Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based out of New York City. The company’s work aims to honor tap dance’s uniquely beautiful history in a new, dynamic, and compelling context; not by stripping the form of its tradition, but by pushing it – rhythmically, technically, and conceptually. The company’s inaugural performance garnered a Bessie Award for “blasting open our notions of tap” and the company continues its passionate commitment to expanding the audience of tap dance, America’s original art form.
Founded in 2011 by artistic director and 2015 MacArthur Fellow, Michelle Dorrance, the company has received countless accolades, rave reviews and performed for packed houses at venues including The Joyce Theater (New York, NY), The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), New York City Center (New York, NY), Lincoln Center Out of Doors (New York, NY), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, MA), Vail International Dance Festival (Vail, CO), National Arts Centre of Canada (Ontario, Canada), Fira Tarrega (Tarrega, Spain), Staatstheater Darmstadt (Darmstadt, Germany), Danse Danse Montreal (Montreal, Canada), Hong Kong Arts Festival (Hong Kong), among others and including many colleges and universities across the United States.
The company is currently touring its repertory nationally and internationally while rehearsing and creating new works in its NYC home and through additional creative residency opportunities. As Dorrance Dance continues to expand its programs to help shape and educate the next generation of tap dancers, the company will partner with Nicholas Van Young’s Institute For The Rhythmic Arts, 92Y Harkness Dance Center and Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), and Get Empowered! among other educational initiatives for the 2017-2018 season.
“Michelle Dorrance, a MacArthur “genius” grant winner and one of the world’s most distinguished tap artists, has a wild streak. ”
The Program – ETM: Double Down
Using original tap “instruments” designed by 2014 Bessie Award Winner Nicholas Van Young, the score is not simply danced to, but danced BY the company. With the right programming, the sound of a single footfall can range from a snare drum to a note on an arpeggio. “ETM: Double Down,” a collaboration between Ms. Dorrance and her longtime friend and company member Nicholas Van Young, incorporates his electronic tap boards, which he compares to electronic drum triggers; here, they work for the feet. “The entire stage is an instrument” is how Mr. Young described the effect. (“ETM” stands for “electronic tap music,” a nod toward electronic dance music.) “There are a million different elements, and then there are larger themes inside of it,” Ms. Dorrance said of the work, which explores acoustic and digitally produced sounds. “But at the same time, our taps will always be present.” – Gia Kourlas, The New York Times ETM: The Initial Approach was co-commissioned and created, in part, during a Creative Development Residency at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with support from the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award Initiative. ETM Double Down was created in part during a Creative Development Residency at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation with major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.