One of The New York Times‘ “Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019”, Ayodele Casel, “a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship” (The New Yorker), has been named a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University where she will be writing her next theatrical work. Ayodele recently collaborated with legendary latin jazz composer Arturo O’Farrill premiering a show at The Joyce Theater to sold out audiences and “making a triumphant debut as a leader there” (The New York Times) in September of 2019.
The 2017 recipient of the “Hoofer Award” and 2018-2019 Artist in Residence at Harvard University, Ayodele is a native New Yorker and began her professional training at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is also a graduate of The William Esper Studio in NYC, having studied directly with the masterful William Esper.
Ayodele premiered her one-woman show “While I Have The Floor” at the Spoleto Arts Festival to rave reviews. Her work is rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication. A frequent New York City Center collaborator, she was selected to create an interactive performance engaging NYC communities for their inaugural “On The Move” 5 borough tour. Ayodele also served as choreographer for Carole King and Maurice Sendak’s musical “Really Rosie” for its Encores! Off Center under the direction of Leigh Silverman, a soloist for Jeanine Tesori’s “Jamboree”, a soloist at Fall For Dance, and a soloist for “¡Adelante Cuba!” as part of Latin Jazz great Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.
Hailed by the legendary Gregory Hines as “one of the top young tap dancers in the world,” and by The New York Times as “A tap dancer of unquestionable radiance”, Casel has steadfastly become an internationally sought after artist and powerful voice for the art form.