Embarking on its seventh year, Dance from the Heart returns to New York City's Cedar Lake Theater on January 23 and 24 featuring performances by some of the most diverse dancers and choreographers working today.
This two-night benefit, produced by Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares, continues to draw a versatile lineup of talented companies and artists performing everything from Broadway and hip-hop to contemporary ballet and modern.
Reigning So You Think You Can Dance champion Melanie Moore will appear at all four shows, premiering a number choreographed exclusively for her by celebrated So You Think You Can Dance alumni Travis Wall.
Dance from the Heart also will showcase an original piece by Ray Mercer from Broadway's The Lion King in memory of Gail Perlman, one of Dancers Responding to AIDS' and Broadway Cares' most stalwart volunteers.
Choreographers Melissa Rae Mahon & Sean McKnight, veterans of numerous Broadway shows and national tours, will premiere a work that showcases their decidedly Broadway flare and razzmatazz. Mahon, who currently serves as dance captain for Broadway's Chicago, regularly choreographs and directs featured numbers at Broadway Bares and other Broadway Cares events.
Other performances set for Dance from the Heart include:
• Stefanie Batten Bland, mixing European subtleties with American fervor and demonstrating why she's frequently called the Josephine Baker of today
• The Chase Brock Experience, showcasing the crowd-pleasing, fast-and-furious work of rising star choreographer Chase Brock, whose choreography can be seen in Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
• Jessica Lang Dance, performing a radiant adagio from "i.n.k." danced by Kana Kimura and Clifton Brown, who is a guest artist for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
• Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, exhibiting the depth of an emotional chameleon whom the Boston Globe says visually creates "an intensely naked understanding of humanity"
• Cecilia Marta, displaying her original style of world jazz with a distinctive blend of contemporary and ballet infused with nuances of earthy funk and soul
• Jeremy McQueen, presenting a stylish and contemporary response to Bach's "Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins" with his exuberant, joyous and fascinating excerpt from "Concerto Nuovo"
• Jodi Melnick, transfixing her audiences with abstract and marvelously expressive movement influenced by Twyla Tharp, she's frequently called the "darling of the downtown scene"
• Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, performing an excerpt from Manuel De Falla's hauntingly beautiful "El Amor Brujo," described by The Washington Post as "flexible, fluent and feline smooth"
• Matthew Prescott and Misty Copeland, performing a contemporary ballet duet choreographed by Prescott. Copeland, described as "untouchable glamour," is only the third African-American female soloist in American Ballet Theatre history and starred in Prince's "Crimson and Clover" video and international tour
• Rennie Harris Puremovement, extending the reach of hip-hop's international ambassador after a critically acclaimed world premiere this month of "Home" at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
• Janie Taylor and Jared Angle, principal dancers at New York City Ballet performing an excerpt of Benjamin Millepied's "Plainspoken," hailed by The Village Voice as a "very handsome ballet with complex feelings and imaginative patterns"
• Michael Trusnovec, a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing a solo piece choreographed by Christopher Gillis, a former Paul Taylor dancer who died from AIDS in 1993
• Jonathan Royse Windham, an emerging choreographer and member of Gallim Dance presenting one of his new pieces, "Oh! Darlin!," featuring Greg Dolbashian