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Hudson Valley’s Bridge Street Theatre launches dance residency program in memory of Anh-Tuyet “AT” Nguyen

January 5, 2021 - April 11, 2021

Shuttered by the pandemic in March of 2020 and unable to present live performances, Hudson Valley’s Bridge Street Theatre announces a four-month dance residency program utilizing the theater’s resources to nourish performing artists and develop new works during the current health crisis. Residency artists will have exclusive access to the 12,000 sq foot refurbished industrial building in the village of Catskill, NY. Facilities include an 84-seat black box theater, a flexible cabaret performance space, a large-scale gallery, and on-site artist housing. The residency will provide a safe harbor for dancemakers, supporting them with the precious resource of stage time, access to production equipment, housing, and stipends to support their creative process.

“Bridge Street Theatre is proud to join with peer Hudson Valley cultural institutions including Catskill Mountain Foundation, Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, Modern Accord Depot, Mount Tremper Arts, Petronio Residency Center, PS21, and other organizations to support dancemakers at a time when they, and so many other Arts groups, are facing such uncertainty and vulnerability,” says John Sowle, Artistic & Managing Director of Bridge Street Theatre.

Underwritten by Bridge Street Theatre fans and local community members, Duke Dang and Charles Rosen, the initiative is in memory of their friend and mentor Anh-Tuyet “AT” Nguyen. A native of Vietnam, Nguyen championed dance and served on the boards of Dance to Unite, Dorrance Dance, and the Joyce Theater. Residency artists were selected to honor Anh-Tuyet “AT” Nguyen, supporting Vietnamese dancemakers and Dorrance Dance and Joyce Theater alum.

“Our dear friend AT loved dance and devoted herself to mentoring and supporting many Vietnamese creatives in particular,” say project underwriters Duke Dang and Charles Rosen. “We hope this initiative continues her spirit.”

At the end of each two-week residency a video sample of the work-in-process will be available on Bridge Street Theatre’s web site (BridgeStreetTheatre.org), Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

Featured Projects
Jabu Graybeal work in process
SWITCH by LayeRhythm with Mai Lê Hô
Thang Dao work in progress
Chroma (working title) by Adrian Danchig-Waring, Norbert De La Cruz III, Joseph Gordon, Kristin Sztyk, and Virginia Wagner
Trapped by Passion Fruit Dance

January 4 – 17
Digital performance excerpt showing on January 16, 7pm
A fragmented and collaged multi-media solo work, Anh Vo’s BABYLIFT combines the terror and pleasure of erotic hauntings. Named after a 1975 mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to the U.S., resulting in a plane crash that killed 78 of those children, BABYLIFT attempts to conjure the ghosts of the Vietnam War and confronts the afterlives of the Vietnam War (a.k.a. the Resistance War Against Imperialist America). Striving to queer a linear masculinist history, Vo weaves materials from this historical archive together with cultural memories of the Civil Rights Movement, USAmerican freedom fantasies of the 1960s, contemporary pop culture, and current leftist activism. These layers of narrative create an uncanny, abstract, yet emotionally-charged space that serves as both a memorial for the unmourned, unremembered and a reckoning for the witnesses of this ghostly presence.

Immediately following the Bridge Street Theatre residency, BABYLIFT will premiere as part of Target Margin Theater’s Spring 2021 season.

BABYLIFT was originally commissioned by the Fresh Tracks program at New York Live Arts, supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts; is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC). The work is developed through residencies at Jonah Bokaer Arts Foundation, University Settlement (Performance Project Fellowship), Brooklyn Arts Exchange (Space Grants), New Dance Alliance (LiftOff), and Bridge Street Theatre. BABYLIFT has received additional funding from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts and Women and Performance: a journal of feminist theory.

Anh Vo is a Vietnamese choreographer, dancer, theorist, and activist. They create dances and produce texts about pornography and queer relations, about being and form, about identity and abstraction, about history and its colonial reality. Their choreographic works have been presented nationally and internationally by Target Margin Theater, Dixon Place, MR @ Judson, Brown University, Production Workshop, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Madrid), greenroom (Seoul), Montréal arts interculturels (Montréal), among others. As a writer, they are the Co-Editor of Critical Correspondence, a frequent contributor to Anomaly, and a blogger at Cultplastic. Currently based in Brooklyn, they earned their degrees in Performance Studies from Brown University (BA) and New York University (MA). anhqvo.com

Jabu Graybeal work in process
January 18 – 31
Digital performance excerpt showing on January 30, 7pm
Dorrance Dance company member Jabu Graybeal, a native of Pittsboro, NC, is as dancer, producer, and musical artist who first studied with JUBA award winner Gene Medler of the Chapel Hill Ballet School and was a member for 9 years of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble (NCYTE), one of the most renowned youth tap companies in the world. Jabu is a Jacob’s Pillow and YoungArts Foundation alumnus who has performed with a diverse group of companies, such as Caleb Teicher & Company, Chloe Arnold’s Apartment 33 and band, Postmodern Jukebox. He was the first tap dancer to be accepted into the Berklee Global Jazz Institute Workshop at the Newport Jazz Festival and was included, under a nomination from Michelle Dorrance, in the December 2017 issue of DanceSpirit magazine as one of the dancers to look for in the next generation of tap. During Graybeal’s time at Bridge Street Theatre, Graybeal will explore the marriage of music and dance with fellow friends and creatives.

SWITCH by the LayeRhythm Experiment, with Mai Lê Hô
February 1 – 12
Digital performance excerpt showing on February 11, 7pm

 “An occasional brew of partying and performing that unfolds as a series of interactive sessions in which suggestions from the crowd beget songs and steps. […] imagine a musicians’ jam session where the band is compelled to keep the dancers’ pace instead of the other way around.” – The New York Times
Created in 2015 in NYC by French-Vietnamese dance artist Mai Lê Hô, LayeRhythm is a cutting-edge jam session that creatively layers live musicians and vocalists with freestyle dancers. Now in its 5th year, the project has taken its club roots to the stage with performances at Jacob’s Pillow and 92Y. The LayeRhythm Experiment ( LE) company features prominent dancers who have won world-class competitions in breaking, hip-hop, popping, and house dance. They are accompanied by musicians and vocalists at the forefront of NYC’s funk, hip hop, jazz, and soul scenes. The LE usually generates approximately 90% new content each performance. The audience is muse. At each show, audience ideas are collected by LE’s MCs. Performers instantaneously draw from personal experiences and artistic knowledge to turn those ideas into movements, sounds and improvised lyrics. Commonly in western dance, artists rest on recorded or rehearsed music to create movement. With the LE, musicians, dancers and the MC stretch artistic boundaries and “take turns” conducting the rest of the ensemble. This call and response culture is intrinsic to many generations and genres of African-American and Latin based street and social dance forms.

During the Bridge Street Theater residency, SWITCH will be developed, exploring further the leader/follower dynamics between music and dance. Dancers will research alternative leadership models by reversing roles not only while improvising on stage, but in the creative writing process as well.

The residency will culminate in a virtual performance excerpt showing of section 1 (out of 5) of this new evening-length show. The remaining sections are mostly freestyle based and ready to be performed/transformed with each new audience. Dancers will explore the meaning of “routine” and of “switching roles” on personal, societal, artistic, mind-body levels.

Mai Lê Hô aka Mai Lê Grooves is a French-Vietnamese dance performer/choreographer/educator, dj and curator who relocated to NYC in 2009. Mai Lê has been a lead dancer in the pioneering street dance theater company Rennie Harris PureMovement since 2013, and in the emerging Passion Fruit dance company since 2016. Mai Lê also toured Europe as a co-choreographer and dancer with seminal Detroit house music producer Theo Parrish and his live band, in festivals/venues such as Worldwide Festival (Sete, FR), London’s Barbican, Barcelona’s Sala Apolo. In 2015 Mai Lê founded LayeRhythm, a monthly jam session that brings live musicians to collaborate with street/club dancers (flexN, litefeet, house dance, Detroit jit, locking…).The New York Times described LayeRhythm… “Imagine an improv comedy show where dancing, not laughs, is the currency. Then imagine a musicians’ jam session where the band is compelled to keep the dancers’ pace instead of the other way around.” Since 2019, the project has been taking its club roots to the stage with the LayeRhythm Experiment company, performing at 92Y and Jacob’s Pillow and offering online educational programs for emcees, musicians and dancers. From 2017 to 2019, Mai Lê was the Program Director of It’s Showtime NYC!, a program that celebrates NYC street culture and provides performance and professional development opportunities to street and subway dancers. Mai Lê teaches weekly in NYC at Gibney and EXPG NYC, and has taught dance workshops in Brazil, Vietnam, Japan, DRC, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and throughout the US.  IG: @MaiLeGrooves / @LayeRhythm. www.LayeRhythm.org

Thang Dao work in progress
February 28 – March 13 
Digital performance excerpt showing on March 12, 7pm
Thang Dao will explore the intersection of dance, film, and digital technology to develop a piece for four dancers that examines the complexity of human connection and relationship at the tenuous boundary nestled between proximal and distant attachment; and how the two locations are sometimes the same. The dancers navigate between different dynamics and connections with one another within the confined space to examine these delicate locations.

