Featuring choreography by Caleb Teicher, Evita Arce, Latasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, and Macy Sullivan
With live music performed by Eyal Vilner Big Band
Celebrate the roots of Swing and Lindy Hop in America—join SW!NG OUT for an all-out dance party on the Northrop stage and plaza! Acclaimed choreographer and rising star Caleb Teicher and friends Eyal Vilner (composer), Evita Arce, Nathan Bugh, LaTasha Barnes, and Macy Sullivan are creating SW!NG OUT to bring the best of swing dance to the stage. This immersive dance party is a culmination of SW!NG OUT’s 2020-21 residency that included a month-long Artistic Exchange, a Solo-Jazz Dance class, a Meet the Artists panel, and a Spotlight Series discussion: Identities and Creative Processes, celebrating the passion and power of the African-American born dance form—the Lindy Hop. Experience the ensemble’s dance and music on stage and then join in a second-act “dance jam” on the Northrop Plaza!
This event will be captioned, with other accessibility services available upon request.
"With a style that fuses tap dance, Lindy hop and vernacular jazz, Caleb Teicher has quickly proven himself a choreographic force to be reckoned with." —Dance Magazine
SW!NG OUT Performance Preview
Premiering Fri, Oct 1, 5:00 pm CT
See and hear from four members of the SW!NG OUT Braintrust, in conversation with Northrop's Director of Programming Kristen Brogdon, to learn more about the SW!NG OUT performance and creative process. Participants include Eyal Vilner, Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, and Macy Sullivan, who are all members of SW!NG OUT's creative team as well as cast members.
Watch on-demand anytime starting at 5:00 pm on Oct 1!
The content below derives from the Northrop Across Campus Program that supports Northrop's mission towards intersections between performing arts and education for the benefit of all participants now and for generations to come.
Explore These Themes
Find ways to make thematic connections to these suggested courses.
African American Studies
American Studies/American Cultural Studies/American History
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Music History, Musicology/Ethnomusicology
Dance: Lindy Hop, Tap, Jazz, Multi-Genre, Social Dancing
Improvisation: Musical and Dance
Take a deeper dive into these resources that provide more information about the company of performers, the history of the artform, and where you can learn more about the artistic process!
YouTube: Go Behind-the-Scenes of “SW!NG OUT” with Caleb Teicher
YouTube: The history of African American social dance - Camille A. Brown
YouTube: Will You Be My Quarantine? Eyal Vilner Big Band ft. Brianna Thomas
YouTube: The Spirit Moves: A History of Black Social Dance on Film, 1 (2008)
Start a conversation about the performance, or reflect on the performance, using these questions as inspiration.
Swing (specifically Lindy Hop) is strongly rooted in the communities and traditions and is reflective of the Black/African American experience. Lindy Hop was made famous by Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers out of Harlem in New York City in the 1930s and ‘40s.
- The Twist and other dance trends have connections to Lindy Hop movement and style. Did you see any steps that looked similar to other current dance trends?
- How do we represent and honor a tradition of dance that originated in a different culture than our own? How do we honor a style of movement from a different time and place?
Swing dance is a partner dance that originated in the United States in the early 20th century, connected closely to Big Band music. This incredibly rich dance form contains within it many vestiges of cultural and social vernacular dance styles that preceded it such as The Breakaway, the Charleston, and even some popular Animal dances. Shim Sham was also a popular combination of steps utilized in many performance contexts (primarily vaudeville, but also in medicine shows) and referred to as the “national anthem” of tap dance. Caleb Teicher began their career with Dorrance Dance (an award-winning tap dance company).
- How does this combination of seemingly disparate styles come together in this work?
- Based on historical patterns of dance forms blending together, how do you envision the future of Swing dance five years from now? 20 years? 50 years?
- Swing and jazz are both dance/music styles that can be carefully choreographed, but also encourage improvisation. Where in the dance did you see routines or elements of spontaneity? Do you hear this with the music too?
“Consent” is becoming an increasingly important topic in the world of social/partner dancing as contact between dancers is inherent to the dance form.
- How did you see the idea of consent represented in this performance?
- What types of non-heteronormative pairings did you see in the couples’ dancing portion? Did you expect it? By employing those pairings into the choreography, did anything change in the style?
- As the dancers change between social/partner choreography and solo jazz footwork, does this change the way we view the relationship of dancers to each other?
