PC: Rachel Papo
The Joyce Theater Foundation, announced the New York City dance organization’s programming for its “Spring 2021 Digital Season.” The full slate of online programming, a combination of livestream performances from the company’s Chelsea home—including a much-anticipated world premiere—and virtual offerings from companies around the world, will bring audiences even closer to dance and The Joyce one step closer to a more traditional season. Like all performing arts venues and companies, The Joyce has adapted their entire operation over the last year, broadening its reach from its vibrant 400-seat theater to audiences at home around the world by offering a combination of filmed performances, classes, panel discussions, and livestream performances online. The Spring 2021 digital season will bring Joyce patrons a sense of the familiar—a non-stop lineup of renowned dance artists and companies, representing the diversity of artists and array of artistic expression that has made The Joyce a leader in dance presentation for nearly forty years.
As previously announced, The Joyce kicked off the season on February 18 with a homegrown company’s program full to the brim with signature works. Choreographer Ronald K. Brown and his Brooklyn-based EVIDENCE headlined the first livestream event of the winter, performing extraordinary solos and duets from the vast repertoire created over the company’s 35-year history. The Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE performance and all livestream events will be available on-demand for two weeks following the live premiere, except where noted.
Four tap sensations will also return to The Joyce this spring to showcase their panache and passion in two livestream events. Trailblazer Ayodele Casel follows-up her 2019 unanimously praised world premiere with another world premiere. In this work, a collaboration with singer/songwriter Crystal Monee Hall and music director/composer Annastasia Victory, Casel explores the magic in both tap dance and everyday life. The 4th annual Tap Family Reunion, led by the indomitable trio of Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith, and Derick K. Grant, goes live from The Joyce stage to celebrate National Tap Dance Day and the birthday of tap royalty, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.
Maestro de Barra
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, March 25 through Wednesday, April 7
While theatres remain closed, world-renowned flamenco artist Israel Galvan has turned his attention from the structure of formal presentation to the more spontaneous music and dance culture found in cafes and bars around the world. In his newest work, Maestro de Barra, Galvan “hears” the air of these public spaces, using their internal rhythms and silences as his score. With his trademark lightning-fast and passion-fueled dance, he proves that any sound can be translated into movement and anything a person can hear can provide the soundtrack for dance. This performance is commissioned by and presented in association with UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, April 1 through Wednesday, April 14
The first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, Step Afrika! honors the spirit of resistance and activism of their enslaved ancestors in STONO. Although ultimately suppressed, the Stono Rebellion of 1739 was an extraordinary act of rebellion and the largest insurrection of enslaved African Americans in North America. Using their unique blend of percussive, traditional African, and contemporary dance, Step Afrika! ensures that this little-known yet history-altering movement is recognized for its transformation of African American life and culture.
Available On-Demand Thursday, April 8 through Wednesday, April 21
Following up her much-lauded collaboration with Arturo O’Farrill in 2019, Ayodele Casel returns to The Joyce for a world premiere that is sure to bring the world of tap dance to new heights. Inspired by her own relationship with the art form and the joy she finds in living, Casel explores the magical moments that occur in practice, performance, and everyday life. Collaborating with director Torya Beard and filmmaker Kurt Csolak, in addition to music and arrangements from Crystal Monee Hall and Annastasia Victory, this evening will leave you believing, as Casel herself does, that “tap is magic.” This event is part of Carnegie Hall’s Voices of Hope festival.
Ephrat Asherie Dance
Available On-Demand Thursday, April 15 through Wednesday, April 28
Choreographer Ephrat Asherie brings a high-energy, hybrid work that layers breaking, hip-hop, house, and vogue. In their second collaboration together, the choreographer teams up with her brother, jazz pianist Ehud Asherie. In a command encore performance of Odeon, the duo reimagines signature compositions of 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, noted for melding classical music with Afro-Brazilian rhythms. Featuring a group of dynamic dancers accompanied by live music, Odeon creates an entirely original world. This event is part of Carnegie Hall’s Voices of Hope festival” as well as “presented in partnership with the Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech.
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, April 22 through Wednesday, May 5
Parsons Dance takes the Joyce digital stage with the compelling world premiere of choreographer Chanel DaSilva’s On The Other Side, performed to a bold score for marimba, bass guitar and cello created by composer Cristina Spinei. Also on tap– classics from the Parsons Dance repertory showcasing the company’s commitment to delivering incomparable works that, for 35 years, have engaged audiences throughout the world.
Trisha Brown Dance Company
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, April 29 through Wednesday, May 12
In 2021, the Trisha Brown Dance Company presents a digital program featuring works from
Trisha’s initial explorations with movement invention. Featuring an encore presentation of the
2017 Joyce performance of Geometry of Quiet (2002), the program will also include newly
recorded performances of Locus Trio (1980), Watermotor (1978) and The Decoy Project –a
unique arrangement of Glacial Decoy (1979) for video that incorporates guest artists from the New York dance community.
Limón Dance Company
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, May 6 through Wednesday, May 19
Founded in 1946 by José Limón and Doris Humphrey, Limón Dance Company has been at the vanguard of American modern dance since its inception. The company continues to honor the legacy of its co-founder with revivals of his works—this season featuring The Moor’s Pavane and There Is a Time—while also continuing to break new ground in dance. Their 2020 co-commission from American Dance Festival, Chafin Seymour’s Suite Donuts, rounds out their 2021 digital season for The Joyce.
Stephen Petronio Company
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, May 13 through Wednesday, May 26
Stephen Petronio Company is proud to present five dance works newly created or reimagined in the wake of the global pandemic. All works were filmed on site at the Petronio Residency Center and Hudson Hall in upstate New York. These works express a longing for human connection and highlight the unique ways a body in motion can transcend our current moment. The program features two versions of a new duet, Are You Lonesome Tonight, and a Petronio solo from 1993 titled Love Me Tender, all set to the homonymous songs performed by Elvis Presley. Petronio will also debut a new work-in-progress, New Prayer For Now, with music by Monstah Black. Completing the program is Trisha Brown’s 1973 work, Group Primary Accumulation, which marks the 12th restaged work of Bloodlines, an autobiographical project honoring the lineage of American postmodern dance.
Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith, and Derick K. Grant
Tap Family Reunion
Available On-Demand Friday, May 21 through Tuesday, May 25
The unmatched trio of tap titans—Dormeshia, Jason Samuels Smith, and Derick K. Grant—come together for the 4th annual Tap Family Reunion presenting the world premiere of The Mayor of Harlem, a look into the life of pro-activist Bill Robinson. A simultaneous celebration of National Tap Dance Day and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’s birthday, these undisputed modern masters of tap collaborate once more to honor the cultural history of tap dance, and invite the next generation of artists to carry their heritage into the future.
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, May 27 through Wednesday, June 2
In YAG, Batsheva’s first production adapted especially for the screen, Ohad Naharin uses cinematic language to communicate his work both as director and choreographer. The disappearance of the stage, now replaced by the cinematic frame, creates a direct encounter with the dancers. In collaboration with video artist Roee Shalti, the cast of six dancers convey a love of dancing, longing, and transformation of emotions into pure movement in this intimate, impactful hybrid work.
Streaming On-Demand Thursday, June 3 through Wednesday, June 16
In this “best-of” remix of his own work, RUBBERBAND founder and choreographer Victor Quijada reflects on the immense creative territory explored during the company’s nearly 20-year history. Vic’s Mix orchestrates the clash between break dance codes and classical composition, delving further into Quijada’s experiments in defying notions of theatricality and audience expectations through a reimagining of his own repertoire, all embodied by the signature athleticism of RUBBERBAND’s dancers.
Giselle of Loneliness
Livestream Thursday, June 10 at 8pm
Available On-Demand through Wednesday, June 23
Ballez reinvents the classical ballet canon with storytelling that champions the expression of queer, lesbian, transgender, and gender-nonconforming identities within ballet. Inspired by the tragic, romantic story-ballet Giselle, Giselle of Loneliness dives into themes of despair and madness. This reimagining of a classic tale, choreographed by Katy Pyle, reveals the experience of dancers tortured by ballet itself, and asks, “What parts of ourselves do we have to give up in order to belong in ballet, and how do audiences participate in this demand?”