New York Theatre Ballet to Bring UPTOWN/DOWNTOWN/DANCE to New York Live Arts
New York Theatre Ballet (NYTB) returns to New York Live Arts with its new Uptown/Downtown/Dance series from March 1-4, 2017 at 7:30pm with an additional 2pm matinee on Saturday.
This year's program features a revival of Nijinsky's L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune staged by the 98-year-old Ann Hutchinson Guest, a new and as-of-yet untitled pas de trois by Pam Tanowitz, Frederick Ashton's La Chatte métamorphoses en femme, and Antonia Franceschi's She Holds Out Her Hand which premiered at Danspace in Fall 2016. All pieces will be performed to live music.
A post-show celebration with wine, hors d'oeuvres, and music will be held after the opening night performance for which tickets are $75. Tickets for the performances are $30 ($15 for Students & Seniors) and can be purchased at newyorklivearts.org/event/spring-concerts.
The Uptown/Downtown/Dance Program at New York Live Arts:
L'Après-midi d'un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun)
by Vaslav Nijinksy, Staged by Ann Hutchinson Guest
L'Après-midi d'un faune (The Afternoon of a Faun) was choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes and first performed in the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on 29 May 1912. Nijinsky danced the main part himself. Both the score (Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy) and the ballet were inspired by the poem L'Après-midi d'un faune by Stéphane Mallarmé. The style of the ballet - in which a young faun meets several nymphs, flirts with them, and chases them - was deliberately archaic. In the original costume and scenography designed by painter Léon Bakst, the dancers were presented as part of a large tableau, a staging reminiscent of an ancient Greek vase painting. They often moved across the stage in profile as if on a bas relief. The ballet was presented in bare feet and rejected classical formalism. The work had an overtly erotic subtext beneath its façade of Greek antiquity, ending with a scene of graphic sexual desire. L'Après-midi d'un Faune is considered one of the first modern ballets and proved to be as controversial as Nijinsky's Jeux (Games, 1913) and Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring, 1913).
Untitled Pas de Trois
by Pam Tanowitz
Pam's third work for New York Theatre Ballet.
La Chatte métamorphoses en femme (The Cat transformed into a woman)
La Chatte métamorphoses en femme (The cat transformed into a woman) was originally a one-act opéra comique of 1858 with words by Eugene Scribe and Mélesville, and music by Jacques Offenbach. It was first performed in Paris, at the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens, on April 19, 1858, and was kept in the repertory by the Bouffes-Parisiens for some time. It was revived at the 1986 Carpentras Festival, and more recently at the Théâtre de Cornouaille, Quimper and the Opéra de Rennes, in 2008. Frederick Ashton created a short ballet solo for Merle Park in Vienna in 1985 using many themes from the opera which was orchestrated by Philip Gammon for its later presentation at Covent Garden
She Holds Out Her Hand
Premiered with New York Theatre Ballet at Danspace Project in Fall 2016.
Ann Hutchinson Guest is an American movement and dance researcher and may be considered the preeminent world authority on dance notation, especially Labanotation. She wrote a history on the subject of dance notation, and her works have been translated into multiple languages. She is the co-founder of the Dance Notation Bureau, New York, 1940. She also founded the Language of Dance Centre (LODC) in London, England in 1967 as well as co-founding the Language of Dance Center USA in 1997. Guest's work made possible the reconstruction of several ballets such as "Pas de Six" from La Vivandière, and L'Après-midi d'un faune by Vaslav Nijinsky. She has received two honorary doctorates, and in 1997 received the "Outstanding Contribution to Dance Research" award from the Congress on Research in Dance (CORD). In 1998 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for Dance Studies.
Pam Tanowitz Dance was founded in 2000 as a platform for Tanowitz to explore her vision with a consistent group of dancers. Since then the company has received commissions and residencies at prestigious performance venues such as The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, New York Live Arts, The Guggenheim Museum's Works & Process series, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. The company has been selected by The New York Times Best of Dance 3 years in a row ( 2013, 2014 and 2015). Pam was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and as the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14. In 2009 she received a Bessie Award for her dance, Be in the Gray With Me, at Dance Theater Workshop. Tanowitz has been invited to create new work for The Vail International Dance Festival and City Center's Fall for Dance Festival; has set work on The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer in the dance departments at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College And Purchase College. Additional awards include three Joyce Theater ResidenCy Grants, Jerome Robbins Foundation, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award. She holds dance degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College. She is Resident Fellow at New York University's Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York City Center and currently teaches at Rutgers University. Pam Tanowitz is the 2016 Juried Bessie Award Winner .
Frederick Ashton, the great English choreographer, was born in Equador, where his father was a minor diplomat. He grew up in Lima, Peru. At the age of 13 he saw the ballerina Anna Pavlova touring in Latin American during World War I. She "infected me with her poison," he later said. He was sent to school in England when the war was over, and after leaving school got an office job in London. Only then did he start taking lessons with Leonide Massine, and then Marie Rambert, who saw him a potential choreographer and encouraged him to make his first small ballet, A Tragedy of Fashion, in 1926. An important phase in his apprenticeship came in 1928 when he joined the company formed in Paris by the dancer/actor Ida Rubenstein, with Massine and Bronislava Nijinska (Nijinsky's sister) as choreographers. It was Nijinska who became the major influence on Ashton. Rambert persuaded him to return as choreographer for Ballet Rambert, the Camargo Society, and the Vics-Wells Ballet, newly formed by Ninette de Valois, and also for the commercial theater. International recognition came in 1934 when Ashton was invited to the U.S. to stage Four Saints in Three Acts, with music by Virgil Thomson, libretto by Gertrude Stein, and an all-African-American cast. The opera was a huge success with fashionable and intellectual New York society. But Ashton again returned home to work with Rambert's company, and in 1935 de Valois engaged him permanently as dancer and resident choreographer for the Vic-Wells Ballet (later Sadler's Wells, later Royal Ballet). He spent the rest of his career there, succeeding de Valois as director in 1963 until his retirement in 1970 - though he continued to choreograph and supervise his ballets until shortly before his death. Ashton's ballet, from early works such as Les Rendezvous (1933) to mature masterpieces like Symphonic Variations (1926) and Scenes de Ballet (1948), define the British style of classic ballet, lyrical, precise, yet robust. Longer ballets like Cinderella (1948), La Fille Mal Gardee (1946), and The Dream (1964) have become standard works of the international repertory. [David Vaughan]
Antonia Franceschi was one of the last dancers selected personally by George Balanchine to join the New York City Ballet where numerous works were created for her by George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins and Peter Martins. Her career has taken her all over the world with additional works created on her by Wayne McGregor, Mark Baldwin, Michael Clarke, Karole Armitage, Anthony Van Laastalong with other major choreographers. As a young dancer she starred a lead role in the film Fame and also in the film Grease. Antonia was awarded The Time Out Outstanding Achievement in Dance. She has taught and coached the original Billy Elliot boys along with coaching several other West End dancers.
She has produced and choreographed for both British and American companies, and has recently formed her own Neo-classical company AFD Just Dance after a sell-out summer tour. Currently, she is teaching the professional dancers at The Royal Ballet, Random Dance, The New York Theatre Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and DV8.
Located in the heart of Chelsea in New York City, New York Live Arts is an internationally recognized destination for innovative movement-based artistry offering audiences access to art and artists notable for their conceptual rigor, formal experimentation and active engagement with the social, political and cultural currents of our times. At the center of this identity is Bill T. Jones, Artistic Director, a world-renowned choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. NYLA commissions, produces and presents performances in its 20,000 square foot home, which includes a 184-seat theater and two 1,200 square foot studios that can be combined into one large studio. NYLA serves as home base for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, provides an extensive range of participatory programs for adults and young people, and supports the continuing professional development of artists.
New York Theatre Ballet's performances are part of New York Live Arts' Live Arts PLUS program, designed to allow mission-aligned performing arts organizations access to state-of-the-art facilities and support toward the growth of their work. More information at www.newyorklivearts.org.
Now in its 38th Season, and invigorated by a recent move to St. Marks' Church in-the-Bowery, NYTB has reinvented itself as New York's downtown ballet company. With its ever-expanding repertory, NYTB's cutting edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up and coming choreographers. The diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future. Performing in more intimate spaces, often to live music, brings the audience and the dance together for a personal experience. When reflecting on NYTB's first season at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery in 2015, The New York Times said, "The members of Theater Ballet are not only refined dancers but also unaffected actors... they draw you in. The intimacy of the space only helped; the amplitude and honesty of their dancing has found its match in St. Mark's Church."