Press Release: The 2018-2019 Cora Dance 20th Anniversary Season


Contact: Chastity Cortijo
Marketing Associate
(718) 858-2520
Photos available upon request.



In July 2018, Cora Dance completed 20 years of work in NYC and laid the foundation for the next 20 years of art-making, relocating to its first ever long-term facility at 358 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after exponential growth in enrollment in the previous year. The 2700 square foot facility will officially open September 21 and will host regular performances, events, and daily pay-what-you-can classes for children and adults. The space will continue to be a home for Cora Dance's youth companies, apprentice company and professional company as well as the growing school which continues to turn no child away based on financial means. In addition to celebrating a new home, the season kicks off with a Gala Retrospective in September, highlighting iconic works from  past 20 years of the company; and in January 2019,  the professional company will premiere a new work, gifts, at an undisclosed site-specific location.

as part of Dogtown’s 4th Annual National Dance Day Celebration
Saturday, July 28, 2018
11:00AM, 2:30PM and 5:00PM
@ DOGTOWN DANCE THEATRE, 109 West 15th Street in Richmond, VA
FREE tickets available at

Through Dogtown’s Summer Collaborative Series Residency (July 22-28), Dogtown brings choreography by Shannon Hummel (2018 RVA Dance Collective Guest Artist) in collaboration with Cora performers Katie Dean (2009 VCU grad), Kelsey Kramer (Richmond native) to Richmond audiences in preparation for the work’s 2019 NYC Premier. The New York Times calls Hummel’s work, “a rare gem” and “choreography as vivid and true as a Eudora Welty story. You can feel the quiet tearing of a heart that might be your own.” gifts showings and all National Dance Day events are FREE!


Friday, September 21, 2018
6PM: Opening Ribbon Cutting
@ CORA DANCE, new location at 358 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn

7-10PM: Community Gathering
@ ATELIER ROQUETTE, 63 Commerce Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Admission is FREE to both the ribbon cutting and community gathering. Donations happily accepted at the door.
Space is limited. Please RSVP at

A celebratory ribbon cutting at 358 Van Brunt Street kicks off the opening of Cora’s new home. Join us for a chance to meet the Cora family, register for classes and see our beautiful new facility. The ribbon cutting will be followed by a fun, festive Community Gathering beginning at 7pm at Atelier Roquette
at 63 Commerce Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn to give friends of Cora - past, present, and future - a chance to grab a drink, share stories and celebrate in good company as Cora kicks off the season in their new home. Generously produced by In-Kind Event Producers, Atelier Roquette.


Saturday, September 22, 2018
@ ATELIER ROQUETTE, 63 Commerce Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Admission: $100 per person
Tickets available at

Cora Dance celebrates 20 years of choreography by Founding Artistic Director, Shannon Hummel and her company, Cora Dance, with this moving retrospective highlighting works past and present. With award-winning cuisine and cocktails by chef Monica Byrne of Atelier Roquette, this intimate, elegant gala evening is an artistic celebration featuring works spanning from 1998 to present including Hummel’s first work in NYC Had You Been Here and the full performance of Cora’s first evening length work, Down a Small Road. Originally created in collaboration with founding company dancers Vanessa Adato and Donna Costello, Down a Small Road will be performed for the first time since 2002, and will be danced Cora’s newly formed student Apprentice Company. Reunite with the work and with one another as Cora celebrates 20 years of art and enters the next 20 years in a new home. Proceeds support Cora’s 5-Year Growth Plan to expand programming, increase staff benefits, and fully renovate our new home by 2023. Generously produced by In-Kind Event Producers Atelier Roquette.


Tuesday, January 22 - Saturday, January 26, 2019
Visit beginning December 2018 for detailed times and location info.

Against a world of austere efficiency, gifts illuminates the bounty of pleasures we are surrounded by: the sounds, textures, touches and possibilities for rich connections we hold at our fingertips but so often miss. Presented as a site-based work in a location undisclosed until the time of performance, gifts features performances by performers/collaborators Katie Dean and Kelsey Kramer with costume and scenic design by Maria Kofman and original score by Hans Bilger.


