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Chasing The Bird

Photos by Matthew Murphy  (L to R: Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Chloe Arnold)


Chasing the Bird was initially conceived as a tap dance concert called Charlie’s Angels. Jason Samuels Smith choreographed numerous pieces recreating the music of Charlie Parker through tap, note for note. Inspired by the disappointing and predictable state of popular music, Charlie’s Angels sought to investigate the questions: 


Is where we are the best reflection of who we can be musically as artists? How can we grow from the greatness that came before us and create in the present moment the type of music and dance and society that is constantly moving forward rather than hiding from itself...?


The original Charlie’s Angels was presented at The Kitchen in New York in 2011. The show featured quotes and some original text by poet and actor muMs (“Oz”, Labyrinth Theater Company member), a live saxophone player and the dances were performed to recorded music.


Although this was an exciting theatrical feat it was determined that one of the main ingredients missing from this exploration was a story to tie everything together – another form to guide the viewer on this journey toward something great and to really speak to our pursuit as artists and citizens to achieve greatness. The project title was changed to Chasing the Bird


The final form the show will take is as a piece of dance theater. Complete with a live band, tap dancers, actors and singers Chasing the Bird is being developed as a full theatrical and musical event.


Excerpts from the production are available for booking. 

Photos by Matthew Murphy  (L to R: Michelle Dorrance, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards and Chloe Arnold)


The primary influence on this particular work is the extraordinary music of Charlie Parker. Sophisticated and transportive, cunning and mesmerizing, the works of Charlie Parker speak to the highest level of artistry. 







Dule Hill, Craig “mUMs” Grant and I began working together to mount a short version of this production at The Kitchen in New York City several years ago. Dule Hill and I have previously connected as performers in the Tony Award winning Broadway production of Bring in Da’Noise, Bring in Da’Funk. Ever since, we have looked for different ways to work together and have had some opportunities to do so such as an appearance on a previous season of Psych. Mums is a good friend of Dule who also is a well-known writer/actor most known for role as “Poet” on HBO’s hit series OZ. When we met, we instantly connected on this essence of this project and have been working together on it ever since.

COPYRIGHT: Divine Rhythm Productions, 2002