ODEON will have its Broad Stage premiere in April
The Broad Stage presents the Los Angeles premiere of Ephrat Asherie Dance: ODEON on its main stage on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. The company rose to the forefront of the dance world with ODEON, which blends breaking, hip-hop, house and vogue with the rich, dynamic sounds of turn-of-the-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, performed live. Rooted in street and social dance, Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is dedicated to exploring the complexities inherent in various African American and Latin vernacular forms.
ODEON, an original dance work for six dancers and four musicians, is the second collaboration between sister and brother team Ephrat and Ehud Asherie (choreographer and musical director respectively). Set to music by Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, known for blending early 20th century romantic music with samba and other popular Afro-Brazilian rhythms, this work takes a hybrid approach to movement.
ODEON, which premiered at the Doris Duke Theater at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on June 27, 2018, looks at what happens when you bring together members of the extended street and club dance family, including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue. remix them and investigate what happens when they inhabit unfamiliar spatial and choreographic contexts.
Tickets starting at $35 are available at thebroadstage.org, by calling 310.434.3200 and visiting the box office at 1310 11thSt. Santa Monica CA 90401, beginning three hours before the performance.
Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) is a dance company rooted in African American and Latin street and social dance. Dedicated to exploring the complexities inherent in these forms, EAD studies the expansive narrative qualities of various street and club styles, including breaking, hip hop, house and vogue, as a means of telling stories, developing innovative images and find new modes of expression.
EAD’s first one-night work, A Single Ride, earned two Bessie nominations in 2013 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. The company has performed at the Apollo Theatre, Celebrity Series, New York City Center, Columbia College, Dixon Place, FiraTarrega, Works & Process at the Guggenheim, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theatre, La MaMa, River to River Festival, Mass. MoCA, New York Live Arts, Spoleto Festival USA, Summerstage and The Yard, among others.
Roslyn Sulcas in The New York Times, said, “They play the infectious, danceable, melodic music of early 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, and Asherie matches the diverse musical forms – sambas, waltzes, tangos, ragtime, African rhythms and classic strains with a choreographic mix of its own. Street and club dancing, voguing and breaking, tap beats, capoeira and contemporary dance idioms are all part of the mix.
ODEON, the title of Nazareth’s second composition in the play, is an ancient Greek name for a small theater where poets, musicians and singers presented their work. It’s a perfect title for a dance that celebrates a community of performers with the kind of generosity that makes the viewer feel part of it too.”
“Liz Thompson in The Berkshire Edge said, ‘Hard work is a gift. A visit to the world of Ephrat is uplifting. The dancers and musicians are stellar. She speaks eloquently about how the club culture is warm and welcoming to individuals, regardless of their identity. All this manifests quite clearly in ODEON – the dancers and musicians work within a framework created by Asherie. There are moments of improvisation which, while not obvious to the audience, infuse the evening with abundant energy and joy.”
The movement’s vocabulary is amazing and unique. Ephrat has sourced many contemporary forms – hip hop, break, b-boy, b-girl, etc. – and many musical traditions… I will simply say that ODEON is real, honest and breathtaking. It is beautifully crafted – a single movement gently arranged in the traditional way, the use of unison juxtaposed with stunning solos, silence punctuating a dense sound.”
Chicago Tribune said: “Joyful and exuberant! If break dancing and bossa nova had a baby, it could be like the style of Ephrat Asherie Dance. ODEON combines the love and talent for jazz music, break dancing and Brazilian traditions…mixing Latin traditions of social dancing with New York-style break dancing.”
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie (Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer) is a New York-based b-girl, performer, director and choreographer and winner of the 2016 Bessie Award for Innovative Achievement in Dance. Asherie has received numerous awards to support her work, including Dance Magazine’s Inaugural Harkness Promise Award, a Jacob’s Pillow Fellowship at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, and a National Dance Project Award. In 2019, she received a NYFA Fellowship and a New York Center Choreography Fellowship. Asherie is currently a 2021-22 Jerome Hill Art Fellow.
His new work UnderScored, commissioned by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, received a 2019 Creation and Development Award from the National Performance Network. This multi-faceted project, which includes archiving the oral histories of alumni from New York’s underground dance community as well as an evening-long dance theater documentary, will premiere in fall 2022.
Asherie has created work for various college dance programs, including programs at Lehman College, Smith College, SUNY Brockport, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, among others. She received her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in Italian and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she studied the jazz dance vernacular roots of contemporary street and club dances.
Asherie is honored to have been mentored by Richard Santiago (aka Break Easy) and to have worked and collaborated with Buddha Stretch, Bill Irwin, Michelle Dorrance, Doug Elkins, Gus Solomons jr and Rennie Harris. Asherie is a co-founding member of the all-female house dance collective MAWU and is eternally grateful to New York’s underground dance community for inspiring her to pursue a life as an artist.