Launched in 2023, the NEXT: Accent Dance NYC's Emerging Choreographer Commissioning Program commissions a new piece by a professional, early-career choreographer, covering all creative expenses including choreographer and dancer compensation, rehearsal space, and the work's premiere. Additionally, the commissioned choreographer receives invaluable professional mentorship and audience feedback through open rehearsals and in-process showings, and gains access to Accent Dance's extensive network and opportunities to showcase the work to a wide range of audiences in educational, community, and concert settings.
Will A Ervin Jr. was the program’s first recipient in 2023-2024, during which he created Narcissus, an original multidisciplinary work of modern, contemporary, and street dance inspired by Greek mythology, the delicate nuances between self-love and ego, and the springtime flower by the same name representing rebirth, inner reflection, and hope. The process also resulted in an original dance film by renowned photographer Mark Mann.
Narcissus was one of four new works selected to be performed on February 24, 2024 as part of Peridance Presents at the KnJ Theater, 126 East 13th Street, New York, New York 10003
Will A Ervin Jr. is an East Coast native. He earned his BFA in dance from Montclair State University (May 2017). He graduated with an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois in May 2020. He has also trained with Joffrey Ballet, EMIA Rennie Harris, Jacob's Pillow, and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet.
Ervin has performed at the Alexander Kasser Theatre, the Joyce Theatre, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Hearts of Men ensemble. As Artistic Director of his company Erv Works Dance, he has presented choreography at the University of Illinois set on 1st year Dance Majors, the Dumbo Dance Festival, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. His newest works were created for Kemar’s project headlining 2021’s Global Black Pride, presented after the keynote speaker President Joe Biden, Battery Dance Festival, Maria Torres’s Sol El Barrio, and the Joyce Theatre in partnership with Future Dance Festival, 92st Y, and The Martha Graham Dance Company.
Other accomplishments include interning with American Ballet Theatre’s Major Gifts Department, previously serving as the Co. Director of Dance at Brooklyn Center for the Arts and Resident Choreographer of Judah International Dance Theater. He was recently named Dance Lab by Josh Prince’s 2022 fall cycle choreographer, Dance on the Lawn's 2022 emerging commissioned choreographer, and just set work on Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami.
Since completing his commission with Accent Dance NYC as part of the pilot season of NEXT: Accent Dance NYC’s Emerging Choreographer Commission program, Will has gone on to present his work Narcissus at Peridance Presents, create a new work for Brooklyn Ballet’s 2024 Spring Season, and will make his Broadway debut in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, in April 2024.
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