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Dormeshia's And Still You Must Swing

Dormeshia’s

AND STILL YOU MUST SWING (2016)

Dormeshia, Derick K. Grant, and Jason Samuels Smith are three of the world's most influential ambassadors of tap. They come together in the world premiere And Still You Must Swing, a show that captures the heart and legacy of tap dance and honors the influence of jazz roots on this outstanding art form. Don't miss this rhythmic feast including live music, dynamic choreography, stunning improvisation, and special guest dancer Camille A. Brown, contemporary artist and 2016 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner.

Originally premiered at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival on July 6, 2016. Made possible in part by Harlem Stage, So Danca, and a generous artist residency provided by Jete Dance Studio in Brooklyn.

Swing /swiNG/ v

2. move by grasping a support from below and leaping. We grasp for our ancestors in order to rise...’

 

A special Thank You to our sponsors So Danca and Tamia Santana, and to our teachers, family, supporters and to all of the major contributors to the art form of Tap Dance who came before us and helped to make this possible.

CHOREOGRAPHY AND IMPROVOGRAPHY Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant SPECIAL GUEST Camille A. Brown
LIGHTING DESIGN Sue Samuels and Rich Saccoliti
ORIGINAL MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS Allison Miller and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards

MUSICAL DIRECTION Allison Miller

PRODUCTION/COMPANY MANAGER Elka Samuels Smith, Divine Rhythm Productions
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Rich Saccolitti, Event Systems & Design: 
EventSystems.Rich@gmail.com

REPRESENTATION Elka Samuels Smith, Divine Rhythm Productions: www.divinerhythmproductions.com

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards’s tap shoes provided by Capezio Jason Samuels Smith’s tap shoes provided by Bloch
Derick K. Grant’s tap shoes provided by So Danca

 

PROGRAM WORKS

Just Swingin’

Choreography Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards
Improvography Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K Grant

Rhythm Migration

Choreography Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards
Improvography Camille A. Brown, Derick K. Grant, Jason Samuels Smith

Note from Camille: ‘Bessie Jones made it her mission to teach America; she felt a need to preserve African American history through song and dance. While recording the great Bessie Jones playing a song called The Buzzard Lope, Alan Lomax noted “Bessie Jones leads a most interesting African-American Litany, which may be one of the most intact pieces of African dance in North America. It makes reference to a time when slaves were not given a proper burial.” We have found ways to preserve our culture regardless of the unbelievable circumstances. Camille thanks Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards for the opportunity to explore the possibilities of joining the origins of The Buzzard Lope with our present political climate in preparation for her new work, Ink the last of her trilogy on identity.’

Swinging Me Softly

Choreography Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant

And Still You Must Swing

Choreography Derick K. Grant
Improvography Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K Grant,

Camille A. Brown

Camille Swings

Choreography and Improvography Camille A. Brown

 

 

BIOS:

DORMESHIA SUMBRY-EDWARDS (Choreogragraphy/Improvography/Performer) is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award (as performer and choreographer), Princess Grace Award and Astaire Award recipient. Her Broadway credits include: After Midnight, Black and Blue, and Bring In Da’Noise, Bring In Da’Funk with its International Tour (dance captain, principal, lead)Her film credits include, TAP with Gregory Hines, Spike Lee’s Bamboozled (Assistant Choreographer/actress), and The Rise and Fall of Miss Thang, for which she received a nomination for Best Lead Actress. Some of Sumbry-Edwards’ choreography credits include Michael Jackson’s personal tap instructor, Michael Jackson’s Rock Your World, The Cotton Club’s Sophisticated Ladies, and Blues Project (co-choreographed).

JASON SAMUELS SMITH (Choreography/Improvography/Performer) is the recipient of an Emmy, a Dance Magazine Award, an American Choreography Award, a Joyce Foundation Grant, and New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) recognition. Choreography and film credits include: Black Nativity (assoc. tap choreo/security guard #1), hit series PsychSecret Talents of the Stars (MYA), So You Think You Can DanceDancing with The StarsUPAJ:ImproviseTap Heat, Outkast’s Idlewild, and Debbie Allen’s Cool Women. Broadway and stage credits include: Soul Possessed (principal/assoc. choreo.), Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (principal), and Imagine Tap! (leading role). Smith is also the director of the annual LA Tap Festival.

DERICK K. GRANT (Choreography/Improvography/Performer) is the recipient of a Princess Grace Award, a Helen Hayes Award, two Ovation Awards, Best Chorography Award, Best Ensemble Performance Award, and the Lester Horton Dance Award as well as a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for co-choreographing The Blues Project. His credits include: Bring In Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk (Bway/Tour), Imagine Tap! (Choreographer/ Creator), The Apollo’s Get On The Good Foot (Tribute to James Brown), and choreography for Daniela Mercury & Nego Gato. Grant was also the Co-Artistic Director of Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Rhythm World Summer Festival and has performed at venues like The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

CAMILLE A. BROWN (GuestArtist/Improvography/Performer) is a recipient of the 2016 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award. Brown is also a three-time Princess Grace Award winner (2016 Statue Award, Choreography, and Works in Progress), a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2015 USA Jay Franke & David Herro Fellow, a 2015 TED Fellow, and recipient of the 2015 Doris Duke Artist Award. She is a prolific choreographer making a personal claim on history through the lens of a modern Black female perspective and leads her dancers through excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, that connect history with contemporary culture.

 

***PRESS:

“The World Premiere of And Still You Must Swing summoned the deep history of the art form of tap dancing with affection and devastating syncopation. The one-hour show, which provoked a continuous full-throated audience response, was led by the renowned choreographer and dancer, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, and starred three brilliant improvisers, Jason Samuels Smith, Derick K. Grant, and Camille A. Brown, along with a hard-swinging quartet of jazz masters composed of drummer-arranger Allison Miller, pianist Carmen Staaf, stand-up and electric bass, Alex Hernandez, and African djembe drummer, Gabriel Roxbury. Echoes of the greats sounded through, telegraphing respect not only to the tappers of old and the key jazzers of then, but also the visionaries of now.”

“This was one of those performances where the build-up and credentials were relevant but inessential. The moving beauty of such honest and heartfelt dance surely justifies the credits, but in real time, what the artists express is what mattered most. Illuminating a vital dance tradition with their indelible personal stamps with such love and insight, and providing the audience with the gift of unalloyed exultation gives hope for art as a healing force, just when we need it most.” -The Berkshire Edge

Link to Full Review: https://theberkshireedge.com/dance-review-still-must-swing-rocks- pillow/

“Yet tap — born from slavery and inherently a mode of resistance, even when it may appear otherwise — offers a way forward. On a different night, “And Still You Must Swing” might have been pure revelry, bringing nothing but delight in the dialogue between the music of the feet and the live band. On Thursday, the stage became a space for mourning, but not at the expense of joy. Tap, as embodied by this ensemble, can hold it all.

The hourlong show is a study in swing, what the scholar Constance Valis Hill, in her essay in the program, calls “the sense of a propulsive rhythmic ‘feel’ or ‘groove’” that dancers and musicians can collectively experience. As the hoofers trade turns in the spotlight, each yields songs from the ground, scraping and stroking and piercing the floor in ways that confound the eye and ear with their intricacy.” - New York Times
Link to Full Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/09/arts/dance/review-mourning-in- tap-shoes-at-jacobs-pillow.html?_r=0

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COPYRIGHT: Divine Rhythm Productions, 2002