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Young Dancemaker Company's 2024 Touring Season

Young Dancemaker Company's 2024 Touring Season


Young Dancemaker Company


NYC 5 Boroughs


Wednesday, July 24, 2024 - 1:00pm
Thursday, July 25, 2024 - 1:00pm
Friday, July 26, 2024 - 2:00pm
Monday, July 29, 2024 - 4:30pm
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 - 1:30pm
Friday, August 2, 2024 - 7:30pm



Young Dancemaker Company



The 2024 Touring Season


Wednesday, July 24, 1:00 pm

Fieldston School Auditorium, 3901 Fieldston Road, Bronx


Thursday, July 25, 1:00 pm

Lehman College Studio Theatre, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, Bronx


Friday, July 26, 2:00 pm

Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, Manhattan


Monday, July 29, 4:30 pm

Flushing Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing, Queens


Tuesday, July 30, 1:30 pm

Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn


Finale Concert: Friday, August 2, 7:30 pm

Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street, Manhattan


Young Dancemakers Company (Alice Teirstein, Founder; Jessica Gaynor, Artistic Director; William Catanzaro; Music Director), a tuition-free dance ensemble of students drawn from NYC’s public high schools, working under the guidance of acclaimed professionals, is proud to present its 29th annual touring season. The series, in which young artists develop their original choreography and present it in free public showings, will run from July 24th through August 2nd, at various locations across four NYC boroughs – beginning at the Fieldston School in the Bronx and concluding with a finale concert at The Ailey Citigroup Theater in Manhattan. The program features works developed under the tutelage of Jessica Gaynor and William Catanzaro, as well as with 2024 guest artists Ephrat Asherie, Eriko Jimbo and Dorren “Moglii” Smith of Ephrat Asherie Dance, and in a workshop with members of the acclaimed Bridgman|Packer Dance. Additionally, as part of the 7th iteration of YDC’s annual Choreographer/Composer Project, the student dances include original music pieces by guest professional composers: Clifton Anderson, Sidney Marquez Boquiren, Kennedy Taylor Dixon, Matt Evans, Kevin Farrell, Matt Frey, Mitch Marcus, Victor See Yuen, Teodora Stepančić and Anna Young. All performances are free and open to the public. Reservations are required. To reserve tickets, visit Bit.ly/ydcevents. For group sales, email youngdancemakers@gmail.com.

Founded in 1996 by the beloved teacher and choreographer Alice Teirstein (1929-2022), the Young Dancemakers Company strives to enable teens to develop as dance artists, trust themselves as creators, and take ownership of their work. Over the years, it has served countless NYC public school pupils, offering them an opportunity to access the world of the performing arts. Every summer, the teenagers go through daily intensive training and rehearsal sessions, creating pieces that reflect their personal experiences – some of the past themes included bullying, self-discovery, the immigrant experience, current affairs, and more.

Artistic Director Jessica Gaynor explains: “I am thrilled that we can continue to offer a program that provides teenagers with tools for self-expression through improvisational structures, technique, repertory, and choreographic processes. This season, we welcome Ephrat Asherie Dance artists as instructors – our students will perform an excerpt from the company’s repertory as part of the performance tour, alongside their original work, and take part in a Q&A with the audience after each show. We are also very excited to continue our Choreographer/Composer Project, an unprecedented program pairing young artists with professional composers – for the last six years, this project has been a rare and invaluable experience for both our teen choreographers and collaborating professionals and has elevated the program vastly.”    



Young Dancemakers Company (YDC) is a unique, tuition-free summer dance ensemble of NYC teens dedicated to creating their own original choreography and performing it in free touring concerts city-wide. YDC was established in 1996 by Alice Teirstein, with the belief that teenagers have something essential to say to the world and that they can say it through dance. Since then, Young Dancemakers Company has offered students in the New York City public school system exposure to the performing arts and the opportunity to express themselves creatively, through a comprehensive, professional dance training experience. YDC’s vision is to enable teens to develop as dance artists, to trust themselves as creators, and to take ownership of their work. 

