Congratulations, Dormesha Sumbry-Edwards! The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago is pleased and excited to announce that you have been nominated for a Black Excellence Award. The Black Excellence Awards were established to honor the best works produced in African American Theater, Dance, Music, Film, Literature and Visual Arts. We hope you will join us at this years’ celebration as we honor your excellence in the arts. You have been nominated for Outstanding Actress for role in “The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang”. The Seventh Annual Black Excellence Awards Ceremony & Gala will take place on Monday, October 29, 2007 at the DuSable Museum of African American History, located 740 E. 56th Place in the Illinois Black Legislator Auditorium. The formal evening will begin with a delectable dinner buffet and reception at 6:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. This year The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to Pemon Rami and Masequa Myers. Permon Rami an astounding director, writer and producer is one of the founders of the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago. Masequa Myers is a consummate actress writer and director. Together, this dynamic couple has worked in film, television and theater for more than 30 years. The Black Excellence Award & Gala is one of the programs of Black Arts Month, a series of arts events sponsored by The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, a service organization dedicated to developing, strengthening and promoting the African American artists and arts organizations in Chicago. We look forward to celebrating this evening with you. Sincerely, Jackie Taylor Jackie Taylor President African American Arts Alliance of Chicago
Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards (Performer/Choreographer/Instructor) has been Tap Dancing since the age of 3. She started under the instruction of Paul and Arlene Kennedy in California and went on to perform in Rome, Italy at the Tip Tap Festival by the age of 8. From there she made her debut on Broadway at the age of 12, in the musical revue Black and Blue with greats such as Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown and Savion Glover.
Mrs. Sumbry-Edwards’ Broadway credits also include the Tony Award Winning Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk. Dormeshia has toured nationally with Wild Woman Blues and appeared with The Jazz Tap Ensemble having just celebrated the 25th anniversary in performance at the Joyce Theatre in New York City. Dormeshia completed a successful run as a dance captain, principal dancer and understudy to the lead role in the International Tour of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk. She was a special guest artist for The 2001 and 2002 Harlem Jazz Dance Festivals where she performed a special tribute to Dr. James “Buster” Brown in the latter and served as an honorary judge for their Annual Hoofers Challenge Cutting Contest. She has also participated in annual celebrations of National Tap Dance Day in New York City’s Town Hall and other locations across the country.
Film credits include “TAP” with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee's movie “Bamboozled” (2000), having also lent her talent as Assistant Choreographer, and “The Rodgers and Hart Story: Thou Swell, Thou Witty” (1999). Sumbry-Edwards’ choreography has been featured in the off-Broadway show TAAP: The Art & Appreciation of Percussion for the all-female tap quartet R.I.F.F. (Rhythm In Female Feet) and was also utilized in Michael Jackson's music video “Rock Your World”.
Publications that have featured Dormeshia include Jump Magazine, Essence, The New York Times, The Hartford Courant, The Village Voice, Dance Magazine and Dance Spirit Magazine among others. Her tap dancing was also spotlighted in a commercial for Tops.
Dormeshia performed in an industrial for Footlocker, and has worked on several projects with Savion Glover, including a performance at recording artist Usher‘s Birthday Party in New York City. She was also featured in Debbie Allen’s workshop of the musical: SAMMY, focusing on the life and times of Sammy Davis Jr..
As a master instructor, Dormeshia has taught for years on the International Tap Festival circuit including the New York City Tap Festival, the Los Angeles Tap Festival, the Campinas Tap Festival in Brazil, Columbus Taps, and for K-Broadway in Tokyo, Japan. She has also participated in workshops for Dance Masters and for the school system including Wadleigh in NYC. As of January 2005, Dormeshia was elected to the Advisory Board as the Tap Advisor for Dance Magazine. She was also the official Tap Spokesperson for Capezio along with her family and featured in their international advertising campaign. Most was awarded a 2012 New York Dance & Performance Award (Bessie) for Best Performance.
Grant brought out one of the world's best female tappers, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, for the festival last October and considers it vital to inspire the next generation. "It's important to see the greats. After all, if the kids can't see Shane Warne they're not going to want to be a spinner."
-Fiona Scott-Norman, The Age (theage.com.au)
“Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards… dance(s) with a zeal that is infectious.” – Tracy Lyon, talkinbroadway.com,
"The two real stars of the evening, however, were the Americans Jason Samuels Smith and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, who both blew the audience away with their style, their technique and their raw energy."
– Simonetta Dixon, Ballet.co Magazine
“Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, deceptively petite but forceful, showed that she is a true jazz musician of the feet.”
- Eva Yaa Asantewaa, Dance Magazine
“Smith, Glover and the US's biggest female tap star, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, who also made her first trip to the UK this month, are all artists who idolise the original hoofers of Harlem rather than the stars of the silver screen.” - Lyndsey Winship, The Independent
“…a lot of the fiery footwork in the touring "Noise/Funk" revival is coming from Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, a fine female tapper breaking into what was once a young boys' club.” -Chris Jones, Variety