Saturday, February 9, 2019
@ ATELIER ROQUETTE, 63 Commerce Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn
Admission: FREE
RSVP to Development & Operations Manager,

Cora’s annual Winter Brunch provides current and potential supporters of Cora an opportunity to meet the artists, staff and faculty, hear about our work, and learn how to get involved as donors, sponsors, board members and volunteers. Enjoy an award-winning brunch by Atelier Roquette’s chef Monica Byrne and live performances by professional and YCP/Youth Company Program performers while hearing what’s in store for Cora’s future. Generously produced by In-Kind Event Producers, Atelier Roquette.


March 1-June 30, 2019
Check for ongoing events, times and details.

Chosen by audition, Cora’s YCP/Youth Company Programs include three performing ensembles: JCYC/Junior Cora Youth Company (age 9-13), CYC/Cora Youth Company (age 11-17); and Cora Dance Apprentice Company, a select group performing professionally with Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance. YCPs provide intensive company experience to serious young dancers who perform each spring at local festivals, community events, and formal concerts and, through THE CROSSROADS PROJECT, tour out of state. YCPs will appear this year in Richmond Dance Festival’s Next Generation Concer tat Dogtown Dance Theatre in Richmond VA, May 4, 2019. Check our website for current listings.


Saturday, June 1, 2019
@ SOUTH BROOKLYN COMMUNITY HS, 173 Conover Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Admission: PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN online at or at the door.
($100 suggested, $5 minimum). Advance purchase strongly encouraged.
All ages welcome. (Those 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult.)

Cora presents its beloved, RETRO high-school-prom-themed, kick-ass dance party: THE RED HOOK COMMUNITY PROM. Whether you want to relive it all or need a total re-do, PROM is the place to make it happen! With photo booth by MVS Studios; an incredible silent auction; live performances by Cora’s professional and youth companies; and throwback 70s, 80s, and 90s hits spun by DJ Robert Lux. Proceeds support the scholarship fund of Cora Dance.


Thursday, June 6, 2019
2PM & 6:30PM, Location TBD
Admission: PAY-WHAT-YOU-CAN ($5 suggested)

Cora’s Student & Youth Company Concert features 100+ students ages 5 to adult from our pay-what-you-can school. Featuring work by faculty and guest artists, inspiring young dancers from Cora’s Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Tap and YCP/Youth Company Programs share their progress this community celebration for the entire family. Proceeds support the scholarship fund of Cora Dance. (2018-2019 CLASS REGISTRATION BEGINS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019. VISIT WWW.CORADANCE.ORG FOR DETAILS.)

5 YEAR GROWTH PLAN: Cora’s New Home

In July 2018, Cora Dance relocated to its first ever long-term facility at 358 Van Brunt Street in Red Hook, Brooklyn, after exponential growth in enrollment in the previous year. To support new growth, the organization launched a 5 YEAR GROWTH PLAN to acquire new support to expand artistic programming, streamline services, offer increased employee benefits and renovate the new, larger facility. Cora currently serves over 400 kids and is raising $500,000 by 2023 in support of meeting these growth plan goals and ongoing capital improvements. Donations are accepted at


For more information, email Development & Operations Manager,
Heidi Morgan at


Atelier Roquette is a Red Hook, Brooklyn-based boutique events company owned by Monica Byrne and Leisah Swensen. Growing up in Tribeca, Monica Byrne’s daily exposure to Lower Manhattan’s restaurant scene and her mother Dona’s fresh Union Square Farmers Market cooking informed Monica’s sensibilities about food. Leisah Swensen, who spent years in the theater, gaining extensive experience in stage management and production, joined forces with Monica in 2013 to form Atelier Roquette, combining Monica’s years of experience as a chef, floral designer and stylist with Leisah’s production expertise. Inspired by the European fresh markets, seasonal foods, simple presentation and bright, vivid, flavorful combinations, Atelier emphasizes fresh, local food and wild creativity. The results are rustically elegant and undeniably distinctive events delivered with a sense of caring that satisfies every sense. Atelier’s Red Hook warehouse loft is available for special events, weddings, photo shoots, benefits, and creative endeavors with full service boutique catering and event design services on site. Atelier Roquette places a high value on community service and is proud to be Cora Dance’s 2018-2019 In-Kind Event Producers.


