Jordan Ryder, Kanon Sapp and Melanie Ramos Awarded Eryc Taylor Dance Grants to Create New Work

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Jordan Ryder, Kanon Sapp and Melanie Ramos Awarded Eryc Taylor Dance Grants to Create New Work Eryc Taylor, Artistic Director of ERYC TAYLOR DANCE, today announced winners of the Eryc Taylor Dance New Choreographer Grant (ETD/NCG), a program offering young, aspiring NYC-based choreographers the funds needed to create and present a new dance work.

Winners Jordan Ryder, Kanon Sapp and Melanie Ramos will each utilize the ETD grant award in the development of new choreography, to premiere in two showcase performances at Martha Graham Studio Theater, 55 Bethune Street (Greenwich Village) on Saturday, October 13 at 7pm and 8:30pm.

"Our ETD New Choreographer Grant is in honor of those who helped jumpstart my own career as an emerging choreographer. It's my way of saying thank you to those who have helped me when my career was just blossoming, many years ago," said ETD Artistic Director Eryc Taylor. "The dance community is small, and if we don't support each other, especially by encouraging fledgling dancers and choreographers at the genesis of their careers, then what hope do we have for the future of dance?" he said.

Winners will use their ETD/NCG funding for choreographic-based needs, such as securing dancers, finding rehearsal space, costuming and more. The choreographers will be in complete control of their creative process, with Eryc Taylor available for advice and guidance as needed.

Grant applicant criteria included the submission of a concept that had not yet been choreographed or performed; to have never before independently directed an evening-length production; and to have graduated with a degree from a certificate, undergraduate, or graduate school. Applicants also had to demonstrate dance training, choreographic style, and vision for a 15-20 minute performance (including at least two dancers), plus financial need.

PAST ETD/NCG WINNERS INCLUDE Gierre Godley (2013/14) PROJECT 44; Eryn Renee Young, (2014/15) XAOC Ballet; and Aaron McGloin (2015/16) AARON MCGLOIN DANCE. All have gone on to create successful companies of their own.

ETD/NCG program is fully funded by a generous grant from the Marta Heflin Foundation. The Eryc Taylor Dance New Choreographer Grant program is celebrating the fifth year since its inception.


MELANIE RAMOS will present "Counterpoint," with five dancers, three male and two female. The piece will explore the repetitiousness of life with a subsequent rebirth inspiring relationships, opportunity and a new mindset. Music: Electric Counterpoint composed by Steve Reich (Parts I, II and III)

JORDAN RYDER will present "Railways," with six dancers, three male and three female. Railways is an abstract exploration on barriers, and how they affect us on a physical and emotional scale.

KANON H. SAPP will present "VEIL" with three dancers, one male and two female, to the music of Eartha Kitt and Antonio Vivaldi. VEIL is a contemporary performance art/ensemble work examining the complex interplay between female identity and social value systems, as embodied in the structure and function of a veil. The use of a veil to conceal the female face, mask a woman's sexuality and to shield a mourner's emotion, is explored.

The Marta Heflin Foundation has awarded funds to Eryc Taylor Dance and ETD Outreach for the third consecutive year. The awarded funds have directly increased the reach and impact of each of ETD programs, from weekly movement workshops across NYC to original, self-produced works shown internationally.

PERFORMANCES - Saturday, October 13 at 7pm and at 8:30pm
Martha Graham Studio Theater
55 Bethune Street, New York, NY 10014 (Entrance on cross-streets Bethune & Washington)

Tickets: Suggested donation $20
For tickets, please contact

Eryc Taylor Dance was established in NYC in 2006 with a mission to advance the appreciation of movement through creating and presenting original performances, conducting master classes and curating movement-based community outreach workshops. Eryc Taylor Dance has been home to over twenty New York City dancers since its founding.

The Eryc Taylor Dance "Community and International Outreach" program specifically uses dance as a tool to inspire, heal and build communities for populations who might not otherwise have access to movement programs. The ETD "mobile" program currently conducts twenty weekly workshops for the following organizations: PCMH, ACMH, Good Shepherd, Felix Organization, Fountain House, and Acacia Network. VIDEO. Read DANCE MAGAZINE May, 2017 profile Eryc Taylor Outreach Program: This Outreach Program Proves That Dance Is a Powerful Healing Tool
Eryc Taylor Dance celebrated their 11th NYC season in October 2017 at Martha Graham Studio Theater.

MELANIE RAMOS, born and raised in Miami, FL, began her dance training at the age of four. Growing up, she trained with Thomas Armour Youth Ballet as well as Stars Dance Studio, a competitive dance studio. She attended New World School of the Arts High School. During her time there, she performed works by Sidra Bell and Martha Graham. In 2014 she was accepted as a Young Arts Finalist in both modern and choreography. She then continued her studies at SUNY Purchase in the Conservatory of Dance where she performed works by Darrell Grand Moultrie, Norbert De La Cruz III, Nejla Yatkin, Sue Bernhard and Merce Cunningham. Melanie has also studied at Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, Hubbard Street and Ballet Hispanico. In the years 2015 and 2017, she was accepted as a Young Choreographer to present her own works at the Young Choreographer's Festival under the direction of Emily Buffered. In May of 2018, Melanie graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase College. Instagram: @melanieramosss

JORDAN RYDER hails from the suburbs of Chicago. She discovered her passion for choreography in high school, when she was selected to create a piece for her school's dance company. She subsequently attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts where she graduated in 2018 with a BFA in Dance and a double minor in Sociology and Business. Since moving to New York, Jordan's choreography has been presented at venues such as the Jack Crystal Theater, TADA Theater, The Tank NYC, and the Muriel Schulman Theater at Triskelion Arts. During her final year at NYU, Jordan was honored to have her piece, "STEADFAST," selected by students and faculty to be presented in the Second Avenue Dance Company's Major Dance Concert. Wanting to keep the choreographic spirit alive post graduation, Jordan created her company, RyderDance, in 2018. Instagram: @ryderdance.

KANON H. SAPP, originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated from East Carolina University with her BFA in Dance Performance in May of 2016. Her time at East Carolina University ignited her passion for choreography. Upon graduation, Kanon moved to New York. Her work has been shown across NYC, including Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Peridance Salatore Capezio Theater, Dixon Place, and Center for Performance Research. Instagram: @kanonlikeboom

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