92nd Street Y Announces Harkness Dance Center Artist-in-Residence Performance

The 2021-22 Mainstage series at 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center continues with an evening of performances by this season’s artists in residence, Baye & Asa and Passion Fruit Dance Company.

Baye & Asa first came to 92Y’s attention as finalists for the inaugural Future Dance Festival in 2021 with their work John 4:20, selected by Martha Graham Dance Company Artistic Director Janet Eilber. They were later named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” for 2022, which noted that “using African forms and hip hop within an expanded vision of ‘contemporary’ dance theatre, the couple’s choreography avoid falling into a predictable pattern”.

Commercial images promise status, offer solutions to inadequacy and engender rights. An internalized deficiency has created a culture of resentment. Suck it up: a duo confronted with the violent fallout of male insecurity and rights.

This work was commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for the University of Maryland’s BlackLight Summit. All the movement was generated at the 92nd Street Y during our period of artists in residence.

“The languages ​​of hip-hop and African dance are the basis of our technique. The rhythms of these techniques inform the way we energetically confront contemporary dance and theater”, comment Amadi ‘Baye’ Washington and Sam ‘Asa ‘ Pratt. “We were born and raised in New York, and we’ve known each other since first grade. Through the personal dynamics of our relationship, we address the larger political landscape of our upbringing, struggling to show a reality of violence while communicating a need for empathy.”

Passion Fruit Dance Company – Tatiana Desardouin, Lauriane Ogay and Mai Lê Hô – is on a mission to promote the authenticity of street dance and clubbing styles, hip-hop and house cultures and their black heritage, and to explore different social issues through their dance pieces and artistic practices. Desardouin, the company’s founder, artistic director and choreographer, was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 2020 “25 to Watch” and received the 2022 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance.

Dance Within Your Dance – an excerpt from Passion Fruit’s 2016 piece inviting audiences to connect with the techniques, rhythms and essence of hip-hop and house dance – asks the question: why groove doesn’t is it not just a mere aesthetic and disposable item but the essence of street/club dance styles and a roadmap to social justice through physical expression in black culture?

“In Dance Within Your Dance, I invite the public to connect with the techniques, the rhythms, the roots and the essence of hip-hop and dance/house culture”, comments Tatiana Desardouin. “This work shows how in these dances we develop, struggle, connect and create our individual and collective identities. ‘Groove’ is the focus of this piece, but there are two dimensions in DWYD; the personal exploration of a dancer of his own groove as well as the groove itself, in the cultural realm of Hip-Hop/House I define “groove” as a constant flow of energy through the body, which allows dancers to communicate to through music and movement. For me, groove is the physical and auditory manifestation of the Black life experience. I use DWYD as a way to honor and maintain the essence of this culture while catalyzing the conversations about race.

In-person performance
Thursday, February 24, 8 p.m. ET
$30 General Admission
$10 Students

Friday, February 25, noon ET –
i??Sunday, February 27, midnight ET

Learn more at 92Y.org/event/baye-and-asa

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