The 92nd Street Y, New York’s 150th Anniversary Dance Season Opens with Dorrance Dance 

The 92nd Street Y, New York’s 150th Anniversary Dance Season Opens with Dorrance Dance 

The 92nd Street Y, New York’s 2023/24 Harkness Dance Center season opens with the award-winning tap dance company Dorrance Dance, in the historic Kaufmann Concert Hall. The program features two world premieres – A Swing Suite, a new piece choreographed by company members Elizabeth Burke and Luke Hickey and At Play, a new work in progress choreographed by company member Claudia Rahardjanoto – and excerpts from SOUNDspace, the landmark work by company founder Michelle Dorrance that brought the company to prominence. The event – celebrating the 10th anniversary of SOUNDspace and 92NY’s 150th anniversary – is in person on Friday, September 29 and streams online for 72 hours from time of broadcast. Tickets from $20 / $10 students are available here.

Michelle Dorrance recently performed at 92NY in 2021 with Dormeshia, as part of the inaugural season of the Harkness Dance Center’s Mainstage Series, bringing dance back to Kaufmann Concert Hall. That date celebrated the 10th anniversary of Dorrance Dance’s founding which led to the opportunity to create what became her first full-length piece – SOUNDspace

Speaking about bringing the piece to 92NY, Michelle comments “I believe tap dance is revolutionary at its core, is one of the most cutting-edge forms in our culture, and should exist in every space. When I started out in New York, I couldn’t believe it wasn’t featured on the concert dance stage where so many other dance forms had endless support. Without spaces and organizations like 92NY, support for the work we’re doing doesn’t exist. That 92NY has embraced the art form and the work that we do is huge for us.” 

Elizabeth Burke and Luke Hickey’s new work, A Swing Suite, is an homage to their mentor Gene Medler, founder of the famed North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble. They note that “the piece is tremendously inspired by the music Gene exposed us to as kids and it’s shaped our taste and interest throughout our entire artistic lives. We offer it around the idea that just about every road leads back to home.”

A Swing Suite will be performed by Luke Hickey, Claudia Rahardjanoto, Sterling Harris, Lisa La Touche, Addi Loving, John Manzari, Leonardo Sandoval, and Tommy Wasiuta. The music includes interpretations of performances by historic and current voices in jazz and Black American music, including Oscar Peterson, Lester Young, Fats Waller, Theo Croker, and Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah (formerlyChristian Scott).

Claudia Rahardjanoto’s At Play is an ensemble work in progress featuring Claudia, Sterling Harris, Leonardo Sandoval, Luke Hickey, Alexander MacDonald, Tommy Wasiuta and Lisa LaTouche, with original compositions by Michael Jellick and Allison Miller.

Live music for A Swing Suite and At Play is performed by Michael Jellick (piano), Aaron Bazzell (saxophone), Jay Sawyer (drums) and Sam Trapchak (bass).