CJay Philip portrait

Director/Choreographer,
Singer/Song writer,
Actress,
Playwright
and Poet

Biography

CJay Philip was born a multidisciplinary artist. Even as a child focusing on one thing was not her and only left CJay unsatisfied, frustrated and crying in her crib. Her mom always had to leave multiply toys and options to occupy her budding desire to experiment and create.
Today not much has changed. CJay is artistic director of Dance & Bmore, a contemporary and theatrical dance company fusing movement, live vocals, spoken word and original songs written by CJay to create a rich and colorful tapestry of creative offerings. The dancers sing, the singers dance and the artistic lines are blurred to create a multidisciplinary experience that is exciting not only for the audience but for the artists as well.
As a freelance director and creative collaborator, CJay has helped produce performances around the world as well as some of Baltimore’s most exciting events: the WOW – Women of the World concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the main-stage of the African Heritage Festival in 2011 and Centerstage’s 2012 50 Fest Extravaganza. CJay is also a regular teaching artist at Centerstage and has directed work for their Young Playwrights Festival. In 2015 she directed Marvin’s Trial presented at the D.C. Black Theatre Festival, based on the famed life and tragic death of iconic music legend Marvin Gaye.
She’s written and directed three of her own plays as well as an adaptation of Carmen a Hip-Hopera which enjoyed a sold out run in Zurich Switzerland.
CJay is also Writer/Producer/Director and Host of The Baltimore Arts Scene, an entertainment web series shining light on the ever growing creative communities in and around Baltimore.
As a songwriter she creates new music and vocal arrangements for the Dance & Bmore Ensemble as well as songs to accompany DAB’s signature wellness program for families. FazaFam Family Jams bring a soulful sound to kid friendly music that promotes positive messages while promoting healthy lifestyles and creative quality time for parents and children. FazaFam Family Jam is one of the most rewarding programs run by CJay and her team of teaching artists.  Dance & Bmore has also developed an elder arts program called Forever Fit & Fun which inspires senior citizens to share their oral history as they participate in live music and creative movement.
With decades of experience in arts and education, one of CJay’s most critical youth theater programs is the Story Tree Gang. CJay trains young artists in storytelling and theater for young audiences to spark dialog around challenging social issues such as gang violence, substance abuse, literacy, race relations, health and nutrition.
Although wearing many creative hats, a common thread and purpose is clear in CJay’s work…human connection. and community engagement. The daughter of a retired social worker and community activist, CJay can’t help but see the world around her through the lens of citizen artistry to inspire and ignite positive change within the minds, hearts and communities of the people she encounters along her journey. CJay’s “artist statement” is short enough to be found @GoCjay
“It’s not talent that gives you value, but what you do with it” Director, Choreographer, Singer/Song writer, Actress, Playwright, Poet, and Citizen Artist

Credits

Broadway Performances:

  • Hairspray (Dance Captain)
  • Street Corner Symphony
  • Big The Musical

Tours:

  • Dreamgirls
  • Legally Blonde

Dance Companies:

  • Maude Baum and Co.
  • EBA Dance Theatre
  • Burundi African Dance Troupe

Theatre Choreography:

  • The Who’s Tommy
  • Once On This Island
  • Carmen
  • Oliver
  • Once Upon A Mattress
  • Ragtime
  • Your Arm’s To Short Too Box With God
  • Marvin’s Trial
  • And more…

100s of Events:

  • 2000 Presidential Summit
  • House Of Representatives
  • JFK Memorial
  • Drowsy Chaperone spoof on stage at Broadways Marque Theatre
  • 2008 Miss Black USA in Los Vegas
  • Baltimore African American Fest 2010/2011 Main stage Director
  • WOW women of the world Festival 2012 at Joseph Meyerhoff
  • 50 Fest Extravaganza at Centerstage 2012 Director/Choreographer
  • 2015 Upfront for Essences Magazine

Young Audiences:

  • International HOPE worldwide Story Tree Gang
  • Alice’s Phonics Fantasy
  • Young Playwrights Festival Centerstage
  • Director of Children’s Theatre at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts

Arts Education:

  • Broadway Classroom (Master Classes)
  • Global Arts To Go (Teacher training workshop leader)
  • Wingspan Arts (Site Director)
  • Hope For Kids School Of The Arts (Program Director)
  • John Hopkins Center for Social Concern, CSC Dance Consultant.
  • Camp Center Stage
  • Musical Theatre and Broadway Dance

Awards

  • NYC Dance Break showcase for League of Broadway Producers.
  • Choreographer-Emmy award winning NBC McDonald’s Gospel Fest
  • Mary Sawyers Baker Award b grant winner
  • Baltimore Social Innovator
  • Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow

Mentored By

  • Dr Pearl Primus
  • Mercedes Ellington
  • Hope Clark
  • Liz Lurman
  • Sherwin MacKintosh
  • Susan Stroman
  • Jerry Mitchell
  • Jack O’Brien
  • Marion Caffey