Firehouse Announces Line Up For 2023 YES! Dance Festival

The 2023 YES! Dance Festival features performances by Li Chiao-Ping, Leslie Dworkin & Kent De Spain, K Dance, Mayu Nakaya, and SHA Creative Outlet.

By: Apr. 03, 2023
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Firehouse Announces Line Up For 2023 YES! Dance Festival

K Dance Artistic Director Kaye Weinstein Gary has announced the program for K Dance's 24th annual YES! Dance Festival at Firehouse Theatre on Friday, April 21 at 8pm and Saturday, April 22 at 4pm and 8pm. K Dance is the resident dance company at Firehouse.

As in past years, the festival reflects current trends in contemporary dance and theatre and includes many performers from Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch," as well as Fulbright Fellows, MacArthur Fellows, recipients of Princess Grace awards in dance, and choreographers and companies that perform at the Kennedy Center.

The 2023 YES! Dance Festival features performances by Li Chiao-Ping (Madison, WI), Leslie Dworkin & Kent De Spain (Dayton, OH), K Dance (Richmond, VA), Mayu Nakaya (New York, NY), SHA Creative Outlet (Brooklyn, NY), and Takehiro Ueyama (New York, NY)

For information and tickets please call 804.355.2001 or go to For information about K Dance go to, and for information about Firehouse go to

LI CHIAO-PING is a choreographer who creates works for dance companies, university dance programs, and individuals throughout the U.S. She formed Li Chiao-Ping Dance in 1990 and co-directed the San Francisco-based Dziga Vertov Performance Group with Douglas Rosenberg from 1992-1994. Li is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and honors from the NEA, MAP Fund, Asian Pacific Women's Network, National Arts Association, Los Angeles Arts Council, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Dance Council, and Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Limon. Her works have been presented at major arts venues including Jacob's Pillow, Bates, PS122, Internacional Festival de Video Danza, The Yard, ADF, and Kennedy Center. Li is the creator of The Extreme Moves Training MethodSM/TM. She earned her graduate degree from UCLA and was on faculty at Mills College, was the Director of the Hollins College Dance Program, and was former Chair of the UW-Madison Dance Department, where she is honored to be the Sally Banes Professor of Dance and Vilas Research Professor.

LESLIE DWORKIN is an independent dance artist who has danced internationally as a member of the Melanie Stewart Dance Company, the Leah Stein Dance Company, in the works of countless independent dance artists, and as a guest artist in many dance departments throughout the U.S. Leslie's performance residencies include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research, and Jacob's Pillow. Her work has received grants and awards from Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pew Charitable Trusts, Susan Hess Choreographers Project, and Ohio Arts Council. She is an integrative bodywork therapist, a certified yoga and qigong instructor.| KENT DE SPAIN is internationally recognized for his teaching, performance, filmmaking, and writing about movement improvisation. His work has been seen at venues including Jacob's Pillow, Judson Church, Joyce Soho, and the Painted Bride. Kent is the recipient of several awards including the Pew Fellowship in the Arts for Choreography and an Established Choreographer's Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. He has taught master classes and workshops in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

K DANCE / KAYE WEINSTEIN GARY is the founding Artistic Director of K Dance. She has created over 50 works with the company. Additional choreography and movement direction credits include Firehouse Theatre, Quill Theatre, 5th Wall Theatre, CATtheatre, and TheatreLab. Kaye has choreographed for the dance departments of Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Kansas, Iowa State University, University of Richmond, Randolph-Macon College, Longwood University, Hollins University, and Richmond Ballet. Kaye is a former company member of Virginia Dance Company and Virginia Ballet Theatre, and she has been guided in her training by Lar Lubovitch, Dan Wagoner, Helen P. Rogers, Paul Draper, Lance Westegard, Louis Falco, and Ethel Winter, a passionate, powerful dancer in the Martha Graham Dance Company. Kaye and K Dance are the recipients of numerous Virginia Commission for the Arts awards -- project grants, choreographic fellowships, community college programs, touring grants, and technical assistance grants. Additionally, she has been recognized by the Richmond Arts Council, CultureWorks, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Artists Workshop Series. Kaye received her B.A. in dance from the University of Mary Washington and her M.S. in dance from James Madison University. She has taught in numerous private studios, colleges, and universities across the country.

MAYU NAKAYA is a dancer and choreographer from Japan based in New York City. Nakaya's choreography has been presented at MADE BY WOMEN (organized by Dual Rivet and Move to Change presented by MODArts), IKADA Dance Festival, White Wave SoloDuo Dance Festival, Green Space, and Emerging Artists Theatre's Spring 2023 New Work Series. As a dancer Nakaya is currently a member of Helen Simoneau Danse, and has danced with sarAika Movement Collective and the improvisation-based company Open Dance Ensemble. Additionally, she has worked with Yoshito Sakuraba, Catherine Messina, Faustine Lavie, Yuki Ishiguro, and Jesse Obremski and Jie-Hung Connie Shiau at Earl Mosley's Diversity of Dance in 2022. Nakaya started ballet training when she was three years old. She learned contemporary dance and choreography at the Tokyo Metropolitan High School of Arts and The University of Tsukuba. She participated in several dance competitions in Japan, and the Seoul International Dance Competition, where she received many top prizes and first-place awards. She moved to New York City in 2019 and studied at The Ailey School scholarship program for two years.

SHA CREATIVE OUTLET is a company rooted in dance but showcases in many mediums including film, photography, design, animation, and live performance. Founded by Shannon Yu, SHA Creative Outlet is dedicated to the collaboration of different disciplines and values playfulness and exploration.

SHANNON YU 余香儒 is a Brooklyn-based artist from Taiwan. Shannon identifies as a multi-disciplinary artist, dancer-choreographer, and queer creator. Shannon has shown work at La Mama, Movement Research in Judson Memorial Church, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, Prospect Park, The Landmark Loew's Theater, and has done residencies with Dance in Bushwick, Spoke the Hub, Chen Dance Center, and The Creators Collective. She holds an M.F.A. in Performance and Performance Studies from Pratt Institute, and a B.A. in Civil Engineering from National Taiwan University.| SARAH ZUCCHERO (she/her) is a dancer and creator originally from Portland, Maine. Recently, Sarah has been feeling that her outer world is simply a poem and her internal poet can do whatever she wants. She is learning how to open her heart to death, and she is also laughing at the miraculous absurdity of what we are doing -- being life.

TAKEHIRO UEYAMA was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and moved to the U.S. in 1991 to study dance at the Juilliard School in New York City. Upon graduation, he was invited to join the Paul Taylor Dance Company, touring the world with them for eight years. In 2003 "Take" debuted his first choreographic work "Tsubasa" at the McKenna Theatre at SUNY New Paltz, and in 2005 founded TAKE Dance. Take has enjoyed worldwide recognition with his work "Sakura Sakura" that was a prizewinner at the International Modern Dance Choreographic Competition in Burgos, Spain, and he was one of four choreographers selected for the 2006 Free to Rep at FSU's Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. In 2010 he was the first choreographer to win the S & R Foundation's prestigious Washington Award. Take received the 2015 Jadin Wong Award for Emerging Asian American choreographer from Asian American Arts Alliance and a 2022 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship. In 2023 Take will create a new work for Ballet X, University of Richmond, and I. M. Terrell Dance.


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