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Karole Armitage to Choreograph Passing Strange

Karole Armitage
Karole Armitage has signed on as the choreographer for the world premiere of Passing Strange, a new musical written by Stew, Heidi Rodewald, and Annie Dorsen. The show will play Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Thrust Stage from October 19 through December 3 and then will move to The Public Theater in New York, where it will run January 16-February 18.

Developed at the Sundance Institute, the Public, and Berkeley Rep, the show takes audiences on an international journey from L.A. to Amsterdam, Berlin, and beyond. It features blues, rock and roll, gospel, and pop music written by Stew and Rodewald, who head the band The Negro Problem. Dorsen, who is also directing the show, has helmed such productions as Belgrade Trilogy and The Blue Bird.

Passing Strange will star De'adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, and Rebecca Jones. In addition to Stew and Rodewald, the on-stage band will include Marc Doten (bass), Russ Kleiner (percussion), and Jon Spurney (guitar, keyboards, co-musical direction). The show's creative team includes David Korins (sets), Annie Smart (costumes), Kevin Adams (lighting), and Jake Rodriguez (sound).

Armitage is the director of the New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company. A former dancer with George Balanchine's Geneva Ballet and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, she has contributed works to such companies as American Ballet Theatre and Oregon Ballet Theatre. This winter, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre will present her new work Gamelan Gardens. Armitage has also worked with such pop stars as Madonna and Michael Jackson.

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