Digital Playbill: … Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude

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Queens Theatre Summer Outdoor Stage

in Flushing Meadow Corona Park

presents

World Premiere

… Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude (2021)

Friday, July 9, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET

Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 2:00 PM ET

Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 7:30 PM ET

Dorrance Dance

Artistic Leadership

Michelle Dorrance

Josette Wiggan-Freund          Nicholas Van Young

Dancers

Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Christopher Broughton, Elizabeth Burke, Warren Craft, Michelle Dorrance,

Luke Hickey, Rena Kinoshita,  Carson Murphy, Maddie Murphy, Claudia Rahardjanoto, Leonardo Sandoval,

Byron Tittle, Matthew “Megawatt” West, Josette Wiggan-Freund

Guest Artist

Joseph Wiggan

Composer

Keyon Harrold

Musicians

Marcus Gilmore, Keyon Harrold, Aaron Marcellus, Gregory Richardson,

Julius Rodriguez, Daniel Winshall, Nicholas Van Young

Opening Band Set

Marcus Gilmore (drums)

Keyon Harrold (trumpet)

Julius Rodriguez (keyboard)

Daniel Winshall (bass)

… Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude (2021)

World Premiere

Choreography by Josette Wiggan-Freund, in collaboration with and featuring improvisation by the dancers

Additional Choreography by Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie and Matthew “Megawatt” West

Original Music by Keyon Harrold

Voiceover by Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Elizabeth Burke, Michelle Dorrance, Luke Hickey, Rena Kinoshita, Gregory Richardson, Byron Tittle, Matthew “Megawatt” West, Joseph Wiggan, Josette Wiggan-Freund

Costume Design by Olivia Maggi and Byron Tittle

Sound Design by Christopher Marc

Lighting Design by Kathy Kaufmann

Dancers: Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Christopher Broughton, Elizabeth Burke, Warren Craft, Michelle Dorrance, Luke Hickey, Rena Kinoshita, Carson Murphy, Claudia Rahardjanoto, Leonardo Sandoval, Byron Tittle, Matthew “Megawatt” West, Joseph Wiggan, Josette Wiggan-Freund

Musicians:

Marcus Gilmore (drums)

Keyon Harrold (trumpet, vocals)

Aaron Marcellus (vocals, keyboard)

Gregory Richardson (upright bass, electric bass, vocals)

Julius Rodriguez (keyboard)

Daniel Winshall (bass)

Nicholas Van Young ( percussion)

 

The Dorrance Dance tap dancers will embark on a journey that explores a rhythmical expression of the innermost yearnings of gratitude by coming together in “…Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude,” created by Josette Wiggan-Freund in collaboration with the musical genius of jazz trumpeter phenom, Keyon Harrold.

 

“The inspiration of this piece comes 100 percent from Keyon Harrold's riveting music which captivates the soul while dazzling the mind,” Josette Wiggan-Freund said. “Praise... is a journey to a place where gratitude is expressed through release, where breakthrough becomes sacred space and where awareness of the here and now transcends all fear or doubt.”

The collaboration with Josette Wiggan-Freund and Dorrance Dance was born from a place of faith and inspiration. It is my first full-length collaboration with a dance company as the sole composer, so it is a special one. Seeing my compositions inspire Josette’s unbelievable movement is like the visceral miracle of birth; born from love and hope! I am eternally excited to share this work.

-- Keyon Harrold

 

… Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude (2021) was created in part during a residency at The 92nd Street Y and at Jacob’s Pillow.

