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April Thibeault
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2016 Jump on the DanceWagon Festival Presents World Premieres by Four Emerging Choreographers

by April Thibeault
March 8, 2016
Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
Celebrating its fourth annual festival, Jump On the DanceWagon (J/DW) returns to the Ailey Citigroup Theater with a collection of various contemporary performances by four up-and-coming choreographers. Representing a wide range of age, experience, movement style, and culture, this year’s festival introduces a new generation of choreographers to the world including Amy Jordan (Victory Dance Project), Cecly Placenti (Six Degrees Dance Company), Mala Desai (Mala’s Odissi), and Nicholas Grubbs. (See below for complete program details.)

“We are excited about the colorful assortment of this season’s program,” said Ellen Stokes Shadle, founder/director of J/DW. “From Mala Desai pursuing classical Indian choreography and the recent college graduate Nicholas Grubbs to the ballet-meets-street jazz style of Victory Dance Project led by Amy Jordan, the festival truly represents both the diversity and the future of the dance field.”

Described as “wonderful…fantastic (The Artists Forum),” the J/DW festival provides a platform to showcase new choreographers to large audiences on a reputable, New York City stage. By supervising the operational, administrative, and financial elements of producing a show, J/DW streamlines the barriers to access for developing artists. The festival presents an invaluable opportunity for contemporary artists to share their visions in an affordable and transparent way. “I applaud and appreciate Ellen Stokes Shadle’s commitment to presenting emerging choreographers and offering them an opportunity to develop and share their talents,” said choreographer Cecly Placenti.

J/DW PROGRAM Subject to Change

"Rebirth" by Amy Jordan
Choreographer: Amy Jordan
Music: Sia, J2, Dead Can Dance, Afro Celtic Sound Machine, Shriley Bassey Dancers: Victory Dance Project (Saleem Abdullahi, Petra Duskova, Ty Evans, Marisa Graham, Major Nesby, Sara Yang, Kara Zacconi)

Summary: The work of Victory Dance Project is technically, emotionally, and musically-charged, lyrical-contemporary meets street jazz. "Rebirth" is based on the SGI Nichiren Buddhist principle of Ho Nim Yo. This means 'from this moment on. It is about moving forward and getting outside of our own 'box.'

"In Your Light" by Cecly Placenti
Choreographer: Cecly Placenti
Music: Ludovico Einaudi, XPURM, Alexandra Streliski
Poetry: Rumi
Dancers: Gianna Lafronza, Cecly Placenti, Rachel Russell, Jason Sosnowski Summary: "In Your Light" is inspired by and based on the poetry of Rumi. Using a movement alphabet created by choreographer Cecly Placenti and manipulated to manifest the words and concepts in each poem, "In Your Light" explores themes of love, pain, spiritual connection, and the human condition as it moves from places of isolation, to places of unity.

"Sanjeevani" (Elixir for Immortality) by Mala Desai
Choreographer: Mala Desai
Music: Recorded Vocal Support by Guru Mayadhar Raut, Sri Purna Chandra Majhi and others to Oriya poetry by Banamali Das
Dancers: Mala Desai, Juhi Pant

Summary: In Hindu mythology, Sanjeevani is regarded as the magical herb that can cure all pain and even conquer death. Dance is Sanjeevani; it is the magic that teaches us to remain focused on a chosen path. Through Odissi, an Indian classical dance, Mala Desai upholds traditions and shares life lessons.

"Asha" (Hope) by Mala Desai
Choreographer: Mala Desai
Music: Uma Mohan
Dancers: Mala Desai and TBA
Summary: As a tribute to her late father, Mala Desai synthesizes various dance techniques in hopes of providing audiences access to deeper insights. "Asha" is based on a Ganesha Moola, or “beej” Mantra (‘beej’ means seed the source of everything in the universe).

"Burnt Toast" by Nicholas Grubbs *world premiere*
Choreographer: Nicholas Grubbs
Music: Original score by Austin Guerrazzi (yet to be titled)
Dancers: Shauna Davis, Mariel Harris, Holly Ledbetter, Hannah Seiden, Marissa Wiley

Summary: "Burnt Toast" is an exploration of the human desire for validation and the ramifications this can have. What happens as this tendency becomes more universally ingrained? Societal constraints and technological advancements have bound people to a need for approval, while simultaneously creating ways to project unwarranted validation onto others. This piece will take five women on a journey from independence and self-worth to a place where they only exist to be observed and judged, for better or for worse.

WHAT: Jump On the DanceWagon Festival

WHEN: Saturday, April 16 @ 7:30 p.m. & Sunday, April 17 @ 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Joan Weill Center for Dance at Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 W. 55th Street (@ 9th Ave), NYC, Train 1/A/B/C/D to 57th/Columbus Circle, N/R/Q/W to 57th or C/E to 50th

TICKETS: $25-$30 General/$15 Students. To purchase, visit Brown Paper Tickets at brownpapertickets.com or call 1.800.838.3006.
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