ABOUT DANCE OFF THE GRID: OTG
When a critic as respected and prolific as Valerie Gladstone puts her talents to work not reviewing dance performances but presenting them, it’s time to sit up and take notice. That’s exactly what dance-lovers and newcomers to the genre alike have been doing since the inaugural season of Dance Under the Influence at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, called a must-see “eclectic performance series” by The New Yorker. After three sold-out seasons providing a platform for innovators in tap, flamenco, postmodern dance, Indian classical dance, and a variety of cross-disciplinary dance forms, the series is coming to the Emelin in the form of Dance Off the Grid, a four-part survey of the diversity of today’s dance landscape, featuring live performances by the top talent of contemporary dance. These showpieces will not only range from ballet to modern to puppetry to everything in between, consisting of only the absolute best from performers at the peak of the profession and the height of their skills; the evenings will also reveal the inspirations behind each work.
The arrival of Dance Off the Grid in the heart of Westchester is a historic cultural event that will be remembered as a landmark. The chance to be a part of it is truly incredible. Off the Grid will be completely off the charts.
ABOUT CLAIRE PORTER
Comedienne, dancer, choreographer, writer, Claire Porter is known for her smart comedic work mixing language and movement.
“Porter, mistress of the short, sharp character portrait, is that rare breed—nimble witty comedian. A soloist with a neat collection of personas, Porter sketches them with the perfect physical gesture. ...Porter is always delightful, often wickedly funny.” - The Village Voice
“Audience…delirious with pleasure.” - The New York Times
“Audience in stitches…exquisitely crafted yet accessible little gems.” Dance Magazine
“A tour de force. Enchanting. Her comedic timing is masterful.” Backstage
2013 GUGGENHEIM FELLOW
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.cportables.com/
ABOUT NELIDA TIRADO
Only age six when she began her dance training, Nelida Tirado swiftly received the prestigious Tito Puente Scholarship and was barely out of her teens when she was invited to join Jose Molina Bailes Espanoles and tour the US for the next several years.
“With her dark hair tumbling past her shoulders and her face scrubbed free of heavy stage makeup, Ms. Tirado was the epitome of natural grace.” The New York Times
FEATURED in Dance Magazine’s 25 TO WATCH
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.nelidatirado.com/
ABOUT DANCE HEGINBOTHAM
Brooklyn-based choreographer and performer John Heginbotham is widely known and uniformly respected for highly structured, technically rigorous, and theatrical choreography, frequently set to the music of contemporary composers. His work has been performed at the Museum of Modern Art, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, Lincoln Center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, and the New York and Toronto Fringe Festivals. As a performer, he originated roles in Philip Glass’s award-winning dance opera Les Enfants Terribles and Susan Marshall’s The Most Dangerous Room in the House. He is on the faculty at Princeton University and the Mark Morris Dance Center.
“The mind of John Heginbotham is a magical place. For the past several years, he’s begun to make his mark with dance works that display an admirable combination of tight formal structure and inventive movement, bolstered by a disarming wit and strangeness. … Audiences have a chance to enter into Heginbotham’s entertaining universe, and they shouldn’t miss it. …His works seem to have personalities of their own. You want to know them.” The New Yorker
“An apt move or gesture for nearly every sound.” The New York Times
“Those of us at these early performances will never forget that we saw Dance Heginbotham back when.” The Boston Globe
“Once in a while we experience one of those serendipitous evenings in which we show up with few expectations, only to encounter an oasis of structure, understated virtuosity and, best of all, musical intelligence.” DanceTabs
OUSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AND LEADERSHIP IN DANCE Martha Hill Prize
TWO-TIME WINNER, NEW ESSENTIAL WORKS (NEW) FELLOWSHIP GRANT Jerome Robbins Foundation
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://johnheginbotham.com/
ABOUT JASON SAMUELS SMITH
This Emmy-award winning tap dancer and choreographer appeared on Sesame Street at a young age. At 15, he landed a job at the Tony-winning Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk. He has appeared on So You Think You Can Dance and as part of Savion Glover’s NYOTs (Not Your Ordinary Tappers). He was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the City of Los Angeles for launching the Los Angeles Tap Festival; in Shreveport, LA, a proclamation even declared a “Jason Samuels Day.”
Now he’s collaborating with the world-renowned musicians of the Owen Brown Quartet on a highly-anticipated theatrical response to the acclaimed film 12 Years A Slave. Owen “Fiidla” Brown is a 26-year veteran of the Sun Ra Arkestra who has appeared alongside Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, George Clinton, and more.
Jason Samuels Smith is committed to giving back. In his humanitarian work, he has supported organizations like Dancers Responding to AIDS, Tied to Greatness, Career Transitions for Dancers, Groove With Me, and Tap Into A Cure. He is a spokesman for tap around the world.
Dance MAGAZINE AWARD
American Choreography Award OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHY
Gregory Hines HUMANITARIAN AWARD
BESSIE AWARD NOMINEE
ARTIST WEBSITE: http://www.divinerhythmproductions.com/
ABOUT Owen "Fiidla" Brown
A 26 -year veteran member of the Sun Ra Arkestra - Sound Scientist, Performer, Composer and Educator Owen Brown received a Jazz Master award from Philadelphia's Trane Stop Group. A graduate of Temple University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Jazz Performance, his independent studies have included George Coleman, Dennis Sandoli, Marc O'Conner, Billy Taylor, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, and others. As a Jazz Vocalist and Violinist, Owen “Fiidla” Brown has performed with Sun Ra, Abbey Lincoln, Odean Pope, John Blake, Don Cherry, Gil Scot Heron, Woody Shaw, Pharoah Sanders, and many others. He has also opened for Stanley Clark's Jazz Super Tour, Marcus Roberts, McCoy Tyner,
and Teena Marie.
ABOUT VALERIE GLADSTONE
Known for her enthusiasm and expertise, Valerie writes features on dance, theatre, music and more. She has served as an editor at Harper’s and Channels magazines, and as a contributing editor at Artnews and Dance Magazine. Her articles on the arts have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, Town and Country, City Arts, French Morning and other publications; she also writes for the websites Globalpost, Artinfo, and The Root. She is the author or coauthor of books including, Balanchine’s Mozartiana: The Making of a Masterpiece; A Young Dancer: The Life of an Ailey Student, with photographer Jose Ivey; Soile Yli-Mayry: Forty Years of Painting; Box of Mental States; and Layla Fanucci: City of Dreams. She has taught in the City College Journalism Department and the Gotham School of Writing and appeared as a panelist at the Joyce Theater, BAM, City Center, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process series, and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
On top of her work as a journalist, editor, and teacher, she curated the acclaimed Dance Under the Influence series at the Museum of Arts and Design. The Emelin Theatre is proud and excited to partner with her and present the latest iteration of that series.
Photo: Nelida Tirado © Chasi Annexy