Iyun Ashani Harrison's ASHANI DANCES DEBUT SEASON Set for June 1-3, Seattle


ASHANI DANCES DEBUT SEASON will play June 1 at 8pm, June 2 at 2pm and 8pm, and June 3 at 2pm at the Erickson Theatre, 1524 Harvard Ave Seattle. The four performances will be Subway Stories: Dances on the A, For Christine with Love, Union, and Neo-Funk Ballet (James Brown)!.

Subway Stories: Dances on the ‘A’ takes place on a busy subway car. Everyone is in a hurry, coming and going on New York City’s longest train line. Unlikely interactions and collisions occur between character and reveals moments in their lives.

“For Christine With Love” is set to the haunting score of David Lang's "How To Pray". The dance explores the ephemerality of life and the finality of death. The quintet of women attempts to hold onto each other as they transition in and out of the space. The choreography seeks to capture moving memories of things intangible and lost to this world.

Mr. Harrison's inspiration for ‘Union’ [recently featured as a work of ‘exceptional artistic merit’ in the 2012 BOOST Dance Festival] came while living in the Midwest and observing the social pressure around early marriage among several of his young female students. The dance demonstrates how gender struggles and societal pressure to conform, can impacts the expression of one’s freewill. Union debuted in 2010 at Webster University, and was later selected for American College Dance Festival's national performance at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater.

‘Neo-Funk Ballet (James Brown)!’ will have its world premiere at the season and features guest artist Markeith Wiley. The piece is set to the electric voice of “Mr. Dynamite” himself. The dance is high energy, funky and fun.

All performances will be followed by a question and answer session with the artists.

ASHANI DANCES is a newly formed, 17-member dance company directed by Iyun Ashani Harrison. ASHANI DANCES is a professional dance company that is also committed to education. The company provides exceptionally talented young dance artists with guidance and support as they navigate the challenging transition from pre-professional training to professional artist. These dancers will experience highly professional rigors during the creative process with Mr. Harrison; however, the company devotes additional resources toward nurturing their artistic and technical development partnering them with returning professionals who act as their mentors. The returning professionals featured on this season’s roster include: Brenna Monroe-Cook formerly of The Limón Dance Company, Lara Steefeldt of Seattle Dance Project and Laura Kay Young formerly of Alabama Ballet. The company will present 4 works for their debut season production. www.ashanidances.org

Iyun Ashani Harrison (born in St. Andrew, Jamaica) is the artistic director and founder of ASHANI DANCES, a Seattle-based dance company founded in the summer of 2011. Ashani Dances will have its debut season at The Erickson Theatre June 1 - 3, 2012. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School and Masters of Fine Arts degree from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. Over the 13 years of his performing career in New York City, he danced with Arthur Mitchell’s Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico of New York, National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, and Ailey II. He has appeared as guest artist with Connecticut Ballet, Buglisi Dance Theatre and Lubbock Ballet. Mr. Harrison danced in works by George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, José Limón, Paul Taylor, Michael Smuin, Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty, and George Faison. His television credits include PBS’ Setting the Stage 2007, NBC’s 20th Hispanic Heritage Awards, PBS’ Who’s Dancin’ Now? – Arts Education in Your Community, and The South Bank Show in England. Mr. Harrison has taught/choreographed for the Juilliard Dance Ensemble, Ailey School, American Dance Festival, Jamaica School of Dance, University of the West Indies at Cave Hill – Barbados, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, American College Dance Festival and on the full-time faculty at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. Mr. Harrison has performed with Seattle Dance Project and as a guest artist with Dance Fremont. He is currently an assistant professor of dance at Cornish College of the Arts. www.iyunharrison.com

Tickets are $20 from http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/245577