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July 3, 2013

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE

The Melinda Sullivan Dance Project presents GONE: A Sound & Theater Project August 5th and 6th, 2013 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York

Melinda Sullivan's GONE is an original 50-minute theatrical dance work which paints a haunting narrative of identity, loss, transition, and grief through tap dancing, sanding, and contemporary movement.

Named among the "Top 25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine, 25-year-old Sullivan was raised in Thousand Oaks, CA, and has been dancing professionally since the age of 14. Inspired by the legacies of Gregory Hines and Ann Miller, Sullivan is a quadruple threat--a dancer, singer, actress, and choreographer--dedicated to preserving the rich tradition of tap dance through teaching and performance. She is known for her performances on So You Think You Can Dance and for her role as the mysterious Zoe Finn on As the World Turns.

Melinda has starred opposite Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and on director and screenwriter Jon Chu's new YouTube channel, DS2DIO. Sullivan has also appeared on Glee, Dancing with the Stars, How to Rock, One on One, It's Complicated, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Star Search. Her work has been featured at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) and the L.A. Tap Fest and Pasadena Dance Festival, and she was a semifinalist for Center Theatre Group's Sherwood Award. Sullivan has choreographed and collaborated on a variety of film shorts with Imagiland Productions, including a tribute to Ann Miller. Her film collaboration with cinematographer Jeremy Jackson, Gone, was featured at the 2012 Topanga Film Festival.

GONE-Directed by renowned director and choreographer J.T. Horenstein, on working with Melinda Sullian-"The opportunity to develop dramatic tension, full character background, and story line through dance alone, without text or lyrics, is a challenge that I'm rarely afforded in my professional career," said Horenstein. "Adding an intellectual layer to Melinda's exceptional choreography is an honor and a gift given to me by a smart creator with a specific story in mind."

Some of J.T.'s work include Dancing With The Stars, America's Best Dance Crew (MTV), NBC's The Sing Off, The Academy Awards (ABC), MTV Awards, VMAs, Talent and casting Consultant NBC's America's Got Talent, Skating with the Stars (ABC), The Winter Olympics, Artistic Director for the US Olympic Figure Skating and Ice Dancing teams, Summer Olympic Gymnastic post tour with Black Eyed Peas, Mad TV(FOX), NIKE commercials. Seth McFarland's Oscars, NY Knicks half time Knicks City Dancers, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, multi million dollar corporate events- Compaq, Samsung, Apple, Reebok Int'l Summit 2013 with Alicia Keyes, Oracle Open World with Lenny Kravitz, New York's Fashion week, Harry Winston and Couture Diamond World Show, world tours and/or music videos for Bette Midler, Liza Minelli, Garth Brooks, Brooks and Dunne, My Chemical Romance, Sean Lennon, Ricky Martin. Performing Highlights: National commercials, National tours, Film and Broadway include- Volkswagen Jetta commercial as dancer behind Gene Kellyʼs face, alongside Donald OʼConnor, "FAME", Jazz teacher opposite Bebe Neuwirth, Jason Segalʼs new Muppet Movie, Tommy Tuneʼs "Grease" on Broadway with Rosie OʼDonnell, The Whoʼs Tommy, Natl Tour of La Cage and Michael Jacksonʼs European Tour (History) J.T.has also worked with Michael Rooney, Margueriite Derricks, Adam Shankman, Travis Payne, Anne Fletcher, Vince Patterson

An original score by composer and pianist Nikos Syropoulos www.nikospiano.com offers a modern, cinematic fusion of chamber music and jazz, foregrounding topics of time, generation, and tradition articulated through Sullivan's choreography.

Sullivan's decision to commission a score by classical composer Syropoulos was informed by the ballets she performed as a young dancer--collaborations between choreographers like Michel Fokine, Lev Ivanov, and Marius Petipa, and composers Igor Stravinsky and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

"GONE is sort of my one-act ballet from a tap dancer's point of view," says Sullivan. "The visual elements are important, but so is the sound of the movement. Tap dancers are driven by rhythm and music and working with Nikos has pushed my choreography beyond swing, funk, and hip-hop. I am loving the challenge." It began as a brief sand dance conceived by Sullivan and filmed in a Los Angeles backyard, which was described by Dance Magazine as "a moody work that blends the drama of modern dance with the heart-pumping thrill of rhythm tap."

Melinda's work earned her first place in the Capezio A.C.E. Awards in 2012, an annual competition for emerging choreographers, which provided seed funding for her feature-length project. Twenty-five-year-old Sullivan was the first woman, and tap dancer, to win the prestigious award. A Kickstarter project to supplement the A.C.E. Award grant and help fund the cost of travel fees for the cast surpassed its goal of $15,000 in less than three weeks.

The world premiere of the work will feature Sullivan and a group of 11 talented dancers who have worked in theater, television, and on concert stages around the world, including Tiffany Daniels from Oprah Winfrey's The Color Purple and Bianca Revels from Season 6 of So You Think You Can Dance. Sullivan hopes to tour the project nationally after its East Coast debut

PERFORMANCE INFORMATION Gone: A Sound & Theater Project August 5 and 6, 2013 Two performances nightly at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater: 405 West 55th Street (at 9th Avenue), New York, NY 10019. Tickets for the New York performance at may be purchased on the project's website www.melindasullivandanceproject.com.

Tickets on sale now: $25 https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/34333
Tel: OvationTix: 1-866-811-4111

Sullivan established Melinda Sullivan Dance Project, in 2013, to create an expressive body of work with a strong emphasis on sound. The project aims to expose the diversity and accessibility of tap dance to a broad audience in a theatrical setting, while preserving the genre's traditions and providing opportunities for dancers and musicians to collaborate through performance.

GONE: A Sound & Theater Project is presented by Break the Floor Productions, LLC.The Melinda Sullivan Dance Project is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council's Emerge Fiscal Sponsorship Program. This program incubates individual projects and emerging organizations, offering them the ability to seek funding through fiscal sponsorship, and supporting participants during a crucial stage. It provides an opportunity to develop a project and determine its trajectory with the guidance and oversight of an established nonprofit.

www.facebook.com/melindasully

More info: ssshekkie@aol.com

About July 2013

This page contains all entries posted to QUE PASA in July 2013. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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