New Music for Dance

Omomuki's New Music for Dance program provides funding to choreographers and dance companies to commission original music and its live performance.

2022 Recipients

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Jordan Lloyd + Ryan Wolf

"JEROME," choreographed by Jordan Lloyd with original music by Ryan Wolfe and  live saxophone accompaniment by Joseph Alan Johnson. Performed by Bree Breeden, Wendell Gray II, Mia Martelli, Mykel Marai Nairne, José Lapaz Rodriguez, and Kennedy Thomas. A free public performance held June 2nd and 3rd at the Stephen Decatur Middle School 35 schoolyard in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

2021 Recipients

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Gibney Company + Sonya Tayeh +The Bengsons

"Oh Courage," performed by Gibney Company with choreography by Sonya Tayeh and new music by The Bengsons, premiered in November 2021 at The Joyce Theater in New York City. Gibney Company is a New York City-based performing arts and social justice organization that taps into the vast potential of movement, creativity, and performance to effect social change and personal transformation. Sonya Tayeh has received two Emmy nominations for Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” and a Tony award for her work in Moulin Rouge! on Broadway. Abigail and Shaun Bengson are a married composing and performing duo who have performed around the world. Three of their singles have been featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX).

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Ni’Ja Whitson

Ni’Ja Whitson is a Los Angeles-based choreographer, interdisciplinary artist and writer. They are one of two recipients of Omomuki’s New Music for Dance grants, which will fund the commissioning and live performance of original music for an upcoming work to premier at New York Live Arts. Ni’Ja has been a student and practitioner of indigenous African ritual and resistance forms for two decades, creating work that reflects the sacred in street, conceptual, and interdisciplinary performance. They are the recipient of the Creative Capital and Bessie awards and a United States Artists 2021 Fellow. Ni’Ja is also an Assistant Professor at University of California Riverside.

Parsons Dance + Chanel DaSilva + Cristina Spinei

“On the Other Side,” performed by Parsons Dance with choreography by Chanel DaSilva and new music by Cristina Spinei, premiered in July 2021 at the Fire Island Dance Festival and was performed at The Joyce Theater in New York City in December 2021. Parsons Dance is a contemporary American dance company renowned for its energized, athletic ensemble work. Chanel DaSilva is a Brooklyn native who is inspired to create works that are rooted in the beauty of artistic expression to reflect the complex and multifaceted experience of what it means to be human. Cristina Spinei has written for orchestras and chamber ensembles, and is best known for her music commissioned by numerous ballet companies.

2020 Recipient

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Ayodele Casel

Ayodele Casel was described by Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world.” She is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and of The William Esper Studio. Casel has has been creating and presenting her own works since 1999 and has performed at New York City Center, The White House, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, and Madison Square Garden. She is the recipient of the 2017 Hoofer Award and of the 2018-2019 Artist in Residence at Harvard University; was named one of The New York Times’ Biggest Breakout Starts of 2019; and is a 2019-2020 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The Omomuki grant funded the creation of her original work “Oscar Joy,” which premiered at the 2020 (virtual) Fire Island Dance Festival.

2019 Recipients

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Michelle Dorrance, Dorrance Dance

Michelle Dorrance is a New York City-based tap dancer and choreographer, and founder of Dorrance Dance. The Omomuki grant funds Michelle’s original work Destination Moon, which premiered at the 2019 Fire Island Dance Festival with Dorrance Dance and former New York City Ballet principal dancer Robbie Fairchild. She is a 2018 Doris Duke Artist, 2018 Capezio Award winner, 2017 Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellow, 2016-17 New York City Center Choreography Fellow, 2016 United States Artists Award recipient, 2015 MacArthur Fellow, 2014 Alpert Award winner, 2013 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award winner, 2012 Princess Grace Award winner, 2012 Field Dance Fund recipient, and 2011/2015 Bessie Award winner.

2018 Recipients

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Jeffrey Cirio, Cirio Collective

Cirio Collective, founded by American Ballet Theatre principal and choreographer Jeffrey Cirio and Boston Ballet Principal Lia Cirio, was created in the summer of 2015 to explore and develop new choreography. The Omomuki grant funds in part Jeffrey Cirio’s original work Tornerai?, the world premier of which was performed at the 2018 Fire Island Dance Festival. Cirio Collective has performed at Vineyard Arts Project, Cape Dance Festival, Hudson Valley Dance Festival, Dance at Socrates, and the Joyce Theater. Jeffrey has received the Jadin Wong Award of the Asian American Arts Alliance and Joffrey Academy’s 6th Annual Winning Works Choreographic Competition. He has been commissioned to choreograph works for Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and the Joyce Theater.

2017 Recipients

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Alexandre Hammoudi & Manuel Vignoulle, Makers Dance Company

Makers Dance Company was founded in 2017 by American Ballet Theater (ABT) soloist Alexandre Hammoudi. It is currently comprised of members of ABT Corps de Ballet dancers from China, France, Japan, and Korea. Makers Dance Company is combining the beauty and bravado of ballet with modern ideas and movement. Its repertoire is inspired by historical tales, fictional stories, and non-fictional events. The Omomuki Foundation commissioned Makers Dance Company’s inaugural work Tatakai, which was choreographed by Manuel Vignoulle and premiered at the 2017 Fire Island Dance Festival in New York.

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Chien-Hao Chang

Chien-Hao Chang is a dancer and choreographer from Taiwan and a former member of the Bulareyaung Dance Company, He creates original work for CHANG Dance Theater, which he founded with his two brothers in 2011. In their debut performance, CHANG Dance Theater presented choreography by Tsung-Lung Chen, and Mr. Chang received a Taishin Arts Award for his performance. In 2014, with support from the Ministry of Culture, Mr. Chang participated in the International Choreographers Residency Program at the American Dance Festival, where he developed a new work titled “Hui.” Mr. Chang’s first solo work, Hui has since been presented at a number of international dance festivals in Asia and Europe. The Omomuki grant subsidizes a grant from the Asian Cultural Council and enabled Mr. Change to study in New York for six months in 2016 - 2017.

2016 Recipients

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Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists

A native of Taiwan, Ms. Sheu is a former Principal Dancer for Martha Graham Dance Company. The Omomuki grant funded Ms. Sheu’s July 2016 Creation Week in Taipei, which brought together twelve dancers from Taiwan, China, Korean, and Mongolia and resulted in performances in November 2016 at Beijing’s National Performing Arts Center. She has been praised by the New York Times as the finest present-day embodiment of Martha Graham’s technique and tradition. She has received numerous awards including the 2005 President’s Order of Brilliant Star (Taiwan), the 2007 National Award for the Arts (Taiwan), and Ballettanz Magazine’s 2008 Outstanding Female Dancer. She was the first Asian artist-in-residency at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. She is the founder of Fang-Yi Sheu & Artists.

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Po-Lin Tung

Mr. Tung is a London-based dancer. He spent four years in the Dance Department of Taipei National University of the Arts. Since then he has performed in Taiwan, the US, and Mexico with Fang Yi Sheu and Artists, the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet, Tania Perez Salas Dance Company, Ballet Inc., and Zest Collective Contemporary Performing Arts. He joined Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in September of 2015. Omomuki provided travel funds that assisted Mr. Tung in training with Tania Perez Salas Dance Company and performing with them at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and at the Los Angeles Music Center in June 2015; and a travel grant to The Netherlands and England to study and audition for European dance companies, leading to his current position with Wayne McGregor | Random Dance.