(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Ephrat Asherie Dance brings its blend of street and social dance to PS21 on Friday and Saturday, August 25 and 26, at 8pm, as part the Chatham Dance Festival. The company’s work straddles the genres of dance and theater, and is inspired by the New York City club scene of the late-1990s and early oughts.
The performances will take place under the Tent at PS21, 2980 Route 66, in the town of Chatham.
B-girl, house dancer, choreographer Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie grew up in the 1990s making mix tapes and watching music videos. “While I was training extensively in ballet and modern dance, I was dancing socially with my friends,” she said. In college, Asherie saw Rennie Harris’s hip-hop version of “Romeo and Juliet” and thought, “This is incredible. I have to figure out how to do this.” She continued, “Before Rome and Jewels I had never really seen hip-hop in a theatrical setting, on the concert dance stage. It was something I related to immediately.”
Asherie began breaking in 2002 under Richard Santiago (aka Break Easy) and soon after was introduced to house music. Her choreography draws from breaking, house, hip-hop, and vogue, and she has been greatly influenced by the New York club scene. EAD explores the inherent narrative aspects of social and club dances, creating work that speaks to our universal human experience.
In 2015, Asherie was selected to participate in Alvin Ailey Dance Center’s New Directions Choreography Lab, where she began developing ideas for Riff This, Riff That, which premiered in 2016. The piece explores the vernacular jazz roots of breaking, hip-hop, and house and is the first collaboration between choreographer Ephrat Asherie and her brother-pianist and composer-Ehud Asherie. Riff This, Riff That features live music by Ehud Asherie and Co., a jazz quartet based in New York City.
Ephrat Asherie is a two-time recipient of the CUNY Dance Initiative Residency, a Workspace Resident Artist with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a Fresh Tracks Residency Choreographer at New York Live Arts, and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. EAD has presented work at FiraTarrega, Jacob’s Pillow, the River to River Festival, the Apollo Theater, New York Live Arts and the Yard, and many others. Asherie is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and at the Joffrey’s Jazz and Contemporary Program.
“The slight, sinewy Asherie (aka Bounce) blew the audience away with her handsomely-arranged and expert breaking and club dancing. … we would probably be content to watch Asherie forever,” wrote Eva Yaa Asantewaa in Infinite Body.
Ephrat Asherie Dance will perform at The Tent at PS21 Friday and Saturday, August 25 and 26, at 8:00pm. Tickets are $35 general admission, $30 members, and $18 students (school ID required for college students). To order tickets, visit PS21 or call 1-800-838-3006. For more information, visit PS21 or call 518.392.6121.
PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century is a not-for-profit organization in Chatham, NY, dedicated to the performing arts and to serving a diverse community with concerts, programs and residencies by professional artists and ensembles, youth and children’s programming and cultural education opportunities for all ages.