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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Every summer, The New Victory Theater celebrates our #LoveofDance with Victory Dance, an explosion of movement, art and learning. New York City-based choreographers come together to perform for the public as well as for New York City summer camps, schools, and youth programs. Later on this month, we’ll take a look at the exciting details of our Victory Dance educational program. But first, we’re highlighting each and every talented company coming to grace the New Vic stage this summer! 

Kicking off this series are the companies performing in Program A.
 
doug elkins choreography, etc.

Who Are They?
Founded in 2006 by Doug Elkins, their mission is “to make dances that are simultaneously complex and decipherable.” Elkins began his career touring the globe as a b-boy with breakdance groups like Magnificent Force! Doug Elkins is a two-time New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award winner and a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Creative Arts Fellow.
 
doug elkins choreography
Photo: Christopher Dussan
What Will You See? 
If you were expecting a pure b-boy style from Elkins, you’re in for a surprise! Their piece, Hapless Bizarre, is comprised of a company of six dancers, actors and clowns coming together to explore the sharp intersections between physical comedy, choreography, flirtation and romance.
 
Big Dance Theater

Who Are They?
A Brooklyn-based dance company, Big Dance Theater “is known for its inspired use of dance, music, text and visual design.” Their work in multi-dimensional dance started in 1991 and has been running under the artistic leadership of Annie-B Parson and Paul Lazar. They have interpreted literary geniuses such as Twain, Tanizaki, Wellman, Euripides and Flaubert through the theatricality of dance. In 2002 and 2010, Big Dance Theater received New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Awards. Big Dance earned an Obie in 2000 and the first ever Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award in 2007.
 
Big Dance Theater
Photo: Liz Lynch
What Will You See?
Big Dance Theater will be presenting both Short Ride Out (3) and Resplendent Shimmering Topaz Waterfall, a piece based on a page from Costume En Face, notations of work by Tatsumi Hijikata transcribed by his disciples.

When Did Big Dance Theater’s Co-Artistic Director Annie-B Parson’s #LoveofDance Start?
"My #LoveOfDance began when I was little and my father would take me to see the ballet whenever it came to town. Because he was a fan, we would go every night so we could see the entire repertory. Our seats were always at the top of the opera house; it was even a little scary to get to them because it was so steep.  We sat so high up, that I thought the dancers were little pieces in a kaleidoscope. It was a long time before I realized they were people, and not shapes and colors."
 
David Neumann / Advanced Beginner Group

Who Are They?
David Neumann/advanced beginner group believes in making engrossing dances from nothing while highlighting the world’s contradictory nature. Two-time New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award-winners, they layer many disciplines to create complex, humorous works. Fascinated with the question of "how to make a dance" Neumann strives to create distinct pieces while letting the audience watch with a sense of freedom and discovery. 
 
advanced beginner group
Photo: Susan Cook
What Will You See?
Tough the Tough (Redux Steve) premiered as a group piece in 2006 at Danspace Project in NYC. It’s been adapted into a solo performance accompanied by Bunraku style puppetry. 
 
 

 
New Victory Thumb Interested in inspiring a #LoveofDance in your family? Make sure to check out Victory Dance this summer!
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
February 11, 2016

Inside Untapped!

It's summertime in Australia right now, but the dancers and musicians of Untapped! have braved the chilly New York winter to bring their raucous rhythms to the New Victory stage. With a beatboxer, live music and five tap dancers, they have a lot of fun onstage—here's a sneak peek!


The show's director, Andrew Fee, performed on our stage when Untapped! came to the New Vic in 2011. This year, Andrew's co-choreographer, Jack Chambers, taps onstage as dance captain (in gold tap shoes, no less). Winner of season one of Australia's So You Think You Can Dance, Jack is something of a celebrity back home, and it's easy to see why. Now that he and his fellow dancers have settled in, we checked in with him to find out a little more about him, his role as co-choreographer and the show.

How did you become involved in Untapped!?
My involvement began way back in 2006, which is the year Untapped! was first created (it was titled something else at that time). I co-created the show with Andrew Fee and also performed in the original cast of five male tappers.

You and Andrew are co-choreographers. In what ways do you collaborate? 
We bounce ideas off of each other first and start a dialogue about what it is we want to achieve. The next step is sitting down with our music team and creating tracks for the show. Then we allocate sections for each other to choreograph, and some sections we do together.

What's your favorite part of developing a new number? 
My favorite part of developing a new number is the musical creation. I am a very musical person, so I am all about musicality, and making sure there are enough accents and intricacies to play with choreographically.
Untapped! ensemble
Jack Chambers is joined onstage by the Untapped! ensemble during their "Tribal Beats" number. From left to right: Sally Hare, Ginner Whitcombe, Jack Chambers, Kieran Heilbronn, Brianna Taylor.


What makes the Untapped! ensemble special?
The special thing about our ensemble is that we all have very different performance styles. We all blend really well together onstage, but remain individual in the way that we dance and perform. It's important to have diversity and light and shade through the show, not just in the choreography but within the cast and performances. 

What about Untapped! are you most proud of?
There are many reasons to be proud of this show, but one reason in particular, for me, is that the show has managed to be performed all over the world since 2006. It's truly satisfying to see audiences still loving this production. I am also proud of how the show has evolved over those years, with the changes of cast and the changes of choreography. 

What's been your favorite thing about performing at The New Victory?
Firstly, its a beautiful theater, with lovely staff and crew! And secondly, the audiences have been just wonderful. The kids and families that have come to see the show have truly made this experience memorable. 

What's your favorite place to go or thing to do in New York?
Central Park is my favorite spot in NYC. It's a wonderful place to get lost and take a break from the hustle and bustle of this spectacularly big, busy city! 

Why do you dance?
To put it simply, because I LOVE IT! I have done it my whole life. It's what comes naturally to me, and it makes me happy! 

Why should I see Untapped!?
Untapped! is a must-see because of its exciting, funny, rhythmical energy flown in all the way from Australia. We all have an absolute blast on stage, and it happens to be quite contagious!
 
 
  Untapped! is playing at the New Vic through February 21st. We hope to see you there! And if you happen to see Jack or any of his fellow dancers before the show, be sure to wish them "big chookas"—Aussie slang for "break a leg."
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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