I. The Show
Braintrust (Creative Team)
Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh,
Macy Sullivan, Caleb Teicher, Eyal Vilner
Choreography and Improvisation by Caleb Teicher, the Braintrust, the Dancers, except: Big Apple Contest - choreography by Frankie Manning, as first seen in Keep Punching; My Baby Just Cares For Me - choreography by Remy Kouakou Kouame and Ramona Staffeld
All arrangements and orchestrations by Eyal Vilner, performed by the Eyal Vilner Big Band; Downhill, The Rabbit, Ain't Got Nobody, Chabichou, The Jam, Tap Tap Tap, and Belleville - all composed by Eyal Vilner. My Baby Just Cares For Me - by Donaldson & Kahn, Saint Louis Blues - by W.C. Handy, The Big Apple Contest - by L. Norman, Shiny Stockings - by F. Foster, Jumpin’ at the Woodside - by Count Basie
Assistant Lighting Design
Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, Gaby Cook, Laura Glaess, AJ Howard, Michael Jagger, Jennifer Jones, Remy Kouakou Kouame, Dee Daniels Locke, Joshua Mclean, Caleb Teicher
Brian Lawton, Macy Sullivan
Erán Fink (drums), Ian Hutchison (bass), John Lake (trumpet), Brandon Lee (trumpet), Josh Lee (baritone saxophone), Julieta Eugenio (tenor saxophone), Jonathan Thomas (piano), Eyal Vilner (alto saxophone, flute, clarinet), Imani Rousselle (vocals), Ron Wilkins (trombone)
Ross LeClair, Joyce Theater Productions
Meghan Rose Murphy
II. The Jam
Improvised social dancing is integral to the tradition and modern-day expression of Lindy Hop and Jazz Dance. Now that you’ve seen our show, we invite you to dance: find some space and join us while the Eyal Vilner Big Band plays a 30-minute set!
Lindy Hop is the preeminent, swing-jazz, partnered dance. In the late 1920s, movement elements, including those of The Charleston, The Collegiate, and The Texas Tommy, were swirling together in African-American communities to form a new style, and they coalesced around a musical groove called “swing.” Dance champion George Snowden supplied the name, “Lindy Hop,” in reference to Charles Lindberg—whose recent transatlantic flight was the phenomenon of the moment. The name stuck, and the dance was popularized by early masters at the Savoy Ballroom, in Harlem.
Frankie Manning, and other exponents of the 1930s and 1940s, incorporated choreography and high-flying “air steps.” Frequently presented by Savoy bouncer Herbert White as “Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers,” these champions dominated clubs, contests, stages, and film. Manning had a phasic career, retiring after the swing era, but reengaging with the dance industry in the 1980s. In the intervening years, visionaries such as Norma Miller and Mama Lu Parks sustained Lindy Hop and even adapted to new music genres.
At the end of the 20th century, a surge of popularity sowed modern, swing dance scenes all around the world. There are now plenty of non-US hotspots, like Stockholm and Seoul, with robust dance communities. Lindy Hop also continues to thrive in the US, and in Harlem, where the dance never stopped.
SW!NG OUT presents social Lindy Hop and vernacular dance as a jazz, concert experience. It is a blend of prearrangement and improvisation, where only some of the steps are choreographed; only some of the music is on the page. Performers and spectators are invited to interpret the material in real time to share in the exhilaration of creation.
Even though Lindy Hop and vernacular jazz have been used in other productions for nostalgia or novelty, there has not been a touring, evening-length program celebrating what these dances have become. By assembling genuine, swing dance superstars in an improvisatory space, this show offers a unique glimpse into their universe: the modern, Lindy Hop scene.
For us, Lindy Hop tackles the issues of society-at-large, but in an arena of exaggerated humanity. Touch, trust, gender, history, intimacy, and partnership get ground together there, in the crucible of jazz, and they are reified as art. Our mission with SW!NG OUT is to search for perspective on these complexities while embracing the joy of jazz dance and music.
Thank you for joining us.
- The Braintrust: Evita Arce, LaTasha Barnes, Nathan Bugh, Macy Sullivan, Caleb Teicher, and Eyal Vilner
SW!NG OUT was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and was commissioned and created, in part, with the support of The Joyce’s Artist Residency Center, made possible by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Works & Process at the Guggenheim; the Center for the Arts at George Mason University; and Northrop at the University of Minnesota; with additional commissioning funds provided by The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation.
