Shining a light on Black female tap dancers who overcame the barriers of a white and male dominated field, Dormeshia Tap Collective presents Unsung Sheroes of the 20th Century. The work pays homage to legendary hoofers Cora LaRedd, Mable Lee, Harriet “Quicksand” Browne, Juanita Pitts, and more in a spirited display of rhythm and sound. With live music by a swingin’ band, the cast of Brinae Ali, Starinah Dixon, Josette Wiggan, Quynn Johnson, and Dormeshia draw a line from the past to the present.
A consummate storyteller of lived experiences through diasporic dance traditions, Michelle N. Gibson employs the body and mind to build bridges across culture, academia, and humanity. She arrives at The Joyce with an excerpt of her one-woman show, Takin’ It to the Roots. A Second Line Grand Marshal, Gibson’s choreographic work embraces the spaces between the secular and sacred, touching on Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Afro-Modern, and her own New Orleans Original BuckShop Second Line Aesthetic.
A preacher’s daughter, Gibson learned of Congo Square and its significance to New Orleans dance history, gaining a clear understanding of the influences of Senegambian and Angolan dance on the enslaved Africans in New Orleans. Deeply rooted in both her New Orleans upbringing and the Black church, Gibson provides cultural narratives and historical context for Diaspora and African American dance forms, music, and communal gatherings. Her embodiment of jazz music, traditional funeral processions, Congo Square gatherings, the Black church, and Second Line parades celebrating community, deeply informs her understanding and instruction of African American vernacular dance forms.
The communal experience of Second Line culture - with the sound of the brass band blaring or the buck jumping community members improvising their lived testimonies - called to Gibson and remains a driving force behind her multidisciplinary work, healing the world through the culture.
An educator, choreographer, and performer of African American Vernacular Jazz Dance, Josette Wiggan makes her Joyce choreographic debut with Threshing Floor: A Place of Meditation and Melody. The captivating solo work explores the process of stripping away from one’s perceived self, only to reveal the value in finding purpose through self-discovery, self-revelation, and self-love. With Jazz music and Jazz sensibilities as a backdrop, the work embarks on a rhythmical expression of the pain, joy, fears, hope, and freedom present once the layers are sifted away, exposing the naked beauty and strength found within.
Experience some of the best dance across the country with The Joyce Theater's eighth annual American Dance Platform curated by dramaturg, scholar, and Jacob’s Pillow Associate Curator Melanie George.
This year’s lineup will include three unique programs: “Jazz at The Joyce,” featuring Dormeshia Tap Collective, Michelle N. Gibson, and Josette Wiggan Presents; the all-female trio Soles of Duende, based in rhythms of Tap, Flamenco, and Kathak dance; and contemporary modern dance troupe Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
This season’s American Dance Platform is dedicated to the memory of Theodore S. Bartwink of The Harkness Foundation for Dance. Theodore S. Bartwink was a Joyce Theater Foundation Trustee from 1993 to 2014.
“JAZZ AT THE JOYCE”
Dormeshia Tap Collective
Michelle N. Gibson
Josette Wiggan Presents
Tuesday, January 9th at 7:30pm
Wednesday January 10th at 7:30pm
|Soles of Duende||
Thursday, January 11th at 8pm
Sunday, January 14th at 2pm
|Dallas Black Dance Theatre||
Friday, January 12th at 8pm
Saturday, January 13th at 8pm
Major support for The Joyce’s presentation of the American Dance Platform provided by The Harkness Foundation for Dance. Promotional support provided by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment as part of JanArtsNYC.