EPHRAT ASHERIE DANCE

Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie (pronounced: eh-fraht a-SHAIR-ee), a 2016 Bessie Award winner for Innovative Achievement in Dance, creates work for the dynamic group of multifaceted dancers in her company Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD). Embodying many different African American and Latine vernacular dances, including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue, EAD is dedicated to exploring the inherently complex and dynamic qualities of these forms - Asherie's "movement phrases--compact bursts of choreography with rapid-fire changes in rhythm and gestural articulation -- bubble up and dissipate, quickly paving the way for something new" (The New York Times).

 

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ODEON (2018)

Running time: Approx. 55 minutes, no intermission. (Performed with live music)
Choreography: Ephrat Asherie, in collaboration with EAD
Music: Ernesto Nazareth
Musical Direction: Ehud Asherie
Percussion Arrangements: Sergio Krakowski
Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann
Costume Design: Mark Eric

ODEON, an evening-length work for six dancers and four musicians, takes a hybrid approach to movement. Remixing and reconnecting various street and club styles while exploring their roots in West African rhythms and movements, ODEON blurs time, tempo and genre. The score, composed by fin-de-siecle Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, blends popular Afro-Brazilian rhythms with classical European melodies. Musicians and dancers cross paths seamlessly on stage through choreography that reflects Nazareth’s fluid approach to music – layering breaking floorwork, house-dance footwork, New York style hustle and vogue – ODEON invites you into a world wholly its own.

ODEON was developed in part during two residencies at Jacob’s Pillow and through a co-presentation with MASS MoCA. Asherie is the inaugural recipient of the Jacob’s Pillow Fellowship at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts at LIU Post, where she further developed this work. ODEON premiered int he Doris Duke Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on June 27, 2018. ODEON was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable foundation and Mellon Foundation.

 


EAD Mixed Repertory Program

Choreography: Ephrat Asherie, in collaboration with EAD
Ephrat Asherie Dance perform an evening of mixed repertory works highlighting Asherie and the company dancers’ signature approach to creating original dance works with various street and club styles. This mixed repertory program includes Lullaby, set to a Yiddish Tango sung by Zully Goldfarb, Step 4.2 a virtuosic club dance pas de deux, Dial-a Poem, inspired by the work of the late poet, artist and activist John Giorno. The evening program closes with LORE, a six dancer performance celebrating why we dance! LORE is set to the soulful house sounds of Gerardo Frisina and features powerhouse percussionist Ernesto Lopez.

UNDERSCORED (2022)

Running Time: Approx. 60 minutes, no intermission
Direction: Ephrat Asherie (pronounced: eh-fraht a-SHAIR-ee)
Choreography: Ephrat Asherie in collaboration with EAD and legendary club elders
Lighting Design: Kathy Kaufmann
Costume Design: David Dalrymple
Projection Design: Cornelius “Neil” Henke III 

Created and performed by members of the company with special guest artists from New York City’s underground scene, Asherie’s newest work is inspired by the intergenerational memories of club dancers. EAD invites audiences to join them on an exhilarating journey through the ever-changing musical and physical landscape of New York City’s underground dance community.

UNDERSCORED received lead commissioning and development support by Works & Process, for world premiere at the Guggenheim. UNDERSCORED was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable foundation and Mellon Foundation. This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals for a residency at The Jay and Linda Grunin Center, made possible through support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. UNDERSCORED is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation & Development Fund Project co-commissioned by Works & Process in partnership with ArtPower at UC San Diego, The Momentary and The Yard. The Creation & Development Fund is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency). For more information, visit www.npnweb.org.

