Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC is a community of artistic dare devils that choreographically and conceptually concentrate on the thorough excavation of the human subconscious through movement. Using conversation and difference as an inspiration for creation, the collective of artists are devoted to acknowledging the connection between performance and human understanding. Founded in 2014 in Richmond, VA (later to be relocated to New York City in 2015), the blossoming company has performed in numerous venues including The Dance Place, Dogtown Dance Theatre, BAAD (Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Gibney Dance's Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, The Center for Performance Research, Danspace @ St. Mark's Church, Harlem Repertory Theater, The Greenspace, The Bolls Theater of Detroit, The Grace Street Theater of Virginia, and as a part of various festivals throughout the country. A shifting roster of multiple freelance artists, the company hopes to fully embrace the millennial voice while proposing questions dealing with the composition’s relation to politics, history, human emotional availability, and the uncomfortable sharing of one’s private self in public.

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

JOHNNIE CRUISE MERCER is a native of Richmond, Virginia and a BFA graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography. As a performance artist, Mr. Mercer has professionally collaborated with Antonio Brown, Edisa Weeks w/Delirious Dances, Monstah Black within his recent production Hyperbolic, Yon Tande (Whitney Hunter), Andre Zachery w/Renegade Performance Group, and most recently within Ishmael Houston-Jones and Miguel Gutierrez’s re-imaging of John Bernds’ past work in Danspaces’ Lost &Found performance platform. He is also a current company member of both The Von Howard Project, led by Christian Von Howard, and Dance Theater X led by Charles O. Anderson. As a choreographer, Mr. Mercer’s work has been presented at the Center for Performance Research, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!), The Dance Place, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, Dogtown Dance Theatre, St Marks Church, and at various festivals including The Richmond Dance Festival, The Making Moves Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, and as a Best of 2016 Artist in the Detroit Dance Festival. Mr. Mercer, the artistic director of TheREDprojectNYC, is a 2016-2017 92Y Harkness Dance Center Artist in Residence.


COMPANY ARTISTS

JOHNNY CHATMAN II was born and raised in Texas, where he began dancing at the age of four in the Greater Houston area. He received his BFA from The University of Texas at Austin as a scholarship student. While there, he performed works by Christian Von Howard, Mark Morris, David Justin, Merce Cunningham, Millicent Johnnie, Sidra Bell, Manuel Vignoulle, Charles O. Anderson, among others. He was also a scholarship student at the American Dance Festival 2014. This will be his first season in NYC, and he is supremely grateful to be a member of Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC.

HEIDI MORGAN is a Brooklyn-based dancer and arts administrator. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Heidi attended Lindenwood University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and Non-Profit Administration. She is extremely thrilled to continue working as the Executive Lead and Dance Collaborator with TheREDprojectNYC. Heidi has also held administration positions with Rebecca Lazier, Movement Research, Megan Bascom & Dancers and ADF. She has performed works with Zullo/Raw Movement, Leverage Dance Theater, Gaspard&Dancers and Eunoia Dance Experiments. 

CASEY OLEJAR is a dance artist from Philadelphia, PA. She began her training in hip-hop and breaking, later falling in love with ballet and modern technique. She received a BFA from University of the Arts in 2016, under the President’s scholarship. At UArts, Casey performed works by Andrea Miller, Doug Varone, Netta Yerushalmy, and more. She also trained with The American Dance Festival, Doug Varone, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Sidra Bell, Gallim Dance and BODYTRAFFIC. Casey is now living in Brooklyn, freelancing and dancing with Johnnie Cruise Mercer/TheREDprojectNYC.

ERICA SAUCEDO is a Harlem-based dance artist with a BFA from the University of Texas at Austin. This season, she is collaborating with Johnnie Cruise Mercer\TheREDprojectNYC, Indah Walsh Dance Company, and co-directing vis-á-vis dances alongside Kate Bishop. As Erica creates works, she practices the excavation of subconscious thought in an effort to surpass rationalism and access automatism.  These efforts have developed from her understanding that rational thinking cannot bind the great gaps of separation between us. It is only through an active surrendering to our automatic selves that we recognize the basic necessities we share. In our dream world, no one is left out. All entities exist and have a place in our shared states of dreaming - both nightmarish and heavenly.

 

COLLABORATORS

BREEANAH BREEDEN - Marketing Assistant/Videographer

Cheraw, South Carolina. Montclair State University (BFA in Dance Performance).

JUSTIN JOHNSON - Composer

SHANICE MASON - Collaborating Artist/tRprva

Virginia Beach, VA.  Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA in Dance and Choreography).

CANDACE PERRY - Collaborating Artist

Chesterfield, VA. George Mason University (BFA in Dance, Minor in Business).

RACHEL RINEHARDT - Artistic Advisor/Web Designer

Richmond, VA. Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA in Dance and Choreography).

JASON RODRIGUEZ - Collaborating Artist

Washington Heights, New York City.  Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase. 

TORIAN UGWORJI - Marketing Director/Videographer

Richmond, VA. Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA in Kinetic Imaging).

SHAMAR WATT - Collaborating Artist

Jamaica born. Miami, Florida. Florida State University (BFA in Dance).