The JCE JAZZ DANCE PROJECT
APRIL 2020

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This show has been cancelled

For questions, please contact
212-369-9036 or info@jazzchoreography.com

Artistic Directors

 

Marian Hyun

Marian Hyun has studied jazz and ballet in New York with Luigi, Bob Audy, Ed Kresley, Shirley Bassat, Julia Dubno, and wonderful teachers in Paris, France, Susan Sparks and Frédéric Lazzarelli. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, she was a freelance writer and a writing instructor at the New School before enrolling in the Dance Education Lab (DEL) at 92nd Street Y. Since then she has taught dance to people of all ages, from two-year-old pre-ballerinas to senior citizen jazz buffs in various New York studios and community centers. She has choreographed for the New York Jazz Choreography Project, Choreographer’s Canvas, the Fridays at Noon Marathon at 92nd Street Y, and the Comedy in Dance Festival at Triskelion Arts. In May 2007 at New Dance Group, Marian produced the first performance of the New York Jazz Choreography Project, a showcase devoted to jazz dance.  It sold out.  Subsequent performances of the Jazz Project have been produced semiannually by Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Inc., a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization established in 2007 to promote the creation of original jazz choreography.  Marian is the president and co-artistic director of Jazz Choreography Enterprises.

Merete Muenter

 

Merete Muenter

Merete Muenter is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Jazz Choreography Enterprises.  Choreography: Off-Broadway – Fiddler on the Roof - In Yiddish (Assistant Choreographer – Director, Joel Grey),  Amerike – The Golden Land (The National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene), The Golden Bride (Chita Rivera Award Nomination / The National Yiddish Theater - Folksbiene)Eddie and the Palaceades (Midtown International Theatre Festival “MITF”), The King of Second Avenue (New Repertory Theatre). Director/choreographer:Fiddler on the Roof - In Yiddish (Assistant Director, Australian Company, Director, Joel Grey), The Bridges of Madison County, (American Theater Group), ChicagoThe Who’s Tommy,  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Woodstock Playhouse), They Walk Among Us (MITF / Award - Best Choreography), Roar of the Greasepaint (Lancaster Opera House).

Featured Choreographers

Ariana Andretta

Ariana Andretta

Born and raised in NYC, Ariana Andretta grew up surrounded by movement. Her childhood studio (Mrs. Rosemary’s) provided her with the gift of dance and the knowledge of a theatrical space, as they held performances at the historic St. George Theatre. This informed her with an intention to practice and celebrate community through dance. Ariana received her B.A. in Theatre Arts (summa cum laude) from SUNY New Paltz. Her time there versed her with the craft of character and development of a choreographic phrase, especially thanks to her professor/mentor, Joe Langworth. As a performer, Ariana has worked regionally on Mary Poppins (Potsdam Music Theatre), experienced swinging for Billy Griffin’s History Repeating” (Steps Studio Theater), and approached Oklahoma! (SUNY New Paltz) from the modernized perspective of a cowgirl. In the choreographic sphere, Ariana served as Asst. Choreographer for Avenue Q (SUNY New Paltz) and assisted Freddy Ramirez for Pippin (The School at Proctors). Her own works have recently been shown at NACHMO (Mark Morris), PLUNGE seminar (Peridance), and “A Burden to Bare” group art exhibition. Ariana believes that meaningful narratives should be created often and is fortunate enough to do so daily. She is grateful for this next adventure with JCE!

William Byram

William Byram

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, William Byram began dancing at Ballet Mississippi and later with Caroline Carns. He continued his training at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, receiving the Outstanding Graduate Award in 2016. William is currently finishing his training at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY under the Adopt-a-Dancer Scholarship. He has had the honor of performing the works of Ohad Naharin, Merce Cunningham, Wayne McGregor, Bettijane Sills, Kinsun Chan, Dwight Rhoden, Ronald K. Brown, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, and Banning Bouldin. William also spent a semester studying ballet at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Additionally, in recent years he has attended summer programs at Springboard Dans Montreal, Jacob’s Pillow, Perry-Mansfield, The Ailey School and Charlotte Ballet. William’s choreography has been seen at the Regional High School Dance Festival, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Utica Dance and Purchase Cares: Dancers Responding to AIDS. He also had the privilege of movement directing/choreographing for opera and theatre with such credits as Dido & Aeneas (Purchase Opera) Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Purchase Repertory Theatre), Cendrillon (NOCCA Opera), and Rinaldo (NOCCA Opera).

