Queens Theatre Brings Rhythm and Movement to Flushing Meadows Corona Park With Outdoor Premiere Performance by Dorrance Dance on July 9th and 10th
(Queens, NY)— For the first-time ever, Queens Theatre will step to a new beat in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this summer with the world premiere of the award-winning Dorrance Dance’s “…Praise: The Inevitable Fruit of Gratitude” on July 9th and 10th. The free performances will launch Queens Theatre’s summer season filled with music, dance, and cultural programming.
The extraordinary 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 premiere event will be held on Queens Theatre’s new outdoor summer stage, which will be located yards away from the theatre at 14 United Nations Avenue South in the park, for five weeks. The performances take place on Friday, July 9th at 7:30pm ET and on Saturday, July 10th at 2:00pm and 7:30pm ET. All performances are free, but tickets are required. Reservations will open up this Friday, June 25th at 10:00am at QueensTheatre.org
Based in New York City, Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary. Led by Founder/Artistic Director Michelle Dorrance with 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.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration between two singular artists in their fields,” said founder, artistic director, and 2015 MacArthur Fellow Michelle Dorrance. “Josette and Keyon both bring such a tremendous depth and range of emotion to their work, they move me at the center of my being, and I can’t wait to feel the energy of their coming together on stage for the first time! I am thrilled and humbled to be a dancer in this work.”
Founded in 2011, 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.
“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”
Added Keyon Harrold, “The collaboration with Josette Wiggan-Freund and Dorrance Dance was birthed 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.”
The three performances will kick off a robust array of outdoor events presented by Queens Theatre this summer. Funding for the outdoor season is provided in part by Con Edison as part of its Arts Al Fresco series. Queens Theatre will announce additional programs for the summer season – which runs through August 7th – later this month.
“We can’t wait to reconnect with our community members in person this summer, bringing people together for the shared joyful experiences that come with seeing performances live. We couldn’t be more proud or excited that the very first event will be new work from such an incredible company,” said Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone. “As Dorrance Dance says, ‘music is at the root of everything we create.’ And this summer, we look forward to creating memories that will last a lifetime.”
About Queens Theatre
Queens Theatre (QT) is a performing arts center located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY. Its mission is to provide high-quality performances and programs that are accessible to the residents of Queens, the most diverse county in the nation. The Theatre’s work reflects and celebrates its community. QT presents dance companies, produces, presents, and develops new works of theatre, family programming, community engagement events and initiatives, and offers a range of education programs onsite, in schools and in senior centers. In 2016, QT launched, and has since expanded, Theatre For All (TFA), a ground-breaking initiative to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts. Since COVID-19, QT has produced a range of digital programming – readings of new plays, wellness checks with performances for seniors, original dance showcases, a Storytellers series, an online round of its TFA training program for Deaf/Disabled actors, and more.