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RIOULT's 4-Day NY Season Features THE VIOLET HOUR World Premiere, 5/10-13


RIOULT, a leading American modern dance company with a classic sensibility, announces their four-day 2012 NY Season at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, May 10-13, 2012 with a family matinee May 13, 2012. The Season features the World Premiere of Artistic Director/Choreographer Pascal Rioult's new work, The Violet Hour, inspired by T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" with a commissioned score by Grammy-Winning composer Joan Tower. The World Premiere will be performed at each evening performance to live musical accompaniment with Joan Tower at the piano, and cellist Raman Ramakrishnan. The program also includes RIOULT's Firebird (2003) and Celestial Tides, which captivated audiences at its premiere at The Joyce Theater in 2011.

The family matinee features Firebird and Small Steps, Tiny Revolutions (2008), which actively involves more than a dozen children from the community performing with RIOULT's professional dancers on stage. This program is part of the two-year Five-Borough Arts-in-Education Tour, a partnership between RIOULT and City University of New York Performing Arts Centers (CUNY PAC) that began in fall 2011.

Known for his daring and imaginative explorations of classical scores, Pascal Rioult continues to develop new work through the Dance to Contemporary Composer Series, in which RIOULT commissions music from living American composers. The first piece in the series, On Distant Shores (2011), was a collaboration with Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Aaron Jay Kernis. The upcoming 2012 World Premiere engages Joan Tower who is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today.

"As I develop this new piece," says Pascal Rioult, "I intend to abandon the structured approach I typically use when creating a dance. Instead of letting the music drive the process, I have asked the dancers to improvise in silence, responding to images and poetic references I have selected from T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land.' While this is a stark departure for me, it is a thrilling journey for the company. To inform the score I have shared the same images and references with Joan Tower, a composer whom I've long admired."

Joan Tower comments, "Working with a choreographer is both exciting and intimidating because the creation of the dance and the music is happening simultaneously. Pascal happens to be one of those choreographers who loves music (and I happen to love dance), so connecting with him on a new score inspired by a great author creates an alluring trifecta and I look forward to seeing it all come together live."

The recently renovated 595-seat Gerald W. Lynch Theater is a magnificent setting for RIOULT's 2012 Season.

As RIOULT nears its 20th Anniversary, the Company continues to provide audiences with dynamic performances from an exceptional cast of dancers, many whom have been with the Company for more than a decade – Brian Flynn, Penélope González, Josiah Guitian, Charis Haines, Jere Hunt, Michael Spencer Phillips, Jane Sato, Sara Elizabeth Seger, Anastasia Soroczynski, Marianna Tsartolia, and Holt Walborn. The Company is led by husband-and-wife team, Artistic Director/Choreographer Pascal Rioult and Associate Artistic Director Joyce Herring.

RIOULT's Gala Dinner will be held May 10 at the Robert, a sleek and modern restaurant located at Columbus Circle atop the Museum of Arts and Design. The venue offers dramatic views of Columbus Circle, Central Park, and Broadway. The Gala follows the NY season opening night performance at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. For more information email:

Tickets can be purchased at Ticket Central's Box Office: (212) 279-4200, Prices for performances range from $10 - $49. Tickets for the family matinee are $10 for children and $20 for adults. A select number of rush tickets will be sold to students and professional dancers 30 minutes before show time – subject to availability. A 20% discount for groups of 10 or more is available for the evening performances only by contacting All sales are final. The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College is conveniently located two blocks from Columbus Circle at 524 West 59th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. The venue is accessible by the 1/A/B/C/D Subway lines to Columbus Circle.

Opening Night Gala – Thursday, May 10 – 7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, May 11-12 – 8:00 p.m.; Family Matinee – Sunday, May 13 – 3:00 p.m.

Run Time: 90 minutes (including intermission)

RIOULT's 2012 NY Season features three dynamic works: The Violet Hour, inspired by T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land" with an original score by Grammy-Winning composer Joan Tower, and performed with live music; Firebird (2003); and Celestial Tides (2011). The family matinee features Firebird and Small Steps, Tiny Revolutions (2008) where more than a dozen children from the community join RIOULT's professional dancers on stage.

The Violet Hour - World Premiere
Music: Joan Tower
Length: 16 minutes

The Violet Hour, featuring live music and an original score by Grammy-Winning composer Joan Tower, is inspired by images drawn from T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." Pascal Rioult is taking a decidedly different approach to developing this piece working first in silence to build the movement vocabulary and then shaping the movement vocabulary to the music. The finished work will feature costume design by Maria Garcia, lighting design by Clifton Taylor, and set design by Harry Feiner.

Firebird (2003)
Music: Igor Stravinsky, "Firebird"
Length: 30 minutes

For RIOULT's version, set to Stravinsky's 1947 suite with a constructivist-inspired set, a new narrative of redemption and reawakening is posited. "In Russian folklore as in Navajo legend the gift of the feather from the golden bird brings power to man to overcome evil and be reborn. This universal theme is the basis of the piece." – Pascal Rioult

Celestial Tides (2011)
Music: J.S. Bach, "Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major"
Length: 22 minutes

Celestial Tides is a full-company piece set to J.S. Bach's Brandenburg concerto # 6. Described by Rioult as "pure dance," it is influenced by the notion of "Music of the Spheres" an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies as a form of music. Bach's contrapuntal music lent itself well to the concept of bodies (celestial or human) creating a mysterious balance as they move in time and space.

Small Steps, Tiny Revolutions (2008)
Music: Steven Sametz
Length: 23 minutes

Small Steps, Tiny Revolutions is based on a poem about a young boy and his distanced father who disapproves of his son's love of dance. The audience witnesses the transformative power of love as the father journeys into the boy's imaginary world in an attempt to understand him to rescue their relationship. The whimsical costumes and sets used in this production set the tone for this magical and touching journey.

RIOULT was founded in 1994 and fast became an established name in modern dance with a reputation for creating and presenting the sensual, articulate and exquisitely musical works of Pascal Rioult. Born into the American modern dance tradition, RIOULT is creating its own legacy of contemporary dance that speaks to the mind as well as the heart. The company, based in New York City, presents an annual New York season and tours nationally and internationally. In addition to an established repertoire of over 30 dances, educational and community outreach have been integral to RIOULT since its inception. RIOULT's DanceREACH program, founded in 1997, provides various public and private school children in the New York Metropolitan area with arts-in-education programs that introduce students to the art of modern dance, using Pascal Rioult's repertory as a springboard. Visit for more information.

Ms. Tower is widely regarded as one of the most important American composers living today. Her works have been commissioned by major ensembles, soloists, and orchestras, including the Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir quartets; soloists Evelyn Glennie, Carol Wincenc, David Shifrin, and John Browning; and the orchestras of Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC among others. Leonard Slatkin and the Nashville Symphony recorded Made in America in 2008 (along with Tambor and Concerto for Orchestra). The album collected three Grammy awards: Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance. Residencies with orchestras include a 10-year residency with the Orchestra of St. Luke's (1997-2007) and the Pittsburgh Symphony (2010-2011). Tower studied piano and composition at Bennington College and Columbia University. She co-founded the Da Capo Chamber Players in 1969 as pianist - its accolades included the 1973 Naumburg Chamber Music Award - but also wrote several well-received pieces for the ensemble. She is currently Asher Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College, where she has taught since 1972. Her music is published by Associated Music Publishers.

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