Ardea Arts Announces Events and Performances for BOUNCE The Basketball Opera, An American Story Told through Basketball

Full Show to Premiere on Basketball Courts around New York City, June 2020, and BOUNCE Summer 2019 Special Event Performances in New York City, August 6th, 10th, and 11th



Press Contact: Alan Dai
Phone: (212) 431-7039

NEW YORK, NY Ardea Arts, a SoHo-based non-profit arts organization that aims to create provocative new works of opera and musical theater within a contemporary vernacular framework, announces their brand-new show, BOUNCE The Basketball Opera, An American Story Told through Basketball. Based on “The Flight of Icarus,” BOUNCE tells the story of a basketball player bound for stardom, shot on a basketball court during a street game. With his basketball dreams over, BOUNCE examines what it takes to come back from trauma and tragedy and to fly again. BOUNCE is a groundbreaking new American work that melds genres and defies stereotypes, embracing the full palette of contemporary American music from Hip-Hop to Opera, and addresses issues of gun violence, the school-to-prison pipeline, and how decisions made at a young age can define the course of the rest of a person’s life—all told through an unconventional marriage of basketball and the performing arts. The show will premiere on basketball courts around New York City in June 2020.

Len Elmore, veteran NBA player, Harvard lawyer, NCAA and NBA sportscaster, member of the Ardea Arts Board of Directors, and BOUNCE advocate says about the show: “Against the street canvas of urban basketball, BOUNCE paints a powerful message of hopes and dreams; some fulfilled, others destroyed, using an entertaining palette of music that delivers a story to which any audience can connect.

Coretta Scott King Award-winning author and lead writer of BOUNCE, Charles R. Smith Jr. states, “Whether you love basketball or know nothing about it, BOUNCE will connect with you because at the heart of the story is love. Love for the game, love shown to others, love shown in loss, and how difficult it can be to simply love yourself. That love shines through in the lyrics, songs, and basketball action, and has brought tears and smiles to faces of all ages and backgrounds.”

BOUNCE is made possible by Ardea Arts, Inc. in partnership with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre and the National Endowment for the Arts. Major BOUNCE community partners and sponsors include Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets, Rucker Pro Legends and the National Association of Each One Teach One (Harlem), and contemporary athleisure brand BOY MEETS GIRL®, which is a well-known connector of the arts, social activism, and ethics. The show’s chorus, made up of exclusively inner-city Title One Youth from Brooklyn High School of the Arts (BHSA), will be wearing T-shirts designed and provided by BOY MEETS GIRL®. Nike is donating all of the basketball uniforms and shoes for the show.

Next week, BOUNCE will be bringing three special event performances to New York City on August 6th, 10th, and 11th. The first event taking place on Tuesday, August 6th, National Night Out Against Crime, will be held by the NYPD 32nd Precinct. BOUNCE will be presenting a 20-minute concert of pieces from the show dedicated to parents everywhere who have lost their children before their time. The presentation will be held between 6:00 – 7:30 PM. For more information on the event, which is free to the public and will be held from 3:00 – 9:00 PM at West 135th Street Between Adam Clayton Powell Blvd & Frederick Douglass Blvd, please contact the 32nd Precinct Community Affairs Office at (212) 690-6329.

On Saturday, August 10th, BOUNCE will be performing at 5:00 PM at the EA Sports Awards Ceremony on Greg Marius Court at Holcombe Rucker Park, Harlem. The event is free to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The third performance will take place on Sunday, August 11th and will be held at Barclays Center as part of the New York Liberty Pre-Game Show and third annual UNITY Day Game. The NY Liberty continues to push for equality and social progress for which this year’s UNITY Day follows the work the Liberty have done the past two years with UNITY Days centered around issues such as racial injustice, gun violence and equality. Game tickets are required to attend and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. BOUNCE’s performance will run seven minutes, approximately 30 minutes before tip-off. The NY Liberty game begins at 3:00pm. To attend pregame events, media must RSVP to Alesia Howard at Please request Game Day media credentials here.


For more information about BOUNCE, please visit:


For more information about BOUNCE, please contact:

Fran Curtis, Rogers & Cowan

Michelle Nemeroff, Rogers & Cowan

Chidi Ozieh, Ardea Arts

Grethe B. Holby, Ardea Arts

Ardea Arts to Receive $12,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts


NEW YORK, NY — National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $12,000 to Ardea Arts to support the summer and fall programming and performances of BOUNCE The Basketball Opera. Art Works is the Arts Endowment’s principal grantmaking program. The agency received 1,592 Art Works applications for this round of grantmaking, and will award 977 grants in this category.

“These awards, reaching every corner of the United States, are a testament to the artistic richness and diversity in our country,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “Organizations such as Ardea Arts are giving people in their community the opportunity to learn, create, and be inspired.”

Grethe Barrett Holby, Artistic and Executive Director of Ardea Arts, had this to add: “We are so deeply grateful for the National Endowment for the Arts’ continued support of BOUNCE The Basketball Opera with another grant. This grant will help us to hold our inaugural summer and fall BOUNCE NYC Courts Tour, and assists with the cost of the premiere of BOUNCE this September. We thank the NEA for supporting such a pivotal piece for our time today, bringing the integral message of BOUNCE directly to audiences and communities around the five boroughs.”

BOUNCE is a groundbreaking new American work that melds genres and defies stereotypes, embracing the full palette of contemporary American music. It tells this story with the hard-hitting sounds of modern hip-hop, R&B, jazz, gospel, and classical vocal technique, melding with the squeak of sneakers across the court, and the percussive beat of the basketball. Performed on an actual basketball court, BOUNCE features local basketball players playing side-by-side with professional actors, singers, rappers, game commentators, and guest artists. BOUNCE also rocks the rim with extraordinary community engagement programs to attract diverse, new audiences of all ages.

For more information about BOUNCE, event dates, and tickets, please visit For additional details on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit