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Workshops & Community Classes

SUMMER

Workshops, Masterclasses,
& Community Classes

May 20–September 8, 2024

FUNKitUp, A Meta-Physical Practice

with Johnnie Cruise Mercer
Monday, July 22
5:30 pm–7:00 pm
$10 Drop-in
About the Class
FUNKitUp, A Meta-Physical Practice is a facilitated space built to encourage embodied inquisition and to investigate one’s relation to dance history and the contemporary. With a focus on artistic freedom, the practice uses reflection to challenge the body’s understanding of simply being, constantly asking those involved to push the limits of what it “feels” like to surrender or let go. FUNKitUp is designed for intermediate-advanced movers or embodied thinkers, and finds its foundation within the philosophies of The Africanist Aesthetics. 

The fast-paced class/workshop flows freely through meditative work, weight shifting, micro-articulations, rhythmic patterns, Astro-healing, traditional form play, collective improvisation, and complicated phraseology, landing ultimately at each movers personal movement theory (the fertile ground for an individual’s choreographic lineage). 

About Johnnie Cruise Mercer

Johnnie Cruise Mercer, a 2022 Dance Magazine Harkness Promise Award Recipient, and a 2021 Princess Grace Award Recipient (Choreography), is a queer-black think-maker; a choreographer, an educator, and producer based in Brooklyn, New York. A native of Richmond, VA, Johnnie holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Johnnie’s choreographic work has been seen and/or shared by 92Y Harkness Dance Center, The Dixon Place, Danspace Project Inc, The Fusebox Festival, BAAD!, and The American Dance Festival. Most recently, Johnnie has had the honor of being a 2019-2021 Artist in Residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, a 2020-2021 Ping Chong and Company Creative Fellow,  a 2020-2021 AIR through New Dance Alliance’s Black Artists Space to Create Residency and a 2022 Artist in Residence at Center for Performance Research. Johnnie is currently a NYSCA-supported 2024-2026 AIR at Movement Research. 

As an educator, Johnnie specializes in K-12 and pre-collegiate development focusing on history and movement’s uses in building collaborative work/community. Johnnie has facilitated/taught within the New York Public School system through The Leadership Program, Movement Research’s Dance Maker’s Program, and through Ping Chong and Company’s Secret Histories Educational Program. Mercer has also been on teaching faculty/a guest educator at The American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, NYU Tisch, Gibney, University of Massachusetts Amherst, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Maryland, Harlem School of the Arts, and The Dance Institute of Washington. Johnnie also writes curriculum; being the Co-Creator/Curriculum Writer for both Martha Graham’s Our Own American Document Curriculum, and Queen’s College’s Kupheburg Center for the Arts Jazz and Justice Curriculum. He is currently a professor at NYU Tisch (within their High School Dance Program), the Dance Performance Workshop III Director at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and a full-time IB Theater instructor at Brooklyn Prospect High School. 

Johnnie is the founding producer, and director of TheREDprojectNYC (TRPNYC), a multidisciplinary ensemble of artists dedicated to philosophy, and its use towards building communal spaces for black/other process, documentation, and investigation.

Paul Taylor Dance Company Masterclass

with Jake Vincent
Thursday, July 25th
4:00 pm–5:30 pm
$18 drop-in
About the Masterclass

This master class, taught by Jake Vincent, aims to present the Paul Taylor style and a sample of Taylor repertoire in order for participants to encounter signature movements that have influenced modern dance as we know it.

We have found that members of the dance community throughout the world are anxious to explore the various techniques and styles of dance that have shaped the dance profession. Paul Taylor’s impact on the field is indisputable. An understanding of that impact through participation can prove to be an invaluable experience.

The dancers should be in comfortable clothes so they can move or tights and leotards and we are usually barefoot.

About Jake Vincent

JAKE VINCENT was born in Atlantic City and grew up in Flemington, NJ. He attended the Taylor School Summer Intensive in 2012 and received a BFA in Dance and Dance Education in 2014 from Montclair State University. He performed with Rioult Dance NY, Von Howard Project, DiMauro Dance, Zullo/Raw Movement, 360Dance Company, Mazzini Dance Collective, 10 Hairy Legs, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance. He joined Taylor 2 in summer 2017. He joined the Paul Taylor Dance Company in winter 2020.

ADF Scripps Studios building

Samuel H. Scripps Studios

721 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

919-797-2871
studios@americandancefestival.org

We are located on the second floor, accessible by elevator or stairs. There is ample free parking (including two handicap parking spots) in the lot connected to our building.