DANCE NOW 25th Anniversary Season: The DANCE NOW Story (Chapter One) Release on September 10

DANCE NOW 25th Anniversary Season: The DANCE NOW Story (Chapter One) Release on September 10

Published on August 11, 2020
LMnO3 by BenjaminCheney

A Virtual Tour Through DANCE NOW’s Past, Present, and Future

To celebrate its 25th season, DANCE NOW is presenting a series of online events featuring new and archival digital works by more than 40 innovative dance makers, interviews with artists, artist-to audience celebrations, and much more. The DANCE NOW Story will be told in six monthly chapters starting September 10, 2020 through May 2021

Traditionally held each year immediately after Labor Day, the DANCE NOW Festival is known as the kickoff to the dance season in New York City. As a response to the ongoing pandemic and to support its diverse community artists during this challenging time, DANCE NOW has reimagined its festival at Joe’s Pub, creating an alternative virtual space to celebrate the artists and this landmark anniversary. Each monthly chapter (September, October, November, February, March, and May) will bring new, emerging, and longtime veterans of the festival together to honor DANCE NOW’s past, embrace the present, and explore future possibilities for artists and audiences alike. The virtual series will also include an interactive timeline featuring photos, interviews, and additional facets of the DANCE NOW Story. DANCE NOW is thrilled to have Joe’s Pub as a partner on this project.

Ayodele Casel. Photo  © Michael Higgins

The anniversary season will include premieres of 19 digital works and 18 treasured pieces from the DANCE NOW archives, including past works from six DANCE NOW veterans—Robert Battle, Jane Comfort, Satoshi Haga, David Parker, Claire Porter, and Gus Solomons jr—who will be honored at the artist-to-audiences celebrations. Complete with a cocktail/mocktail recipe (and after party!), these Zoom celebrations will be hosted by a different artist each month to engage attendees in active conversation, recreating the intimate and lively environment of Joe’s Pub.

The September Performance Chapter, to be released on DANCE NOW’s new web platform on Thursday, September 10 (12pm Eastern), will feature commissioned premieres by Ayodele Casel, Mike Esperanza, and the collaborative trio LMnO3 (Deborah Lohse, Cori Marquis, and Donnell Oakley). Archival works from Tricia Brouk and HUMA will also be presented. On Thursday, September 24 (7pm Eastern), DANCE NOW will host its first artist-to-audience celebration honoring legendary artist Gus Solomons jr. The always insightful and entertaining TruDee (aka Deborah Lohse) serves as emcee. 

The season will also feature new digital commissions by Tsiambwom M. Akuchu, Sarah Chien, Brendan Drake, Kayla Farrish, Jasmine Hearn, Orlando Hernandez, Jamal Jackson,Kate Ladenheim, Joshua L. Peugh, Katy Pyle, Alice Sheppard, Subject: Matter, Mariana Valencia, Nicole Vaughan-Diaz, Maleek Washington, and Nicole Wolcott, and archival works from Adam Barruch, Katherine Helen Fisher, Mark Gindick, Ruben Graciana, John Heginbotham, Paula Josa-Jones, Wanjiru Kamuyu, TAKE Dance, and Megan Williams.

Hosts throughout the season include Germaul Barnes, Christal Brown, Sara Juli, Deborah Lohse (aka TruDee), and Larry Keigwin & Nicole Wolcott.

Gus Solomons. Photo © Betti Franchesci

September Program

Acclaimed dancer Ayodele Casel, hailed as “a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship” (The New Yorker), will present a new solo work.  

Mike Esperanza’s 10th Floor is a playful romp inside the confines of an elevator. In this piece set to original music by the choreographer, dancers negotiate space as they attempt to reach their final destinations. The architectural complexity builds as more dancers are added to the encounter, resulting in mischievous situations.

The sharp-witted trio LMnO3 will present POMP. Personal lush landscapes. A handball court. Nude tights and gold Medusas. With nods to marching band glory and iconic military patriotism, POMP is a ritual of deflated victory. Here, the trio playfully emerges as an emblem of the brave and true.

Chelsea Ainsworth and Doron Perk’s Two is You, which premiered at Joe’s Pub during the DANCE NOW Festival in September 2018, will be also presented. Ainsworth and Perk’s movement and partnering language is the result of their ongoing collaboration, part of HUMA, the resident collective at Arts On Site NYC.

Also on the program is Tricia Brouk’s I stand up, performed by the riveting Heather Hamilton. I stand up was presented at the DANCE NOW Festival in September 2017. 

Mike Esperanza self portrait. Photo courtesy of the artist

Artists’ bios can be found here.

A list of events and a continual unveiling of the DANCE NOW STORY through an interactive timeline are available on DANCE NOW’s website:

Each monthly chapter will be released at 12pm Eastern on the designated event date and will remain online through June 30, 2021. Artist-to-Audience Celebrations on Zoom start at 7pm Eastern. 

Single tickets are $10 for each Monthly Performance Program and $20 for the Monthly Performance Program and Artist-to-Audience Celebration. 

Two subscriptions packages are available: $50 (one time payment) includes all 6 Monthly Performance Programs. Full Subscription: $100 (one time payment) includes 6 Monthly Performance Programs and the 6 Monthly Artist-to-Audience Celebrations. Tickets can be purchased at

Proceeds from ticket sales support future artist commissions. Artists creating, performing, collaborating, and teaching in the 25th Anniversary Season programming will have access to all events for free.

Closed captioning and ASL Interpretation will be provided. 

Programs subject to change.

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