Additional creation support was provided by Deborah and Charles Adelman, Alpern Family Foundation, Sarah Arison, Michèle and Steve Pesner, and Anh-Tuyet Nguyen and Robert Pollock.
Music commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.
Evita Arce (Braintrust, Dancer), an internationally renowned Lindy Hop dancer and teacher, began her jazz journey in Austin, Texas (1998). Career highlights include representing Lindy Hop and competing on So You Think You Can Dance (2007), Let Freedom Swing with Jazz at Lincoln Center at the Kennedy Center (2009), performing in SWING! the musical (2008-2009), and her Broadway debut with Caleb Teicher for Regina Spektor’s run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater (2019). Evita was also featured in the Swing documentary Alive and Kicking (2016) which follows her path in the international Lindy Hop community. Co-directing with Michael Jagger, Syncopated City, debuted as the first Lindy Hop dance company to present at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Stage (2012-2013). Evita has danced for Caleb Teicher & Company since 2017, having performed in Meet Ella and More Forever. Over the course of the pandemic Evita has continued to teach Lindy Hop, Charleston and solo Jazz dance online at syncopatedcity.com. Thanks to her family, especially Simon, her mentors Ryan Francois and Jenny Thomas, the Vanaver Caravan, support from Mirra Bank and Richard Brockman, Elena Iannucci and Teddy Kern of Dance Manhattan - Evita's home for 10 years and the extraordinary cast of SW!NG OUT who are all an inspiration.
LaTasha “Tasha” Barnes (Braintrust, Dancer) is an internationally acclaimed and awarded dancer, educator, coach and ambassador of culture from Richmond, VA. She is globally celebrated for her musicality, athleticism, and joyful presence throughout the cultural traditions she bears which include: House, Hip-Hop, Waacking, Vernacular Jazz, and Lindy Hop. Her expansive artistic, competitive and performative skills have made her a frequent collaborator to Dorrance Dance, Singapore based Timbre Arts Group, Caleb Teicher & Company, Ephrat Asherie Dance, and many international Urban Arts and Jazz/Lindy Hop festivals like Summer Dance Forever and Paris Jazz Roots Festival. Accolades and accomplishments aside, Tasha’s forever purpose is to inspire fellow artists and art enthusiasts to cultivate an authentic sense of self in their creative expressions and daily lives.
Nathan Bugh (Braintrust, Dancer) is known worldwide for his intimately rhythmic style of Lindy Hop and vernacular jazz. He “rocked the stage" at Carnegie Hall, dancing Lindy Hop with the New York Pops Orchestra; he performed in Harlem’s famous Apollo Theater in Swingin' Frankie's Way; and he danced in the CT&Co's More Forever, at Jacob's Pillow. His on-film appearances include: My Fair Wedding S.3 E.3 - Great Gatsby Bride, Fox and Friends Christmas, Rebel In The Rye, and The Weepies - Be My Honey Pie. As a national jazz-dance competitor, Nathan has taken first place in Lindy, Slow Dancing, Solo Charleston, Team, Jill & Jack, Luck/Draw, and Cabaret divisions. He is one of the most eminent solo-jazz contestants in the world, having won both the Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown (2012) and International Lindy Hop Championships (2014), as well as achieving 3rd place in the ILHC invitational (2018). He was also the director and choreographer of Yeah Man, the 2015 ILHC Team champions.
Gaby Cook (Dancer) is a veteran Lindy Hopper of all stripes. For the last 15 years, she has been an active professional in the global lindy hop scene—teaching and performing for events such as Herräng Dance Camp, Lindy Focus, Paris Jazz Roots, Rock That Swing Festival, and the IG hop Dance Residency in Vienna among others. In addition to her career as a teacher, she is also a choreographer and performer. She is Artistic Director for two New York dance companies based in the language of swing and Vernacular Jazz: Wild Rhythm Dance Company and Gatsby Entertainment. These two companies have presented feature performances on stages like Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Series, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 92nd St Y, Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center, The Great Gatsby Party, plus many appearances at the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center. Wild Rhythm is a current dance company in residence at Brooklyn College through the CUNY Dance Initiative program for the 2019-2020 season.
