Taeler Cyrus in American Dance Machine for the 21st Century’s “The Music and the Mirror” from “A Chorus Line.” (Video capture via Vimeo/American Dance Machine 21)
With Broadway performances on hold since March 12, 2020, and ballet companies on hold, the entire dance community looks forward to resuming performances and welcoming audiences safely back into the magical world of live dance and theater. We all need “Somebody to Dance For!”
With that in mind, and to showcase American Dance Machine for the 21 st Century’s mission, Nikki Feirt Atkins, ADM21’s Producing Artistic Director, in collaboration with Tony Award-winner Donna McKechnie as Creative Consultant, who created the role of Cassie in Michael Bennett’s A Chorus Line, have developed this virtual performance film of “Music and the Mirror” featuring 27 of ADM21’s talented company of Broadway and ballet star dance artists.
The dancers filmed themselves in locations around the country, all sharing the same yearning for the joyful return of live performances in front of an audience.
“The Music and the Mirror, originally conceived as a solo, has always made a powerful statement to dancers everywhere. It is also, I believe, a powerful metaphor for everyone today who is living through this pandemic and these troubled times. Having these 27 amazing artists bring their personal style and magic to the number is a wonderful example of the depth of meaning of Michael Bennett’s iconic creation,” said Donna McKechnie, “I was inspired by these dancers and their contributions, and I am thrilled to have been a part of this project which continues my long-standing collaboration with ADM21.”
“The dancers worked so hard to learn and film the various segments within the number, and having Donna’s amazing and precise collaboration was so inspiring to all of us. ADM21’s mission is to create a “Living Archive” of great musical theater choreography by recreating iconic works as they were originally intended, but given the challenges of making this film during these difficult times, it made perfect sense to be creative – to reimagine this iconic solo utilizing many dancers, both male and female, while paying tribute to the original choreography!” said Nikki Feirt Atkins.
The dancers appearing in the film are (in alphabetical order) Darius Barnes, * LaJeromeny Brown, Peter Chursin ( King Kong ), Taeler Cyrus ( Hello, Dolly! – 2017), Alexa DeBarr ( West Side Story – 2020), Deanna Doyle ( Tuck Everlasting ), Alyssa Epstein, Sara Esty ( An American in Paris ), Robbie Fairchild ( An American in Paris ), Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Mara Davi Gaines, Shonica Gooden ( Cats – 2016), Stephen Hanna ( Billy Elliot ), Naomi Kakuk ( The Producers ), Akina Kitazawa, *Maria Kowroski, Eloise Kropp ( Cats – 2016), Jess LeProtto ( Carousel – 2018), Cory Lingner ( Matilda ), Cathy Lubash, Sarah Meahl ( Kiss Me Kate – 2019), *Georgina Pazcoguin, ( Cats – 2016), David Prottas ( Carousel – 2018), Tommy Scrivens, Ryan Steele ( Carousel – 2018), Samantha Sturm ( My Fair Lady – 2018), and Michael Williams ( My Fair Lady – 2018). * These dancers appear courtesy of New York City Ballet.
Viewers of the film can donate to American Dance Machine at http://bit.ly/adm21matm
Twenty percent of all funds raised by the film will be donated evenly to The Actors Fund and Black Theatre Coalition.
A Chorus Line was originally conceived and directed by Michael Bennett and originally choreographed by Michael Bennett and Bob Avian. Music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Ed Kleban.
Watch Donna McKechnie: