Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts Announces its 2019 Festival Lineup
Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts (www.usdan.org), one of the preeminent nonprofit arts day camps in the country, today announced the Festival lineup for its 2019 Season, which kicks off on July 2. Curated by Usdan's Festival Artistic Director Jonathan Shmidt Chapman, the 2019 program consists of student performances as well as 14 different professional acts, representing genres from classical and pop music to dance, poetry, musical theater, and more.
The Summer 2019 Festival Program includes:
July 2 Brown Rice Family
With band members from Japan, Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA, Brown Rice Family provides the masses with music that encompasses reggae, hip-hop, dancehall, afro-beat, jazz stylings, rock, Brazilian, Latin, and funk.
July 3 CONTINUUM Contemporary Ballet
CONTINUUM Contemporary Ballet is a New York City based dance company comprised of classically-trained dancers with contemporary artistic voices. The group aims to create work that plays in the concert dance spectrum while celebrating a spirit of dancemaking that is inspiring, collaborative, and progressive.
July 8 The Knights
Heralded orchestral collective The Knights are dedicated to eliminating barriers between audience and music and transforming the experience.
July 9 BETTY
Activist pop rock band BETTY has a distinctive sound and inspired humor that's been heard on TV (The L Word, Weeds, and more); in film; their eponymous Off-Broadway show; commercials; and at concerts around the world.
July 11 Lakou Mizik
Lakou Mizik is a multigenerational collective of Haitian musicians formed in the aftermath of the devastating 2010 earthquake. The group includes elder legends and rising young talents, united in a mission to honor the healing spirit of their collective culture and communicate a message of pride, strength and hope to their countrymen and the world.
July 12 The Red Trouser Show
The New England-based duo known as The Red Trouser Circus has been delighting audiences with their impressive array of stunts since 2003. The two have traveled the globe, gracing stages and streets at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Comedy Festival in Australia, and the International Circus in Karachi, Pakistan, and beyond.
July 16 Falu
Falu is a Grammy-nominated, internationally recognized artist known for her rare ability to seamlessly blend a signature modern inventive style with a formidable Indian classically-shaped vocal talent. An artist-in residence at Carnegie Hall, Falu's work includes a commitment to introducing children to the wonders of the world.
July 23 The Chameleons
Back by popular demand, world-renowned physical theater duo, The Chameleons, have captivated audiences at Usdan and beyond worldwide with their electrifying theater in motion.
July 29 Mayhem Poets
Gifted lyrical virtuosos, Mayhem Poets seamlessly blend raw elements of hip hop, theater improv and
stand-up comedy to tell gut-wrenching truths that leave audiences forever changed. Their unique approach to spoken word has landed them feature spots on The Today Show and Eyewitness News, and they tour internationally including legendary venues like Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, and Broadway's New Victory Theatre as well as hundreds of universities, locals schools of all grades, and more.
July 31 Ephrat Asherie Dance
Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in street and social dance. The award-winning company has presented work at Apollo Theater, Columbia College, Guggenheim Works & Process, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, La MaMa, River to River Festival, Mass MoCA, New York Live Arts, Summerstage and The Yard, among others.
August 2 Constantine Maroulis
Tony Award-nominated actor, rock singer, and writer, Constantine Maroulis was the sixth-place finalist on the fourth season of the reality television series American Idol. He has performed in several Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, and is lead vocalist of the hard rock band Pray for the Soul of Betty.
August 5 Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly is an American musician, singer, entertainer, songwriter, arranger, and clinician. She has produced and released recordings of her own, scored soundtracks, and tours with her band.
August 14 Dorrance Dance
Award-winning tap dance outfit Dorrance Dance honors tap dance's uniquely beautiful history in a new, dynamic, and compelling context, pushing it - rhythmically, technically, and conceptually. The company has received countless accolades, rave reviews, and performed for packed houses at venues including The Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Center; Vail International Dance Festival, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, among many others around the world.
"It's a thrill to continue the Usdan Festival tradition - and to reveal this incredible lineup for summer 2019," says Lauren Brandt Schloss, Usdan's Executive Director. "It's not just about a performance, however. The Usdan Festival experience is a model for how to live: It is about paying attention to the world around us - about heightening our senses and awareness. It's about seeing what people in the world are thinking about. It's about how we relate to each other and understanding what connects all of us. It's about having fun; it's about laughing, smiling, sometimes, dancing, and for me- surprisingly, sometimes crying. Ultimately, it's about experiencing the uniquely human, yet rare characteristic: creative genius."
The annual Festival Program has been a signature feature of the Usdan experience since July 1, 1968 when the camp first opened its gates. In addition to highlighting student performances, it invites distinguished artists from a range of disciplines for private performances in the McKinley Amphitheater throughout the summer.
All performances will be presented to campers in the McKinley Amphitheater and videotaped for posterity. Select excerpts will be made available on Usdan's YouTube channel and on its social media channels. For more artist bios, photographs and more information, go to www.usdan.org.
Photo: Jason Varney