Ayodele Casel in The Amph

Ayodele Casel

Tap dancer and choreographer

“Music and dance have the power to bring such joy, and to unite across all walks of life. I am grateful for the opportunity to revel in some magic making at Little Island!”

In Little Island’s inaugural 2021 season, Ayodele Casel partnered with frequent collaborator Torya Beard to create and curate the Little Island Dance Festival, a week-long celebration of percussive dance forms that lit up the park with lively rhythms and sounds from all over the world. Audiences enjoyed Afro-Latin Jazz rhythms, Kathak dance, house ballroom, street dance, hand drumming, tabla music, and more. The festival celebrated both emerging dance artists and seasoned, established dancers, and was highlighted by a celebration of National Dance Day, featuring new works from Josh Prince, Ray Mercer, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Tiffany Rea-Fisher.

“One of The New York Times’ “Biggest Breakout Stars of 2019,” Ayodele Casel, “a tap dancer of fine-grained musicianship” (The New Yorker), is a 2019-2020 fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Born in The Bronx and raised in Puerto Rico, Ayodele began her professional training at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her origins in theater and love for storytelling and tap dance have significantly contributed to the narrative nature in her work, which is rooted in the expression of identity, culture, language, and communication.”

During her residency at Little Island, Ayodele will be joined by frequent collaborator Torya Beard. Together, their recent projects include “Ayodele Casel + Arturo O’Farrill” at The Joyce Theater, “Diary of a Tap Dancer V.4” at Royal Family, “Diary of A Tap Dancer V.6” commissioned by New York City Center, “Really Rosie” for City Center Encores!, and “Rooted” for the inaugural five-borough tour of New York City Center’s On The Move.

Ayodele Casel, a down-to-earth storyteller whose relaxed poise can belie the exceptional quickness and needlepoint intricacy of her footwork.

The New Yorker

A tap dancer of unquestionable radiance.

The New York Times