The Phoenix Project allows dancers in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s to soar

Dances For a Variable PopulationCelebrating dance and the beauty of age, Dances For a Variable Population (DVP) will present three performances of The Phoenix Project, a citywide public dance project that empowers older adults and reevaluates the aesthetics of aging. This world premiere collaboration will take place in three New York City boroughs—Bronx, Queens and Harlem—over three Saturdays, June 4, 11 and 18.


The Phoenix Project will make its Bronx debut at the New York Botanical Garden’s award-winning and picturesque Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden on June 4. In the subsequent weekends, the piece will move with excerpts of the full work to Queens at the Queensbridge Riis Senior Center on June 11, and close performances as part of the Summer on the Hudson Festival at the West Harlem Piers Park on June 18, as part of a Family Day event.


Taking its inspiration from the immortality and drive of the phoenix, The Phoenix Project showcases and values older dancers’ special contribution to the celebration of movement and expression—introducing audiences to the significant ways that memory, expectation and power thrive in a senior mover.


The collaborative work features choreography by DVP’s Founder and Artistic Director Naomi Goldberg Haas, as well as legendary choreographers and performers Loretta Abbott (early member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), George Faison (Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Wiz), Ellen Graff, Stuart Hodes, Marnie Thomas Wood (formerly of Martha Graham Company), Jim May (artistic director of the Sokolov Dance Company and formerly of Jose Limon Company), Alice Teirstein (2015 Bessie Lifetime Award winner and director of the Young Dancemakers Company), Bernard Dove (Harlem Swing Dance Society) and invited guests Etta Dixon, Luther Gales and Rita Carrington – plus the DVP company with seniors from DVP’s Movement Speaks programs in the Bronx, Queens and Harlem.


Admission to all performances is free. For further details, visit


Photo: The Phoenix Project. Photo by Meg Goldman.