Meet the Performers

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Josette Wiggan-Freund (Choreographer/Dancer) has a love for performing that was fostered by Paul and Arlene Kennedy in Los Angeles. A graduate of UCLA, Josette’s career highlights include, the 2001 Spotlight Award winner in non-classical dance, the 1st National Broadway Tour of 42nd Street, movies Idlewild and Princess and the Frog and studying with Germaine Acogny at L’ecole les Sables in Toubab Dialaw, Senegal. Alongside her brother, she was a part of two original casts of Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel and Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour from 2009-2013. The duo has also been seen in Tireless, a curated show by Michelle Dorrance that had its debut at Jacob’s Pillow in 2017. In addition, Josette is a part of Dorrance’s all woman quartet, Until the Real Comes Along and All Good Things Must Come to an End and currently co-created along with Michelle Dorrance and Hannah Heller, a new work entitled, …The Nutcracker Suite… in 2019. Josette is a sought after educator, choreographer and performer and has dedicated her life to the perpetuation of African American Vernacular Jazz Dance. She is so honored and humbled by this opportunity to collaborate with one of the world's most talented trumperters, Keyon Harrold and hopes that you enjoy the show!

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Keyon Harrold (Composer/Musician) is "the future of the trumpet” (Wynton Marsalis). He is "an inventive, multidisciplinary, genre-fluid artist; trumpeter and vocalist; a composer, arranger, and platinum music producer; bandleader and major recording artist" (The Mugician-Sony). Harrold has toured, recorded, and collaborated with Jay-z, Cirque Du Soleil, The Queen Latifah’s Show, Keith Richards, Black Pumas, Mac Miller (Stay), Nas (The Jarreau of Rap), UK crooner Samm Henshaw (Still Broke), YEBBA, Robert Glasper, Maxwell, Common, PJ Morton, and Gregory Porter. He is the new Artistic Advisor for Jazz St. Louis and is an activist for social justice and equality. Look for new original music record release and content from Harrold in the fall 2021.

Michelle Dorrance

Michelle Dorrance (Dancer) is a New York City–based artist. Mentored by Gene Medler (North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble), she was fortunate to study under many of the last master hoofers. Career highlights include: STOMP, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap!, Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/ Chasing the Bird, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, and touring with Darwin Deez. Company work includes: Savion Glover’s Ti Dii, Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy and Co., JazzTap Ensemble, and Rumba Tap. Solo work ranges from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to commissions for the Martha Graham Dance Company and American Ballet Theatre. A 2018 Doris Duke Artist, 2017 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, and 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Dorrance is humbled to have been acknowledged and supported by United States Artists, The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, the Alpert Awards, Jacob’s Pillow, Princess Grace Foundation-USA, The Field, American Tap Dance Foundation, and the Bessie Awards. Dorrance holds a B.A. from New York University and is a Capezio Athlete.

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Nicholas Van Young (Musician) is a dancer, musician, choreographer, and a 2014 Bessie Award recipient. He began his professional career at age 16 under Acia Gray and Deidre Strand with Tapestry Dance Company in Austin, Texas, eventually rising to principal dancer and resident choreographer. Since moving to New York, he has performed with Manhattan Tap, RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance, and Beat the Donkey; he has toured as a drummer for Darwin Deez; and he spent almost a decade performing with STOMP, where he performed the lead role and acted as rehearsal director. Young tours both nationally and internationally teaching and performing at various tap festivals, and founded Sound Movement dance company and IFTRA, the Institute for the Rhythmic Arts. He is thrilled to have found a home with Dorrance Dance, co-creating and developing ETM: Double Down, and the Guggenheim Rotunda Project, both collaborative efforts with Michelle Dorrance.

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Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie (Dancer) is a NYC based b-girl, dancer and choreographer, and a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance. As artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD), she has presented work nationally and internationally. Asherie received a 2019 NYFA Choreography Fellowship and Dance Magazine's Inaugural Harkness Promise Award in 2018. For more information please visit ephratasheriedance.com or IG: @ephratasheriedance.

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Christopher Broughton (Dancer) is from Los Angeles and began dancing at age 11. Under Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he was a member of the Kennedy Tap Company and received the national NAACP ACTSO Award twice. Performances include New York City Center’s Cotton Club Parade; Juba! Master’s of Tap and Percussive Dance at the Kennedy Center; and Broadway’s Tony and Astaire Award–winning production After Midnight and Jelly’s Last Jam.

Elizabeth Burke

Elizabeth Burke (Co-Dance Captain/Dancer) is a founding member of Dorrance Dance who spent eleven years under the direction of her mentor, Gene Medler, in the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. She is an alumna of the School at Jacob's Pillow and Marymount Manhattan College. Other performance credits include work with Bessie Award winner Nicholas Van Young's SoundMovement and the American Dance Festival alongside Luke Hickey. She has been described as a "deft and impassioned" dancer. (The New York Times)

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Warren Craft (Dancer) is a New York City tap dancer and a current and founding member of Dorrance Dance. He studied ballet at JKO and SAB, tap improvisation with Ayodele Casel at Fazil’s, and was introduced to butoh dance theatre by Ko Murobushi and Yuko Kaseki at CAVE in Brooklyn. Recently, Warren contributed choreography to the 2019 film In This Life, directed by Bat-Sheva Guez and starring Robbie Fairchild.

Marcus Gilmore at the Village Vanguard.

Marcus Gilmore (Musician) is the grandson of Roy Haynes who gave him his first drum kit at the age of ten. A graduate of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, Marcus also received full ride scholarships to the Juilliard School of MUsic and Manhattan School of Music. He has been touring professionally since the age of sixteen. Marcus has performed with some of today’s best known contemporary jazz artists, including Chick Corea, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Nicholas Payton, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, and Ambrose Akinmusire. He is also embarking on solo projects with his bands “Actions Speak” and “Silhouwav”. He has been named a protege of the 2018 Rolex Mentors And Protege Project.

Luke Hickey

Luke Hickey (Dancer) is a tap dancer, actor, and choreographer hailing from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He trained for ten seasons with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, under the direction of his mentor Gene Medler. Hickey is also an alumnus of The School at Jacob’s Pillow. His most recent performance credits include the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, American Dance Festival, Ravello Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival, and Macy’s 34th Street NYC.

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Rena Kinoshita (Dancer) was born in Tokyo, Japan. She began studying tap dance after she saw dancers Hideboh and Yuji Urakami perform at “National Tap Day 2008” in Japan. Two years later, she received a scholarship under the “Japan Tapdance Scholarship Program (JTSP)” to the L.A. Tap Fest. Rena then studied tap in New York for 2 years. She debuted Warren Craft’s Hayden as a solo in “Rhythm in Motion (2016).” Rena has recently collaborated with Aska Shiozawa, Hayato Namatame, and Yutaro Gotou on a filmed version of her work, “cicada-RenaK Tap.”

Aaron Marcellus

Aaron Marcellus (Musician), a singer, vocal coach, writer, musician, dancer, and actor from Atlanta—got his start in gospel music and has performed around the world. He has recorded albums and was voted top 24 on American Idol in 2011. After a world tour, Marcellus was featured in a ChapStick commercial, NBC’s Next Caller, and STOMP. He founded Surrender to Love, LLC, a foundation that supports arts programs and seeks to feed the hungry and Adventure Voice.

Carson Murphy

Carson Murphy (Dancer) is a dancer, teacher, mom and business owner. In addition to being a member of Dorrance Dance, Carson has performed with a multitude of companies throughout New York City, North America, and Europe. Murphy holds a B.A. in both dance and philosophy from Loyola Marymount University. She is the owner of sound MOVEMENT Pilates and Gyrotonic® studio in Larchmont, NY. She is the endlessly proud mom of Imogen Moon. soundmovementny.com

Maddie Murphy

Maddie Murphy (Dancer/Understudy) is currently a student in the commercial dance program at Pace University. She grew up training in all styles of dance and was trained in tap by her very own mother Malana Murphy. In 2016, Maddie was named YoungArts finalist and worked with Michelle Dorrance. She is a Jacob’s Pillow alumna, faculty member at RIFF Dallas tap dance festival and a member of Project Convergence.