For more information on Atelier Roquette, visit


Cora Dance began in 1998 as a professional modern dance company performing the works of choreographer and arts educator, Shannon Hummel. For over 20 years, Cora has garnered high praise from critics, presenters and community leaders for “vivid, true, poignant and finely wrought dances” (The New York Times ). SH/CD presents its celebrated work from parks to homes to the hallways of public housing to the stages of BAM and other established venues, believing art is for all people and a powerful catalyst for intersection, understanding and community enrichment. In 2009, Cora opened a studio and established a pay-what-you-can school for dance in Red Hook, Brooklyn, placing equal focus on high quality programming while building access for Red Hook’s low-income families. The school works with over 400 students annually, 90% of whom attend for FREE or reduced tuition. No family is ever turned away from Cora based on what they can pay. Cora’s Satellite Partnerships bring dance-based programs to a broad population in satellite locations. Cora currently has 5 active partnerships, bringing dance to schools, community centers and facilities for kids with special needs.The pay-what-you-can In-Studio Program provides year-round formal training lead by professional dancers in Ballet, Hip Hop, Modern, Tap and other disciplines. Three YCP/Youth Company Program performing ensembles provide professional and pre-professional company experiences to the In-Studio Program’s most dedicated and talented students. YCPs are designed to prepare dancers Grades 4-12 for higher level performance opportunities including entry into middle school, high school, and college performing arts programs and professional work in the performing arts. Finally, the critically acclaimed professional company,
Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, performs for hundreds annually both locally and nationwide and celebrates 20 years of dancing in 2018. Through these programs and initiatives, Cora has secured its reputation as a school and company of note with an authentic model for bringing professional artists and community members together to support, impact and uplift one another. We invite everyone to invest in our future by giving to our 5-YEAR GROWTH PLAN with the goal of raising $500K toward expanding programming, streamlining services and renovating our new facility by 2023.
Give at


For info on Cora’s programs, performances, or Growth Plan,
call (718) 858-2520 or visit

CoraDanceOrg on Facebook
CoraDanceOrg on Instagram
CoraDance on Twitter


CORA DANCE (as of 7/1/18)


Robert Aberlin
Vanessa Adato, Treasurer/Secretary
Trequan Bekka
Severn Clay-Youman, President
Ilya Feldsherov
John Foley-Murphy
Mesha Laidlow
Nahisha McCoy
Scott Pfaffman
Asha Rhodes-Meade
Christopher Sewell



Shannon Hummel, Artistic & Executive Director
Heidi Morgan, Development & Operations Manager
Rebekah Bono, Programs Manager
Chastity Cortijo, Marketing Associate
Nahisha McCoy, Outreach Associate
Katie Dean, Graphic Designer & Marketing Consultant
Nicole Assanti, Company Assistant
Katie Houff, Technical Director/Stage Manager
Mary Lowman, Technical Director/Stage Manager
Alex Vasquez-Dheming, Technical Director/Stage Manager
Steve Pisano, Photographer
Heather White, Photographer
Monica Byrne & Leisah Swensen / Atelier Roquette, In-Kind Event Producers



Rebekah Bono, Faculty & YCP Co-Director
Solomon Goodwin, Faculty
Shannon Hummel, Faculty & YCP Co-Director
Junie Kenworthy, Faculty & YCP Co-Director
Maxine Lyle, YCP Guest Artist
Heidi Morgan, Faculty
Funmi Olosunde, Faculty
Karen V. Ross, Faculty
Keon Washington, Faculty



Hans Biler, Composer
Rebekah Bono, Dancer
Anais Dallett, Apprentice
Katie Dean, Dancer
Z’Yanah Gonzalez, Apprentice
Maria Kofman, Costume & Scenic Designer
Shannon Hummel, Choreographer
Kelsey Kramer, Dancer
Evangelina Vargas, Apprentice
Mateo Vidals, Apprentice


Cora Dance is supported in part by funds from New York Urban League, the City of New York, and the Department of Youth and Community Development; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; public funds from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered in Kings County by Brooklyn Arts Council; and additional funds provided by ALLINBKLYN, the Office of Councilman Carlos Menchaca, the Earlynn J. Miller Donor-Advised Fund of the Community Foundation of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, The O'Connell Organization Family Foundation, Inc., the Michael Tuch Foundation, Tiger Baron Foundation, Omaha Community Foundation, The White Cedar Fund and the Meringoff Family Foundation and Cora's generous individual donors. Printed materials were made possible, in part, with funds from the Destination>Brooklyn Program, funded by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams and NYC & Company Foundation, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council; and with additional from SaveMor Digital Printing. 2018-2019 in-Kind Cora Dance Event Production provided by Atelier Roquette.