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Baye & Asa and Passion Fruit Dance Company Come to 92Y

Learn more about the upcoming performances!

Baye & Asa and Passion Fruit Dance Company Come to 92Y

The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center's 2021-22 Mainstage Series continues with an evening of performances this season's Artists in Residence, Baye & Asa and Passion Fruit Dance Company.

Baye & Asa first came to 92Y's attention as finalists at the inaugural Future Dance Festival in 2021 with their work John 4:20, selected by Martha Graham Dance Company artistic director Janet Eilber. They were subsequently named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" for 2022, which noted that " using African forms and hip hop in an expansive view of 'contemporary' dance theater, the pair's choreography avoids falling into any predictable pattern."

Commercial images promise status, offer solutions to inadequacy, and breed entitlement. Internalized deficiency has created a culture of resentment. Suck it up: a duet confronting the violent fallout of male insecurity and entitlement.

This work was commissioned by The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for The BlackLight Summit at the University of Maryland. All movement was generated at the 92nd Street Y during our time as Artists in Residence.

"Hip Hop & African dance languages are the foundation of our technique. The rhythms of these techniques inform the way we energetically confront contemporary dance & theatre," comment Amadi 'Baye' Washington and Sam 'Asa' Pratt. "We were born and raised in New York City, and we've known each other since first grade. Through the personal dynamics of our relationship, we address the larger political landscape of our upbringing, struggling to show a reality of violence while communicating a necessity for empathy."

Passion Fruit Dance Company - Tatiana Desardouin, Lauriane Ogay and Mai Lê Hô - sees its mission as promoting the authenticity of street dance and clubbing styles, hip-hop and house cultures and their Black heritage, and exploring different social problems through their dance pieces and artistic practices. Desardouin, the company's founder, artistic director and choreographer, was selected as one of Dance Magazine's 2020 "25 to Watch" and was awarded the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance.

Dance Within Your Dance - an excerpt from Passion Fruit's 2016 piece inviting audiences to connect with the techniques, rhythms and essence of hip-hop and house dance - asks the question: why is the groove not just a simple esthetic and disposable element but the essence of street/club dance styles and a roadmap to social justice through the physical expression of Black culture?

"In Dance Within Your Dance, I invite audiences to connect with the techniques, rhythms, roots, and essence of Hip-Hop and House dance/ culture," comments Tatiana Desardouin. "This work demonstrates how in these dances we develop, struggle, connect, and create our individual and collective identities. The 'groove' is the center of this piece, yet there are two dimensions to DWYD ; a dancer's personal exploration of their own groove as well as the groove itself, within the cultural realm of Hip-Hop/ House. I define the 'groove' as a consistent flow of energy through the body, which allows dancers to communicate through music and movement. To me, the groove is the physical and auditory manifestation of Black people's living experience. I am using DWYD as a means to honor and maintain this culture's essence while catalyzing conversations about race."

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