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Gabrielle Lamb/Pigeonwing Dance to Premiere New Work at Baruch Performing Arts Center

Gabrielle Lamb/Pigeonwing Dance to Premiere New Work at Baruch Performing Arts Center

Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC) will host award-winning choreographer Gabrielle Lamb'sPigeonwing Dance in the premiere of an ensemble work that includes a new solo created for guest artist PeiJu Chien-Pott, a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. The program also includes Lamb's Tessellations (2016), performed by the Joffrey Ensemble. The one-night-only performance, presented in association with the CUNY Dance Initiative, will take place on Friday, November 18, at 7pm, at Mason Hall at the Baruch Performing Arts Center.

A recipient of a 2014-15 Princess Grace Award for Choreography, Gabrielle Lamb has a gift for transforming abstract movement into interactions that hint at interrelated stories. She has been praised for her commissions for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Memphis, BalletX, and others.

In her new work, Lamb explores the dynamics of groups under pressure. Drawing inspiration from historian and activist Rebecca Solnit's writings on the disaster communities emerge after earthquakes and floods, as well as from the volcano imagery of Indian artist Soghra Khurasani, Lamb asks: How do we behave under extraordinary circumstances? Are we innately competitive or cooperative creatures, and in which of these directions are we evolving? The work will be performed by Lamb's seven-member company, Pigeonwing Dance, with a virtuosic prelude performed by guest artist PeiJu Chien-Pott.

The program is completed by Lamb's Tessellations, set to music by the Amestoy Trio and Cat Power, and performed by the Joffrey Ensemble. When Tessellations premiered earlier this year at New York Live Arts, it was described by Philip Gardner of Oberon's Grove as "ironic, moving, and witty by turns...expressively danced by the Joffrey troupe."

Tickets are $15 general admission/$10 for students and can be purchased online at www.baruch.cuny.edu/bpac, or by phone at 212-352-3101. Mason Hall is located at 17 Lexington Avenue at East 23rd Street.

About Pigeonwing Dance

Under the direction of choreographer Gabrielle Lamb, Pigeonwing Dance integrates the rigor of classical training into a unique contemporary movement language. With precision and humor, the New York City-based company blends technical virtuosity and visual poetry to investigate the complexities of 21st-century lives. In Lamb's choreography bodies combine into fluent living sculptures, strange angles emerge, then quickly dissolve, like puzzles assembling and disassembling themselves.

Lamb's selection for New York City Center's Choreography Fellowship (2014) enabled her to form a group of seven dancers to create work on a larger scale. During that year, the company performed three new works at Garth Newel Music Center (Virginia), and Ailey Citigroup Theater (NYC), as well as for invited audiences at City Center Studio 5 and SUNY Purchase. The company was selected for a 2015 CUNY Dance Initiative residency at Queens College and a 2016 residency at Baruch College Performing Arts Center (BPAC), as well as a 2016 Creative Engagement Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. In August 2016 the company premiered a new work-in-progress during a residency at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. The company chose the name "Pigeonwing" for its unlikely blend of humility and airiness, as well as for its New York City flavor. More information: www.pigeonwingdance.com and www.gabriellelamb.com

Pigeonwing Dance's performance and residency at Baruch Performing Arts Center are made possible in part by the CUNY Dance Initiative, and with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

About Dance at BPAC in 2016-17

Gabrielle Lamb's residency at BPAC is one of three in 2016-17 for choreographers creating new work. Acclaimed choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women, joined by director Raelle Myrick Hodges and writer Keisha Zollar, is developing Hair and Other Stories, a dance-theater work addressing matters of race, gender identity, and economic inequality in the lives of African-American women (public work-in-process presentation: March 31, 2017). Sidra Bell Dance New York will make Mönster Outside, a voyeuristic discourse about outliers in contemporary society, with music by Per Störby and his critically acclaimed New Tide Orquesta, genre-bending vocalist Joseph Keckler, and environments by Visual Relief, creators of artistic experiences with projected light (performances: April 26-30, 2017).

About the CUNY Dance Initiative

The CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is a new residency program that opens the doors of CUNY arts facilities to New York City choreographers and dance companies. Developed in response to the shortage of affordable rehearsal space in New York City, CDI aims to support local artists, enhance college students' cultural life and education, and build new audiences for dance at CUNY performing arts centers. In 2016, 12 CUNY colleges in all five boroughs are hosting 23 residencies. www.cuny.edu/danceinitiative.

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