Award winning dancer, choreographer, teacher, and coach Thang Dao was born in Vietnam and now resides between Los Angeles and New York City. In 1997 he was the recipient of the Dorothy Chandler Music Center Spotlight Award, the recipient of the 2008 Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship, the 2009 Special Project Grant, and in 2012 Dao was a Vilcek finalist for Creative Promises in choreography.

Thang Dao - Photo courtesy of the artist

Thang Dao – Photo courtesy of the artist

As part of the 2021 Winter Dance Residency Initiative at Hudson Valley’s Bridge Street Theatre, Dao develop an original work for four dancers of Thang Dao Dance Company February 28 through March 13. He and his artistic collaborators will investigate “the complexity of human connection and relationships at the tenuous boundary nestled between proximal and distant attachment” with dance, film and digital technology. Dao also hopes to demonstrate how these two locations are one.

During the final weekend of the residency, a free online video excerpt of this work-in-progress will be available to the public, beginning at 7:00pm ET (4:00pm PST) Friday March 12 and ending at 11:59pm ET (8:59pm PST)Sunday March 14 on Bridge Street Theatre’s YouTube channel.

Before leaving to become a freelance choreographer in 2006, Dao performed with the Stephen Petronio Company and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. His work has been commissioned by Ballet Austin, Ballet Austin II, Ailey II, Ballet X, Philadanco, the Boston Conservatory along with many universities and performing arts schools nationally and internationally. Among his many accomplishments, Dao’s ballet, Stepping Ground, choreographed for Ballet Austin for the 1st Biannual New American Dance Talent, received the Audience Choice Award all four nights. In 2012, his work, Waiting Women was featured at NYCDAF Gala: Destiny Rising at the Joyce Theater in New York. Dao was on the creative team for the James Brown Project: Get On The Good Foot commissioned and produced by the Apollo Theater under the direction of Otis Salid, and he is currently a visiting guest artist at Kennesaw State University. Thang Dao Dance Company was founded in 2002.

Thang Dao Dance Company - Photo courtesy of Michelle Tabnick PR

Thang Dao Dance Company – Photo courtesy of Michelle Tabnick PR

Readers who would like to view excerpts from the Thang Dao Dance Company’s work-in-progress on March 12 will find links to the free online video at the Bridge Street Theatre, on its Facebook page, Twitter feed, and YouTube channel. (See links below)

About Bridge Street Theatre

Bridge Street Theatre is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation which, in late 2013, purchased a derelict 12,000 square foot factory building at 44 West Bridge Street in Catskill, NY. Thanks in large part to grant monies from the New York State Department of Homes and Community Renewal, the building has since been completely converted in order to house an intimate 84-seat auditorium (the Charles and Priscilla Patterson Mainstage), a smaller cabaret-type performance space which also serves as the main theater’s lobby (The Speakeasy), a large warehouse and studio space utilized mainly for storage but which has also hosted large-scale sculpture and art exhibitions (The Big Room), administrative office space, dressing rooms and a lounge area for performers, public restrooms, and a four-bedroom living area on the building’s second floor used to house visiting artists. The building serves mainly as a home for Bridge Street Theatre productions but is also available to outside theater and performing groups and, because of its location adjacent to Catskill High School, is able to provide theatrical opportunities for local students.

Bridge Street Theatre

Bridge Street Theatre

Bridge Street Theatre opened on April 12, 2014 with an exhibition that showcased Jason Hackenwerth’s monumental balloon sculpture AVIARY (reimagined) and has gone on to produce an annual five-play Mainstage subscription series, as well as hosting a myriad of eclectic imported events – theater, music, dance, magic, and more. As of the close of its 2019 Season, the theatre had presented 60 Plays, 62 Musical Performances, 5 Evenings of Dance, 12 Magic Shows, 24 Film Screenings, 4 Visual Art Exhibitions, and 21 Special Events. Shuttered by the pandemic in March of 2020 and unable to present live performances, Bridge Street Theatre moved online with a series of free archival performance videos, livestreamed ticketed events, and Bedtime Story readings for children. And in January of 2021, the theatre launched a four-month dance residency program, utilizing the theater’s resources to support performing artists and develop new works during the current health crisis.

For more information about Thang Dao Dance Company, click HERE.

For more information about6 Bridge Street Theatre, click HERE.  You may follow the Bridge Street Theatre on FACEBOOK, on their YOUTUBE CHANNEL, on INSTAGRAM or on TWITTER.

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: Thang Dao Dance Company – Photo courtesy of Michelle Tabnick PR