New Jersey Stage
New Jersey Stage on social media

New Jersey State Council on the Arts Names Allison Tratner as Executive Director Click here for the story!

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

By Spotlight Central

originally published: 06/23/2016

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

On Friday, June 17, 2016, Dance New Jersey, the state affiliate of the National Dance Education Organization, presented Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers, their second annual event showcasing NJ’s premiere up-and-coming dance creators. In Dance NJ’s Emerging Choreographers program, accomplished mentors partner with young choreographers from the Garden State selected via an online submission process to develop new works which have their world premieres at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ.

For the 2016 edition of Jersey (New) Moves, four winning choreographers — Ariel Grossman, Scott Willits, Kyle Marshall, and Kamille King — presented their unique, innovative, and visually stunning dance pieces to an enthusiastic audience at NJPAC’s intimate Victoria Theater. The choreographers were mentored by such accomplished members of the NJ metro dance community as Douglas Martin, Maurice Chestnut, Sylvia Waters, and Karen Love, who said about her experience working with the Emerging Choreographer program, “It is a joy to watch an artist discover their voice and to know you assisted in a small part of their journey.”

The first Jersey (New) Moves piece presented at NJPAC was “Waiting in the Leftovers,” choreographed by Kamille King of East Orange. Ms. King, a teaching artist-in-residence at Sharron Miller’s Academy for the Performing Arts in Montclair, was mentored by Karen Love, artistic director of Umoja Dance Company of Union.

Stated King about her experience, “The Emerging Choreographers Program is a platform for artists to create and share from the heart, work with seasoned mentors, and showcase their work in a beautiful venue. This program serves as a vehicle for choreographers to think beyond the movement and dive deep into content, motive and intention.”

In “Waiting in the Leftovers” — set to contemporary music by Kelela, James Blake, Max Richter, and Lapsly — King’s alluring creation of acrobatic twists and turns dictated the motion of each dancer’s beautifully sculpted muscles, exposing the emotion of the dance.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

The article continues after this ad


King’s vision also included pulsing light which illuminated the dancers as they slowly rose and grew to the beat right before each approving audience member’s eyes.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

The second piece of the evening, “A Father’s Love,” was created by Scott Willits of Jersey City. Mr. Willits, in his second season with Nimbus Dance Works, also in Jersey City, was mentored by the world-renowned tap dancer and choreographer Maurice Chestnut.

Willits, an accomplished dancer, acknowledges he wanted to become a choreographer because, as he explained, “I wanted to start creating material that was meaningful to me and wanted to create those life experiences and bring them into fruition.”

In “A Father’s Love” — featuring classical music by Antonio Vivaldi and Franz Liszt — the dancers traveled through space and time, moving as one, creating a telling tale of a special bond between a father and his daughter with fluid motion.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

Beginning with expressive hands reaching, touching, and comforting— then the dancers rolling, stopping, guiding, stretching, falling, lifting, holding, embracing, following, leaping into one another’s arms, and, ultimately, leaving — the talented duo gave the audience for “A Father’s Love” an opportunity to experience a very special love story.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

The third work, “Colored,” was created by Kyle Marshall of Jersey City. Marshall, a graduate of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts and a performer with various dance companies, was mentored by Sylvia Waters, Artistic Director Emerita of the world-famous Ailey II dance company in NYC.

When asked what spurred his interest in choreography, Marshall revealed, “I made dances from a very young age. I loved dancing in my living room as a child and would make and perform dances for talent shows, theater reviews, family parties or any chance a bunch of people were together.”

Marshall added, “Through my training as a dancer, the idea of being a choreographer continued to stay with me. The boundaries between maker and interpreter began to blur,” and further elaborated, “Being an interpreter and contributor forces me to consider how the dance feels in my body and how it may look from the outside. It is important to me for my dancers to also think of themselves as artists in my process.”

