Sonya Tayeh is a New York City based choreographer and teacher.
Tayeh hardly whispers in the movement she creates, she screams. An undeniable force in the dance world, her work is a tribute to her Detroit roots — a constant yet grounding influence that inspires her to create aggressive, sometimes jarring, emotional, and powerful choreography with an underlying sense of angst and a persistent embodiment of technical facility. Since paving her professional career, her work has been characterized as androgynous and even excessive – a blend of powerful versatility and theatrical range.
She has gleaned accolades for her work across the worlds of commercial, theater, and concert dance, including two Emmy nominations for Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance (2015 and 2013), and the 2014 Lucille Lortel Award and an Obie Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for her work on David Henry Hwang’s dance-play “Kung Fu”, for which she also received a Drama Desk nomination.
Her range of choreographic credits include: Andrew Lippa’s Wild Party(City Center Encores! / Dir. Leigh Silverman); Martha Graham Dance Company’s 2015 “Lamentation Variation” series (The Joyce Theater); Iphigenia in Aulis (Classic Stage Company / Dir. Rachel Chavkin); The Last Goodbye (Old Globe / Dir. Alex Timbers); Kung Fu (Signature Theatre/Dir. Leigh Silverman); Cirque du Soleil’s “Walk for Water” (premiered in Las Vegas)
Jo Lampert is a multi-disciplinary performer, producer, and DJ based out of Brooklyn, NYC. She most recently toured the world with the band tUnE-yArDs, back-up singing and dancing for their newest album Nikki Nack. She has been seen in such New York productions as New York Animals (Bedlam, The New Ohio), Iphegenia In Aulis (Classic Stage Company, Dir. Rachel Chavkin), Plum De Force (Bushwick Starr), Good Year for Hunters (Ice Factory Festival, The New Ohio), The Last Goodbye (The Wild Project / Joe’s Pub); Dance, Dance Revolution (Dir. Alex Timbers / Ohio Theatre); and NYC workshops, including Robin (Ars Nova, Shaina Taub commission), Murder Ballad (MTC) and Fun Home (Public Theater). Regionally, her most recent credits include The Bengsons’ Hundred Days (Know Theatre & Z Space / Dir. Anne Kauffman), Marie Antoinette (A.R.T. / Yale Rep, Dir. Rebecca Taichman), Prometheus Bound (A.R.T., Dir. Diane Paulus), and The Last Goodbye (Williamstown Theater Festival).
Lampert is currently also a member of a newly formed creative collective, the real make, alongside performer/composers Abigail and Shaun Bengson and choreographer Sonya Tayeh. Together they are about to embark a number of upcoming projects including The Lucky Ones, a Bengsons commission through Ars Nova, and you’ll still call me by name, a 2016/17 Tayeh commission and residency through New York Live Arts. Lampert plays roles of performer, co-creator, creative director, and others alongside her collaborators. The group is figuring out ways to tell very personal, simultaneously universal, stories through concert, symphony, dance, and theater.
The Bengsons (Abigail Nessen Bengson & Shaun McLain Bengson)
Married duo The Bengsons blend soaring vocals, frenetic rhythms and rousing all-join-hands choruses to create a new hybrid of indie-folk/art/theater performances. Their Americana-influenced brand of indie-folk has received accolades from fans and critics alike. The Bengsons have appeared at such venues as Joe’s Pub (NYC), NYU’s Skirball Center (NYC), 92YTribeca (NYC), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA), FlynnSpace (Burlington, VT), Z Space (San Francisco), On The Boards (Seattle), Artists Rep Theater (Portland, OR), Know Theater (Cincinnati, OH), and the Market Theater (Johannesburg, South Africa).
As activists and teachers, The Bengsons have worked everywhere from the prestigious halls of Williams College to NYC’s special-ed public schools, from the hills of Tennessee to the Cambodian immigrant communities of Massachusetts. They have taught and worked internationally at the Market Theater Lab (Johannesburg, ZA), the Tijuana Christian Orphanage (Tijuana, Mexico), and ASAPROSA (Santa Ana, El Salvador).
Their indie folk opera, Hundred Days (Z Space, San Francisco; Know Theatre, Cincinnati) was awarded the TBA Award for Best New Musical. They have been featured on national television on So You Think You Can Dance (FOX). Upcoming commissions include work with Ars Nova, Manhattan Theater Club, and the Satori Group, and of course co-collaborating on Sonya Tayeh’s 2016 residency at New York Live Arts.