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Joe Orrach

Joe Orrach is the Artistic Director of the Joe Orrach Performance Project (JOPP). Joe is an actor, choreographer, singer, and story-teller who has worked in theatres worldwide, in television, and on screen. He is all about movement and rhythm. Joe, the founder of JOPP, along with the community members and artistic participants he brings to the nonprofit, use the organization to increase participation by students, young and older, in the performing and expressive arts, helping them all to find confidence and joy through their personal capacities to sing, speak, move, dance and tell stories. JOPP participants find their inner resources. Nothing is more empowering than exploring and growing one's own capacities and, through them, finding effectiveness in the world.

Joe’s own performing career started in boxing. He was Welterweight Champion of the US Air Force before he turned to dance. He started his dance career as a tap dancer on the streets of NYC where Gregory Hines discovered him and brought him to dance in NYC theatres. On stage, Joe has performed with Joan Baez, Bob Hope, the Smothers Brothers, Michael Davis, Liliane Montevecchi, Bill Irwin, David Shiner, Melissa Manchester, and the Cookie Monster, among others. He has tap danced with such greats as Gregory Hines, Jimmy Slyde, Savion Glover and Michelle Dorrance, and old masters including the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles, Charles “Cookie” Cook and Chuck Green.  He has been directed by Woody Allen (Everyone Says I Love You), Jeremiah Chechik (In My Corner), James Mangold (Copland), Tim Boxell (Valley of the Heart’s Delight), Stefan Haves (Punch Drunk) and David Shiner (Nacht Mund). CNN International has profiled Joe on “People in the Arts.” As a choreographer he has worked at theatres and playhouses in the US and Europe, including with the National Opera in DC and Opera Parallel in San Francisco.

Fun fact: Joe plays the "speed bag" (a boxer's punching bag) as a musical instrument with a jazz band and also with symphony orchestras -- he played the speed bag with a symphony orchestra at the Kennedy Center, DC.

Joe received his Performing Arts degree with honors through the LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) program at St. Mary’s College of California in 2009. He received his MFA from University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts in Acting in 2012.

For more information on Joe Orrach, click here to visit his personal website.

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