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Contemporary Dance: Dance Heginbotham, Jennifer Muller/The Works

Jamie Kraus

Major dance companies and rising stars perform over four evenings of Contemporary Dance in June curated by Tiffany Rea-Fisher.

This evening, students from Joffrey Ballet Concert Group open the show for Jennifer Muller/The Works and Dance Heginbotham

Jennifer Muller / The Works dance in honor of their late founding Artistic Director, Jennifer Muller, who sadly passed away in late March. For this performance, the company will perform excerpts from Attic (1993, choreographed by Jennifer Muller, set to music by Tracy Chapman) and Aria (2008, also choreographed by Muller, set to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart).

Dance Heginbotham will be performing Iversongs (2023) and Closing Bell (2012). Iversongs (created especially for this performance) is a combination of two prior pieces, Easy Win and Dance Sonata, made in collaboration with jazz pianist and composer Ethan Iverson (founding member of The Bad Plus). For this performance, Iverson will be on hand to perform the pieces, alongside drummer Vincent Sperrazza. Closing Bell is performed to music by Tyondai Braxton, and it is the first piece that John Heginbotham created for Dance Heginbotham when he founded the company in 2012; the piece was recently revivied for the company's 10th anniversary season.

Program:

Joffrey Ballet Concert Group

Random People With Beautiful Parts (2023)
Choreography: Bradley Shelver
Music: various

Babel (2018)
Choreography: Bradley Shelver
Music: various

Jennifer Muller/The Works

ATTIC (1993)                          
Choreography: Jennifer Muller
Music: Tracy Chapman
Dancers: Anna Levy, first soloist | Cassidy Spaedt, second soloist

ARIA (2008)
Choreography: Jennifer Muller
Music: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Dancers: Isaac Kerr, first soloist | Cassidy Spaedt, second soloist

Dance Heginbotham

Iversongs (2023)
Choreography: John Heginbotham
Music: Ethan Iverson; An Unlikely Romeo, I'd Love a Rag, Movie Cue from Easy Win; Scherzo Allegro from Dance Sonata
Piano: Ethan Iverson
Drums: Vincent Sperrazza
Dancers: Mariah Anton-Arters, Paige Barnett, Justin Dominic, Mykel Marai Nairne, Macy Sullivan, Jordan Wynn

Closing Bell (2012) (excerpts)
Choreography: John Heginbotham
Music: Tyondai Braxton; excerpts from Central Market
Dancers: Mariah Anton-Arters, Paige Barnett, Mykel Marai Nairne, Jordan Wynn

Located in the heart of New York City, the Joffrey Ballet Center serves as a platform for some of the nation’s best young dancers to launch their professional careers. The Center is home to the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group, founded by Robert Joffrey in 1981, as a pre-professional performing ensemble for young artists selected from the Joffrey Ballet School’s year-round Trainee Program.

In the years since its inception, selected Trainees studied and performed some of the most celebrated classical and contemporary repertoire. This included the works of Gerald Arpino (Birthday Variations, Light Rain), Robert Battle (Battlefield), George Balanchine (Serenade), August Bournonville (La Ventana), Dwight Rohden (New Work), Africa Guzman (The Stolen Path), Omar Ramon DeJesus (Tip Toe..) and Lindsay Grymes (Falter Upward).

The Joffrey Ballet Concert Group has toured domestically and internationally, providing dancers the experience necessary to confidently transition from student to professional.

Jennifer Muller/The Works has electrified world audiences with its passionate work and superb dancers in 39 countries on four continents, 30 States in the USA and produced 28 NYC Seasons at City Center, the Joyce, Cedar Lake, and New York Live Arts among others. JMTW has performed at major theaters and festivals worldwide, spanning hemispheres from Buenos Aires to Montreal and circumnavigating the globe from Shanghai to Moscow, with performances in Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Bangkok, Tel Aviv, Rome, and Amsterdam to name a few. 

A byword for diversity since its inception in 1974, JMTW performs work that celebrates the human spirit with the belief that dance can promote cross-cultural understanding and act as a catalyst for positive change. JMTW presents exhilarating dances that showcase emotional authenticity and social consciousness.  In the US, JMTW has appeared in venues such as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Jacob’s Pillow, Alice Tully Hall, Jacob Javits Center, the United Nations, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, and St. Louis’ Spring to Dance Festival among many others.  In New York City, festivals include Bryant and Battery Park, Hudson Valley, Fire Island, Summer in the Square, and Central Park Summerstage. 

Devoted to mentoring creativity in all its forms, educating youth, and serving the community with vital outreach, JMTW’s education programs - Faces of Wonder, Imagine That! and HATCH Presenting Series - have reached over 4,000 NYC youth and have mentored 50 emerging choreographers annually. JMTW conducts residencies throughout the US and abroad. Students have performed Muller’s work at the University of Iowa, Long Island University (Brooklyn), Jacksonville University; UC Santa Barbara, Central Connecticut State University, and LaGuardia Community College, with additional residencies in California, Virginia, and Brazil. JMTW has developed numerous dance artists who have gone on to become directors and choreographers in their own right. These include Ronald K. Brown, Young Soon Kim, Pascal Rekoert, Michael Jahoda, Maria Naidu, Leda Meredith, Lana Carroll, Mario Bermudez Gil, Ed Burgess, and Christopher Pilafian.

Jennifer Muller / The Works is honored to return to the stage at the Bryant Park Dance Festival. We dance in honor of our late founding Artistic Director, Jennifer Muller, who sadly passed away in late March. More information about a Celebration of Life - honoring Jennifer's brilliance, artistry, spirit, and life's achievements - will be released in Summer 2023. Stay up to date with the company through our social media and website.

Dance Heginbotham (DH) is a New York-based contemporary dance company committed to supporting, producing, and performing the work of choreographer John Heginbotham. With an emphasis on collaboration, DH enriches national and international communities with its unique blend of inventive, thoughtful, and rigorous dance theater works. 

Founded in 2011, DH quickly established itself as one of the most adventurous and exciting new companies on the contemporary dance scene, and is celebrated for its vibrant athleticism, humor, and theatricality, as well as its commitment to collaboration. DH has shared the stage with artists such as Maira Kalman, Ethan Iverson, Colin Jacobsen, Joshua Bell, the National Symphony Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, and The Knights. 

DH had its world premiere in 2012 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has since been presented by Arts Brookfield, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carolina Performing Arts, Duke Performances, Harkness Dance Festival, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, La Jolla Music Festival, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Vail International Dance Festival, among others. In 2016, DH toured to Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines as cultural ambassadors of the United States with DanceMotion USA. 

Dance Heginbotham has been invited to participate in creative residencies at BAM Fisher, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn College, CUNY Kingsborough, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, LMCC's Extended Life program on Governors Island, Ringling Museum, The Watermill Center, and White Oak.

Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America is a free outdoor festival that welcomes all New Yorkers to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture. The series provides a platform for extraordinary artists and serves as a vital outdoor venue for a wide array of New York’s cultural institutions.

On the Lawn

Bring your own picnic or purchase food and drinks from tents on the east side of the lawn. Attendees can enjoy cuisine from the five boroughs with a rotating line-up of artisanal vendors curated by Hester Street Fair.

Stout NYC also offers giant pretzels, gourmet popcorn and other light bites as well as a selection of beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase.

Bryant Park lends out hundreds of free blankets on a first-come, first-served basis, or bring your own cotton or fleece blanket. To protect the lawn, please do not sit on waterproof materials such as plastic tarps, yoga mats, or inflatable chairs. 

Take a seat in one of the pre-set chairs on the lawn or grab a chair from the gravel. You can use a chair anywhere in the park except for the center lawn "blanket zone". 

Find a parachute, giant Jenga, and more fun on the east side of the lawn at select events. 

We love dogs, but dog urine can leave the lawn with bald spots. Dogs are welcome on the gravel and bluestone, but please do not bring dogs on the lawn. 

Performances are cancelled when it is unsafe to be outdoors. In some cases, the lawn may be too wet to open but the performance may continue. Follow @bryantparknyc on Twitter and Instagram for day-of event updates. You can also check the lawn status on the bryantpark.org homepage.