JUILLIARD DANCES REPERTORY with Works by Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch & More, Begins Tonight
This month, Juilliard Dances Repertory presents repertory works by acclaimed choreographers Eliot Feld, Juilliard alumnus Lar Lubovitch, and Twyla Tharp. Juilliard dancers perform Baker's Dozen by Twyla Tharp; Concerto Six Twenty-Two by Lar Lubovitch; and The Jig is Up by Eliot Feld. All three dances were choreographed between 1979 and 1986, and Juilliard dancers have had the opportunity to learn the dances through intensive work with two of the choreographers - Eliot Feld and Lar Lubovitch - and with Juilliard alumna Shelley Washington, an original member of the cast of Twyla Tharp's work.
Twyla Tharp's Baker's Dozen (1979) was created for the Hollywood production of Hair, but was not included in the final edit. "I was thinking a lot about economy [after filming]. Nothing should be squandered or disregarded," Tharp recounts in Confessions of a Cornermaker (1981). Rather than leaving it on the cutting room floor, Tharp repurposed the movement and set it to compositions by Willie "The Lion" Smith. "As in nature, all things would be recycled and would accrue." Baker's Dozen embodies this sense of economy and integration, which is closely tied to Tharp's Indiana Quaker roots. The movement expresses harmony, playfulness, and easy virtuosity. The structure of the work is based on multiples of 12: six duets, four trios, three quartets, two sextets, and finally 12 solos - reinforcing the Quaker values of the individual's importance to the community. Twyla Tharp's company premiered the work on February 15, 1979 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The music will be performed live by Juilliard Jazz alumnus, pianist Christopher Ziemba.
Concerto Six Twenty-Two (1986) is one of Lar Lubovitch's most celebrated dances. It plays between the beautiful Mozart score and Lubovitch's own spirited sense of lyricism. The centerpiece of the dance is the male duet, which on its own has become one of Lubovitch's major achievements. The work is set to Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A Major, K. 622. The work was commissioned by Centre national de danse (Angers, France) and had its premiere in 1986. The music will be performed live by the Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Juilliard alumna Karina Canellakis, who was recently appointed assistant conductor at the Dallas Symphony. Juilliard clarinetist Weixiong Wang is the soloist.
Eliot Feld's The Jig is Up (1984), set to Celtic music, is a virtuosic and playful abstraction of folk dances. The ballet, in eight sections, has rousing group sections and more intimate solos and duets. Costume design is by Willa Kim; and lighting design is by Allen Lee Hughes. The music featured is by The Bothy Band with
Archibald McDonald, and John Cunningham. The work had its premiere on January 24, 1984 at the Wharton center for the Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan by the Feld Ballet.
Juilliard Dances Repertory performances take place tonight, March 21, 2014 at 8 PM; Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 8 PM; Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 3 PM; Monday, March 24, 2014 at 8 PM; and Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 8 PM in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater.