‘Exit. Joy. Love.’ A dance festival on Little Island.

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Among the younger generation of the festival are Tomoe Carr – she specializes in hip-hop, house, waacking, lock, popping and break – and Eddie Hernandez. Casel and Beard met Hernandez, a Latin dancer, during a presentation of Encores! Off-Center in downtown New York. “He was about 10 years old and just lovely and so talented,” Casel said. “It is only joy. He is 14 years old.

In “Don’t Call It a Comeback,” 75-year-old tap dancer Hank Smith and hip-hop veteran Rokafella will join Beard and others on stage – and, for some, claim their identities as both. ‘interpreters. Another program features premieres by Josh Prince, Ray Mercer, Darrell Moultrie, and Tiffany Rea-Fisher, inspired by Casel’s prompts “I Am”, “I Believe”, “I Fight For” and “I Fight For”. And the always captivating Casel, joined by five tap dancers and an orchestra, will host her own program.

“With the young people, with the older people, with the percussive dance, I like the idea of ​​saying that this is all beautiful – it all deserves to be in the center,” Beard said. And to be at the center, you need the right conditions.

For percussive dance, wooden floors are ideal but difficult to access, both in the studio and on stage. On Little Island, Casel was asked what type of soil is needed, not just for his festival, but for the venue. They took his advice. “They bought a floating floor the size of a large amphitheater,” she said. “I have struggled for years to try to make sites understand the importance of a good surface for the work that we do. When I consider how many times I had to pay out of my own artist fees for a floor rental? It’s huge, huge progress.”

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