(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Dance on the Lawn, Montclair, NJ’s outdoor dance festival, will return for its tenth and final year, "Celebrating New Jersey." The Festival’s 2023 finale will take place on on Saturday, September 9th on the front lawn of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 73 S Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ, from 3:00pm-5:00pm. The festival is free.
Live performances will include acclaimed tap dancer Jason Samuels Smith, Nai-Ni Chen and Company, Maxine Steinman & Dancers, Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts and more. Also included in this year’s program will be the return of five of the six winners of the yearly Dance on the Lawn “Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer” award.
For ten years, Dance on the Lawn served as a showcase and mentoring launchpad for NJ and NY’s finest choreographic talent. The yearly DOTL Festival offered Montclair residents and neighboring communities a sneak peek at emerging and established artists from New Jersey and the New York area.
Founded by Montclair resident Charmaine Warren in 2014, Dance on the Lawn hoped 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.
“We have been fortunate to have had such a long and good run. As a dancer, teacher, writer and producer, my work has always been in New York City. However, I grew up and still live in New Jersey, and always hoped I could somehow bring the two together. Our mission was accomplished! For our final DOTL Festival we are delighted to celebrate the many talented New Jersey artists the state has to offer,” said Charmaine Warren, Founder and Artistic Director of Dance on the Lawn.
* 2023 DANCE ON THE LAWN LINEUP (subject to change):
New Jersey Schools:
Sharron Miller's Academy for the Performing Arts
Emerging Commissioned New Jersey Choreographers:
Robert Mark Dance – DOTL’s Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer - 2015
Kyle Marshall Choreography- DOTL’s Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer - 2016
Javier Padilla Movement Playground - DOTL’s Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer - 2018
Amber Sloan - DOTL’s Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer - 2021
William Ervin - DOTL’s Emerging Commissioned NJ Choreographer - 2022
New Jersey Professional:
Charmaine Warren, Dance on the Lawn founder, is also the founder/artistic director of Black Dance Stories. She was named the 2021 “Bessies Angel” and was a 2017 Bessie Award winner 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.
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 also acknowledges the support of dance company 10 Hairy Legs, which donated their net assets to DOTL following the company’s dissolution. The 10HL funding specifically supported the annual DOTL NJ Emerging Commissioned Choreographer award.
Photos by Tony Turner Photography