 


DANCE FILM FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

In the MOment: A Drawing Dance (2021)

Running Time: 26 minutes
Choreography: Ephrat Asherie in collaboration with EAD
Illustrations: Mo Willems
Original Music Composition: Marty Beller
Editing and Animation: David Bengali

An Animated Live Action Film! Inspired by the artwork and abstract drawings of critically acclaimed writer and illustrator, Mo Willems, Ephrat Asherie Dance’s In the MOment: A Drawing Danceis a film about making art out of small things. Directed by Ephrat Asherie, with original music by Marty Beller, In the MOment’s fantastical world is brought to life by a cast of virtuosic and playful dancers accompanied by David Bengali’s vivid animation and editing.  A Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences co-commission, this film was created during the pandemic when many of us felt isolated and disconnected from one another.  In the MOment: A Drawing Dance was created to reignite joy, creativity and collaboration in people of all ages.  Here’s to making art every day and making art out of small things!

Co-commissioned by The Kennedy Center as part of their Digital Performances for Young Audiences series.

 

VIRTUAL PRESENTATIONS

A series of live engagements, movement workshops and lectures in conversation with two different EAD works: UNDERSCORED or ODEON.

  • Technology: Zoom or other live streaming platform provided by presenter.

  • Company requires Presenter to provide virtual stage manager to run virtual activities. A tech rehearsal before every event with the virtual stage manager is required.

  • The company can adapt activities to meet the needs of each presenter/theater and their respective communities.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Creating UnderScored

A sneak peek into the creative process of UNDERSCORED. Excerpts of the work are performed in real-time and interspersed with conversation about process and the history of New York City’s underground dance community. Featuring Ephrat, EAD company members and guest artists/elders from the underground dance community. Option to include moderator or alternatively a moderator may be provided by Presenter.

 

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: Creating Odeon

A behind-the-scenes look into the choreographic process and musical influences that led to the creation of ODEON. Brief excerpts of the work are screened and discussed along with live musical and movement explanations/demonstrations to highlight stylistic nuances, sonic shifts and the works’ dynamic sources of inspiration. Featuring Ephrat, EAD company members and EAD musicians. Option to include moderator or alternatively a moderator may be provided by Presenter.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

EPHRAT ASHERIE DANCE MOVEMENT WORKSHOPS

Ephrat Asherie Dance offers movement classes for Dance Departments, Dance Studios, and Community Organizations in: Breaking, House, Freestyle/Improvisation, Dance Theater: An approach to working with movement and text. Classes may be tailored and adapted as needed.

Details:

  • Depending on class size, Ephrat may be joined by additional EAD company members to create break-out groups for more personalized instruction.

  • 15-30 Students Max. depending on class. To be determine based on class and student abilities.

  • 60 minutes Zoom Class + 15 minute Q&A with Ephrat.

EPHRAT ASHERIE DANCE (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African American and Latine street and club dances. The company is committed to education, celebrating and bringing awareness to the history, expansiveness and vastness of these dances through workshops and classes, panel discussions, film screenings, open rehearsals, pre-show talks and post-show Q&As. EAD offers workshops for movers of all ages in various vernacular forms including breaking, hip-hop and house, as well as a wide-range of multigenerational offerings and lecture demonstrations. Additional class offerings include workshops focused on freestyling/improvising, the choreographic process and the relationship between movement and text.

EAD Workshops

House Workshop

This 
class will cover some of the fundamentals of house, including aspects of footwork, floorwork and the importance of a freestyle approach to the form. The cultural context in which this dance was created and where it continues to thrive will discussed and underscored in the movement. Running time: 90 minutes.

Breaking Workshop
This class will cover some of the foundational techniques of breaking(b-boying/b-girling) including top rock, drops to the floor, footwork and basic spins. The cultural and historical content from which breaking emerged will be highlighted and discussed. Through movement and discussion students will gain a more in depth understanding of the global importance of Hip Hop culture. Running time: 90 minutes.

Freestyle/Improvisation Workshop
This class will focus on methods/exercises/concepts to open students up to ideas surrounding freestyle/improvisation. Moving from ideas and values rooted in street and social dance, this class will push students to reach outside their comfort zone to find new modes of exploring movement, rhythm, melody and space and highlight the importance of connecting with others through movement. Running time: 90 minutes. 

