Known for delivering “boundary-stretching…haute-performance theory with a house party vibe” (The New York Times) Ani Taj and The Dance Cartel creates experiences that break the expectation of a “dance performance” in order to bring movement to a broad and diverse audience. Inspired by Hollywood cinema’s female heroes from the past 50 years, WET CLUTCH explores portable material that can be adapted to diverse spaces. Iconic female imagery from the last four decades of Hollywood pop and cult films will complement and offset live choreography and celebratory actions, forming an explosive public dance experience. WET CLUTCH is the first chapter of their latest project, Drive-In.
CAST & CREW
Performed by Emily Bass, nicHi douglas, Audrey Hailes, Sunny Hitt, Justin Perez & Ani Taj
Lighting design by Vadim Ledvin
Projection / video design by Stephen Arnoczy
Since 2012, The Dance Cartel has performed in residency at the Ace Hotel New York with the immersive dance event OntheFloor. The company has also been presented at The Brooklyn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, MAD (Museum of Art & Design), The Manderley Bar at the McKittrick Hotel, Le Poisson Rouge, Ars Nova, littlefield, Glasslands, Art in Odd Places, Espaco Xisto (Salvador da Bahia, Brazil), Summer on the Hudson, Red Hook Festival. In 2013, The Dance Cartel made its West Coast debut at Edward Sharpe’s Big Top and Festival Supreme (LA), and its national television debut live on Conan. In 2014, the company was awarded a residency at New York Live Arts as part of the Studio Series, as well as a BAX Summer Residency and 2014 LMCC MCAF grant for a new pop-up series of “Adaptable Dances.” The company has been featured in music videos for Yoko Ono, Reggie Watts, Vic Mensa, and Sahr.
Ani Taj is a choreographer, performer, music-head and founder of The Dance Cartel. Ani has choreographed contemporary musicals, plays, concerts, music videos, art parties, flash mobs and more. She is fueled by research trips to Brazil and loves to make dances inspired by Carnaval. While bridging gaps between dance and music scenes, Ani also keeps one foot firmly in the world of live theatre and experimental musicals. Recent projects include Better for Night (prod. Randy Weiner — in workshop), The Nomad by Liz Swados (The Flea), Good Men Wanted by Kevin Armento (AntFest @ Ars Nova), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park 2013 — Asst. Choreo), and Jesse Eisenberg’s Asuncion (Rattlestick Theatre). As a performer, Ani has worked with Les Freres Corbusier (DDR — Asst. Choreo.), David Dorfman Dance, Reggie Watts & Tommy Smith, Simone Forti, Jenny Koons and Liz Swados. In 2012, Ani appeared as one of five dancers featured in the Rite of Spring for Ridge Theatre with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival
La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival continues to support La MaMa’s commitment to presenting diverse performance styles that challenge audience’s perception of dance by featuring performance/installations, experimental film screenings & public symposiums which address dance artists’ engagement with the current political climate, as well as honoring diasporic histories and legacy, ancestral inspirations and inter-generational dialogue.