Marshall’s original piece, “Colored,” began with body percussion created by the three dancers on stage — at least until Kanye West’s “Flying Lotus” swooped into the piece, infecting the dancers’ beings. As small movements became larger and faster to match the beating of the music, bodies joined together and came apart to an internal rhythm, but with an obvious pulse as the performers continued the heartbeat of the dance even, at times, in pure silence.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

As white light changed to color, the music stopped and the mood intensified as an a cappella dance developed. The performers again created body percussion until it evolved into vocal sounds and, finally, simple words, each dancer showing his or her joy and freedom through stepping movements of sheer precision.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

“Undertow,” the final piece of the evening, was created by Ariel Grossman of Jersey City, who was mentored by Douglas Martin, Artistic Director of the American Repertory Ballet of Princeton, Cranbury, and New Brunswick, NJ.

Grossman is the artistic director and choreographer of Ariel Rivka Dance, an all-female contemporary dance company located in Jersey City where Grossman’s husband, David Homan, is executive director and composer-in-residence. Grossman says she wanted to be a choreographer early on in her professional dance career when she revealed, “I found myself much more interested in creating movement than learning movement,” and further went on to add, “Seeing how other dancers interpreted my movement won me over completely. The eight powerhouse women I work with now are a constant inspiration — especially when they do things I can’t!”

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

“Undertow,” with original music by Grossman’s husband, David, featured eight female dancers who filled the stage like blue-green waves of an ebbing and flowing ocean. Their fluid movements drew the audience into a magical world creating an undertow of beauty viewers could not escape.

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

Regarding the collaborative mentorship experience provided to her by Dance New Jersey, Grossman commented, “Working with a mentor — and such a smart and gracious one — helped shape the piece entirely. Douglas [Martin] asked questions and had a perspective I couldn’t and it allowed me to create a work that more clearly translates than my other work.” Grossman also summed up the feelings of her fellow choreographers when she further exclaimed, “To premier at NJPAC is such a gift!”

Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers

The unique collection of dances created by the emerging choreographers and experienced by the audience at NJPAC was true performance art — art that told stories, but without any use of words. This unspoken nature of individual stories allowed audience members to create their own dialogues and plots as each individual dance unfolded before their eyes, drawing every viewer in to another world through sight and sound and encouraging him or her to create his or her own personal narratives. These talented choreographers and their accomplished mentors — not to mention the skilled dancers on stage — created an evening of innovative and inspiring dance pieces, each fitting of the world premiere status afforded them via Dance New Jersey’s remarkable evening of Jersey (New) Moves!

For more information on Dance New Jersey, please go to For more on upcoming dance events at NJPAC — including Bring It Live on Aug. 4, 2016; Ailey Camp Newark on Aug. 10, 2016; and Carefree: Dancin’ with Fred & Ginger on Nov. 4 & 5, 2016 — please go to

Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

Love Imagery Fine Art Photography. all you need. peace/love/flower/power

For more by this author, click here

State Theatre Presents STOMP In January
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents the return of the smash hit, STOMP for three performanceson Friday, January 11, 2019 at 8:00pm and Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 2:00pm and 8:00pm. From its beginning days as a street performance in the UK, STOMP has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people.  Tickets range from $35-$98.  
NimbusPRESENTS Jersey City Nutcracker
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- For the 9th consecutive year, NimbusPRESENTS its local holiday favorite: Jersey City Nutcracker. Set to Tchaikovsky’s renowned orchestral score, Jersey City Nutcracker tells the story of two children’s city adventure, following them through fantasy, adversity, and celebration with lessons about friendship and community along the way. This year’s performances feature two exciting new components: video mapping and projection design by award-winning video artists Laia Cabrera & Isabelle Duverger. Also new: families can enjoy a pre-show Winter Carnival with games, concessions, and holiday craft vendors. Public performances run from Friday, December 14 to Saturday, December 22.
NJPAC Presents Bring It! LIVE - The Dance Battle Tour
(NEWARK, NJ) -- New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) presents Bring It! LIVE- The Dance Battle Tour, Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 8:00pm. Back by popular demand, legendary Coach Dianna Williams and the Dancing Dolls of Lifetime’s hit series Bring It! return with their 2019 live tour, an all-new, hotter-than-ever evening jam-packed with heart-pounding dance routines, lively audience interaction, and much more. Tickets range from $33.75 to $63.75.
State Theatre presents The Nutcracker performed by American Repertory Ballet With a live orchestra and choir
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents American Repertory Ballet's Nutcracker for five performances from December 21 through December 23. American Repertory Ballet (ARB) brings the beloved classic Nutcracker to the stage with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, stunning sets, thrilling choreography, and a cast of more than 100 performers.  All five American Repertory Ballet performances include a live orchestra and the Princeton Girlchoir.Tickets range from $25-$65. 
Peak Performances Presents "Smashed"
(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Peak Performances’ 2018-2019 season of genre-and-convention-defying performances continues with Smashed, Gandini Juggling’s acclaimed work inspired by the choreography of Pina Bausch, directed by Sean Gandini and assistant directed by Kati Ylä-Hokkala. Smashed comes to the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave., Montclair, NJ) December 13-16.

NJPAC's "The Hip Hop Nutcracker"
Celebrate the season with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center‘s holiday smash, “The Hip Hop Nutcracker.” Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet gets an urban makeover in this fresh retelling of the timeless tale. With contemporary dance moves and a New York City backdrop, this festive tradition feels new once again. Join Jesse and Dave as they talk to the creators of this bold show, which explodes onto the stage in Newark on Friday, December 14.
It's a Shore Holiday: The Atlantic City Ballet LIVE! at Caesars
On Saturday, November 24, 2018, The Atlantic City Ballet celebrated Christmas early with a production of It’s a Shore Holiday at the Circus Maximus Theatre located inside Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ.
Dracula: The Atlantic City Ballet LIVE! at Lakewood’s Strand Theater
On Saturday, Oct 21, 2018, The Atlantic City Ballet celebrated Halloween early with their production of Dracula at The Strand Theatre in Lakewood, NJ.
Ballet, Boxing and Street Dance Gangs?! An Artist Profile of Mark Roxey
Mark Roxey’s been thrown in a garbage can, part of street dance gangs (who knew those were really real?!) and spends a whole lot of time in the boxing gym. He is also the founder and director of the Roxey Ballet Company, associate director of The Mill Ballet School, and has had a distinguished career with numerous American dance companies, including The Joffrey Ballet. You have to hear Mark’s story in our latest artist profile.
Swan Lake: The Atlantic City Ballet LIVE! at The Strand Lakewood
On Saturday, September 22, 2018, The Atlantic City Ballet presented their version of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at The Strand Theatre in Lakewood, NJ. Featuring spellbinding choreography by Phyllis Papa, the talented members of the ACB transported an enthusiastic audience of all ages to another world, and Love Imagery was on hand to capture the magic in this photo-essay.

Event calendar
Thursday, Dec 13, 2018


PROJECT/OBJECT @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

JERRY BLAVAT @ Lobby Bar at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 12:00pm

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:30pm

BRIAN FALLON @ Crossroads (Garwood), Garwood - 8:00pm

The Irish Tenors Holiday Celebration @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 7:30pm

BREAKING BENJAMIN @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 7:00pm


Elf, The Musical @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 2:00pm

An Actor's Carol @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 7:30pm

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn @ Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn - 1:30pm and 7:00pm

Hudson Theatre Works presents "And My True Love Gave To Me" @ Hudson Theatre Works, Weehawken - 8:00pm


On the Map @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:30pm


Holiday Open Mic Night! @ Black Box Performing Arts Center, Teaneck - 7:30pm

View all events


For more on our awards, click here

New Jersey Stage © 2018 by Wine Time Media, LLC | PO Box 140, Spring Lake, NJ 07762 (732) 280-7625 |

Images used on this site have been sent to us from publicists, artists, and PR firms.
If there is a problem with the rights to any image, please contact us and we will look into the matter.