machine in 1976. Theodore created a “Living Archive” of Musical Theater Dance to address her belief that “many great choreographic works are lost with the musical they once embellished.” Of concern was that the artistry of each dance would vanish with the artists who created them. That was the impetus that drove The American Dance Machine from its pilot program in 1976 to its final days following the death of Lee Theodore in the late 1980’s.
“My goal is to continue Lee Theodore’s legacy by establishing American Dance Machine for the 21St Century as New York City’s leading center for musical theater dance,” said Atkins. “I believe that when a show closes and the script, songs and designs are preserved for posterity, so too should its dances.”
The ADM21 Dance Company will present workshop presentations and full-length productions and will demonstrate the value of theater dance choreography through careful research and reconstruction, respect for how the dance relates to the source of the choreographers inspiration and will do justice to those works that stand alone as outstanding entertainment. Currently plans are to maintain a core company of dancers joined by guest artists proficient in the style and technical requirements of each dance piece.
“The Broadway dance community is very excited and supportive of our current plans to revive The American Dance Machine”, says Ms. Atkins. “The current enthusiasm for musical theater and dance, as a result of television programs such as “Glee,” “Smash,” “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “Dancing with the Stars,” indicates a growing interest in this genre and ADM21 will be ready to share significant musical theater choreography and the techniques that propelled such works with this present generation of dancers, choreographers and theater dance enthusiasts.
American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (ADM21) has been established as a company and training facility led by distinguished professional dance artists to insure that significant musical theater choreography and the techniques that propelled such works are preserved, studied and shared with the present generation of dance artists. Its resident dance company will present significant stage and film musical dance works, with the integrity to which they were created.
The School at ADM21 will prepare dancers to meet the demands of musical theater dance with classes in rarely-taught and current dance techniques as well as a variety of dance styles and musical theater repertoire. A professional staff of theater dancers, teachers and choreographers have been researching and developing a curriculum to educate this new generation of dancers. The school will offer open classes for professional dancers and a conservatory for pre-professional students.
The June 28 presentation will take place at New York City Center Studio Four, 130 W. 56th Street (between 6 and 7 Aves). A limited number of $20 tickets will be available at the door. For further information, visit www.americandancemachine21.org