Tap dancer set to perform at Modlin Center receives top honor for artistry

Michelle Dorrance was recently honored as a fellow by the MacArthur Foundation.

From the University of Richmond:

Michelle Dorrance, tap dancer and choreographer, who is set to perform at University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts later this month, is one of 24 new fellows of the MacArthur Foundation.

According to the MacArthur Foundation, “Michelle Dorrance is a tap dancer and choreographer breathing new life into a uniquely American art form in works that combine the musicality of tap with the choreographic intricacies of contemporary dance”

Through exploring tap’s relationship to music and sound, Dorrance is redefining the dance form. Dorrance’s choreography shies away from solo dancing, which is true of traditional tap, and instead creates ensemble dances that tell stories through rhythm and movement.

Her show The Blues Project, which she and her company Dorrance Dance will perform at CenterStage’s Carpenter Theater on Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m., depicts the history of the blues told through tap-based works and music performed by Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely.

The Blues Project is “a seemingly impossible marriage of tap and modern dance that came off edgy, seductive, and smart,” according to The Chicago Tribune.

Hailed by The New Yorker as “one of the most imaginative tap choreographers working today,” Dorrance Dance features some of the genre’s best tap artists including The Blues Project’s co-choreographers Derick K. Grant and Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards. Toshi Reagon has been described by Pop Matter as a one-woman celebration of all that is dynamic, progressive, and uplifting in American music.

Under the direction of Dorrance, Bessie Award-winning Dorrance Dance with her musical collaborator Toshi Reagon, aims to honor the uniquely beautiful history of tap dance in a new and dynamically compelling context, not by stripping the form of its tradition, but by pushing it: rhythmically, aesthetically, and conceptually.

Dorrance, whose breakout performance was a four-year stint touring with the percussion show Stomp, has performed around the world at venues such as the Cannes Film Festival and the 2002 Winter Olympics. She also is a winner of the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award.

To purchase tickets online for the performance, click here.

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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