A Dance Troupe Adds Fresh Faces. The Youngest Is 66.

“Keep the arms heavy, feel the weight of the step,” the choreographer Larissa Velez-Jackson called to her performers, a group of women ages 66 to 87, as they practiced walking like runway models in a studio at New York Live Arts. Every few steps, they paused as if posing for a camera, throwing sultry glances toward the front of the room.

“I think we’re liking getting our picture taken,” Ms. Velez-Jackson said approvingly, strolling among them.

She was leading a rehearsal of “Give It to You Stage,” a two-act song-and-dance extravaganza that opens at Live Arts on Wednesday. The show is a project of Yackez, the performance art duo that is Ms. Velez-Jackson, 40, and her husband, Jon Velez-Jackson, 39. He brings the songwriting background — the two write and produce all their own music — while she brings the choreographic expertise.

“Stage,” their largest-scale production to date, compiles old and new numbers into a semiautobiographical musical, addressing topics ranging from couples’ therapy and date night to the grind of getting by as artists in New York. The Velez-Jacksons play Twitta and Papi Jon, a pair of aspiring pop stars crossed with themselves.

Photo

Bonnie Yarry, one of Ms. Velez-Jackson’s aerobics students, embracing the Yackez aesthetic.

Credit
Sasha Arutyunova for The New York Times

Since its first show in 2011, Yackez has brought a vaudevillian cast of characters into its orbit, with a growing entourage of backup dancers — billed as a “queer pro wrestling dance ensemble” — bolstering the pair’s raucous performances. “There’s a fluidity in the way that they allow people to inhabit the work, and also a specificity,” said Laurie Berg, who performs the role of Coach, Twitta’s masked bodyguard.

For “Stage,” the troupe expands further to include 11 women from Ms. Velez-Jackson’s parallel life as a fitness…

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