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The JCE JAZZ DANCE PROJECT
APRIL 2023

The April 2023 JCE Jazz Dance Project is a celebration of jazz dance that will enthrall audiences of all ages! Please join us on April 29th and 30th to enjoy jazz dances in a variety of styles: Afro-Latin, musical theater, contemporary, and more!

Featured choreographers include:

Sofia Bengoa
Kenya Joy Gibson
Taylor Gordon
Misaki Hayama
Michelle Isaac
Bryan Knowlton
Erinn Liebhard
Bobby Morgan
Lauren Pagano
Robert Redick
Jaime Shannon
Sarah Juliet Shaw
Leah Suskind
Cory “Nova” Villegas

Marian Hyun and Merete Muenter, Artistic Directors

Liberada Cory Villegas

“Liberada” choreographed by Cory “Nova” Villegas
Photo: Jan La Salle

DATES

Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 30, 2023 at 4 p.m. – a talkback with the choreographers follows the performance

LOCATION

KNJ Theater at Peridance

KnJ Theater at Peridance
126 E. 13th Street
New York, NY 10003
www.peridance.com

Tickets Available Now

 

Early Bird Price through March 31st: $25

From April 1st:
$35 General Admission
$25 Children and Students with valid high school or college ID (Promo Code Student)

For groups of 10 or more, contact info@jazzchoreography.com to learn about the group discount.

If you can’t attend the performances, we hope you’ll consider donating to JCE.

 

For Student discount after March 31st, enter Promo Code Student, then click Apply.

Online ticket sales will close one hour before the performance time; thereafter tickets will be available only at the door.

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Useful Information

 

Covid Policy:
Masks are strongly suggested, but not required.

Refund Policy:
Refunds decided on a case-by-case basis. Eventbrite’s fee is nonrefundable.

Door Policy:
Please present a printout of your receipt (and valid high school or college ID for students) at the ticket desk to claim your tickets. Doors will open one half hour before show time. Ticket sales will close 15 minutes after the show begins. Latecomers who purchased tickets in advance will be seated at the discretion of management.

Artistic Directors

Marian Hyun

 

Marian Hyun

Marian Hyun has studied jazz and ballet with Luigi, Bob Audy, Ed Kresley, Shirley Bassat, and Julia Dubno. 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 the 92 nd 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 New York studios and community centers, including the 92 nd Street Y. She has choreographed for the JCE Jazz Dance Project, Choreographer’s Canvas, and the Fridays at Noon Marathon at 92 nd Street Y. In May 2007 at New Dance Group, Marian produced the first performance of the New York Jazz Choreography Project (now the JCE Jazz Dance 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 Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of Jazz Choreography Enterprises.

Merete Muenter

 

Merete Muenter

Merete Muenter is a choreographer and director, as well as the Co-Founder 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), South Pacific and Man of La Mancha (Plaza Theatricals), The King of Second Avenue (New Repertory Theatre). Director/choreographer:Fiddler on the Roof - In Yiddish (Associate Director, Off-Broadway  / New World Stages – Director, Joel Grey), The Bridges of Madison County, (American Theater Group), Chicago, Tommy,  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Woodstock Playhouse), They Walk Among Us (MITF / Award - Best Choreography). Short Film: Through the Ages (Director/Choreographer/Producer) Multiple Film Festival Awards. Originally from Buffalo, New York.  SUNY Geneseo Graduate.

Featured Choreographers

Sofia Bengoa

Sofia Bengoa

Sofia Bengoa is an Ecuadorian immigrant who grew up in Miami, FL. She received her early dance training at Heidi and Joe Melchiona’s Dance Center. Sofia attended Brown University, where she earned her B.A. in community health and is currently an Epidemiology Ph.D. student at the CUNY School of Public Health and Policy. In addition to her academic life, Sofia works as a freelance contemporary dancer. Recent performance credits include Young Choreographers Festival and the Fuerza Fest Festival Gala 2022. As a choreographer, Sofia strives to create using the language and the music of her childhood. Recent choreography credits include Estia Day Fest 2022 and Anthology 33.

 

Kenya Joy Gibson

Kenya Joy Gibson

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Kenya Joy Gibson is the Founder and Artistic Director of TORCH Dance Theatre. A former student of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and one of the last to experience the tutelage of the late Arthur Mitchell, Gibson graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master’s in Dance Education from the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College in May 2020. She has performed in two Bessie Award-winning performances for DanceAfrica 2017 and 2020. She was featured in the New York Times for Spike Lee’s Cadillac Campaign. Gibson is committed to cultivating new methods of reclaiming and retaining the legacy of the African Diaspora. In August 2020, she established her artistic voice with the production of “Honor” in memoriam to the ancestors who journeyed through the Middle Passage. She has taught as a Guest Artist for the Hunter College, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Teens@Graham. Gibson was selected to present her choreography at the 2022 Women in Dance Leadership Conference at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Gibson is a full-time dance educator with the NYC Department of Education, and is an active member of both the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD).

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon is an international dancer, teacher, and director based in NYC. She has performed at Lincoln Center with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, in 4 seasons of The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Off-Broadway and tour of Angelina Ballerina The Musical, at The Kennedy Center & Carnegie Hall, internationally as a dance captain & resident director with Spirit Productions, TUI Cruises, at Jacob’s Pillow, and with numerous ballet & contemporary companies in NYC like Exit12 Dance Company. She is currently a Show Supervisor for Step One Dance Company with RWS Entertainment Group and on the Musical Theater faculty at New York Film Academy.  The New York Times wrote, “on that big stage, Ms. Gordon does indeed seem a star,” referring to Radio City Music Hall in a full page Sunday Arts feature. She trained at Boston Ballet, The Rock School, and Ballet Academy East. She has appeared on television in a principal role in a commercial on Time Warner Cable NYC and on PBS Great Performance at the Met. She has been featured on CNN, NBC, Fox News, ABC, CBS, Dance Magazine, Vanity Fair Online, The Huffington Post, Dance Spirit, and The Times of India. Taylor has guest taught in Japan, China, India, Bali, and across the US.

Misaki Hayama

Misaki Hayama

Misaki Hayama was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. She moved to New York in 2015 as a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey Dance School. During her school career in 2016, she performed her duet, a modern dance piece titled ”Antagatadokosa,” at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in “Global Harmony.” The following year in 2017, she performed a solo piece, ”Touryanse,” at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. After graduating from the Alvin Ailey School, she presented ”Touryanse” at Ailey Citigroup Theater, Tank Theater and The Works Studio. In 2019, a 30-minute solo dance, ”Warabe Uta,” was performed at the TADA!Theater. In the same year, ”Kagome Kagome” was shown at The Baumann. In 2020, she presented her new piece, ”Sakura Sakura,” at Old First Church and won 4th place. In 2021, She performed her 30-minute solo, ”Warabe Uta,” in Green Space as a Take Roots 2021 artist. In 2022, she performed her solo, “Touryanse,” for KoDaFe in NYC, presented by I KADA Dance Company, and “Warabe Uta” for “Studio to Stage,” presented by Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.

Michelle Isaac

Michelle Isaac

Michelle Isaac was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She began dancing at the age of four in church and started formal training in high school at Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts, under the direction of Zakiyah Harris. Michelle received her BFA in Dance from LIU Post with Honors Recognition in 2015.  In 2019, Michelle completed her graduate studies through the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College, graduating Summa Cum Laude with her MA in Dance Education and K-12 NY State Certification. Michelle is a Co-Founder of Eden Arts Inc, formerly known as Ntrinsik Movement, and functions as the Artistic Director of Eden Brooklyn Dance Theater. With her company, she has choreographed several works, produced concerts, hosted community and school workshops through their residency program, and has performed in various NYC theaters, as well as theaters outside of NY. Aside from performing and choreographing, Michelle is a full-time dance teacher, and continues to provide dance workshops and classes for children and adults in various churches and dance schools throughout her community. She is also a junior board member for JCE and a member of the National Dance Education Organization.

Bryan Knowlton

Bryan Knowlton

Bryan Knowlton is a New York and London based director and choreographer. His extensive career has spanned from starring on Broadway in the most recent Revival of A CHORUS LINE to appearing in multiple National Tours, Film and TV. He is an award-winning choreographer with credits that include CABARET and CHICAGO (NH Theatre Award “Best Choreographer,” ONSTAGE Theatre Award Nomination (“Best Choreography”), MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (Kennedy Center American College Theatre Award “Outstanding Choreography”) BEEHIVE! (Berkshire Theatre Award nomination “Best Choreographer”) SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER/MAMMA MIA (SALT Award nomination “Best Choreographer”), CURTAINS (Broadway World Award Nomination “Best Choreography”), among many others. At present, he is attached as Director/Choreographer to the developmental project “In My Own Little Corner” starring Chryssie Whitehead in NYC and serving as choreographer for the new musical, “The Only Way Out” written by David Thatcher Maglione in London, UK. He is currently an adjunct professor at Montclair State University as well as on faculty at Broadway Dance Center, STEPS on Broadway in New York City as well as THE HUB and House of Jazz in London.

Erinn Liebhard

Erinn Liebhard

Erinn Liebhard is a Twin Cities-based dance artist making opportunities for people to experience the reflective and connective power of groove through performance and education. Guided by this inspiration and a fondness for jazz and American social dance ideas, she’s worked with creatives as varied as hip-hop dance theater artists Rennie Harris and the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers Appalachian clogging company. In performance, she makes and performs new staged works and presents those of others through her company Rhythmically Speaking and plays as “Nerdette” for St. Paul Saints Baseball, in addition to making new works for professional companies, colleges and high schools. Her creative work emphasizes groove, interaction and improvisation, and is inspired by both social and concert dance movement while often driven by contemporary jazz music. In education, she works as a Teaching Artist for the Cowles Center and serves on their Advisory Council, is on faculty at several area art high schools and universities, conducts educational outreach through her company and is an active writer and conference presenter. She is driven to help connect people to themselves, one another and the moment through rooted and innovative embodiment of groove.

Bobby Morgan

Bobby Morgan

Bobby Morgan is a freelance choreographer, DJ, spiritualist and student of life based in NYC with a background in many styles such as ballet, jazz, hip hop, house, voguing, modern, and contemporary. The main source of his passion across all those different genres is his love for music. Sound has the ability to create different realms in the imagination. Because Bobby grew up as a part of both concert and commercial dance worlds, one of his missions as a choreographer is to curate spaces for those that live in between both of those worlds. Throughout his training, summers were spent at Complexions, Ballet Hispaníco (Choreographer’s Lab) and performing at Jacob’s Pillow, while also being on scholarship at commercial dance conventions (Monsters of Hip Hop, Intrigue, ASH). Bobby has trained under choreographers such as Dana Foglia, Desmond Richardson, Erica Sobol, Jon Ole Olstad, and many others in the concert, commercial and underground street worlds. Another mission is to assist in raising the vibration of the collective on the planet in these times of darkness, uncertainty and uncharted territory. Through movement and sound, his intention is to always remind us of the importance of human connection, keeping the heart space alive, and remembering why we’re here.

Lauren Pagano

Lauren Pagano

Lauren Pagano is a native of South Florida and began her dance training at A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Florida School for Dance Education. She attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA Dance Program from which she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double major in Dance and History. Over the course of her training she has had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Adam Barruch, Virgine Mecene, and Alexander Anderson. Since graduating she has worked professionally with DanceKerr & Dancers and CES Dance Works, and most recently was an ensemble dancer in the movement opera The Final Veil. She currently is on faculty at Bridge for Dance and is a member of the front of house staff at Westside Theatre.

Robert Redick

Robert Redick

Robert Redick is a New York-based choreographer, performer, producer, and educator. A Joffrey Ballet School graduate, his choreographic and teaching credits include Joffrey Ballet School, Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, Harlem School of the Arts, Kanyok Arts Initiative, Brooklyn Dance Festival, Bryant Park Summer Series, and the Youth American Grand Prix. Additionally, Robert is currently Programs Director and a resident choreographer at Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance. He is also the production coordinator, curator, and host for the Uptown Rising Performance Series held at the Bridge for Dance. Uptown Rising gives choreographers the affordable opportunity to present, discuss and receive feedback on their work and process. Robert has a deep passion for creating an inclusive, fulfilling experience with the artists he collaborates with. He believes in instilling confidence and allowing a safe space for humanity to thrive.

Jaime Shannon

Jaime Shannon

Jaime Shannon began her dance training at the age of four at the Lee Lund Studio of Dance in Milford, CT.  In 2006 she received her B.A. in dance from Hofstra University where she studied with Lance Westergard, Stormy Brandenberger, Robin Becker, Carla Wolfangle, Rachel List, and Amy Marshall. Since then, Jaime has performed professionally with Azul Dance Theatre, Dance Cat-Alyst, Soluq Dance Theater, Lauren Hale Dance, and Kelley Donovan and Dancers.  In 2010 Jaime met Tony Fraser and together, they quickly became a dynamic partnership in the swing dance community. Together they have performed and taught various styles of swing dance throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia. In 2014 Jaime formed Kilowatt Dance Theater (KDT), a dance company specializing in the roots of early jazz dance, swing, lindy hop, and blues in combination with modern and contemporary dance. KDT has had the honor of performing at such noted venues as Jacob’s Pillow, The Battery Dance Festival, Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing, and Jazz Choreography Enterprises.

Sarah Juliet Shaw

Sarah Juliet Shaw

Sarah Juliet Shaw is a New York City-based performer, teacher, and choreographer. She is currently on the guest faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway and has presented her own work in New York Theatre Barn’s Choreography Lab, the Broadway Dance Center Performance Project, and at the National Museum of Dance. As a performer, Sarah has danced on Seasons 4 and 5 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and performed at numerous regional theatres across the country. She has a degree in Dance and Psychology from Skidmore College. Sarah would like to thank her dancers for being so open and excited to bring her vision to life, and JCE for this wonderful opportunity.

 

Leah Suskind

Leah Suskind

Leah Suskind was born and raised in Randolph, NJ and in May 2022, she graduated summa cum laude from New York University Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance. While at NYU, Leah performed works by Yin Yue, Stephen Petronio, Jaclyn Walsh, and Molissa Fenley. In the fall of 2022, Leah participated in the inaugural GibneyPro Training Program where she got to work with artists such as Rena Butler, Maleek Washington, Laja Field, and Elia Mrak. Throughout her summers, Leah has attended programs at Jacob’s Pillow, Orsolina 28, the Juilliard School, and with companies such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, GALLIM, Parsons Dance, and the Martha Graham Company. She was also the fellowship recipient of the 2021 DM.Connect Choreographer Competition. Leah is currently in her second season as an apprentice with Jon Lehrer Dance Company.

Cory “Nova” Villegas

Cory “Nova” Villegas

Cory “Nova” Villegas is a native Bronxite. She has been training in Salsa On2 since she was five years old. After studying at Starlite Dance Studio and Dancers DreamZzz School of Dance in the Bronx, she went on to train in techniques such as Bollywood, Dunham, Graham, Limon, Horton, and ballet with Penelope Kalloo, a former Forces of Nature company member. She then continued her training at Lehman and Hunter College. Cory is interested in the intertwining of Afro-Latin forms with traditional styles, technique and its marriage with music and poetry. Her work has been viewed in the 2016 Bronx Arts Festival, The LGBTQ Fuerza Festival in 2017, Hunter College’s Kaye Playhouse Theater in 2018, KoDaFe in NYC festival at Ailey Citi Group Theater, Making Moves Dance Festival in 2019-2021 and the EstroGenius Festival in 2019-2022. She’s worked with Latin artist such as reggaetón sensation Don Omar. In February of 2019 she co-founded her company as artistic director of Soul Dance Co.: The Soul Experience. Cory attained her BA/MA and certification in Pre-K-12 in dance education from Hunter College and will begin her MFA Degree at Hunter College in the Fall of 2022. She is extremely humbled to share her soul with you all.

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