Ariel Rivka Dance Celebrates 10th Anniversary at NYLA
Known for its "powerfully engaging" (New York Arts) choreography, Ariel Rivka Dance reflects on 10 seasons of provocative modern dance with a pair of career-spanning programs to be performed at New York Live Arts from September 6-9, 2017. Along with beloved repertory by choreographer Ariel Grossman, each evening welcomes performances by the acclaimed Taylor 2, a work by Chanel DaSilva (Trey McIntyre Project, MOVE(NYC)), and/or a world premiere by Michael Phillips (RIOULT Dance NY). Program details are below.
From its early beginnings at Grossman's community center in the building where she took her very first dance class to premier venues in Manhattan and around the country, ARD has grown its company size, performance opportunities, collaborative efforts, and artistic capacity. An audience favorite for its accessible, graceful signature style of movement, ARD has captivated sold-out crowds in six states in 40+ venues, at 20+ festivals, and has premiered over 15 works. "We are thrilled to be celebrating 10 years of Ariel Rivka Dance," exclaimed Ariel Grossman, artistic director of Ariel Rivka Dance. "It is rather humbling to reflect on the dancers, collaborators, children, and audience members that we have impacted (and more importantly, have impacted us) this past decade. Thanks to them, we now serve as one of the leading, all-female contemporary dance ensembles in the nation."
Grossman's openness, and deep musical connections have remained a constant while her choreographic style has shifted from narrative, to abstract, to socially-driven. "I believe it is my responsibility to use my art to connect with audiences and provide a space to feel," said Grossman. "I have always felt the intense vulnerability that comes with sharing my heart and guts. It is terrifying, but I have never felt I had any other choice then to do so." According to her dancers, she is a strong female artist whose movement vocabulary continues to evolve. "My favorite aspect of working with Ariel is that she always challenges herself to step outside of her comfort zone as an artist," explained dancer Hana Ginsburg Tirosh. "One of her primary choreographic devices is to identify an element that she has not worked with previously (narrative, floor work, stillness for example), and then specifically set out to explore that concept. This willingness to take creative risks and push her own boundaries in turn inspires us to do the same as dancers, and has fostered an atmosphere of rapid growth, stylistic diversity and constant evolution."
Leading the program are five classical works by Grossman-of which four were set to original music by Grossman's husband/composer David Homan. Holly (2011) is an emotional solo to be performed by a different dancer each night demonstrating athleticism and grace. Variations on a Box (2016) drives the full ARD company of eight dancers to explore the constraints of shape and sound. Receiving its New York premiere is Undertow (2016), commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). It brings to life the flowing fauna, mysterious sea life, and powerful force of the undertow that controls it all. Four Concerned (2012) explores the many faces of friendship through intricate partnering among four women. According to The Model Critic, it has "a freedom and beauty beyond technique that is [was] very inspiring." The most recent of Grossman's works, No Words (2017), also commissioned by NJPAC, celebrates its New York premiere and the first time Homan has performed live on piano in five years.
Dedicated to empowering and supporting fellow female choreographers, Grossman welcomes SUSAN (2016) by Chanel DaSilva. This three-section piece is driven by a passionate score, including vocals, tap dancing, and percussion that strikes a perfect balance between chaos and order. Also on the program are a world premiere by Michael Spencer Phillips and Piazzolla Caldera (1997) by Paul Taylor featuring the dancers of Taylor 2. Through sizzling sexual duets and trios, Piazzolla Caldera looks at the culture of tango, the predatory dance that originated in the brothels of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th Century.
About Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD)
Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD) is a critically acclaimed all-female contemporary dance company led by a married choreographer/composer team, Ariel Grossman (Artistic Director/Choreographer) and David Homan (Executive Director/Composer). Based in New York/New Jersey, ARD is committed to creating work with new music that explores emotionally driven movement with underlying currents of technique and structure. Collaboration and accessibility are the heart of ARD. It produces shows that incorporate various styles of dance and music, exposing our audiences to quality artistry in an inviting way.
In 2016 Ariel was named one of Jersey (New) Moves Emerging Choreographers and was invited back to the 2017 festival as a standout past grant recipient. The company recently toured to Houston, TX, for Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre and to the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, and is looking forward to an upcoming choreographic & performance residency in Vero Beach, FL. ARD has also been presented at NJPAC, Rutgers University, the Gershman Y (Philadelphia, PA), Saratoga Dance Museum, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Dixon Place, White Wave's Wave Rising Series and Inaugural Solo/Duo Festival, and REVERBDance. Past performances include collaborations with RIOULT Dance NY, Heidi Latsky, Elisa King, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Paul Dennis and Sean Curran. ARD has also held choreographic residencies at LaGuardia Performing Arts High School (NY) and Moving Youth Ballet Company (NJ) and was the recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant and a Nathan Cummings Foundation grant.
With a Masters in Early Childhood Education, Grossman has a passion for introducing dance to young learners offering family, community, and early childhood programming. Ariel Rivka Dance's most recent family program is the touring work, "The Book of Esther: The Journey of Queen Vashti and Queen Esther," which explores Ariel's Jewish roots through a feminist lens. Traveling to Philadelphia, Ocean County, NJ, and various locations in New York City, "The Book of Esther" has provoked riveting conversations about artistic interpretation, biblical text, and the art of collaboration with adults and children alike. To learn more, please visit ArielRivkaDance.com.
About Chanel DaSilva
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Chanel DaSilva fell in love with dance at the age of three. She studied at The Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and also studied at Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn under the tutelage of Jamel Gaines, Kevin Joseph, and Lakai Worrell. Her training continued at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal. She received a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Chanel has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Eliot Feld, Doug Varone, Jose Limon, Jessica Lang, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, and Lar Lubovitch. Chanel is a 2004 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a 2011 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium Awardee. From 2008 - 2014 Chanel was a member of Trey McIntyre Project where she was the muse for many of Mr. McIntyre's works. She is now a member of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and serves on the dance faculty of her alma mater, LaGuardia High School. In addition to being a dancer and an educator, Chanel has choreographed works for schools, universities and dance companies across the country, including Idaho Dance Theater, Harvard Ballet Company, The Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence Series and The Juilliard School. Alongside her partner Nigel Campbell, Chanel is the co-founder and co-director of MOVE(NYC), an annual summer dance intensive geared exclusively toward talented and motivated NYC teenagers.