Joe Lanteri's New NYC Professional Performance Showcase

by Michael Mahany | 3/26/2019 6:01 PM

The Professional Performance Workshop at Steps On Broadway. Photo credit: Dance Biren/Dance Network.

Under the guidance of Executive Director, Joe Lanteri, Steps On Broadway is now featuring what the studio hopes will be a recurring professional choreography and performance showcase that focuses on and features some of the best and most promising talents of the illustrious dance school’s students and teachers.

“This showcase is the culmination of Steps’ new Professional Performance Workshops, which highlights the talents of our faculty, guest artists, and dancers,” a statement in the program from last Thursday evening’s performance.

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The inaugural showcase featured works choreographed by Step’s Daniel Catanach, Billy Griffin, Mathew Lopez, Melissa Ramos, Max Stone, Shea Sullivan, and guest choreographer Dwight Rhoden of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

The showcase, which took place at Steps On Broadway’s upper west side location, gave each of the dancemakers an opportunity to feature new work on a cast of brightly pliable and able dancers from studio's vast pool of talent.

Guest choreographer Dwight Rhoden, whose work was performed first, offered a piece called “Pocket Symphony” with dancers Thomas Dillery and Tatiana Melendez -- both of Rhoden’s company, Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

Choreographer Shea Sullivan (right). Photo credit: Dance Biren/Dance Network

Shea Sullivan, known for her work both successfully choreographing for 'Miss America' competition winners and theatre in New York City, set the movement to a piece titled “Le Jazz Hot” to the music of the Henri Mancini song from “Victor/Victoria” the musical. Sullivan’s dancers included Brianna Anderson, Beth Conely, Stephanie Jaworowicz, Lizzy Legregin, Kate Rose Reid, Isabel Subacz, and Lauren Treat.

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Former Urban Ballet Theatre artistic director Daniel Catanach choreographed three pieces for the evening’s showcase: “Everybody Every body”, “Everyone Passes bye”, and “Dost Thou” inspired by Shakespeare’s “Measure For Measure”. Of Catanach’s three contributions, two included original live music written by Bradley Harris and performed by Harris on piano and Jonny Linn on Cello. Dancers Miranda Bishop, Richard Gomez, Tanner Kirol, Oscar Manzo, Elisabeth Murray Martin, Leo McGrath, Olivia Miranda, Cheska Reyes, Jeffrey Salce, Sophie Sea Silnicki, and Ava Wiener, performed in Catanach's three works.

Matt Lopez (left), Melissa Ramos (center) and Joe Lanteri. Photo credit: Dance Biren/Dance Network.

Married choreographers Matt Lopez and Melissa Ramos contributed a selection titled “Can’t Relate” with dancers Anna DeRusso, Rose Farkash, Wendy Hobbie, Sarah Huyck, Kit Knapp, Nicolette Rivera, and Tomoko Shima, to the  DaniLeigh song of the same name and “Twerk” by City Girls.

Dancers Responding To AIDS’s Hudson Valley Dance Festival choreographer Billy Griffin, along with his associate Alicia Newcom, presented “History Repeating” with dancers Meri Bobber, Kayla Hendricks, Abbey Hunt, Alexandra Jenkins, Svetlana Khoruzzhina, Michelle Morris, Nicole Rondeau, Jaclyn Scerbak, Paige Sealey, Megumi Shimoda, Emily Snouffer, and Kylie Treacy.

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Broadway performer and widely respected university educator Max Stone’s piece “SUMbody” featured dancers Nick Daley, Maggie Golder, Molly Gray, Emily Guerard, Lillian Katz, Emily Knieriem, Elisabeth Murray Martin, Jenn Miller, Fabricia Miterhof, Yume Mitsui, Honoka Usui, and Mayu Yamashita.

From the Professional Performance Workshop at Steps On Broadway. Photo credit: Dance Biren/Dance Network.

Joe Lanteri, who took on the job of executive director and co-owner of Steps On Broadway late last autumn, is also the Executive Director and a faculty member of New York City Dance Alliance. 

Lanteri, who seemingly never stops and works tirelessly to help the next generation of dancers, curated the professional showcase event at Steps while in the midst of NYCDA’s annual 24-city convention tour and his continuing charitable work with Dance Alliance’s Foundation.

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“It’s such an incredible opportunity to be given that gift to make a difference,” Lanteri told Dance Network in an interview in January. “So, I don’t know what that next step [for me] might be, I’m not looking for a 'next step', but, if there’s an opportunity that feels like I need to be involved because it’s going to help me help another young dancer, chances are I'm going to say yes.” 

Steps On Broadway was founded as a one-room studio space in 1979 and has since grown into one of the most revered training grounds for dancers in New York City. Since a 1984 relocation to its current multi-studio space on Manhattan’s west 74th Street, it has "maintained a teaching roster of internationally celebrated dance professionals that mirrors the history of dance in the late 20th century.”

Michael Mahany serves as Dance Network’s New York City correspondent. He is also a professional actor, singer, dancer, writer, and host. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, or Facebook.

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