Currently participating in Bridge Street Theatre’s Spring Dance Residency Initiative – Ephrat Asherie Dance, who will be living and working at the Catskill theatre from May 24 – June 2. The troupe will be using this Guggenheim Works & Process-supported bubble residency for continued development on “UnderScored”, a piece being created in collaboration with a number of NYC Club Dance Legends.
Beginning with the seminal parties at The Loft and the Paradise Garage, “UnderScored” is inspired by the intergenerational club-life memories of a cast ranging in age from 25 to 77. This dance work explores the ever-changing physical and musical landscape of New York City’s underground house dance and music scene. Legendary elders from NYC’s underground dance community including Archie Burnett, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, and Catskill resident Michele Saunders collaborate and perform with company members Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, Manon Bal, Ron “Stealth-1” Chunn Jr., Teena Marie Custer, Val “Ms. Vee” Ho, and Matthew “Megawatt” West.
To learn more about the piece and its history, check out this New York Times feature from last November when the troupe’s previous Works & Process bubble residency was sequenced into Lincoln Center for filming: Catch the Vibe: Club Culture Comes to Life at Lincoln Center – The New York Times (nytimes.com). And to view a clip from that filmed performance, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57yXUINeedQ.
In conjunction with this project, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will provide a fellowship for Asherie to collect and archive oral histories from elders who are part of the generation of dancers who helped create and usher in NYC’s underground dance and music scene in the 1970s and ’80s.
Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African American and Latinx street and social dances. Dedicated to revealing the inherent complexities of these forms, EAD explores the expansive narrative qualities of various street and club styles including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue, as a means to tell stories, develop innovative imagery, and find new modes of expression. EAD’s first evening-length work, “A Single Ride”, earned two Bessie nominations in 2013 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. The company has presented work at The Apollo Theater, Celebrity Series, Columbia College, Dixon Place, FiraTarrega, Guggenheim Works & Process, Joyce Theatre, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, La MaMa, River to River Festival, Mass MoCA, New York Live Arts, Summerstage, and The Yard, among others.
A free virtual program, featuring performance highlights from “UnderScored” and discussions with the artists creating it, will be made available for a limited time on the Bridge Street Theatre YouTube channel beginning at 7:00pm on June 1. A link will be sent to everyone on BST’s email list on the afternoon of the Tuesday evening premiere. To sign up, visit https://bridgest.org/contact-us.
The following evening, June 2, two live in-person performances, one at 6:30pm and one at 8:30pm, will be presented in the Rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. For information about ticketing and safety protocols, visit https://www.guggenheim.org/event/underscored-by-ephrat-asherie-dance.
And for more information on past and future Spring Dance Residency participants, feel free to visit https://bridgest.org/2021-spring-dance-residencies/
Works & Process bubble residencies and Works & Process reopening performances are made possible through the generosity of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Stephen Kroll Reidy.
Bridge Street Theatre is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts.
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie is a New York City-based b-girl, dancer, and choreographer and a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance. Asherie has received numerous awards to support her work including Dance Magazine’s Inaugural Harkness Promise Award, the Jacob’s Pillow Fellowship at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU, and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. Last year, she received a National Dance Project award to support the development and touring of her newest work, “Odeon”. Asherie is also the recipient of a Mondo Cane! commission from Dixon Place, a Creative Development Residency from Jacob’s Pillow, Workspace and Extended Life Residencies from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and two residencies through the CUNY Dance Initiative. Asherie is a regular guest artist with Dorrance Dance and has worked and collaborated with Doug Elkins, Rennie Harris, Bill Irwin, David Parsons, Gus Solomons Jr., and Buddha Stretch, among others. She earned her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Italian and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she researched the vernacular jazz dance roots of contemporary street and club dances. Asherie has been on faculty at Wesleyan University and set pieces for students at Smith College, SUNY Brockport, Alvin Ailey Dance Center, University of Texas Rio Grande, Old Dominion University and teaches at Broadway Dance Center. Asherie is a co-founding member of the all-female house dance collective, MAWU and is forever grateful to NYC’s underground dance community for inspiring her to pursue a life as an artist.
For more information about Ephrat Asherie Dance, visit https://www.ephratasheriedance.com/