Dorrance Dance


MacArthur “Genius” award winner, choreographer and tap dancer Michelle Dorrance is celebrated for connecting tap's history to contemporary urban culture and infusing the art form with theatricality and humor. Dorrance and her company perform Myelination, featuring original live music; the rarely seen, Bessie Award-winning Three to One; and a revival of the whimsical Jungle Blues, in a program that connects tap back to its roots in jazz and jump blues, and forward to the cadences of hip-hop and indie rock. "Dorrance... pushes the boundaries of tap while exposing its true nature: that it is music" (The New York Times).

Since starting her dance company in 2011, Dorrance has aimed to honor the beauty and history of tap dance by introducing it to new musical and performative contexts. Her dancers have been performing in numerous countries, from the U.S. to Hong Kong, as part of fulfilling Dorrance’s dream of spreading the legacy of tap around the world.

“Of course, I love experimenting, creating my own work/choreography/compositions, but my role is, most importantly, as part of a community full of many creators, historians, teachers, and revolutionaries! We believe in sharing the brilliant individual voices and styles that continue to honor our past, but reflect the way that tap dance is pushing boundaries in every direction today—from street corners, to museums, to night clubs, to opera halls and back.” — Michelle Dorrance Read full interview >

Musically, Dorrance’s works are eclectic, spotlighting diverse works like the expressively dynamic jazz of the Branford Marsalis Quartet and the moody complexity of Aphex Twin and Thom Yorke, even featuring original music composed by Gregory Richardson with Dorrance’s own brother, Donovan Dorrance, performed live with vocalist Aaron Marcellus. In Myelination, Dorrance bridges dance and the fascinating electricity of impulses in the brain created through the process of cellular development. The improvisational and rehearsed sections of the performance are powered by the energy that the musicians and dancers commit themselves to. The Bay State Banner has this to say about Dorrance’s thoughtful pairing of music and dance: “Always in dialogue with the dancers, their music varies from percussive contemporary passages to lyrical, balletic melodies. … Each is terrific on its own, and together they reveal elements taken much further in “Myelination.” Read full review >

Dorrance Dance is boldly revitalizing tap dance and dares to push the genre to “a new level of execution, innovation, and sophistication”, says the Boston Globe. Her crew is a unified group of “impressive, precise technicians with vivid personalities and fabulously expressive flair.” Read full review>

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