Julieta Eugenio (Tenor Saxophone), is an Argentinian Saxophonist based in New York City. Julieta embedded herself into the Argentinian jazz scene and performed in renowned jazz venues in Buenos Aires alongside master musicians. In 2013, Julieta was accepted to study at Queens College for a Jazz Master’s degree in New York City. Following graduation, Julieta is playing alongside the finest jazz musicians worldwide and in the New York City jazz scene such as Johnny O'Neal, Eric Reed, Leon Parker, and more.
Julieta had the opportunity to perform on one of the most prestigious jazz broadcast radio stations in the US - WBGO, as well as being featured on a piece of ABC7 News nationwide alongside Master Philip Harper. In April 2017, Julieta Eugenio won the International Women in Jazz Competition as a member of the SIJ trio, and will perform at Saint Peter's Church for the IWJ Festival in NYC. Julieta has shared the stage multiple times with jazz legend Johnny O’Neal, where she was featured as part of his residencies at Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, Ginny’s Super Club, Smalls Jazz Club, Mezzrow and more. Over the last few years, Julieta had the opportunity to record with prestigious musicians such as David Kikoski, and Leon Parker, to name a few. In 2021, Julieta recorded her debut album (to be released soon) with her own compositions featuring Jonathan Barber and Matt Dwonszyk.
Erán Fink (Drums) is originally from Israel, where he attended the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts. His passion for music and jazz in particular then led him to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with jazz masters Ralph Peterson Jr., Hal Crook, Bob Gulotti, and Jamie Haddad, among others. Since moving to New York City in 2011, Fink has been active in the jazz, R&B, Ethiopian, and Afro-Cuban music scenes. He is a sought-after accompanist at the city’s top dance schools, including the Alvin Ailey School and the Martha Graham School.
Melanie George (Choreographic Advisor)
Laura Glaess (Dancer) started dancing in 2001 in San Antonio. It wasn’t a very large scene, and her teachers hadn’t been dancing very long, but she instantly fell in love with Lindy Hop, the music, the history, and everything involved. When we’re not in a pandemic, Laura travels the world teaching, competing, performing, and learning. She is a passionate believer in dancing with swing, with rhythm, and in pushing for something new while maintaining a connection with the original vintage context of Lindy Hop. She feels that honoring the history of the dance and its inventors is a crucial part of practicing the dance. She is madly in love with jazz music and movement and strives to convey that love to her students. She is also a strong believer that the best thing to do to get good at dancing is to DANCE. Classes are amazing and helpful, but they are merely supplemental to getting out there on the social dance floor and just doing it. Laura believes that the local scene is the backbone of the global community, so she is an active participant in her home music and dance communities. Laura is also an artist and works on blending her love of music and movement with a fine art medium. You can buy her prints at https://www.etsy.com/shop/lauraglaessart, her T-shirt designs at https://lauraglaess.threadless.com/, and you can see her latest routines and dance tutorials at https://www.youtube.com/c/lauraglaess.
As a California-based dancer with influences from Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, AJ Howard (Dancer) brings a unique style and energy to the Lindy Hop community. Getting introduced to the world of Lindy Hop at the age of 19, AJ quickly took an appreciation to dance which led to him running home, getting changed, and heading out to dance almost every day of the week after working his job at a car dealership. He burst into the scene in 2016, winning competitions throughout the US with his partner Jennifer, showing the dance world what Sacramento really had to offer! Competing at international events such as Camp Hollywood and the International Lindy Hop Championships, AJ became well known for his generous use of aerials paired with his energetic dancing. AJ has also had the honor of performing with dance groups such as HellaBlackLindyHop, San Francisco Jitterbugs, and the Midtown Stompers, and the privilege to spread his love of dance through teaching at Lindy Hop events in the US, on a Carnival Cruise ship, and overseas in countries such as Denmark and Sweden.
Playing swing music for swing dancers is Ian Hutchison's (Bass) passion - he's done it all over the world. His big sound and bouncing pulse make Ian one of the busiest swing and trad jazz bass players in New York City. Ian has played with a virtual who's who in the swing dance world, including Glenn Crytzer, Jonathan Stout, Naomi Uyama, and Gordon Webster. As a skilled social dancer, Ian is in a unique position to teach in-depth yet practical music classes to swing dancers. Ian has taught in NYC, Colorado, and Israel. Ian leads his own swing band Slap Happy; they've played at dance events in Florida, Colorado, NYC, and Canada. Originally from Colorado, Ian enjoys hiking and rock climbing whenever he can make room in his gig schedule. Ian studied jazz bass at the University of Denver.