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Claudia Rahardjanoto (Dancer), born and raised in Berlin, Germany, Claudia started her professional dance career at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. At fifteen, she fell in love with tap dance under the tutelage of Sven Göttlicher and Marie-Christin Zeisset and moved to NYC in 2003 to pursue a career in tap dance. She hopes to continue to share her love and passion for music and the art of tap dance through her teaching and performing worldwide.

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Gregory Richardson (Musical Director/Musician) is a multi-instrumentalist focusing on upright and electric bass. He's the co-creator of Music From The Sole, an Afro-Brazilian tap dance and live band show that is currently in residence at Lincoln Center Education. He's played drums, keys, and guitar with the band Darwin Deez at the world’s largest music festivals in the UK, Australia, Japan, Germany, and Austria.

Julius Rodriguez LIVE

Julius Rodriguez (Musician), at age twelve, enrolled in Manhattan School of Music’s precollege division and studied there continuously throughout high school. He later studied at The Juilliard School. Rodriguez’s music integrates elements from jazz, avant-garde, R&B, hip-hop and pop music. He has drawn inspiration from The Bad Plus, Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran to find novel ways of integrating music outside of the jazz canon, including music by The Beatles. He has worked as a sideman with Keyon Harrold, Ben Williams, Carmen Lundy, James Morrison, Jazzmeia Horn, Dev Hynes, Roy Hargrove, Macy Gray, Wynton Marsalis, Veronica Swift, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Nick Hakim, and Meshell Ndegeocello and others.

Sandoval

Leonardo Sandoval (Dancer), Brazilian tap dancer, is renowned for his unique style, blending America’s great jazz and tap heritage with Brazil’s rich rhythmic and musical forms. A true dancer-musician, he is increasingly in demand as a choreographer, solo dancer, and jazz musician. His choreography, including frequent collaborations with composer Gregory Richardson, has been presented at venues including Jacob’s Pillow, the Yard, the National Folk Festival, and the Battery Dance Festival. Leo joined Dorrance Dance in 2014.

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Byron Tittle (Co-Dance Captain/Dancer), at a young age started tap dance with David Rider and the American Tap Dance Foundation in his hometown of New York. Wanting to study other disciplines, he also trained at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Byron recently toured the United States, Australia, and New Zealand with Hugh Jackman in The Man, The Music, The Show, and is humbled to have received a 2019 Princess Grace Foundation Dance Fellowship Award.

Matthew West

Matthew “Megawatt” West (Dancer) started dancing at the age of sixteen in Queens. Megawatt is an active part of NYC’s underground dance community and teaches youth classes throughout the five boroughs. Megawatt can be seen in Baz Lurhman’s Netflix series The Get Down and battling with his crew, the Mellow Animals.

Joseph Wiggan 1

Joseph Wiggan (Guest Artist), native of Los Angeles, began to tap dance with Paul and Arlene Kennedy. Joseph has performed in Riverdance, Imagine Tap!, À la Recherche de Joséphine, Shuffle Along, Cirque du Soleil's Banana Shpeel, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour, Encores!: The New Yorkers, This Joint is Jumpin', and The Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. www.josephcwiggan.com

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Daniel Winshall 

Credit goes to Tony Sahadeo.

Daniel Winshall (Musician), born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts is both an upright and electric bass player. From a young age he showed interest in music and began playing electric bass at age 7. Once he picked up the upright bass in middle school he fell in love with jazz and soul music. After graduating Boston Arts Academy Daniel moved to New York City where he graduated from the New School for Contemporary Jazz. Daniel started his professional career at the age of 14 at Wally’s Cafe in Boston and since then he has had the opportunity to perform and record with many artists including Wynton Marsalis, Big Baby Dram and Joey Alexander.

Meet the Production Team

Kathy Kaufmann (Lighting Designer), a New York City native, has been happily designing for Dorrance Dance since its inception (SOUNDspace, The Blues Project, ETM, Myelination). A resident designer at Danspace Project whose work has been seen throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Asia, she also teaches at Sarah Lawrence. She is a two-time Bessie recipient and was nominated for her work on Rebecca Davis’s Bloowst Windku in 2015. Recent projects include designs for Moriah Evans, Mariana Valencia, Jonathan Gonzales, David Parker, Tatyana Tennenbaum, Mina Nishimura, Morgan Bassichis, and Ephrat Asherie Dance.

