Àṣẹ Dance Theatre Collective is a professional, neo-folkloric performance ensemble that specializes in Dance Theater from the African Diaspora. The company is currently made up of seven female dancer/vocalists, two male freestyle dancer/spoken word artists, two musicians and one vocalist.
Under the artistic direction of its founder, Adia Tamar Whitaker, a dancer/choreographer and vocalist from San Francisco’s Bay Area, this Brooklyn based dance theater collective is dedicated to preserving the past, present and future of the African presence in the “New World”.
Since 2000, ASE has presented work that links contemporary dance, original vernacular movement and traditional dance theater from the African Diaspora to conceptual ideas in the human experience. The current repertoire features a variety of multi-media dance theater and music works composed by Adia Tamar Whitaker. ASE also performs as a folkloric music ensemble and provides interactive educational performances for children K-12.
Under the musical direction of Sekou Alaje, ASE presents the African Diaspora’s diverse dance and musical repertoire.
As people of African descent that have migrated from all over the world to fulfill our dreams of art and revolution in New York City, it is our shared belief that all forms of African drum and dance facilitate a process of spiritual awareness and good physical health. This inspires us to create rich and transformative art that uplifts the soul.
–Adia Tamar Whitaker–
ASE has performed in the Museum Mile for El Museo del Barrio (NY, 2012), Passport Fridays @ the Queens Museum of Art (NY, 2012), the Global Africa Exhibition @ The NY Museum of Art and Design Harlem Stage for Haiti @ the Gatehouse (NY, 2010), the Cuba Caribe Festival at Dance Mission (S.F, 2010), Meet the Artist @ Lincoln Center (NY, 2009, 2010), Kwanzaa @ the World Financial Center (NY, 2009), Target’s First Saturdays at The Brooklyn Museum of Art (NY, 2008), City Parks Foundation Summerstage at Von King Park (NY, 2008), The Souls of Our Feet Dance Festival @ LIU presented by Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center (NY, 2002, 2005 & 2008), The Awards Show at Joyce SoHo (NY, 2008), Dance Africa Bizarre at BAM (NY, 2008), Women Innovators in Caribbean Music and Dance at the CUNY Graduate Center (NY, 2008), The African Caribbean Concert at FAMU and TCC (Tallahassee, FLA 2008), The Living Word Festival at Yerba Buena Center for the Performing Arts (S.F., 2010) & Dance Mission Theater (S.F., 2007), The Coffey Park Dance Festival presented by Dancing in the Streets (NY, 2005, 2006, and 2007), Brooklyn Mecca Dance Showcase at White Wave Studio in DUMBO (NY, 2006) & Dance New Amsterdam 2007), NU Dance Festival at the Theater at Riverside Church (NY, 2006), the NYC Hip Hop Theater Festival at New York Theater Workshop (NY, 2005) and Dance Theater Workshop (2007), The Vagina Monologues: Stop Violence against Haitian Women at the BMA (NY, 2007), A Tribute to Dunham at NYC The Museum of Natural History (NY, 2006), the Creative Entry Point Fellowship Open Showing presented by MANCC at Florida State University (Tallahassee, FLA 2006), E-Moves at Aaron Davis Hall (NY, 2006) & The Gatehouse (2009) , the IABD Dance Conference at Symphony Space and The Kaye Playhouse (NY, 2006), The Open Kitchen Series at The Kitchen (NY, 2004), The International African Arts Festival (NY, 2004), the International Dance Festival and at the Theater of St. Clement’s Church (Off-Broadway, 2002). The Caribbean Cultural Center, Arts Connection, Community Works, The Schomburg Center for Black Research and Culture, The Brooklyn Children’s Museum and Children’s Museum of Manhattan have also presented ASE.