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Sarah Hart
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Teatro La Tea
United States
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New York, NY

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre presents The Store (Manhattan, NY)

by Sarah Hart
April 1, 2009
Teatro La Tea
107 Suffolk Street, Suite 200
New York, NY 10002

Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre collaborates with Lower East Side high-school kids and hip-hop artist Tijuan Aikens a.k.a. On'e for seven show run at the Lower East Side's Teatro La Tea

The Store celebrates the beginning of Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre's fourth year on the downtown dance scene in New York City

February 1, 2009-Samar Haddad King wants you to follow her lead and buy your art local; her flourishing and energetic eight-member company, Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, will collaborate with East Village high school students, musicians and actors to present the World Premiere of The Store. Poised for a one-week run at Latino performance hotspot, Teatro La Tea, The Store is an evening-length multidisciplinary piece set in New York's L.E.S., the same neighborhood where Ms. King has been working, teaching and rehearsing since her company's inception four years ago. YSDT has already become a visible force in the downtown dance world, with a full season at the Joyce SoHo, and a year-long residency at Tribeca Performing Arts Center securely under its belt. Ms. King puts a spotlight on New York's history of unparalleled cultural diversity with The Store April 1-5 at Teatro La Tea (107 Suffolk Street, Suite 200). Tickets are $18 and $12 for students.

Set in a non-descript corner deli, The Store is common ground for all New Yorkers, where King shows how an undeniable part of the City's landscape is also a great equalizer for its inhabitants. The stage provides the collective thread that binds both the characters to each other and the audience to the storyline. Through original text, video and movement, The Store provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of six individuals from different generations, neighborhoods, professions, and ethnic backgrounds and explores how a diverse group of near-strangers is affected by one unforeseen and shocking event. In this new dance/theater piece, King continues to develop her own artistic language, encompassing an awkward and quirky movement style that remains warmly lyrical and accessible to her audience. What is especially unique about The Store is the inclusion of filmed character segments that interact alongside the live dancing on stage. Both touching and comical, The Store overlaps a series of solos, duets, trios and larger group sections, both danced and on film, which are as often tangential, stream-of-consciousness and free association as they are straight narrative.

The Store will be performed by Autumn Burnette, Chris DelPorto, Sara Genoves-Sylvan, Josiah Guitian, Sabrina Jaafar, Shayla-Vie Jenkins, Kristin Osler and Kathryn Schetlick. Collaborating with YSDT is Theater Director David Prete, co-founder of Water Theater Company, theater professor at the New School and University of Memphis, and twice-published author at W.W. Norton and Company. Costumes are by designers/L.E.S. boutique owners Daphne and Vera Correll. Lighting is by Yuriy Nayer.

The Store is presented in conjunction with The Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF), administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), and the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation.


During her residency with Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Samar Haddad King formed Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre, and was awarded a grant from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund which funded in part the production of Hiyaat Noor. After Ms. King was presented by Joyce SoHo as an emerging choreographer in their annual Joyce SoHo Presents series in 2006, Yaa Samar! Dance Theater was invited to present a full season at Joyce SoHo. Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre has participated in numerous Middle Eastern inspired festivals including a benefit performance in Rochester, NY to raise funds for the medical treatment of a Middle Eastern boy. Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre was a guest artist for the Middle Eastern Students Association of Fordham University for an event focusing on cultural awareness through arts. In the spring of 2007, Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre completed their first international tour as a participant in the International Dance Festivals of Amman and Ramallah. In the summer of that same year, YSDT participated in a 3-month residency at the Queens Museum of Art where La Hom Haq fil-Hiyaat was created. In the fall of 2008, YSDT began a residency at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center that culminated in the world premiere of Among the Ruins (funded in part by the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation). YSDT will be performing Frozen Belief March 6-8 at Fisher Theater, presented in part by Columbus Movement Movement (CM2) in Columbus, OH, and has been selected as an Evolving Choreographer for the 10th anniversary season of E-Moves at Harlemstage, April 18th and 23rd.


Teatro La Tea is located at 107 Suffolk Street, Suite 200, New York NY, between Delancey and Rivington. Take the F or V train to Delancey Street and walk north to Essex Street.

For tickets please call SmartTix at (212) 868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com/Show.aspx?ShowCode=STO15.
Please contact Carolyn Pincus at yaasamardance@gmail.com for press inquiries.
Kristin Osler

Kristin Osler

Photo © & courtesy of Isabel Asha Penzilien

Kristin Osler and Josiah Guitian

Kristin Osler and Josiah Guitian

Photo © & courtesy of Isabel Asha Penzilien

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