Liz Gerring, Pam Tanowitz, and Michelle Dorrance, photographed by Matt Karas.
At City Center, what you see onstage is just the beginning. Behind the back wall of the theater is a hive of creative activity: nine stories of rehearsal rooms, offices, and dance studios that were inaugurated by Balanchine in the 1940s. You might find the likes of Twyla Tharp, Wendy Whelan, and Kyle Abraham rehearsing there on a given afternoon. This season, three acclaimed choreographers will take up residence, thanks to City Center’s Choreography Fellowship program: Liz Gerring, Pam Tanowitz, and Michelle Dorrance.
“Any professional tap dancer is a historian,” said Michelle Dorrance at a raucous, impassioned discussion of urban dance at City Center on October 7, 2015. “That’s it. That’s your job.” Hosted by Dr. Nijah Cunningham of Hunter College, the panel offered a long, loving look at the art of bringing forms of street dance to the stage—from tap to Brazilian hip-hop to the bruk up.