Arthur Cuadros

Arthur Cuadros

Arthur Cuadros is a dancer, choreographer and producer based in NYC. He attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. He has traveled the world dancing for Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruise Line. He was last seen at Boston’s Shubert Theatre in “Showboat.” He has worked regionally at Moonlight Productions, Village Theatre, San Diego Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Theatre, and numerous others. Arthur made his Boston choreographic debut with “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” in the fall of 2016. Arthur is proud to be a producer on the Broadway production of “Head Over Heels.” He recently wrapped on his first feature film, “Isn’t it Romantic” starring Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth.

Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis

Jeff Davis is a NYC-based performer, choreographer, director and visual artist. He is Artistic Director of Glitter Kitty Theater, directing the Gunfighter Meets his Match for the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) and creating One for the Ages! at Theater for the New City. He is a former Co-Artistic Director of the Hudson Vagabond Puppets touring and staging large scale puppetry. He is also co-creater of The Dick and Anita Holiday Hour and The Lovely WiLDS! with composer Elliot Roth. His recent work, French Trio, was featured at the Fresh Fruit Festival winning the “Fruitie” Award for outstanding dance. This Fall he premiered My Angelina, his seventh original work for the JCE Jazz Dance Project. As a performer, he has been featured with Labyrinth Dance Theater, NYC Children’s Theater, Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, Zullo/Raw Movement, Josh Prince’s Broadway Dance Lab, Attack Theatre, PCLO & FOSSE! National Tour. He received a BA in dance from Point Park University.

Danielle Diniz

Danielle Diniz

As a dancer, Danielle Diniz competed with the dance studio In the Spotlight for many years, earning regional and national titles/scholarships. She also trained at the Paper Mill Playhouse Conservatory and Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. Upon graduating from Cornell University, she was featured in productions of “My Fair Lady,” “National Pastime” and “Rocky Horror” (Assoc. Choreographer) under the direction of Tony nominee Hunter Foster, with choreography by Lorin Latarro (“Waitress”). She joined the “Dirty Dancing” national tour (u/s Baby, Lisa, Elizabeth) and has been seen on “One Life to Live” and in other NYC workshops and regional shows. She is honored to often perform with Stars of American Ballet and partner, Daniel Ulbricht. Danielle was a featured choreographer for Dance Break 2020 and her work has been shown in Stars of American Ballet rep, Steps Beyond Foundation performance lab, NY Choreographers’ Forum, Dance Against Cancer Youth Movement, Locally Grown Dance Festival, Nebula Dance Festival, A Very Special Night of Dance, Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Ballet Arts showcases, 8-in-show, the Higher Ground Festival, and she will present new work for Columbia Ballet Collaborative in May. She also choreographed the full-length musical “On the Air.”

Ali Koinoglou

Ali Koinoglou

Thriving in New York City, Ali Koinoglou spent numerous summers studying at the Joffrey Ballet School, American Ballet Theater and continued her training with Joffrey Ballet’s pre-professional year-round program after graduating high school. Ali then trained at Broadway Dance Center in the Professional Semester. While training at BDC, Ali created a relationship with master teacher/choreographer, Derek Mitchell, the Resident Choreographer of Hamilton the Musical. Since Derek’s move to LA, Ali has taken over his various positions choreographing industrials for several companies including Big Hit Events & GoSeeDoNYC. Ali’s company Koin & Co Dancers (est. 2013) created a Junior Training Program division to the company allowing Ali’s network of teachers/choreographers/agents to contribute to the success of the next generation of dancers. Currently, Ali is assistant to five-time Emmy Award winning Mia Michaels and is a resident choreographer/teacher for many intensives including The Academy of the Holy Angels, KLICK’T, Peridance Capezio Center, Artistic Dance Exchange and more. Ali’s long-term goal is to one day be educating & inspiring dancers around the world to grow to their full potential as talented dancers, kind humans and all-around creative, versatile individuals!

Austin Marquez

Austin Marquez

Austin Marquez is a performer, choreographer and teaching artist based in New York City. Austin has been seen in several productions around New York City including the immersive theatrical experience Zerospace, the Off-Broadway premiere of GEEKS! The Musical and The Turkeys Go on Strike, the equity showcase of MANIFESTO: The Diaghilev Project, and When Broadway Went to Hollywood at the Merkin Concert Hall. Austin is an active choreographer who has choreographed for several dance schools around the country and theatrical productions in New York City including The Drowsy ChaperoneThe Addams Family, and A Chorus Line. He is currently a teaching artist at the acclaimed ABT affiliated dance school, American Youth Dance Theater, and has taught for the musical theatre program at Marymount Manhattan College, the same program he graduated from in 2018. Austin is thrilled to share this piece with a larger audience. He would like to thank his incredible dancers, the support from American Youth Dance Theater, and his many mentors. He hopes Midnight Moonlight puts a smile on your face and reminds you to appreciate all the beauty the world around us has to offer.

Mandie Rapoza

Mandie Rapoza

Mandie Rapoza is a British director and choreographer based in NYC. Select credits include Fragments at Dixon Place (Director/ Choreographer), The Parlor at SOHO Rep (Movement Director), Something Rotten! 1st National Tour (Dance Captain/ Ensemble) and Flocking at The Old Vic Tunnels (Devisor/ Performer). Mandie is committed to creating dynamic and thought provocative theatre. She is co-founder of UptownWorks NYC, a production company that is dedicated to developing new works in theatre and film. @mandierapoza @uptownworks

Jessica Redish

Jessica Redish

Jessica Redish is a 2020 Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding Choreography in a Play for her work on Airness at Keegan Theatre/1st Stage and a Helen Hayes Award Winner for Outstanding Choreography in a Musical for Silence! The Musical at Studio Theatre. She recently contributed choreography to The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Shiny & Oh So Bright” International Tour which played Madison Square Garden. In addition to being nominated for multiple choreography awards, Jessica choreographs for television, music videos, short films and on stages across the country. NYC credits include Movement Direction for Adding Machine Off-Broadway at The Minetta Lane Theatre (dir. David Cromer), Choreography for The Act at 54 Below and various works at Musical Theatre Factory, Ars Nova & NYMF. Chicago credits: PIPPIN (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Outstanding Choreography) at The Music Theatre Company, Sweet Charity and She Loves Me at Writers Theatre, and RENT at AFT/ATC (dir. David Cromer.) Her recent work as a writer/director entitled “The Last Croissant,” is featured on Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die. She is currently polishing a feature-length comedic thriller which she will also direct. Jessica resides in Los Angeles and works in NYC & LA. She is an alumna of Northwestern University.

Joey Rosario

Joey Rosario

Joey Rosario is excited to return to JCE! Coming from a musical theater background, Joey has had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally with the tour of A Chorus Line and regionally in shows like Beauty and The Beast, Guys and Dolls, and West Side Story. He debuted his first professional piece through the JCE Jazz Dance Project two years ago. Since then, he’s been pursuing more choreographic opportunities, releasing a short dance film last year, And Just Like That, as well as Bad Idea, and most recently serving as Associate Choreographer for In the Heights at Park Playhouse. His style is a fusion of classic musical theater jazz, jazz funk, and Latin dance. He is a proud Montclair State University alum. Joey would like to thank Erin Pride for her constant encouragement and nurturing his choreographic voice, George Dearani for his theatrical inspiration and tutelage, his friends and family for their constant love and support; and Marian and Merete for the opportunity to be a part of the JCE Jazz Dance Project!

Johnny Stellard

Johnny Stellard

Johnny Stellard is a lifelong student of dance and storytelling. His performing career includes the original Broadway casts of Anastasia and Evita (revival) as well as Carnegie Hall and regional theatres throughout the country. He has served as dance captain for multiple productions including the world premiere of Anastasia at Hartford Stage. Recently, he has directed and choreographed Disney’s Frozen Jr. at Broadway Method Academy and had work performed at Dixon Place in “On 1 Condition.” He is a member of the 2019/ 2020 SDCF Observership Class and holds a BFA in Music Theatre with a minor in Dance from Elon University. Through his choreography he hopes to reach audiences by getting to the heart of the human experience.
Ai Toyoshima

Ai Toyoshima

Ai Toyoshima moved from Tokyo, where she performed as a semi-professional dancer, to New York City in April 2017. Ai continued her dancing and music training with Verdon Fosse Legacy, American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, Finis Jhung, Mindy Jackson, Tonna Miller and Jill Edward. As Ai kept training, she discovered that she loved choreography, as well, and started to develop her skills. Her dedication to her craft has opened new opportunities in dance, singing, and choreography. Ai’s love of dance and performing began at the age of 6 when she started ballet lessons in Nogoya, Japan. She was inspired to further pursue a singing and dancing career after she attended an American Dance Stage Show when she was 15 years old. She knew then that she would come to the U.S. to study musical theatre. Ai’s dreams are coming true because of her drive and dedication to excellence.

Amy VanKirk

Amy VanKirk

Amy VanKirk is an Associate Professor of Dance at Radford University. She has had original work showcased at the American College Dance Association Festival, Ferguson Center for the Arts, New York Jazz Choreography Project, Alluvion Stage Company, and at various universities across the country. VanKirk was commissioned to create an original work, Remember the Future, for the NASA Langley Research Center Centennial Tribute in 2017, and created and directed an original a full-length musical, Keep This For Me: Memories of the Last World War, in 2015. Amy received her MFA in Dance from the University of Arizona where she served as the rehearsal assistant for Ann Reinking’s Chicago Suite. Professional credits include Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, danahbella DanceWorks, and Artifact Dance Project. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization where she has presented on topics such as female leadership in dance, interdisciplinary collaborations, and Latin jazz fusion. VanKirk’s primary teaching focus is jazz dance technique, with additional focuses on composition, musical theatre, and ballroom. Amy continues to work as a freelance performer and choreographer throughout the United States.

Chaz Wolcott

Chaz Wolcott

Chaz Wolcott is delighted to join the JCE family and is excited to present his work today, featuring the wonderful dancers from the Steps on Broadway Conservatory! Chaz’s directing/choreographing credits include Broadway Backwards, BCEFA’s Red Bucket Follies, Broadway’s Gypsy of the Year, along with regional productions of: Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Me and My Girl, Cats, Newsies (5x), Crazy For You, Bright Star, Mary Poppins, La Cage aux Folles, Mamma Mia & Kiss Me, Kate. Chaz currently serves on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. Chaz has found great joy in fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and supervised a fundraising drive that launched a series of cabarets that Chaz produced, directed, choreographed and organized (The Newsboys’ Variety Show), which helped to raise over $500k for the incredible charity! Chaz holds a BFA in Dance from Oklahoma City University. As a performer, Chaz has been seen in Disney’s Newsies – Live Film & 1st National Tour (Buttons), Cats – National Tour (Mr. Mistoffelees) and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Thanks to Abigail & Aubrey for their assistance and support, always.

Where Do Our Choreographers Find Inspiration?

We thought you might enjoy learning what inspired some of our choreographers in this edition of the JCE Jazz Dance Project.

Amy VanKirk
For this work I was inspired by Brazilian musician and composer, the legendary Sérgio Mendes. Although the piece was inspired by his later album “Brasileiro,,” exploring Afro-Cuban Bahian rhythms, this video features Sérgio Mendes & Brasil 66 performing on the television special “Something Special,” featuring Eartha Kitt. This clip gives a glimpse into his early years in the United States and features a track from his first album for A&M Records.

Chaz Wolcott
Here is a video that has inspired every work I’ve ever done. The raw physical strength Bob Fosse and Tommy Rall exhibit in this piece is noteworthy, but there’s something about their finely-tuned technique and expression that just shows such truthful joy and love of dance. I aspire to create dance moments that capture artists’ inner-joy that dance brings to them as much as this clip shows the passion these gentlemen have for dance. It is so honest, so pure and so incredibly entertaining to watch. Watching people truly exhibit their love for their art form is perhaps the most contagious thing an audience can see on a stage, and I always remember that when creating new work.

Austin Marquez
What inspired me about The Hot Sardines’ rendition of the jazz standard “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” musically were the strong bass movements and the incorporation of the Latin drive in the drums. There are so many rhythms to pull from which makes my mind as a choreographer go wild. As a musician myself, I love to play with rhythms and momentum in my pieces. Just when you think the percussion will stay steady, it switches, and I love the excitement and element of surprise with that, and I wanted to see how I could incorporate that with movement. Storywise, this song has so much imagery within it that immediately sparked narratives in my mind. It felt very musical to me and reminded me of something I’d hear and see in an old Hollywood movie musical, which was the inspiration behind the story telling in my piece. I wanted to make a fun, clear story through dance that was supported by the clear lyrics in this song.

There was no exact jazz piece or scene that inspired this piece, but I was very inspired by the movement of old Hollywood choreographers like Busby Berkeley, Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. And more contemporary choreographers that inspired my piece are Al Blackstone and Andy Blankenbuehler.

Mandie Rapoza
For my piece, “Alabanza,” I was inspired by the history of grief. This picture from Ancient Egypt inspired me because I thought about how in the art that is made to express the lowest experiences of humanity, humans have always turned straight to the idea of looking up, raising up. Just as these Egyptians are searching up to their God, so too did the characters in “In The Heights” search upwards, and rise upwards.

From the movement perspective, I was interested in how these murals captured the essence of a moment without any excess, and I wanted to do the same with each character in my piece. Capture the essence, simply, and leave the rest.

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