Michael Jagger’s (Dancer) stage credits include South Pacific (associate choreographer, Chichester Festival Theater), two consecutive appearances at Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Festival with his dance company, Syncopated City, which he co-directed with his dance partner, Evita Arce. They were featured dancers for Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in Let Freedom Swing, a celebration of jazz for Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Kennedy Center, and again with the J@LCO for a tribute to Benny Goodman at the Rose Theater in NYC. As a principal dancer with Evita, he starred as Lindy Hop specialist in several productions of the Broadway musical Swing!, including regional productions at Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the California Music Circus in Sacramento and the 2008 Japanese tour.
Jennifer Nicole Jones (Dancer) is a New York City-based dancer. Originally from Akron, Ohio, she received a BFA in Dance Performance from Wright State University while performing with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Jennifer has performed in many regional and Off-Broadway productions.
Remy Kouakou Kouame (Dancer) fell into the swing pot at an early age. He has been an established teacher and performer for many years, traveling around the world to international camps and festivals, sharing his passion and knowledge. His approach to swing dances is special because it combines the authenticity and the respect of the dances – thanks to the education he learned from his elders – with an originality and creativity inspired by his experience with many other art forms, with the addition of some spicy madness that characterizes Remy! What he loves to share the most is the joy that dancing provides, as well as helping people find their unique voices. As an established competitor, Remy earned many awards in Boogie Woogie, Lindy Hop, and Solo Jazz. His teaching, dancing, and performing are very tainted by what he believes at the moment and can be changed from one month to another as he is not afraid of “thinking differently than the day before!”
John Lake (Trumpet) is a trumpet player and composer living in New York City, maintaining a busy performance schedule as a jazz soloist and in-demand lead trumpet player, and featured jazz soloist. In the thriving NYC big band scene, John has performed and recorded for numerous up-and-coming names including Remy Le Bouef, Steven Feifke, Jihye Lee, Eyal Vilner, Brian Krock, Angela Morris and Anna Webber, the Terraza Big Band, and many more. John released his debut jazz small group recording, Seven Angels, in June 2020, and continues to write and perform his own music across the US and internationally.
Brian Lawton (Understudy - Dancer) is a New York City-based dancer, instructor, choreographer, and director. He has an eclectic background in ballet, jazz, and modern as well as Latin and Ballroom dances with a specialty in the vernacular jazz dances of the 1920s-1940s. Brian has performed in Shakespeare in the Park’s Comedy of Errors, with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Madison Square Garden and in their recent music video Go Robot, and in Swing! at Gateway Playhouse. He has traveled around the world with his wife, Samantha Lawton (samanthaandbrian.com), teaching vernacular jazz, Charleston, and Lindy Hop. He was the Assistant Director/Choreographer of the new musical Part of the Plan (TPAC) as well as Assistant Director of Distant Thunder (A.R.T. /New York Theaters) both alongside Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and the Choreographer and Resident Director of the A Charlie Brown Christmas national tour. He most recently performed in an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and on The Tonight Show.
Brandon Lee (Trumpet 2) was born and raised in Houston, TX. Growing up in a musical family, Lee started on piano at age 5 and switched to trumpet at age 9. He found his love for jazz at the early age of 11 years old and never looked back. In 2001, Brandon moved to New York City to further pursue his jazz studies at The Juilliard School, where he received a Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Artist Diploma. After studying, Brandon taught at Juilliard as one of the youngest to ever teach on faculty in the jazz studies department, from 2008-12. Brandon then moved to North Carolina from 2013-2018 to pursue a college teaching position for the Miles Davis Studies program at University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). As a sideman, Brandon is a member of the Christian McBride Big Band, Birdland Big Band, David Berger Big Band and recently joined the Count Basie Orchestra. He also plays frequently with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider Orchestra, Fat Cat Big Band, Eyal Vilner Big Band, and many others. Over the years, Brandon has played with notable artists and groups including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Aaron Diehl and Cecil McLorin Salvant, Kurt Elling, the Kenny Barron Quintet, and many more. He has recorded on over a dozen albums as a sideman. In February 2018, Brandon was awarded his first Grammy as a sideman on Christian McBride’s big band album, Bringin’ It. As a leader, Brandon has recorded three albums: From Within (2007), Absolute-Lee (2010), and his latest, Common Thread (2017). Brandon also co-leads a 10-piece ensemble, Uptown Jazz Tentet (UJT). UJT released its first album, There It Is in March of 2017 and its second album, What’s Next in October of 2020. Currently, Brandon resides in New York City where he is continuing to pursue more performance-based opportunities in the city and abroad.
