Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Bread and Puppet Theater Play Bryn Mawr College, Sept 2012
The 2012-2013 season of the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series opens in September with new works by the Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble and Bread and Puppet Theater. One explores a rich mix of cultures through music and dance, and the other reflects contemporary issues through theater and puppetry.
Tonight, September 14, Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemblewill present a first glimpse of newly-commissioned choreography from MacArthur genius Mark Morris. Combining the strengths of ballet with the vigor of youth, the Voloshky style is bold, powerful and dazzles with athleticism. The piece will be set to Camille Saint-Saën’s Carnival of the Animals and features thirty-five dancers from the Ukraine and U.S. with Voloshky’s live orchestra. This commission will be the first non-traditional dance in Voloshky’s repertoire.
“Art is Not Business! Art Is Food! Art Soothes Pain! Art Wakes Up Sleepers! Art Is Cheap! Hurrah!” proclaims Bread and Puppet’s Cheap Art Manifesto. The legendary activist theater company returns September 28-30 with two productions: The Complete Everything Everywhere Cabaret and the 2012 edition of the group’s family-friendly The Circus of the Possibilitarians accompanied by the B&P Circus Band and full of “animals of all kinds.” The company’s work features giant puppets, storytellers and stilt dancers who deliver a unique distillation of political issues, reflections on daily life and sheer silliness.
Bryn Mawr’s Campus is located at 101 N. Merion Ave. Tickets to individual events in the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series are $20, $18 for seniors, $10 for students with ID and Dance Pass holders, and $5 for children under 12. Circus will be presented outdoors free of charge. Tickets and more information are available online at brynmawr.edu/arts/series.html or by calling 610-526-5210.
Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble
with Choreography by Mark Morris
Friday, September 14 at 8 p.m.
McPherson Auditorium, Goodhart Hall.
Bread and Puppet Theater
The Complete Everything Everywhere Cabaret
Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. / Appropriate for ages 12 and up
Hepburn Teaching Theater
The Circus of the Possibilitarians
Sunday, September 30 at 2 p.m. / Appropriate for all ages
Outdoors: Thomas Great Hall Cloisters (in case of rain: McPherson Auditorium).
Voloshky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble represents Ukrainian culture through dance. Voloshky’s uniqueblend of styles has positioned the company as a leading cultural ambassador, simultaneously representing Ukrainian arts as well as the rich dynamic pluralism of the United States. Voloshky is dedicated to fostering and promoting cultural exchanges between Ukrainians and the global community through world–class artistic performances. As a Ukrainian Dance company founded in the United States, Voloshky combines Ukrainian and American esthetics, drawing upon classical, contemporary and folkloric styles to create powerful trans-cultural programs that cross-pollinate diverse audiences.
Voloshky partners with leading professional dance companies in Ukraine and the United States and has been generously supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Dance/USA Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour (PennPAT). Most recently Voloshky was awarded a grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through Dance Advance to commission world-renowned choreographer Mark Morris to create a new contemporary work, now premiering in its 40th anniversary season.
Mark Morris was born on August 29, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, where he studied with Verla Flowers and Perry Brunson. In the early years of his career, he performed with the dance companies of Lar Lubovitch, Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, Eliot Feld and the Koleda Balkan Dance Ensemble. He formed the Mark Morris Dance Group in 1980, and has since created more than 130 works for the company. From 1988-1991, Morris was Director of Dance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, the national opera house of Belgium. Among the works created during his time there were three evening-length dances: L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato; Dido and Aeneas; and The Hard Nut. In 1990, he founded the White Oak Dance Project with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Morris is also much in demand as a ballet choreographer and has created eight works for the San Francisco Ballet since 1994 plus received commissions from many others. His work is also in the repertory of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, New Zealand Ballet, Houston Ballet, English National Ballet, and The Royal Ballet. Morris is noted for his musicality and has been described as “undeviating in his devotion to music.” He has worked extensively in opera, directing and choreographing productions for The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, English National Opera, and The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. In 1991, he was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation. He has received eleven honorary doctorates to date.
The Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side and is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country. Besides rod-puppet and hand puppet shows for children, the concerns of the first productions were rents, rats, police and other problems of the neighborhood. More complex theater pieces followed, in which sculpture, music, dance and language were equal partners. The puppets grew bigger and bigger. Annual presentations for Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and Memorial Day often included children and adults from the community as participants. Many performances were done in the street. During the Vietnam War, Bread and Puppet staged block-long processions and pageants involving hundreds of people. In 1974 Bread and Puppet moved to a farm in Glover in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. The 140-year old hay barn was transformed into a museum for veteran puppets.
The company makes its income from touring new and old productions both on the American continent and abroad, and from sales of Bread and Puppet Press’ posters and publications. The traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces presented by members of the company, to extensive outdoor pageants, which require the participation of many volunteers.
Since 1984 the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented great artists and performances to audiences in the Philadelphia area, creating an environment in which the value of the arts is recognized and celebrated. Talks and workshops provided free to the public help develop arts awareness and literacy. The Series works to lower barriers to arts access through its partnership with Art-Reach, a nonprofit dedicated to improving arts accessibility for people of all ages and circumstances, and through its low ticket prices. Partnering in recent seasons with such organizations as the Baryshnikov Arts Center, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented performances and enriching events by such luminaries and visionaries as Meredith Monk, John Waters, Il Fondamento, the Khmer Arts Ensemble of Cambodia and Urban Bush Women.