Multigenerational Movement Workshop
Presented in a lec dem format, this workshop is created to inform, connect and bring individuals from all generations together through street and social dance. Performing dance sequences from EAD repertory, members from the company demonstrate and lead this movement workshop, emphasizing how meaningful creating relationships through movement can be. The workshop draws from various styles including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue as a means to help participants move out of their comfort zone, find new modes of expression and connect with one another. Running time: 90 minutes. 

*Shake-A-Leg with Archie & Ephrat
Come catch some New York City club vibes with the legendary Archie Burnett and choreographer and b-girl Ephrat Asherie. All ages welcome as we share with you some of our favorite social dances. Get ready to sweat! Available during UNDERSCORED tour. Participants: Multigenerational. Running Time: 60 minutes.

Open Practice Session
This session allows dancers of all levels to interact, exchange and share ideas with company members. A low stress environment where learning can happen at various paces and levels, this practice session reflects the ethos of club culture, where each individual’s uniqueness is celebrated, creating a space to get free and move out of your comfort zone. Music playlists curated by EAD are sure to inspire all to “get busy”! Running time: 90 minutes. 

Lecture Demonstrations
The company offers lecture demonstrations and seminars on the many street and social dances the company embodies, underscoring the cultural context from which these dance forms emerged and the spaces in which these styles continue to thrive and exist. Running time: TBD

*Schooltime Matinee: UNDERSCORED
This schooltime matinee of UNDERSCORED begins with a brief introduction from Ephrat Asherie followed by a 40-minute version of UNDERSCORED, the full company participates in a Q&A session with students. Running time: 50 minutes (includes Q&A session). Grade range: All ages.

Schooltime Matinee: ODEON

Performed with live music, this schooltime matinee of ODEON begins with a brief introduction from Ephrat Asherie followed by a 40-minute version of ODEON, the full company participates in a Q&A session with students. Running time: 50 minutes (includes Q&A session). Grade range: All ages.

*CHECK YOUR BODY AT THE DOOR DOC WATCH PARTY!
A film by directors: Sally Sommer, Charles Atlas and Michael Schwartz, Check Your Body at the Door is about some remarkable underground house dancers in NYC during the golden decade of the 1990s. Released in 2012, it follows master free-stylists into the clubs, their jobs, and their everyday lives. Starring Willi Ninja, Archie Burnett and Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune among many others.

Post-screening discussion with club legends Archie Burnett and Brahms LaFortune (featured in the documentary) available. Can be presented days before the live presentation of UNDERSCORED.

ARTIST LECTURES WITH EPHRAT ASHERIE
*NYC UNDERSCORED Dance Roots: The Loft and The Paradise Garage
Women in Hip Hop: B-girls, Tastemakers, Organizers and Pioneers.
The Beginnings: The Roots of B-boying/B-girling
Choreographic Process: Social Dance, Concert Dance and Inherent Paradoxes.
Additional lecture subject matters can be added/discussed as necessary.

*PRE-SHOW TALKS WITH LOCAL SOCIAL DANCE COMMUNITY
Find out more about your local city’s street and club dance scene from some of your community’s brightest dance artists. Working closely with EAD and local community contacts to invite each evening’s dancers/speakers, these pre-show talks feature the community of dancers whose work has been integral in shaping the local social dance scene.  Each dancer shares their dance origin story as part of the local dance community, excavating the way the community has grown, changed and shifted over time in the city.  This is a great opportunity to share  dance-life stories that audiences may not realize are an essential part of their local communities art world. These personal dance histories are full of stories that are at once unique to each individual, but simultaneously connect dancers across the country through a shared passion for dance and music, a continuously life-affirming force in their artistic journeys. This, at its essence, is what UNDERSCORED is about.

*Denotes activities specific to UNDERSCORED engagements.

Post-performance discussions available upon request. No pre-show discussions/talks with performers possible.

  • The Boston Globe

  • The New York Times

  • City Paper

  • Times Union

  • The Berkshire Edge

For more information, please contact:

Sandy Garcia

Sandy Garcia

Director of Booking

212.278.8111 ext. 3425