Saxophonist, composer, arranger, and Managing and Co-Artistic Director of Jazz Lives Philadelphia, Joshua Lee (Baritone) is fully dedicated to the advancement of the Philadelphia jazz community. Joshua graduated from Temple University in 2016 and 2019 with both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Jazz Performance. Joshua brings performance experience gained in the trenches of the Philly and New York scene that has been fostered by mentors like Barry Harris, Terell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Dick Oatts, and Gary Smulyan. In June of 2018, Joshua joined The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and currently performs with them around the world. He also is a regular substitute with groups like Terell Stafford’s Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Mingus Big Band, and Memo Acevedo's Manhattan Bridges Orchestra, and has had the privilege to travel around the country with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Delfeayo Marsalis, and the Upton Jazz Orchestra, and Orquestra Akokan. He, along with classmate Sarah Leonard, founded Jazz Lives Philadelphia in 2015—its mission being to celebrate Jazz in Philadelphia through performance, education, and community outreach. Since its existence, Jazz Lives Philadelphia has presented music in unconventional venues and given free jazz education master classes for thousands of Philadelphia school children. Joshua has taught Jazz at his high school alma mater Pennsbury since 2017, and joined the Jazz Faculty at Temple University in the fall of 2019.
Dee Daniels Locke (Dancer) started swing dancing at the age of four with her dad in the basement at her grandma’s dance parties, wearing her mom’s heels and her favorite plaid skirt. After a hiatus into Hip-Hop performance during her school years, she was called back to Lindy Hop, and co-founded her college swing dance club. She has become an influential member of the Minneapolis scene, teaching and mentoring. For two decades she has shared her love of Lindy Hop and Jazz with dancers young and old. Dee loves feeling free on the dance floor and advocates for self-expression and individual creativity as the true spirit of Lindy Hop and Vernacular Jazz. Weaving music and movement allows her expression. She dances for joy both in partnered or solo dancing, and searches for presence in each moment. She loves responding to the music and partner, priding herself on making each dance unique to the musical experience and partner, and creating an authentic dance conversation. She has taught, performed, and choreographed nationally and internationally, but mostly she wants to have a good dance, and she wants you to have a good dance.
Kelly Martin (Assistant Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer and associate based in New York. Martin is the lighting director for New York Theatre Ballet and writer/director/actor Ain Gordon. Design collaborations include performances by choreographers Richard Alston, Duncan Lyle, Kyle Marshall, Clove Galilee, Nicolo Fonte, Catherine Tharin, Julia Gleich, Tiffany Rea-Fisher, Garnet Henderson, Amanda Treiber, and Julian Donahue. He has lit numerous productions for The Bang Group, Co•Lab Dance, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and Boston Early Music Festival.
Joshua Mclean (Dancer) is a Lindy Hopper, educator, and tradition-bearer specializing in Lindy Hop, Charleston, and other swing era dances. He launched his professional career in 2015, appearing at events across nine countries and five continents to teach and perform. Notable appearances include Paris Jazz Roots, Lindy Focus, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. As an educator, Joshua enjoys providing fun and challenging classes for all ages and backgrounds. He recognizes Lindy Hop as part of the moving history of African American Social Dances, and seeks to connect dancers and audiences with both the art and movement traditions that Jazz music and dance have contributed to the world. Joshua is the Founder of HellaBlackLindyHop, and co-directs the company alongside Latasha Barnes. HBLH is a collective group of black dancers worldwide. We gather to support and learn from each other, to be a community, and uplift each other through performance, education, and fellowship.
