Inside the Pillow Lab: Sekou McMiller


For this project, Sekou McMiller is developing a new installment within his “Afro Latin Jazz and Soul Experience” series, tentatively titled "Shine". In Afro Latin partner dances, “shines” are expressive sequences of footwork and body movements performed during musical breaks, enhancing the dance experience and inspiring friendly competition among salsa/mambo dancers. Inspired by the golden age of mambo at the Palladium nightclub in New York City during the 1950s and ’60s, this new work critically explores how individuals separate to express their unique voices, fostering motivation and progress in everyday life, relationships, and communities. To bring the work to life, Sekou has curated a collective of skilled dancers, musicians, composers, and performers “Sekou & Friends.” "Shine" fuses music and dance, celebrating their rhythmic nature while uniting once interconnected cultures. About Sekou McMiller Sekou McMiller is a New York City/Chicago-based famed choreographer, teacher, curator, and producer at the forefront of a new movement in Afro Latin dance. McMiller’s unique fusion style has a strong Afro-Caribbean essence that is laced with many different dance techniques combined with an explosive energy. McMiller’s choreographic work has been featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Dance Chicago, The Actors Fund Theater, New York City Center, Ailey CitiGroup Theater, Symphony Space, Edison Ballroom, the United Nations General Assembly, Olympic Park Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, the Great Wall of China, Harbour Dance Vancouver, and Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England. McMiller’s diverse career ranges from performing off-Broadway to choreographing for Bravo, NUVO TV, and Good Morning America. He has also performed and choreographed for top Latin artists including Gilberto Santa Rosa, Willie Colón, Ismael Miranda, Cheo Feliciano, Johnny Pacheco, Tito Rojas, Tito Nieves, Pitbull, as well as the pop icon Madonna. McMiller can be seen in the Warner Bros. theatrical feature In the Heights (2021), directed by Jon M. Chu, and in the newly released documentary Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance. INSIDE THE PILLOW LAB Sekou McMiller RESIDENCY DATES: Oct. 25-Nov. 5 APPEARING IN FILM: Director/Choreographer: Sekou McMiller Dance Artists: Calvin Booker, Adriel Flete, Miriam Gallardo, Charlie Garcia, Desiree Godsell, Amanda Marquez, Gastrell Rossignol Production Assistant: Miriam Gallardo MUSIC: Sebastian Nuñez FILMING: Erica Spizz NEL SHELBY PRODUCTIONS Nel Shelby, Producer Mason Chapello, Editor Benjamin Richards, Graphic Animation Sonia Bartolomeo, Project Manager The 2023-2024 PILLOW LAB RECEIVES LEADERSHIP SUPPORT FROM: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation © 2024 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Inc.

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