Young Dancemakers Company is made possible by the generous support of Jody and John Arnhold | Arnhold Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Emily Davie and Joseph S. Kornfeld Foundation, the Richenthal Foundation, the Teirstein Family, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and individual contributors.



Artistic Director: Jessica Gaynor

Music Director: William Catanzaro

Repertory Guest Artist: Ephrat Asherie Dance with teachers Ephrat Asherie, Eriko Jimbo, and Dorren “Moglii” Smith

Partnering Workshop: Bridgman | Packer Dance

Associate Program Manager: Jenée Ivi Whitehead

Costume Designer: Wendy Phillips Kahn

Creative Arts Consultant: Eva Young

Program Assistant: Tiana Ayala

Composers: Clifton Anderson, Sidney Marquez Boquiren, Kennedy Taylor Dixon, Matt Evans, Kevin Farrell, Matt Frey, Mitch Marcus, Victor See Yuen, Teodora Stepančić and Anna Young

Lighting Designer/Stage Manager: Kiana King

Finale Concert Lighting Designer: Andy Dickerson

Photographer: Alice Chacon


2024 Company

Mareena Ahmad, Shahab Aldeeb, Harmony Carrasquillo, Jemimah Corlette, Mariam Dembele, Reina Diaz, Jade Gonzalez, Mia Gonzalez, Nichelle Gordon, Nadiya Halls, Tyshon "Ocean" Lewis Jr, Alyssa Martin, Soleil Mia Molina, Kayleen Murillo, Ashley Puckering, Aiyanaliesse Ramos, Anayah Santos, Savion Trice


From NYC High Schools

Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts, Talent Unlimited, Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, Democracy Prep Harlem High School, KIPP NYC College Prep, Hospitality High School, Gotham Professional Arts Academy, Dewitt Clinton High School, University Neighborhood High School, Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts



Jessica Gaynor is a choreographer, performer, and educator who has been part of YDC in various capacities since 2007 and became Artistic Director in 2019. She also serves as Artistic Director/Choreographer of Jessica Gaynor Dance. Since 2003, she has created more than forty works, including nine evening-length pieces, and has performed at many prestigious venues such as The NYU Skirball Center, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out, Ailey Citigroup Theater, The 92nd Street Y, The Kitchen, and Peridance, to name a few – as well as nationally and abroad. Jessica has been a guest choreographer at the Berlin Dance Institute, Brown University, Grand Canyon University, Amalgamate Dance Company's Guest Artist Showcase, the Fieldston School, Young Dancemakers Company, and the Brearley School, where she was on faculty from 2007-2014. She has taught workshops at Peridance Capezio Center, Gibney Dance Center, LAKE Studios, and Tanzfabrik. Jessica earned a BA from Brown University where she received the Weston Award for excellence in dance, and an MFA in dance performance and choreography from California Institute of the Arts.


William Catanzaro, YDC’s Music Director since 1997, is an internationally renowned award-winning composer and musician. He brings his expertise as a musician/composer for well-known choreographers to his vital work with our student choreographers, and since 2018 he has led the choreographer/composer project, expanding students' musical knowledge through dialog and collaboration with our guest composers. Since arriving from his native Buenos Aires in 1989, William has composed musical scores for renowned choreographers such as Anna Sokolow, Steve Paxton, Viola Farber, Milton Myers, Sara Rudner, and most recently Larry Keigwin as part of Paul Taylor Dance Company’s season at Lincoln Center. His work has been presented nationally and internationally. He has received recognition and funding from the NEA, The Samuel S. Feld Fund, the New York State Council on The Arts, the Harkness Foundation, the NYU Humanities Council, NYU Service/ Learning Fund. William has worked as an accompanist and taught music for dancers at The Juilliard School, Marymount Manhattan College, Limon School, Martha Graham School, and New York University. Currently, he is on faculty at The Alvin Ailey School, Sarah Lawrence College, and Steps on Broadway.


Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African American and Latine street and club dances. Dedicated to exploring the inherent complexities of these dances, EAD investigates the expansive narrative qualities of various vernacular forms including breaking, hip hop, house, and vogue, as a means to tell stories, develop innovative imagery, and find new modes of expression. The company's central ethos is that of the club, where the collective consciousness energizes and celebrates each person's uniqueness. EAD’s first evening-length work, A Single Ride, earned two Bessie nominations in 2013 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. In 2017, their work Riff this, Riff that received a Bessie nomination for Outstanding Cast. EAD has presented work nationally and internationally at ArtPower! at UCSD, Apollo Theater, Dixon Place, El Festival Internacional Cervantino, Jacob’s Pillow, Joyce Theater, La MaMa, The Momentary, New York City Center, New York Live Arts, Spoleto Festival, SummerStage, White Bird, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, and The Yard, among others.  EAD is committed to educating, celebrating, and bringing awareness to the history, expansiveness, and vastness of street and club dance culture by creating and sharing innovative performance work and facilitating platforms for dialogue through workshops, film screenings, open rehearsals, and pre/post-show Q&As.  www.ephratasheriedance.com; IG: @ephratasheriedance


Eriko Jimbo is a Tokyo-born, NYC-based performing artist versed in many styles, such as contemporary, modern, hip-hop, house, martial arts, aerial arts, sway pole, and acting. She has toured globally, appeared on national and international TV shows, and featured in several music videos, films, and interviews. For six years, she was a primary company member of the world-renowned Pilobolus Dance Theater. She still works with the company, and also collaborates with several others, such as the Forest of Arden, Ephrat Asherie Dance, Mawu, Fuerza Bruta's Wayra, Seeing You NYC, and FLOW KAKOU. She recently joined Virgin Voyages as a Show Captain/Performer working with Gypsy Snider (Les 7 Doigts de la Main), Sam Pinkleton, and Ani Taj. Erico currently works with their team to help install shows as an associate choreographer/director. Jimbo continues to expand her performance vocabulary with the Muse ABCirque productions as an aerialist as well as a sway pole artist and dancer. www.erikojimbo.com 


Dorren ‘Moglii’ Smith is an American artist born in the Bronx, New York, and a YDC alumnus. Moglii’s modes of movement include ballet, modern, contemporary, breaking, Hip Hop, and House dance. Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club was the first place where the passion for dance was sparked wholeheartedly. Professional dance training was completed at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase where his performance experience includes works by Bill T. Jones, Paul Taylor, Luca Vegetti, and a repertory solo by Crystal Pite. Moglii performed in the ILuminate show for many years off-broadway and nationally. He also appeared with the cast of America’s Got Talent. Recently, Moglii has been dancing and collaborating with Ephrat Asherie Dance where there are always new and exciting projects being explored and created. When Moglii is not performing he also teaches creative movement workshops in places that include New York, Berlin, Prague, Switzerland, Vienna, and also competes internationally to keep the spirit of expression and exchange alive. 


Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Artistic Directors of Bridgman|Packer Dance, are Guggenheim Fellows and 2017 NY Dance and Performance Award recipients (The Bessies). Their collaborative work focuses on integrating live performance and video technology to blur the line between image and reality, explore identity, and reveal multiple layers of consciousness. They are also recipients of four National Performance Network Creation Fund

Awards and numerous grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, New York State Council for the Arts, and New York Foundation for the Arts. In New York City, they have been presented by Lincoln Center, City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival, Central Park Summerstage, The Sheen Center, and the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Bridgman|Packer Dance has toured throughout the United States performing at festivals and art centers, including Spoleto Festival USA, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Florida Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Dance St. Louis, and Philadelphia’s Annenberg Center.

They have appeared abroad in Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and Central America in festivals including Munich International Dance Festival, Festival Internacional de Artes Escenicas (Panama), Kintetsu Theater (Osaka, Japan), Festival Internacional Chihuahua (Mexico), The Beirut Spring Festival (Lebanon), Highfest International Performing Arts Festival (Yerevan, Armenia), and Tancforum (Budapest). bridgmanpacker.org ; IG: @bridgmanpackerdance 


Photo by Sam Polcer

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