Christopher Marc (Production Manager/Sound Designer) has been with Dorrance Dance since June of 2016. Marc has worked as a sound engineer with several companies around the country including the Kennedy Center, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Mills Entertainment, Aquila Theatre, and Harlem Stage. Off-Broadway: The Black Book, Aquila Theatre's National Tour: Wuthering Heights, The Tempest, Fahrenheit 451, and Twelfth Night. Skylark Opera: Berlin to Broadway, Candide, Putting it Together, and La Rondine. Other: CT & Co’s More Forever and Pacific Symphony’s The Magic Flute.

Special Thanks

A very special thanks to those who made Queens Theatre’s first outdoor Summer Season possible through their direct contributions.

Lead Sponsor $75,000 and up

Conedison

Major Sponsor  $30,000 - $74,999

Hg Logo White Horiz

Supporting Sponsors  $10,000 - $29,999

Silvercup Studios

Kaufman Astoria Studios

Gary and Marcie Kesner

Kupferberg Foundation

Additional Sponsors $2,500 - $9,900

Donation in Honor of Emily Contillo

Mark and Dina Misk

Farrell Fritz, P.C.

Contributors $500 - $2,499

Tracy and Bill Capune

Queens Theatre Thanks Its Major Funders

These contributors provide Queens Theatre with a consistent foundation that allows us to bring artistically and culturally significant programs and performances to the Queens community.

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Dorrance Dance

Staff

Artistic Leadership: Michelle Dorrance, Josette Wiggan-Freund & Nicholas Van Young

Executive Director: Donald Borror

Company Manager: Tina Huang Abrams

Production Manager/Sound Designer: Christopher Marc

Administrative Associate: Olivia Maggi

Rehearsal Assistants: Danielle De Vito & Kate Louissaint

Co-Dance Captains: Elizabeth Burke & Byron Tittle

Musical Director: Gregory Richardson

Lighting Designer: Kathy Kaufmann

Financial Services: Andrea Nellis, Arts FMS

Artist Representative: Margaret Selby, Selby/Artists Management

About Dorrance Dance

Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based in New York City celebrating its 10th Anniversary! Led by Michelle Dorrance, Josette Wiggan-Freund, and Nicholas Van Young, the company supports dancers and musicians who embody and push the dynamic range that tap dance has to offer. The company’s mission is to engage with audiences on a musical and emotional level, and to share the complex history and powerful legacy of this Black American art form through performance and education.

Founded in 2011 by artistic director and 2015 MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance, the company has received countless accolades, rave reviews, and has performed at venues including Danspace Project, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Vail Dance Festival, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Works and Process at the Guggenheim, Carolina Performing Arts at UNC Chapel Hill, Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, among many others, including international venues in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, England, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Russia.

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Queens Theatre

Staff

Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director

Connie Baker, Rentals and Events Manager

Victor Catano, Production Manager

Dominic D'Andrea, Director of Community Engagement

Richard Hinojosa, Director of Education

Alexis Lubin, Finance Manager

Willy Mosquera, Front of House Manager

Gregg Mozgala, Director of Inclusion

Bernadette Ott, Development Manager

Jay Rogers, General Manager

Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development

Sheila Xia-Ryan, Marketing Manager

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Gary Kesner, President
Tracy Capune, Vice President
Bruce Levine, Treasurer
Mark Misk, Secretary

Members

Georgiana Benatti
Bob Blenderman
Steve Chen
Salvatore DiMartino
Susan B. Lipsky
Irene Zoupaniotis

Ex-Officio

Frances A. Resheske, Board President Emeritus
Bill DeBlasio, New York City Mayor
Gonzalo Casals, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President
Michael Dockett, Queens Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation