Dorance Dance Program

Artistic Director
Michelle Dorrance

Dancers:
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Christopher Broughton, Elizabeth Burke, Warren Craft, Michelle Dorrance, Leonardo Sandoval, Byron Tittle, Nicholas Van Young

Musicians:
Donovan Dorrance, Aaron Marcellus, Gregory Richardson

ETM: Double Down

Created by: Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young

Original Tap Instrument Design: Nicholas Van Young

Choreography:

  • Michelle Dorrance and Nicholas Van Young
  • with Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie
  • solo improvisation by the dancers

Original Music Composed and Improvised by:

  • Gregory Richardson
  • Donovan Dorrance
  • Nicholas Van Young
  • Aaron Marcellus
  • Warren Craft
  • with Michelle Dorrance

Additional Music by:

  • Adele Adkins
  • Karin Dreijer Andersson
  • Olof Dreijer
  • Justin Vernon
  • Patrick Watson

Lighting Design by: Kathy Kaufmann

Costume Design by: Amy Page and Shiori Ichikawa

Dancers:

  • Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie
  • Christopher Broughton
  • Elizabeth Burke
  • Warren Craft
  • Michelle Dorrance
  • Leonardo Sandoval
  • Byron Tittle
  • Nicholas Van Young

Musicians:

  • Donovan Dorrance (piano/controllerist)
  • Aaron Marcellus (vocals)
  • Gregory Richardson (bass/guitar)
  • Nicholas Van Young (drums/percussion)
  • Warren Craft (drums/percussion)
  • Michelle Dorrance (drums/percussion)

ETM: Double Down was created in part during a Creative Development Residency at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, in part at The Yard during a 2015 Yard Offshore Creation Residency, and during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation with major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Artist Statements

This work is the initial exploration of a new world and a new collaboration. Constantly inspired by the range of possibilities inherent in being both dancers and musicians, in the visual and aural, we also embrace embodying the organic and inorganic, the acoustic and the electric. None of this work is remotely possible without tap dancer, percussionist and innovator, my longtime friend, Nicholas Van Young. He is the man behind the curtain. He has been developing the instruments you see here and has been experimenting with the technologies you will see at work tonight for years in order to make this world possible. I also want to acknowledge our musical collaborators and friends, Gregory Richardson, Aaron Marcellus, Warren Craft and Donovan Dorrance who, with intuition, incredibly open minds, and a wonderful sensitivity to collaborating with the sounds of tap dance, have created some inspiring compositions. It has been a dream of mine for almost a decade to collaborate with my dear friend and multi-form dancer, Ephrat "Bounce" Asherie, who's visual percussion, musical phrasing and dynamic range of movement inspire me tremendously. Tap dance was America's first street form and is deeply rooted in the foundations of Hip Hop and House dance. These communities have long been connected on the streets and in the club but are less likely to be found on the concert stage. As we enter the world of electronic music, looping and sampling, these worlds become even closer and that connection ever more important. Getting back to the beginning, I want to say thank you – thank you Nicholas Van Young, for your artistry, your creativity, your tireless and endless work, your inventive mind, your friendship and your trust. I feel incredibly blessed to have been so warmly invited into your world to play and create.

- Michelle Dorrance

It started with the simple need to find a way to amplify tap dance without feedback, so I could dance with a live band. Many people have used contact microphones (Gregory Hines, Tap Dogs, etc.) so I knew that was a possibility, and it led me to experimenting with guitar pedals and effects. I started out looping hand and body percussion with live and affected tap dance. Being a drummer as well, and working with electronic music since the early days of EDM, I've stayed in touch with what’s happening in the music production and DJ community. I knew contact mics could be doubled as drum triggers and I was already playing around with a masterful piece of software called Ableton: a live performance software, digital audio workstation. I got the idea to create small trigger boards to dance on – essentially wooden drum pads. In conjunction with my main dance board and effects this added a whole new sound set for me to experiment with. Over time I took online courses in Ableton and began to understand the limitless possibilities. Soon, I was able to play notes, arpeggios, chords, sound bites and quotes, and began composing scores in real time with improvised tap dance. The synthesized possibilities are endless and the combination of this, with the acoustic sound and attack of tap dance was a very exciting frontier for me to explore. The only thing missing was Michelle Dorrance. Being a company member of Dorrance Dance, Michelle had given me my first opportunity to perform a solo using this electronic set up in an evening length performance in Boston, presented by Thelma Goldberg in 2012. We, as kids, had dreams about experimenting with altered soundscapes for tap dance. We jokingly called it “Tap to the Max."

I was creating solos with my “Compositional Tap Instrument’ but had visions of several dancers across a number of platforms and boards. Dancing out elaborate choreographed phrases while simultaneously playing the musical composition. Once Michelle asked to me to collaborate on this show I knew it “was on." Her expansive creativity in tap choreography and movement, along with her sophisticated musical phrasing started to unlock possibilities in our set that were getting us both so excited. Simple ideas led to large discoveries and every time we workshopped an idea, 20 more were born. Needless to say, here we are. Pushing ourselves to explore the sonic potential in tap dance and tap instruments. In some ways we have created the ultimate tap dancers playground. Where you can let your imagination and your feet run wild.

Enjoy.

- Nicholas Van Young

About Dorrance Dance

Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based out of New York City. The company’s work aims to honor tap dance’s uniquely beautiful history in a new, dynamic, and compelling context; not by stripping the form of its tradition, but by pushing it – rhythmically, technically, and conceptually. The company’s inaugural performance garnered a Bessie Award for “blasting open our notions of tap” and the company continues its passionate commitment to expanding the audience of tap dance, America’s original art form.

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

Dorrance Dance Staff

Artistic Director: Michelle Dorrance

Executive Director: Donald Borror

Production Manager/Sound Engineer: Christopher Marc

Company Manager: Tina Huang Abrams

Associate Artistic Director: Nicholas Van Young

Assistant to the Artistic Director: Olivia Maggi

Rehearsal Director: Elizabeth Burke

Music Director: Donovan Dorrance

Lighting Designer: Kathy Kaufmann

Lighting Supervisor: Serena Wong

Technical Director/Assistant Stage Manager: Diego Quintanar

Artist Representative: Margaret Selby, Selby/Artists Management

Performer Bios

Michelle Dorrance (Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer)is a New York City-based artist. Mentored by Gene Medler (North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble), she was lucky 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 Darwin Deez. Company work includes Savion Glover’s Ti Dii, Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy, JazzTap Ensemble, Rumba Tap, and solo work ranging 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/supported by United States Artists, the Joyce Theater, New York City Center, the Alpert Awards, Jacob’s Pillow, Princess Grace Foundation, The Field, American Tap Dance Foundation, and the Bessie Awards. Dorrance holds a BA from New York University and is a Capezio Athlete.

Nicholas Van Young (Associate Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer) 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, TX, eventually rising to principal dancer and resident choreographer. Since moving to New York, he has performed with Manhattan Tap, RumbaTap, Dorrance Dance, “Beat the Donkey,” has toured as a drummer for Darwin Deez, and spent almost a decade performing with STOMP, where he performed the lead role and acted as rehearsal director. Nicholas tours both nationally and internationally teaching and performing at various Tap Festivals, and founded Sound Movement dance company and IFTRA, 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), a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance, is a NYC-based Bgirl, dancer and choreographer. As artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD), she has presented work at Jacob’s Pillow, FiraTarrega and New York Live Arts, among others. Ephrat has received numerous awards to support her work including a NDP Award from NEFA, a Mondo Cane! Commission from Dixon Place and an Extended Life Residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Ephrat has taught at Wesleyan University and is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center. For more information please visit www.ephratasheriedance.com

Christopher Broughton (Dancer), born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Chris began dancing at the age of 11 and has never looked back. Under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy at Universal Dance, he became a member of The Kennedy Tap Company, receiving the national NAACP ACT-SO Award twice. He now travels worldwide both as a soloist and with Jason Samuels Smith’s A.C.G.I., Rasta Thomas’ Tap Stars, and Dorrance Dance. Performances include New York City Center’s Cotton Club Parade; Juba! Master’s of Tap & Percussive Dance at the Kennedy Center; and Broadway’s Tony & Astaire award-winning production After Midnight.

Elizabeth Burke (Rehearsal Director/Dancer) is a Chapel Hill, North Carolina native who spent 11 years under the direction of her mentor, Gene Medler, in the acclaimed North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. Burke has been with Dorrance Dance since its inception in 2010. She pursues her own choreographic work, teaches and performs as a soloist on occasion. She is an alumna of the School at Jacob's Pillow and Marymount Manhattan College (BA Political Science, BA Communication Arts, magna cum laude).

Warren Craft (Dancer) is a New York City tap dancer who has trained in ballet with both the American Ballet Theatre and the School of American Ballet. He has been a member of Brenda Bufalino’s New American Tap Dance Orchestra, Max Pollak’s RumbaTap, and Dorrance Dance. He moves with "bizarre physicality," and "unconventional eloquence." (The New York Times)

Donovan Dorrance (Music Director/Musician) hails from Chapel Hill, NC where he studied piano, guitar, drums, and voice before attending The University of North Carolina for a B.A. in Philosophy. In 2014, Donovan moved to Brooklyn to assist his sister’s company and pursue his passion for music. In addition to composing music with Gregory Richardson for Dorrance Dance, Donovan composes music for film and theatre, collaborating with students from NYU and Columbia.

Aaron Marcellus (Musician), singer, vocal coach, writer, musician, dancer, and actor from Atlanta started 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, Aaron was featured in a Chapstick commercial, NBC’s “Next Caller” and was a cast member of STOMP. Marcellus also hosts a Burlesque show at Duane Park. Most importantly, he founded both Surrender To Love, LLC, a foundation that supports arts programs and seeks to feed the hungry and Adventure Voice, a training program offering vocal classes for groups and individuals.

Gregory Richardson (Musician) is a composer, performer, and multi-instrumentalist and has been a member of Dorrance Dance since 2011. He learned rhythm and blues at an early age from a family of musicians where everyone could play at least a little piano and everyone was expected to sing. The Tucson native studied at Bard College and has been working as a professional musician in New York City for nearly two decades. Richardson is known for his winning combination of natural talent, hard work, and dedication and is fortunate to have traveled the world several times over with various ensembles. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, where he has been a part of countless collaborations.

Leonardo Sandoval (Dancer), Brazilian tap dancer, has become known in the tap world and beyond for his musicality, and for adding his own Brazilian flavor to tap. An early member of Dorrance Dance, he is also in demand as a choreographer, solo dancer, and jazz musician. A true dancer-musician, Leo has had his work, including collaborations with composer Gregory Richardson, presented at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the National Folk Festival.

Byron Tittle (Dancer) is a multi-faceted dancer based in New York where he studied extensively at Broadway Dance Center, The American Tap Dance Foundation, and then later toured the country with The Pulse on Tour. After finding commercial success, dancing for the likes of Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, and Laurie Ann Gibson, Byron is focused on pushing the boundaries in the concert dance world. He has been touring with Dorrance Dance since 2014 and continues to approach each show with vigor and excitement. His “elegant and polished lines” (The Brooklyn Rail) help captivate audiences worldwide as he feels most at home with the company.

Production Team Bios

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. Christopher 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. (Sound Design) CT & Co: More Forever. Pacific Symphony: The Magic Flute. Off-Broadway: The Black Book. Aquila Theatre National Tour: Wuthering Heights, The Tempest, Fahrenheit 451, Twelfth Night. Skylark Opera: Berlin to Broadway, Candide, Putting it Together, La Rondine. Artistry MN: God of Carnage, Striking 12, Death of a Salesman. Lyric Arts: Becky’s New Car, Sherlock Holmes, The Boxcar Children, Over the Tavern, Death of a Salesman.

Diego Quintanar (Technical Director/Assistant Stage Manager),started working in theater production as a student at the College of the Holy Cross. He was introduced to Dorrance Dance through his work with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series as a project coordinator. Other credits include: Latino Cultural Center and Wyly Theater, Dallas, TX where he worked as a carpenter and electrician; off-Broadway musical I Like It Like That as Production Manager, NYC; Shen Wei Dance Arts, NYC and Dance Heginbotham, NYC as an assistant stage manager and scenic charge.

Serena Wong (Lighting Supervisor) is a Brooklyn-based freelance lighting designer for theater and dance. Her designs have been seen at New York Live Arts, Irondale Arts Center, the New Ohio, and Danspace. She enjoys biking, beekeeping, and bread baking.