Imani Rousselle (Vocals) is a Texas-born vocalist with a love for interpreting and delivering the message of lyric. Whether jazz standards or contemporary compositions, her voice invites you to follow along as she fills the spaces between the silence with carefully crafted sound. She currently resides in New York City, having graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in the spring of 2021. Prior to moving to NYC, Imani studied at Columbia College Chicago where she obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Voice as well as a double minor in environmental science and management. While in Chicago, she performed on many stages around the city including the legendary Jazz Showcase and The Green Mill, and since moving to New York just before the global shutdown, Imani was able to sing on stages such as the world famous Dizzy's Jazz Club, Clements Place, the Schomburg Center in Harlem, and more. She is excited to be joining the world's audiences again, *safely.*
Macy Sullivan (Braintrust, Understudy - Dancer) (Camas, WA) has the pleasure of working as a dancer, rehearsal director, and dance editor for Caleb Teicher & Company. She has also performed extensively with Dance Heginbotham and enjoyed projects with Merce Cunningham Trust, The Bang Group, The Chase Brock Experience, and Pat Catterson. As an assistant to Michelle Dorrance, John Heginbotham, and Chase Brock, she’s helped create and stage work at American Ballet Theatre, Dartmouth College, and Barnard College, respectively. Her own work has been performed through Works & Process Artists Virtual Commissions, Center for Innovation in the Arts, Judson Memorial Church, and The 92nd Street Y, and she’s been on creative teams as a movement specialist for theatre works by Tyne Rafaeli and Helen Cespedes. Passionate about teaching, she’s currently on faculty with Together in Dance, which brings creative movement residencies to public NYC elementary schools, and Dance for PD® , which offers free, specialized dance classes to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Sullivan holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School (Martha Hill Prize, John Erskine Prize, Choreographic Honors). In recent years, she’s fallen in love with Lindy Hop and is eagerly exploring both lead and follow roles.
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, costume designer Márion Talán de la Rosa (Costume Designer) has nurtured her work by collaborating with artists and innovators of dance, drama, and opera for over the last two decades. She has been the wardrobe supervisor and designer at the Juilliard School for 15 years and has designed at NYU Steinhardt School for approximately 13 years in collaboration with Joe Salvatore on plays and research-based performances including the Verbatim Performance Lab (VPL). Her most recent project of note is the GRAMMY-nominated Fire in My Mouth composed by Julia Wolfe and performed by The New York Philharmonic, The Crossing, and the Young People’s Choir of NY. This highly acclaimed piece was inspired by the New York Triangle Shirtwaist Fire that took place on March 25, 1911, and was performed with a symbolic 146 women’s choir. Other works include collaborations with choreographers Caleb Teicher, Sonya Tayeh and Bryan Arias, and has had work featured in Fall for Dance at City Center, BAM Next Wave Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, American Dance Festival, The Joyce, The Gibney, The New Victory Theater, the DUMBO Light Festival, and WHITE WAVE Festival among others. Márion is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
Caleb Teicher (Director, Braintrust, Dancer) is a NYC-based dancer and choreographer specializing in musically-driven dance traditions and interdisciplinary collaboration. Teicher began their career as a founding member of Michelle Dorrance’s critically acclaimed tap dance company, Dorrance Dance, while also freelancing in contemporary dance (The Chase Brock Experience, The Bang Group), Lindy Hop (Syncopated City Dance Company), and musical theater (West Side Story International Tour and London). As a solo performer and collaborator, Teicher is known for choreographic collaborations with diverse musical talents: world-champion beatboxer Chris Celiz, composer/pianist Conrad Tao, the National Symphony Orchestra, and indie rock legends Ben Folds and Regina Spektor. In 2015, Caleb shifted their creative focus towards Caleb Teicher & Company (CT&Co), a creative home for incubating new concert dance works from Teicher’s unique perspective. CT&Co’s engagements and commissions expand across the US and abroad including The Joyce Theater, New York City Center, the Guggenheim Museum (NYC and Bilbao), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Caleb is the recipient of a 2019 New York City Center Choreographic Fellowship, two Bessie Awards, a 2019 Harkness Promise Award, the 2020 Gross Family Prize, and a 2019 NEFA National Dance Project Production Grant. Their work has been featured by The New York Times, NPR, Forbes, Vogue, Interview Magazine, on the cover of Dance Magazine and, most recently, on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert alongside Regina Spektor. Caleb continues to engage with dance communities as a teacher for international tap, swing, and jazz dance festivals. // www.CalebTeicher.net // Instagram: @CalebTeicher
Jon Thomas (Piano), a graduate from The Juilliard School‘s Jazz department (MM ‘19) helmed by Wynton Marsalis, has performed with artists such as Charles Tolliver, Marquis Hill, Dominick Farinacci, Bruce Williams, Richie Goods, Jazzmeia Horn, and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, among many others. A staple in the New York City jazz scene, Thomas can be found at his bi-weekly residency at Smalls Jazz Club which he has hosted since 2015. He has been a student to pianists Aaron Goldberg, Dan Nimmer, Aaron Parks, and Taylor Eigsti. In 2012 Thomas was awarded The ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. Thomas is also a graduate of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (2015) and The Juilliard School (2019). Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he benefited from the city’s wide range of jazz veterans and swing-rooted tradition. Sonically, his sound harkens to the creative influences he’s adopted. Influences such as Kenny Kirkland, Wynton Kelly, and Mulgrew Miller are apparent muses and thus lend their sound to his style.
Eyal Vilner (Braintrust, Band Leader, Alto Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet) is one of the leading voices in the New York swing scene. Born in Tel Aviv, saxophonist, composer and bandleader Eyal Vilner moved to New York in 2007 and started his big band the following year. The Eyal Vilner Big Band has been performing widely at some of New York’s landmarks such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Swing 46, Midsummer Night Swing, Battle of the Big Bands on the Intrepid, Swing ReMix, The Django, Smalls, Minton’s Playhouse, and Central Park SummerStage. The big band performs Eyal’s new arrangements of jazz and swing tunes as well as his original compositions. Their music, which derives from the tradition of jazz, swing, and the blues, strives to bring a unique voice to this beautiful art form. The big band’s first four albums: Introducing the Eyal Vilner Big Band, Almost Sunrise, Hanukkah, and Swing Out! received rave reviews and made it to the Top Jazz Radio Charts of the US and Canada.
NYC/ATX based musician Ron Wilkins (Trombone) has been performing on tenor and bass trombones, euphonium, tuba, bass trumpet, and vocals for over forty years. He has performed at the highest levels touring around the world with his own groups as well as premiere artists including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, Dizzy Gilespie, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker, Wycliffe Gordon, and groups such as The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, The Mingus Big Band, and The Count Basie Orchestra. Ron is a Shires trombone artist and has released his latest album, Ron Wilkins-Trombocalist (Jazz Legacy Productions). For more listings, to purchase Ron's latest album, and for upcoming performances, videos, and educational tips, go to ronwilkins.net.
Joseph Wolfslau (Sound Designer) is a set, sound, and costume designer based in Brooklyn. Recent designs include production design for La Sonnambula (Promenade Opera), production design for Magnum Opus: A Retrospective (The People Movers), sound for The Emperor's Nightingale (Pan Asian Repertory Theatre), sound for The Peanut Butter Show (Little Lord), production design for Cendrillon (Promenade Opera), sound for Romulus the Great (Yangtze Rep.), sound for Brideshead Obliterated (Dixon Place), set, sound, and costumes for 410 [Gone] (Yangtze Rep), sound for CoIncident (JACK), sound for Ski End (New Ohio), sound for CoVenture (Baryshnikov), and set and costumes for Poor Sailor (Tugboat Collective).
Serena Wong (Lighting Designer) is a Brooklyn-based freelance lighting designer for theater and dance, whose work has been seen in the US and Europe. Most recently she has designed for choreographers Gemma Bond, Caleb Teicher, Jaamil Olawale Kosoko, and Netta Yerushalmy. She enjoys biking, beekeeping, and bread baking.
SW!NG OUT is a Joyce Theater Production generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
SW!NG OUT was commissioned and created, in part, with the support of The Joyce’s Artist Residency Center, made possible by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Works & Process at the Guggenheim; the Center for the Arts at George Mason University; and Northrop at The University of Minnesota; and with additional commissioning funds provided by The O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation. Additional creation support provided by Deborah and Charles Adelman, Sarah Arison, and Anh-Tuyet Nguyen and Robert Pollock. Music commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.
Production residency funded by the New England Foundation for the Arts' National Dance Project, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and the Mason Artist-in-Residence program, which is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts and the George Mason University Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Impact.