My name is Iyun Ashani Harrison and I am the artistic director of ASHANI DANCES. Throughout my education at the Juilliard School and Hollins University/American Dance Festival; my professional career as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ailey II and Ballet Hispanico of New York; and my teaching at Cornish College of the Arts, Webster University and The Ailey School, I have developed a passion for choreography and assisting young dance artists launch their careers in the concert dance profession.
ASHANI DANCES is a company that provides a venue for gifted pre-professional dancers to develop mentorships with established dance professionals - through rehearsal and performance -whereby they can gain invaluable experience preparing them for the concert dance profession.
ASHANI DANCES returns to the Erickson Theater (Seattle, WA) in 2013 for its second season. The company will present three new works in collaboration with two Seattle composers: Ben Morrow and William Hayes and thirteen dancers.
Contributing to ASHANI DANCES' campaign will help underwrite the costs of theater rental, rehearsal studio rental, advertising, production expences: costume design and construction, commission fees for two composers, ligthing design, technical staff fees and dancer honorariums.
What We Need
ASHANI DANCES needs to raise $8000 to cover our production expenses. This is how they break down:
Your gift of $300 will help provide an honorarium for one of our thirteen dancers who will participate in our second season.
Your gift of $500 will help to underwrite the cost of costuming one of our three pieces this season.
Your gift of $500 will help to underwrite the creation of one of our two original musical scores by Ben Morrow and William Hayes for the seaon.
Your gift of $1000 will contribute to:
Erickson Theater rental ($1,500)
Publicity: posters, postcards ($600)
Lighting Designer ($500)
Stage Manager ($500)
What You Get
Give $50 and you will receive an ASHANI DANCES season t-shirt and a signed copy of the season program.
Give $100 and you will receive a season t-shirt, signed season poster, a reserved seat at the opening night performance of ASHANI DANCES' second season and you will be listed as a Friend of ASHANI DANCES in the season program.
Give $500 and you will receive a cast signed season poster and season t-shirt. Your name will be listed in the season program as: "Production made possible by a generous donation from (your name here). Attend one rehearsal of your choosing and a reserved seat at the opening night performance of ASHANI DANCES' second season, complimentary entrance to the season benefit in April and you will be listed as a "Gold Donor" in the season program.
Give $1000 or more and you will receive a cast signed season poster, season t-shirt, attendance to any/all rehearsals and performances of your choosing, an invitation to the season cast party, complimentary entrance to the season benefit in April and your name will be listed in the season program and on the ASHANI DANCES website as: "Platinum Donor for Ashani Dances" and will be invited to join the advisory board of ASHANI DANCES!
We would like to share some of the positive feedback about ASHANI DANCES' Debut Season in 2012.
Dance writer Sandra Kurtz blogged:
"Harrison, who joined the faculty at Cornish College last year, has a substantial performance resume, and though he wasn’t dancing with the company one can see his pedigree in the material he’s crafted for his young performers. Time spent with Ballet Hispanico, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Ailey II, alongside a Julliard education, have given him great facility with the current hybrid combinations of ballet and contemporary dance. But the works that he’s made with this raw material cover a wider range of styles and genres."
"Neo-Funk Ballet, the James Brown-inflected closer, serves Harrison and the company well, giving the performers a showcase for their freshly-minted virtuosity. The women’s bouncy party dresses mirror their crisp precision, while Brown’s powerful vocal style carves a space for the men to shine. It does what a closing work is supposed to do—gives the audience a clear and vivid image of the dancers and the ensemble to take home from the theater, like a kinetic parting gift. And as Brown sings it, “I Feel Good.”
Dance writer Kaitlin McCarthy blogged:
"The show opened with a repeat performance of Iyun Harrison's Union. The movement had strong classical roots, while the large group formations and intense harpsichord music, by Hendryk Gorecki, evoked a sense of dramatic medieval court dances. Essential to the work were the satin circle skirts (costumes by Nina Reed), which were incorporated beautifully throughout, whether held up in a formal procession or left to fly out in a wild spin. Harrison also used the skirts thematically when a male dancer stripped a female dancer of hers, and she was left vulnerable in only shorts. A manipulative duet ensued between the two playing on themes of gender and power. Eventually the tide turns, culminating in the removal of the male dancer's skirt. If Harrison continues to produce technical and intelligent modern dance he will certainly be a welcome addition to the Seattle dance scene."
Other Ways You Can Help
If you are not able to contribute financially but are still interested in helping, here is how you can do so:
Share our campaign on your social media pages.
Volunteer to help us in the front of house on the weekend of the performances by selling company merchandice and handing out programs.
Volunteer to help us load into, and out of the theater.
Help us publicize the concert.