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U.S. Tours Are Planned for the 2022-2023 Season

Radical Inclusion: Center Stage Connects The U.S. with Bold Performing Artists Who Are Reframing Our Creative World in this Globally Transformative Time

There’s an urgent energy moving through the world’s performing arts scenes. Globally linked and locally committed, independent artists are boldly responding to the disparities and possibilities of our transformative time. Some deeply examine complex histories and cultural practices. Others are challenging societal norms to publicly claim their identities and lift up the disenfranchised. All speak to their communities’ pains, dreams, and joys, and are creating inclusive paths of connection.

For its sixth edition, Center Stage, the cultural exchange program initiated by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and produced by New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), will host six contemporary music and dance-theater ensembles from Argentina, Armenia, and Taiwan in the U.S. Each group will make an independent month-long tour across the country during the 2022-2023 season, promoting global ties and engaging with audiences on stage, off stage, and online.  

Through in-person engagements and virtual interactions, these ensembles will meet with communities across the U.S. via performances, workshops, talk back sessions, artist-to-artist jams, potluck meals, and other activities to bolster mutual understanding. Lisa Booth Management, Inc. (LBMI), which has served as Center Stage’s general manager since the program’s inception in 2012, will craft and organize the community residencies that make up each tour. Residencies are being scheduled now.

“The global pandemic has disrupted everyday life and cultural expressions around the U.S. and across the world,” explains Adrienne Petrillo, Senior Program Director of Center Stage at NEFA. “Center Stage Season 6 centers artists with insights into how we can respond to external forces, renew our sense of community, and build a shared and fairer future.”

Meet the Center Stage Season 6 Ensembles

  • Cachitas Now! (La Plata, Argentina) U.S. debut. With swooping hooks and party grooves, the cumbia-grounded sound of this identity-inclusive LGBTQIA+ band buoyantly challenges societal norms, celebrates difference, and reclaims the love song for all.
  • Fémina (Buenos Aires, Argentina) The harmony-soaked vocals and electro-folk charisma of the Trucco sisters propels a new project by this acclaimed female powered band, and carries messages of equality and empowerment.
  • MVF Band (Yerevan, Armenia) Centering the 11-string long-necked tar, Miqayel Voskanyan’s quintet draws on polyphonic roots, global rhythms, and jazz’s tight grooves and improvisational play. Virtuosic, dynamic, and ultimately uncategorizable work, at home in clubs, concert halls, and folk festivals. 
  • The Naghash Ensemble (Yerevan, Armenia) U.S. debut. A septet of masterful vocalists and instrumentalists gives renewed voice to Armenia’s spiritual lineage in bracing and propulsive work rising on the classical scene. The Naghash Ensemble is led by Armenian-American composer-pianist John Hodian.
  • Resident Island Dance Theatre (Pingtung County, Taiwan) U.S. debut. Fresh and inventive kinetic explorations of space, time, action, and gesture by choreographer Chung-An Chang. RIDT’s outstanding dancers perform emotionally charged and socially engaged works that disrupt limitations of mental, emotional, and physical integration.
  • Twincussion (Taipei, Taiwan) Charismatic rising stars and Yamaha artists, Jen-Ting and Jen-Yu Chien, the twin brothers that make up this percussion dynamic duo, are engaged advocates for Taiwanese folk music, perceptive arrangers of Western classical showpieces, and champions of contemporary composers.

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Presenters, community organizations, and venues interested in partnering with Center Stage are encouraged to contact Lisa Booth & Deirdre Valente at Lisa Booth Management, Inc. Tel +1-212-921-2114 For general program information, please contact Adrienne Petrillo, Program Director, +1-617-423-1178

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