A troupe of goodwill dancers that made appearances in the 1980s and later disbanded is being resurrected as "The New York Dance Ensemble A.K.A. The Broadway Cheerleaders," and the nonprofit company hopes to give the Rockettes a run for its money.
Creative consultant and choreographer Jonathan Cerullo told Playbill On Line the new company, which is holding auditions for female dancers of all races, sizes and ages April 12 in Manhattan, is not aiming to be a football style side show, but a collection of 26-36 professional Broadway-worthy dancers who can perform styles from tap to jazz to Latin and African to gymnastics and hip-hop.
"We'll do a variety of different styles," Cerullo said. "If we do a musical theatre number, it'll have a total dance mix to it, it's not a singer singing out front -- it'll be cutting edge."
The previous incarnation of the group performed in the mid 1980s at the Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, with the New York Mets, Radio City Music Hall, the Shubert Theatre and elsewhere.
The New York Dance Ensemble is expected to perform year round at sports, media, corporate and public events, and will make charitable appearances "serving as ambassadors of good will and cheer from the entertainment capital of the world." "It'll be like in the old 'I Love NY' ads," said Cerullo, a former Cats dancer on tour and an associate choreographer for Band in Berlin and Exactly Like You in Manhattan. "We will do anything anywhere that has to do with New York City, to promote its rich cultural diversity and its rich dance background."
Cerullo envisions the company eventually including men.
The troupe's executive producer is Leonard Crifo and the associate producer is Mel Kamenshine.
Auditions will be held on April 12 at the Chelsea Dance Studio, 151 W. 26th Street in New York City, at 10 AM and 1 PM. No appointment is necessary, said Cerullo, but wear appropriate attire. The company will form immediately and work toward a producers' showcase April 28.
-- By Kenneth Jones