Shine and the Moonbeams exploded on to the family music scene in 2011, bringing a brand new R&B sound to the genre and introducing the sounds of classic funk, soul, blues, and jazz music to enthusiastic children. They are singer-songwriter Shawana Kemp and guitarist John Heagle, two New York musicians who have performed in varied genres from Musical Theatre to the circus. They combine their unique perspectives to create a soulful musical extravaganza that captures the sweetness, uncertainty, and simplicity of youth. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2013 to much acclaim and excitement. With infectious rhythms, catchy melodies, and positively empowering lyrical themes stemming from Kemp’s experiences as a schoolteacher and mother, their songs encourage kids to celebrate life and get up and dance!
The Red Trouser Show, David Graham and Tobin Renwick, are a high-energy acrobatic, fire juggling, and comedy duo. They have been performing in circuses, theaters, and busking all over America and internationally since 2000. After starting out in Circus Smirkus, an internationally acclaimed youth circus that gave them an in-depth training in multiple disciplines from world-renowned coaches, they are now sought after worldwide. They have been called “a spectacular and unique act” by the Midnight Circus, and “amazing acrobats” by ABC News.
Júlio T. Leitão is a dancer, choreographer, and the Artistic Director of Batoto Yetu. Born in Angola, from which he was forced to flee when civil war erupted in 1975, Mr. Leitão grew up in Portugal and received his initial dance training at Conservatório Nacional de Dança de Lisboa. Julio has worked extensively as a choreographer in the US and overseas. In 1990, Mr. Leitão founded Batoto Yetu in a Harlem playground. Within one month, the group performed on Staff Day at the United Nations, receiving a standing ovation. Since then, Batoto Yetu has served as an invaluable asset to New York City youth, sparking their interest in the arts while developing their leadership skills. The dance company’s outstanding accomplishments have included performances on Sesame Street, with Michael Jackson at Madison Square Garden, alongside Whitney Houston at the Apollo Theatre, and on international stages in Europe, South America, China, and Julio’s native Angola.
Ziporah Roney and Collaborative Artists
The Five of Us is a collaborative of world class New York City artists who have come together under Ziporah Roney to create a new work titled “Echoing Ipseity.” Celebrating a time of choice, confidence, love, ourselves, other selves, and life that surrounds us, “Echoing Ipseity” is a connective and welcoming experience that looks to speak to our most pure selves. Interpreted through dance, acrobatics, and music, each one of us teaches another the unity in our independence. Ziporah Roney is part of Hybrid Movement Company’s Core Creative Team. She is a performer, choreographer, and designer for the group.