Born in Vietnam, Thang Dao currently resides between Los Angeles and New York City as a freelance choreographer, teacher, and coach. He holds a MA degree from New York University’s Gallatin School. Dao received his formal dance education from the Juilliard School and The Boston Conservatory, where he received his BFA in 2001. Dao danced with the Stephen Petronio Company and the Metropolitan Opera until 2006, leaving to choreograph for Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin II, Ailey II, Ballet X, Philadanco, the Boston Conservatory along with many universities and performing arts schools nationally and internationally. His works have toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia with acclaimed reviews. His ballet, Stepping Ground, choreographed for Ballet Austin for the 1st Biannual New American Dance Talent, received the Audience Choice Award all four nights. Dao is the recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship, the 2009 Special Project Grant, and the 2012 Vilcek finalist for Creative Promises in choreography. In 2012, his work,Waiting Women was featured at NYCDAF Gala: Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in New York. Dao was on the creative team for the James Brown Project: Get On The Good Foot commissioned and produced by the Apollo Theater under the direction of Otis Salid. In 2017, Dao-representing the United States- received first prize for choreography at the inaugural DAP Festival in Pietrasanta Italy. Dao is currently a visting guest artist at Kennesaw State University.

Chroma (working title) by Adrian Danchig-Waring, Norbert De La Cruz III, Joseph Gordon, Kristin Sztyk, and Virginia Wagner
March 16 – 27
Digital performance excerpt showing on March 26, 7pm
British artist, filmmaker, writer, and queer activist Derek Jarman’s memoir Chroma, a meditation on the color spectrum written and published during the AIDS crisis, will serve as the project’s point of departure. Jarman’s work will also serve as a model for a collective process that integrates performance, film, and visual art. Commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, and supported through a 2021 Works & Process bubble residency at Kaatsbaan Cultural Park, choreographer Norbert de la Cruz III will create new works on dancers Adrian Danchig-Waring and Joseph Gordon, as painter Virginia Wagner and filmmaker Kristin Sztyk develop the visual environment for the piece. Immediately following their Works & Process bubble residency, the creators will sequence into a Bridge Street Theatre residency to film the in-process work on the stage of the theater.

Trapped by Passion Fruit Dance Company/Tatiana Desardouin 
March 29 – April 11
Digital performance excerpt showing on April 10, 7pm
Dedicated to women,Trapped serves as an invitation to unfold, release and to remove mental blocks. The work is a testimony from women of different backgrounds and stories, willing to reveal their blocks, their pain and ways to find their joy, with the hope of bringing solutions, to inspire anyone with simple and personal solutions that each woman on stage have found for themselves in their journey to unlock whatever they need to unlock.

Passion Fruit Dance Company is a New York based street/club dance theater and educational company, founded, directed and choreographed by Tatiana Desardouin with core members Mai Lê Hô and Lauriane Ogay to promote the authenticity of street and clubbing dance styles, therefore celebrating black culture and their contribution to the society, highlighting and exploring different social issues throughout their Desardouin pieces. Using the prism of Hip-Hop and House cultures and through different socially engaged art projects, the company provides tools for communities and generations in their healing process, or simply to those in search of a release outlet and confidence building environment, by using “Passion Fruit Seeds”- a teaching program, designed for that purpose and a multi-sensory experience within a cultural party called “Les 5 Sens”. The company has performed at The Apollo Theater, Summerstage, Jacob’s Pillow, the New Victory Theater, BAAD!Theater, Harlem Stage, selected by Pepatián for “Dance Your Future: Artist & mentor collaboration residency”, LOHH, Joe’s Pub, 92Y, Dance Place and abroad ( Canada ( MTL) at the M.A.I. for the 100LUX festival and Switzerland (Neuchâtel) at the Outside Festival) etc. They also co-choreographed and are featured in two commercials for Credo Beauty. Tatiana was selected as one of Dance Magazine’s 2020 “25 to Watch” for her work with Passion Fruit.

Bridge Street Theatre is supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and by Public Funds from the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered in Greene County by the Greene County Council on the Arts. For more information visit www.bridgest.org.


January 5, 2021
April 11, 2021