Fiyah Dancehall Theater was conceptualized in 2011 and came to life in 2013 when Jessica Phoenix, moved to NYC. The idea was simple, "Dynamic Dancehall on Stage”. Knowing the importance on the raw talent, the culture's authenticity and proper representation in her own work, Phoenix could not move ahead without the blessing of Jamaica’s own, Latonya Style (Founder of DanceJA), Matthew Richards, and Famous Dancer, all special guests who helped advise and encourage FDT at their first open auditions in NYC 2013. Using her own background as a professional dancer and performer for years, Phoenix was also able to present open workshops and classes available to the NYC Community to learn and study the idea of combining Dancehall movement onto the Theatrical space. Consequently, building a new community of growing professional cast members ready for the big stage!
The U.S. debut of Fiyah Dancehall Theater production manifested in November 2013 at the Roulette Theater in Brooklyn, NY. Produced, Directed, and Choreographed by Jessica Phoenix with co-choreographers Blacka Di Danca and Yaminah Legohn and a cast of 20+ talented dancers. For 2 nights, the two-hour production brought packed crowds, celebrity guests from Jamaica, standing ovations, and great reviews. New York caught deh FIYAH! Since 2013, FDT has graced the stages at World of Dance Orlando, Stony Brook University, UniverSoul Circus, Jamaican Jerk Festival, and more.
A second FDT premiere titled “DREAMS” took place in May 2014 at NYC's Symphony Space. The cast was 25+ of NYC'S dynamic performance community and also featured choreography by Marcus Cobb, Syrin Zero, and Yaminah Legohn. “DREAMS” received a great response and proved there was, in fact, an appreciation for what FIYAH brings to audiences. Following up, Jessica Phoenix collaborated with London/Belgium's own Cindy Claes, Founder of London's Dancehall Theatre. Together they worked with dancers and performers in specialty workshops exploring Dance Theater concepts and techniques.
FDT continued on its 3rd and 4th seasons, training a tight knit group of dancers presenting intimate works at Santos Party House, the Flatbush Loft, and Breakin Boundaries Studio.
In 2015, Jessica Phoenix has teamed up with Lady Sol Inc., (Manager/Founder of the world renown FootworKINGz) with full intention in bringing FDT 2015-2016 works to local, national, and international stages. “I have always wanted to see Dancehall on Broadway and if I continue to think and dream BIG, we will get there,” expresses the sincere Jessica Phoenix.
Since, Phoenix has been accepted as a featured Choreographer presenting FIYAH Dancehall Theater with Harlem's Summer on the Hudson and with Chashama Organization's Anita's Way public art space in New York City's Times Square.
2017 will make its 5th Season, and FIYAH Dancehall Theater has plans to reach more audiences and inspire more people with workshops and performances in New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC.