3/6/18 O&A NYC DANCE: A Conversation With Michelle Fleet and Michael Trusnovec- Paul Taylor Dance Company 2018 New York City Season

By Walter Rutledge

The Paul Taylor American Modern Dance begins its annual New York City season at the Koch Theater, Lincoln Center tonight with a special 6pm Dance For All performance. All seats are $5. The season will offer 13 Taylor classics, a work by Lila York, world premieres from Doug Varone, Bryan Arias, and Taylor’s 147th work entitled Concertina. Continue reading

1/15/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Opening Reception for Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer

Opening Reception for Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer took place on the 8th floor of  Columbia University’s Manhattanville Campus Lenfest Center for the Arts. The gathering celebrated the first major exhibition devoted to the life and accomplishments of Arthur Mitchell, New York City Ballet’s first African- American principal dancer, and founder/artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The evening brought together former and present Dance Theatre of Harlem company members and staff, colleagues, old friends, balletomanes; and dance and cultural historians. In an unexpected highlight Mitchell partnered former DTH dancer Paunika Jones reinforcing that this octogenarian teacher, choreographer, dance and social icon still leads by example.

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Mitchell donated his personal archive to Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 2014. The Arthur Mitchell Collection on display in the 6th floor Wallach Art Gallery was curated by Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, and includes photographs, drawings, posters, memorabilia, and rare video footage. The collection not only provides an important insight into the groundbreaking career of Mitchell, but also illustrates how the arts can create social change. “I believe that dance, and the arts more broadly, can be used as a catalyst for social change—this is why I started the Dance Theatre of Harlem”, states Mitchell.

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Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer runs from January 13 through March 11, 2018. In addition to the exhibition special events have been planned including:

An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell
Saturday, January 20, 2018 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
This special afternoon includes a rare screening of the dance documentary, Rhythmetron with a live appearance by Arthur Mitchell.

Wallach Gallery Talks
Saturday January 27, 2018 1:00 – 1:30PM
Learn more about key works in the Arthur Mitchell archive from different perspectives. All talks begin at 1 pm and meet in the Wallach Art Gallery lobby on the 6th floor. Lynn Garafola, exhibition curator and Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College, Columbia University.

Wallach Family Afternoon
Saturday February 10, 2018 1:00 – 3:00PM
An afternoon of storytelling, art-making and movement for families to enjoy together.

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events including: An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell (January 20, 2018, 1pm) and Panel Discussion with former dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem (February 24, 2018, 1pm) visit wallach.columbia.edu. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 13– March 11, 2018

 

 

 

The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

 

 

 

 

The collection provides insight into the career and life mission of Mitchell, as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and social activist.

 

The first major exhibition devoted to Arthur Mitchell, this project celebrates the life and accomplishments of the New York City Ballet’s first African American star, and the founder and longtime director of the Dance Theater of Harlem. This event will take place on Friday, January 12, from 6-8 pm in the spacious new Wallach Art Gallery at the Lenfest Center for the Arts.

 

1/6/18 O&A NYC DANCE: Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer- A Retrospect On A Life Devoted To Dance

By Walter Rutledge

Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer will open at Columbia’s Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, 615 W 129th St, on Saturday January 13, 2018. The exhibit is presented in collaboration with Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, where Mitchell donated his archive in 2015. This is the first major exhibition devoted to celebrating the life and accomplishments of   New York City Ballet’s first African American principal dancer and the co-founder and longtime director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Curated by Lynn Garafola, Professor Emerita of Dance, Barnard College the collection will be on view through March 11, 2018

“This exhibition pays homage both to Mitchell’s creative magic and to his visionary achievements, revealing to those who never saw him dance his charismatic stage presence and the full scope of his career as an artist,” said Garafola. “At the same time, it places the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which he co-founded and directed for more than 40 years, at the crossroads of political, artistic and racial change in the United States and beyond.”

Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer will feature objects from Mitchell’s archive, including the telegram from Lincoln Kirstein to Mitchell inviting him to join the New York City Ballet, an Al Hirschfeld drawing of Suzanne Farrell and Mitchell in Balanchine’s Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Mitchell’s 1952 Four Saints in Three Acts souvenir program and posters from the 1961 Spoleto Festival, where Mitchell both choreographed and performed.                                                                  

Other highlights are photographs of Mitchell and fellow dancers by Anthony Crickmay, Peter Basch, Martha Swope and Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), and an eight-foot-long Dance Theatre of Harlem puzzle, created by Frank Bara in 1991, that chronicles the first two decades of the company’s history with illustrative detail of its artists, heroes and friends. Dancer Charmaine Hunter’s costume and headpiece designed by Geoffrey Holder for Firebird (1982), one of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s signature works, will be on view, as well as performance footage from a number of sources including the New York Public Library’s Jerome Robbins Dance Division.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Dance Pioneer Arthur Mitchell

“I am a political activist through dance,” said Mitchell, who received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Columbia in May of 2016. “I believe that dance, and the arts more broadly, can be used as a catalyst for social change—this is why I started the Dance Theatre of Harlem. With my archive at Columbia, artifacts of American dance history and African American history are accessible to young scholars, academics and the general public. The exhibition at the Wallach Gallery will further this push for change.”

The Wallach Art Gallery advances Columbia’s historical, critical and creative engagement with the visual arts. Serving as both a laboratory and a forum, the Wallach offers opportunities for curatorial practice and discourse, while bridging the diverse approaches to the arts at the University with a welcome broader public. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday, noon until 8pm and Saturday and Sunday, noon until 6 pm. The Wallach Art Gallery is free and open to the public.

“Our grand re-opening year at the Lenfest Center for the Arts is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Mitchell’s artistic genius, through the holdings of Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The Wallach is proud to collaborate on this presentation, offering a glimpse of these treasures to the public, while also appealing to those interested in the history of ballet, the history of Harlem and, more broadly, modern American race relations,” said Deborah Cullen, Director and Chief Curator of the Wallach Art Gallery.

For more information about the Wallach Art Gallery and the Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer exhibition and related events including: An Afternoon with Arthur Mitchell (January 20, 2018, 1pm) and Panel Discussion with former dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem (February 24, 2018, 1pm) visit wallach.columbia.edu. 

To watch the complete Agon featuring the original cast click below

http://outandaboutnycmag.com/1-7-18-oa-nyc-dance-agon-new-york-city-ballet-1960/

 

 

12/25/17 O&A NYC HOLLYWOOD MONDAY: The Nutcracker- New York City Ballet (1993)

The Nutcracker, also known as George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, is a 1993 American Christmas musical film based on Peter Martin’s stage production and directed by Emile Ardolino.  The film stars Darci Kistler, Damain Woetzel, Kyra Nichols, Bart Robinson Cook, Macaulay Culkin, Jessica Lynn Cohen, Wendy Whelan, Margaret Tracey, Gen Horiuchi, Tom Gold and the New York City Ballet.  Continue reading

9/4/17 O&A NYC DANCE: Arthur Mitchell- Dance Pioneer

Arthur Mitchell, pioneering ballet dancer, artistic director and choreographer has recently secured his achieves with Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Continue reading

3/11/16 O&A NYC SHALL WE DANCE FRIDAY: Jerome Robbins- Dances at a Gathering

Shall We Dance

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“The ballet stays and exists in the time of the music and its work. Nothing is out of it, I believe; all gestures and moods, steps, etc. are part of the fabric of the music’s time and its meaning to me.” – Jerome Robbins

Dances at a Gathering

Choreography: Jerome Robbins (1969)
Music: Chopin
Pianist: Ryoko Hisayama
Opéra de Paris (2014)

Ludmila Pagliero – en rose
Amandine Albison – en mauve
Nolwenn Daniel – Amarelo
Aurélie Dupont – en vert
Charline Giezendanner – en bleu
Mathieu Ganio – en brun
Karl Paquette – en violet
Josua Hoffalt – en vert
Emmanuel Thibault – en rouge brique
Christophe Duquenne – en bleu
Nolwenn Daniel – en jaune

The Bessies Are Coming- Meet The Nominees

By Walter Rutledge 

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The 31st New York Dance and Performance Awards, affectionately known as The Bessies, will be held on Monday, October 19, at 7:30pm, at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City . Jock Soto (former New York City Ballet principal) and performance artist and playwright Carmelita Tropicana will host the event. This is the fifth year The Bessies will be held at the historic Harlem landmark Theater.

This year The Bessies have nominated over thirty-five artists in seven catagories, which include: Outstanding Production, Outstanding Music Composition/Sound design, Outstanding Revival, Outstanding Performer, Outstanding Emerging Choreographer, Outstanding Visual Design, and the 2015 Juried Bessie Award. There will also be special presentations to Steve Paxton, recipient of the 2015 Bessie for Lifetime Achievement in Dance; and Movement Research, for Outstanding Service to the Field of Dance. The ceremony will feature performances by Bessie Award-winning artists Camille A. Brown, Lisa Nelson, and Storyboard P, recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Emerging Choreographer Award.

Here is an opportunity to meet five nominated artists:

Meet The Artists

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David Neumann/advanced beginner group– Outstanding Production for I Understand Everything Better.

David Neumann has been a featured dancer in the works of Susan Marshall, Jane Comfort, Sally Silvers, Irene Hultman, Cathy Weiss, Big Dance Theater, and the late club legend Willi Ninja. As Artistic Director of advanced beginner group, Neumann’s work has been presented in New York at PS 122, New York Live Arts, Central Park SummerStage (where he collaborated with John Giorno), Celebrate Brooklyn, Symphony Space (where he collaborated with Laurie Anderson), The Whitney, The Kitchen and BRIC Arts. His work has also been presented at the Walker Art Center and MASS MoCA. He’s currently a professor of Theater at Sarah Lawrence College.

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Lauren Grant– Outstanding Performer for her overall body of work with Mark Morris.

Grant has danced with MMDG since 1996. Performing leading roles in The Hard Nut and Mozart Dances, Grant has appeared in over 50 of Mark Morris’ works. She is on the faculty at The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center, leads master classes around the globe, sets Mr. Morris’ work at universities, and frequently leads classes for the company. Grant has been featured in Time Out New York, Dance Magazine, the book Meet the Dancers, appeared in PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and ITV’s The South Bank Show and was a subject for the photographer Annie Leibovitz.

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Storyboard P– Emerging Choreographer (Winner)

Storyboard P has fused various styles of Hip-Hop, (the latest American born art form) with elements of modern and jazz dance, cinematography and thematic choreographic form to create new dance narrative and abstract movement based works. His work embodies the collaborative ethos enlisting artists, fashion designers, musicians, DJs, filmmakers and street performers. Storyboard P’s art is reminiscent of another American art form- Jazz. Both were inspired by popular urban trends; but then manipulated codified techniques and experimented through improvisation to move in new directions. This 24 year-old phenom’s recent collaborations include fashion designer Marc Jacobs, recording artists Jay Z and Miguel, documentary filmmaker Frendy Lemorin, and renowned photographer Marc Baptiste. He calls this artistic movement amalgam Mutant; and in his own words, “Really my vision is just to speak, just to move, it’s just the aesthetic of it.”

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600 Highwaymen– Outstanding Performance for Employee Of The Year 

600 Highwaymen is a Brooklyn-based theater company under the artistic direction of Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone. In Employee Of The Year Nominee five young girls perform one woman’s journey, from beginning to end. Intimate and arresting, Employee of the Year asks what it is to discover your own path and find your own way in life.

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 Tei Blow– Outstanding Music Composition/Sound Design for I Understand Everything Better

Tei Blow is a performer and media designer born in Japan, raised in the United States, and based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Tei’s work incorporates photography and video with a focus on found media artifacts. He has performed and designed for The Laboratory of Dmity Krymov, Mihail Baryshnikov, Jodi Melnick, Ann Liv Young, Big Dance Theater and David Neumann. “As a designer and composer, I create intentionally derivative works from original and existing recorded material. Sounds are transformed through their contextual placement in space and time. My work illuminates the ties between design and subject by reframing familiar, found and original sounds; asking the viewrs to draw sensorial connections between the present moment and their own memories.”

Tickets for the 2015 Bessie Awards start at $10 and can be purchased in person at the Apollo Theater box office; by phone through Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000; or online at Ticketmaster.com. The Apollo Theater is located at 253 West 125th Street , New York , NY 10027.

9/5/14 O&A Shall We Friday: After The Rain- Choreography by Christopher Wheeldon

Shall We Dance

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After the Rain is a ballet choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon and originally performed New York City Ballet. The work is set to the music of Arvo Pärt, Tabula Rasa (first movement, Ludus) and Spiegel im Spiegel. After The Rain premiered on Saturday, January 22, 2005, at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center. The final pas de deux is often performed separately from the remainder of the ballet. In this performance Damian Smith and Yuan Yuan Tan dance the duet at the 2010 Fire Island Dance FestivalDancers Responding To Aids. A series of outdoor performances that take place the third weekend in July on Fire Island with proceeds benefiting Dancers Responding To Aids. Continue reading