Founded in 2011 by MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient and artistic director Michelle Dorrance, Dorrance Dance aims to honor tap dance’s uniquely beautiful history in a new and dynamically compelling context, not by stripping the form of its tradition, but by pushing it rhythmically, aesthetically and conceptually.
Street, club, and experimental dance forms – all of which are American dreams – awake to the sound of furious rhythms and find their boundaries missing. Tap dance, America’s longest-standing indigenous jazz vernacular, is here to receive its due. Mentored by Gene Medler, Michelle Dorrance grew up performing with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and has since appeared with STOMP, Savion Glover’s ti dii, Manhattan Tap, Barbara Duffy & Co, JazzTap Ensemble, Rumba Tap, Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer, Mable Lee’s Dancing Ladies, Harold Cromer’s original Opus One, Derick Grant’s Imagine Tap and Jason Samuels Smith’s Charlie’s Angels/Chasing the Bird.
Her choreography has been featured around the world. In 2015, Dorrance Dance with Toshi Reagon and BIGLovely won a Bessie Award for their show The Blues Project. The company’s inaugural performance garnered a 2011 Bessie Award for “blasting open our notions of tap.”
Click here to read a personal note about Michelle Dorrance and Dorrance Dance from McCarter's Director of Special Programming, Bill Lockwood.