NYMF Presents 2008 Dance Series As Part of Festival

 New York Musical Theater Festival (Isaac Robert Hurwitz, Executive Director & Producer) in association with Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC) to present NYMF's 2008 Dance Series as part of this year's festival of new musicals, which runs September 15 – October 5.

NYMF's 2008 Dance Series includes four original dance musicals The Hourglass and The Poisoned Pen, Sophia's Fall, Ward 9, and the 2008 "Born at NYMF" dance commission Wild About Harry. In addition, Freshly Tossed, a special evening created and curated by Wendy Seyb and Mark Lonergan, will transcend the limitations of genres by bringing together some of New York's most exciting artists in search of the next evolution of musical theater comedy.

The dance musicals which span creation, super villains, Vincent Van Gogh, Vivian Leigh, Beethoven and a twelve million dollar bitch will be choreographed by Mark Yonally, Jason Summers, Matt Williams, Kelly Devine, Linda Goodrich, Josh Rhodes, Shea Sullivan and Jeff Shade.

NYMF's 2008 Dance Series is presented in partnership with the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC), a brand-new state-of-the-art facility nestled in the center of Columbus Circle West. MMAC is the new home of Manhattan Youth Ballet, founded as Studio Maestro in 1995.  In addition to the ballet school, MMAC will also offer an ambitious program of open classes including dance and fitness classes for professional dancers, exercise enthusiasts, and health-conscious adults; and a Children's Program featuring classes in dance, music, art, and martial arts for parents and children 6 months to 16 years of age.  MMAC also houses an impressive new theatre space that is fully equipped with sound and lighting, and is ideal for dance performances, corporate events and theatre productions.  Rose Caiola, the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of both MMAC and Manhattan Youth Ballet, is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

The "Born At NYMF" commissioning program creates adventurous new work by fostering collaborations between musical theatre artists and artists outside the genre, helping to widen the scope of musical theatre in the years to come. This year's commissioned piece is "Wild About Harry," a dance musical based on the life of Leona Helmsley (and the dog, Trouble, who was her closest confidant after the death of her husband, Harry). Utilizing five choreographers in a multilayered narrative, the piece builds on the success of last year's commission "Platforms," which Backstage called "an hour or so of the most intense and exciting dance you're likely to see on any New York stage this season and a smartly executed piece of theatre as well." The exploration of this new genre of musical theatre brings the dance and theatre community together in a fresh and exciting new way and marks the continued growth of NYMF's dance programming.

Hailed as "the Sundance of Musical Theatre," The New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) exists to revitalize one of America's greatest art forms by discovering, supporting and promoting new musical theater artists, producers, and projects, and by introducing a diverse audience to the vibrancy of contemporary musical theater. Since its inception in 2004, the three-week annual festival has premiered more than 130 new musicals – many of which have gone on to award-winning productions in New York, in regional theaters and on tour in 38 states, and nine countries worldwide.  NYMF 2004 hit Altar Boyz has played well over 1,000 performances off-Broadway and is now in its fourth year at New World Stages; fellow NYMF alum [title of show] recently began performances at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway.

Widely regarded as the essential source for new material and talent discovery, NYMF is the flagship program of The National Music Theater Network, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization, and is presented in association with and, and is supported by amNewYork, Barnes & Noble Booksellers,,, King Displays, Panasonic Astrovision, and TheMENEvent.  NYMF is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.

The Hourglass and The Poisoned Pen
Saturday, September 27, 8pm
Sunday, September 28, 1pm & 4pm
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 West 60th Street

Co-written by Andrew Pepoy; Choreographed by Mark Yonally

Young Elizabeth is granted the power to control time. Together, she and Daphne, her best friend (and total comic book geek) fight The Conductor and The Poisoned Pen, two nefarious and dangerous super-villains. In this original production by Chicago Tap Theatre, the action and comedy are only overshadowed by the tap dancing!

Sophia's Fall
Thursday, September 18, 8pm
Friday, September 19, 1pm & 4:30pm
Saturday, September 20, 9pm
37 Arts Theater C 450 W. 37th Street

Music by Benjamin Birney; Book by Rob Seitelman; Choreographed by Jason Summers

Sophia's Fall is an intense dance/rock retelling of the creation story… with a twist. Sophia, the feminine divine, drives the action and drama of the story toward an edge-of-your-seat conclusion. A four-piece rock band and fluid modern dance choreography round out the show's dark, tuneful score.

Ward 9
Thursday, September 18, 8pm
Saturday, September 20, 5pm
Sunday, September 21, 1pm & 7pm
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 West 60th Street

Book by Gregory Victor and Matt Williams; Directed and choreographed by Matt Williams

A tragicomical story told entirely through dance, Ward 9 is set in a mythic asylum hosting famed patients Vincent Van Gogh, Howard Hughes, Vivien Leigh, Bobby Fischer, Sylvia Plath, Ludwig van Beethoven and Vaslav Nijinsky. When they clash with the Head Nurse as she attempts to "cure" them of their creative madness, strait jackets, padded rooms, and electric shock treatment are the orders of the day. Strap yourself in and get committed, because it's medication time on Ward 9!

Wild About Harry
(The 2008 "Born At NYMF" Dance Commission)
Friday, September 19, 8pm
Saturday, September 20, 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, September 21, 4pm
Sunday, September 28, 7:30pm
Manhattan Movement & Arts Center 248 West 60th Street   

Book by Susan DiLallo; Directed by Elizabeth Lucas; Choreographed by Kelly Devine, Linda Goodrich, Josh Rhodes, Shea Sullivan and Jeff Shade

This unique, danced-through musical, created especially for NYMF '08 and choreographed by five of today's most talented young choreographers, begins where the tabloids left off. A completely fresh look at Leona Helmsley, one of NYC's most colorful characters, along with the man who loved her, the many others who did not, and her dog… who inherited 12 million bucks.

Freshly Tossed
Monday, September 22, 7pm & 9:30pm
(Dance Series Special Event)
American Theater of Actors - Chernuchin Theater 314 West 54th Street

Created and Curated by Wendy Seyb and Mark Lonergan

What happens when you take physical musical theatre...and mix them all together? Find out as curators Wendy Seyb (Walmartopia, School Daze, But I'm a Cheerleader) and Mark Lonergan bring together some of New York's most exciting artists in search of the next evolution of musical theatre comedy.

Zoey's Playlist on NBC

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