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2019 Dance On The Lawn

originally published: 08/21/2019

2019 Dance On The Lawn

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) --  Dance on the Lawn, Montclair, NJ’s outdoor dance festival, will return to the front lawn of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 73 South Fullerton Avenue, on Saturday, September 7 from 3:00pm-5:00pm. Artists include Stephanie Rae Williams of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Maurice Chestnut/Dance Therapy, 10 Hairy Leges, and more. Admission is free. 

A premiere showcase and mentoring Launchpad for NJ and NY’s finest choreographic talent, Dance on the Lawn offers Montclair residents and neighboring communities a sneak peek at emerging and established artists from New Jersey and the New York area.

Celebrating its sixth anniversary year, Dance on the Lawn 2019 will feature performances by more than 10 New Jersey and New York dance companies and schools. The 2019 Festival will also include a new work by Oluwadamilare 'Dare' Ayorinde, a Nigerian American freelance dancer and choreographer living in New Jersey. Also included is an original work performed by Stephanie Rae Williams, currently in her tenth season with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Stephanie will appear in Verdant, coined as "delightful" by Dance Theatre of Harlem's Artistic Director Virginia Johnson. Oluwadamilare is the fifth recipient of Dance on the Lawn’s “Emerging NJ Commissioned Choreographer” award.

“I participated in the past with Kyle Marshall Choreography as a dancer and can attest to how ‘Dance On The Lawn’ gave a sense of community and mentorship that wove its way into the dance itself. I am excited to deepen relationships as I present new work in New Jersey. I am grateful for the support to continue my creative research from a place that values dance, community, joy and how they intersect. In spaces like this you can release into the push and pleasure of your work.” - Oluwadamilare 'Dare' Ayorinde


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Oluwadamilare (Dare) Ayorinde is a Nigerian American freelance dancer and choreographer living in New Jersey, Oluwadamilare graduated from Rutgers University where he received The Marjery J. Turner Prize for Choreography. He has worked with Colleen Thomas, Bill Young, Netta Yerushalmy, Company SBB, Kayla Farrish, Douglas Dunn, The Trisha Brown Dance Company and his dear friends Kyle Marshall and Miriam Gabriel + Carlo Antonio Villanueva. He has taught workshops at Recess, Teaneck High School and assisted teaching for Kyle Marshall Choreography at Desales University and Mulhenburg College. He finds inspiration in the artistic markings and dancing of Myssi Robinson.

Stephanie Rae Williams began her training at Dallas Dance Academy with Lyndette Galen and Fiona Fairrie. She is currently in her tenth season with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has danced with The Francesca Harper Project, Complexions Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Black, and Texas Ballet Theatre, where she made her professional debut. She trained summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Springboard Danse Montreal, The Juilliard School, Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, and Houston Ballet Academy. Ms. Williams received the 2017 Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence, was featured in Dance Magazine's "On the Rise" in the August 2013 edition, and she was a Oprah Winfrey Fellowship recipient at the Ailey School, a 2006 National Foundation for the Arts Award Winner, a 2006 Youth America Grand Prix Finalist, and a 2004 Texas Commission on the Arts Young Master. Stephanie Williams is here courtesy of Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The 2019 Dance on the Lawn LINEUP (program subject to change):







MIGNOLO DANCE (Charly & Eriel Santagado/Metuchen);

FREESPACE DANCE (Donna Scro - Artistic Director/Montclair) 

MAURICE CHESTNUT/DANCE THERAPY (Maurice Chestnut/Artistic Director/Newark)

10 HAIRY LEGS (Randy James -Artistic  Director (Highland Park)    


Stephanie Rae Williams of DANCE THEATRE OF HARLEM


Dance on the Lawn was founded by Montclair resident Charmaine Warren in 2014, hoping to increase New Jersey’s exposure to dance by bringing professional and emerging companies, plus students of dance from around the state, together to perform in a community setting. In addition to offering presentation opportunities, Dance on the Lawn created an “Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer” and mentor program to help support young, emerging artists.

Charmaine Warren is a recipient of a 2017 Bessie Award for "Outstanding Performance," as part of The Skeleton Architecture Collective. She is also winner of the Dance NJ’s JETÉ AWARD, in honor of founding the Dance on the Lawn Festival. Dance NJ is the service organization committed to advocating the excellence of dance and dance education in the state. Ms. Warren, together with Laura Marchese, DOTL Managing Director, are the guiding force behind "Dance on the Lawn: Montclair's Dance Festival.” Ms. Marchese is a recipient of a NJ Governor's Arts in Education Distinguished Teaching Artist Award. In 2018, Ms. Marchese received national recognition as a Master Teaching Artist in Dance by Young Audiences Arts for Learning.  

The New Jersey State Arts Council has given four awards to Dance on the Lawn artists: Nancy Turano, Artistic Director, NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble, DOTL artist since 2014-2018; Kyle Marshall, DOTL 2016 "Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer" recipient; Lauren Connolly, DOTL 2017 "Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographer" recipient; and Hillary-Marie, Choreographer/Director FutureSTEP Tap Company, DOTL 2017 participating artist.

DANCE ON THE LAWN has presented a series of “Garden Dances” as part of their “6 Months to Our 6th Season” campaign. “Garden Dances” brings together local lovers of dance to raise funds for DOTL’s upcoming fall festival. Jessica and Quincy Troupe, longtime supporters of the program, served as “Garden Dances” hosts in May; Debbie and Frank Gibbons hosted the program in June. Both the Troupes and Gibbons’ are Montclair residents. 

PHOTO: L: 'Dare' Ayorinde, DOTL’S 2019 "Emerging commissioned New Jersey Choreographer";  R - Stephanie Rae Williams, Dance Theatre of Harlem in "Verdant"

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