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Updated Programming Announced For Joyce Theater's 9/11 Commemoration


The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc. has announced updated programming for the two free performances it is presenting on September 10 and 11 at 5pm in Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (North end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace) to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001. In addition to featuring performances by the Limón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension conducted by Dennis Keene, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Orchestra of St. Luke's, this special event will also include A Song For You by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Guest Artist Matthew Rushing, a world premiere by Jessica Lang Dance created especially for this occasion (and featuring former Ailey dancers Clifton Brown and Jamar Roberts on alternating nights), Purcell's Chaconne in G minor for strings performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's under the direction of conductor David LaMarche, and musicians Yacouba Cissoko (playing the kora) and Sam Dickey (playing the ngoni lute) will welcome the audience before each performance. This free event, with general lawn-seating on a first-come first-served basis, is made possible by The Joyce Theater Foundation with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

In 1972, Alvin Ailey choreographed a short, eloquent solo for dancer Dudley Williams to Donny Hathaway's recording of the pop song "A Song For You." Later that year, he extended the piece into Love Songs, a three-part technical and dramatic tour-de-force showcasing Williams' strength and delicacy. The work came to be viewed as the male counterpart to Cry, the famous woman's solo that Mr. Ailey originally choreographed for his muse, Judith Jamison. In theme, Love Songs offers a message of hope and commitment as it traces the dancer's journey through love, anguish and determination to overcome adversity. A Song For You was performed by Dudley Williams during the memorial celebration for Alvin Ailey following his death on December 1, 1989. After one of the most devastating events in the history of the United States on September 11, 2001, Matthew Rushing performed A Song For You in a concert of healing which was aired on PBS as "America in Healing at the Riverside Church." Hathaway's now classic recording that accompanies the dance celebrates great and enduring love.

Former Ailey dancers Clifton Brown and Jamar Roberts will alternate performing with Jessica Lang Dance founding member Kana Kimura in a world premiere created by Joyce Theater Artist-in-Residence Jessica Lang. (Roberts will perform on September 10 and Brown will dance the workon September 11.) This new yet to be titled work is set to a section of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's Starat Mater, Fac Me Vere Tecum Flere. Commissioned by The Joyce Theater, the piece will uplift and awaken the human spirit, demonstrating the grace of humanity, and finding hope in the power to heal.

As previously announced, Limón Dance Company will present José Limón's 1958 Missa Brevis, which features music by Zoltán Kodály, performed by 18 dancers. Zoltán Kodály, the Hungarian composer, wrote Missa Brevis in Tempore Bellie at the end of World War II. A Mass in time of war, it was completed under great hardship during the siege of Budapest. Limón's stirring choreography depicts an indomitable humanity rising up after near destruction. The piece, a memento to cities destroyed during World War II and to those unconquerable qualities that permit hope to survive, perfectly reflects the spirit of this commemorative event and will be performed byLimón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension conducted by Artistic Director Dennis Keene. The Paul Taylor Dance Company will present Brandenburgs, Paul Taylor's 1988 masterwork for six men and three women. Performed to Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 6, this work displays Taylor's special affinity for the music of Bach - also seen in such works as Esplanade, Musical Offering and Promethean Fire. Brandenburgs is a joyous and exuberant showcase of movement invention that matches the uplifting spirit of this commemorative event.

Matthew Rushing (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) was born in Los Angeles, CA. He began his dance training with Kashmir Blake in Inglewood, CA, and later continued his training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He received a Spotlight Award and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He trained at The Ailey School and later became a member of Ailey II, where he danced for a year. During his career, Mr. Rushing has performed as a guest artist for galas in Vail, Colorado, as well as in France, Russia, Canada, Austria, and Italy. He has performed for former presidents George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush and for President Barack Obama, as well as at the 2010 White House tribute to Judith Jamison. During his time with the Company he has choreographed two ballets: Acceptance in Surrender (2005), a collaboration with Company members Hope Boykin and Abdur Jackson, and Uptown (2009), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance. He was recently named a 2010 recipient of the Dance Magazine Award. Mr. Rushing became Rehearsal Director and Guest Artist in June 2010. He joined the Company in 1992.

Clifton Brown (Jessica Lang Dance)began his career in 1999 with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. There he was featured in many works, and was choreographer's assistant to Judith Jamison. MR. Brown has been nominated for a Critics Circle National Dance Award (UK), received a Black Theater Arts Award, and a "Bessie" Award. He has performed with Earl Mosley's Diversity of Dance, Jessica Lang Dance and as a guest artist with Nevada Ballet and the Miami City Ballet. MR. Brown enjoys teaching master classes in dance as well as being licensed to teach GYROTONIC and GYROKINESIS.

Jamar Roberts (Jessica Lang Dance), originally from Miami, began his training at the Dance Empire of Miami and later graduated from the New World School of the Arts High School. He furthered his training as a fellowship student at The Ailey School. Roberts has since danced with world-renowned dance companies such as Ailey II, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Alvin Aliey American Dance Theater 2002-2011. His list of choreographers he has worked with includes Hans van Manen, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Alonzo King, Ronald K. Brown, Judith Jamison, Robert Battle and Jessica Lang. He is currently a freelance dance artist, teacher and choreographer.

Kana Kimura (Jessica Lang Dance), a founding member of Jessica Lang Dance, is from Hiroshima, Japan and a graduate of The Juilliard School where she performed works by Jose Limon, Lar Lubovitch, Dwight Rhoden, Robert Battle and William Forsythe. She has worked with Wally Cardona Quartet since 2005 and performed Everywhere at BAM's Next Wave Festival, Site at DTW, Really Real at The International Festival of Arts & Ideas and the BAM's Next Wave Festival. Recently Kimura danced in Nixon in China at The Metropolitan Opera under choreographer Mark Morris as well as a dance video performance installation for The Shanghai Expo in China.

David LaMarche (Conductor, Orchestra of St. Luke's) has been working as a conductor in the dance world for more than 25 years. He served as Music Director for the Dance Theatre of Harlem from 1993 to 1998 and conducted many of the company's premiere performances, both in the USA and on tour in Europe, Africa and South America. In addition to conducting, he composed and arranged several scores for the repertory. As a guest, he has conducted for The Joffrey Ballet, The Dutch National Ballet,, Ballet British Columbia, San Francisco Ballet, the New York City Ballet, Houston Ballet, the Rome Opera Ballet, and the Paul Taylor Company. The orchestras he has directed include the Houston Symphony, the Lyric Opera Orchestra of Chicago, The Pacific Symphony, the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, the Tokyo Philharmonic, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Orchestra, the Tivoli Festival Orchestra, and the Orchestre Lamoreux of Paris. In April of 2007, he was a guest on the faculty of Princeton University, as Music Director for performances with the Princeton Atelier program. He is currently in his eleventh year on the conducting staff of American Ballet Theatre and is Music Director of The Jose Limon Company. Mr. LaMarche is a graduate of Boston University and resides in New York City.

Yacouba Sissoko (kora - traditional Mande lute/harp) is a master kora player born in Kita, Mali in the heart of the Mande djeli (griot) tradition. His grandfather, Samakoun Tounkara, began teaching Yacouba when he was 12 years old. Samakoun's wife Bintouba Diabate was a famous singer in her own right. They raised Yacouba and educated him in his griot heritage and in many lessons about life. Oumou Tounkara, his mother, was a star in the Ensemble National du Mali. Yacouba attended the Institut National des Arts du Mali in Bamako. After his graduation, he played with artists like Taye and Oumou Sacko, Haja Soumano, Djallou Demba, Ami Koita, Fantani Koure, Kandia Kouyate and l'Ensemble Instrumental du Mali. Yacouba was recruited to join the the Ensemble Koteba, a prestigious dance company based in Abidjan and for many years, he toured the world-Africa, Europe, America and Australia with them as well as with the famous girl-group Les Gos de Koteba. Yacouba, who is in demand as one of the best kora players in the world, is currently performing and recording with, among others, Regina Carter, Leni Stern and Fula Flute.

Sam Dickey (djeli ngoni - traditional Mande lute/guitar), one of the rare non-natives to have reached a professional level of mastery on the djeli n'goni, grew up in Northern California and West Africa. He began playing guitar at age ten. He studied at the Berklee College of Music. Outside the school, he performed with great artists such as Joshua Redman, John Ellis, and many more. In 2009 he was selected as the youngest semi-finalist in the Montreux Jazz Festival's International Guitar Competition. After college, he spent many months in Bamako, Mali, where he studied and played with the great master of Malian guitar, Djelimady Tounkara. There, he also learned to play the djeli n'goni and in a very short time, he was playing traditional wedding ceremonies and performing with Toumani Diabaté's Symmetric Orchestra-a band he would later join on their U.S. tour. Relocating to New York in 2010, Sam was quickly adopted into the City's West African scene, performing with artists such as Abdoulaye Diabate's Super Mande and The Mandingo Ambassadors as well as in all kinds musical situations from free-improvisation to collaborations with DJs, electronic and jazz musicians.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance. The Ailey company has gone on to perform for an estimated 23 million people at theaters in 48 states and 71 countries on six continents - as well as millions more through television broadcasts - and is recognized by a U.S. Congressional resolution as a vital American "Cultural Ambassador to the World." In July 2011, Robert Battle became Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the personal selection of Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958. Named one of the "Masters of African American Choreography" by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and a recipient of the prestigious Statue Award for Choreography from the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, Mr. Battle will lead Ailey's extraordinary dancers as the Company returns to New York City Center November 30, 2011 to January 1, 2012, extending the vital legacy of Alvin Ailey in exciting new directions.

Acclaimed for its dramatic expression, technical mastery and expansive, yet nuanced movement, the Limón Dance Company illustrates the timelessness of José Limón's work and vision. This season the Company founded by Mexican choreographer José Limón will be celebrating its 65th anniversary. Named one of "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures" by the Dance Heritage Coalition, Limón was instrumental in shaping the creation of American Modern Dance and the art of choreography as we know it today. His Company was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2008, was the first Dance Company to survive past its founder, the first American modern dance company to perform in Europe; the first dance troupe to perform and be in residence at Lincoln Center; the first company to tour under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State. The Company is now led by Carla Maxwell, who worked closely with Limón before becoming Artistic Director in 1978. The Company's repertory, which balances classic works with new commissions from contemporary choreographers, is of an unparalleled breadth, creating unique experiences for audiences around the world.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company, now in its 57th year, is one of the world's most highly respected and sought-after ensembles. Dance maker Paul Taylor first presented his choreography in 1954 - a performance that marked the beginning of a half century of unrivaled creativity. In the ensuing decades Mr. Taylor became a cultural icon and one of history's most celebrated artists, hailed as part of the pantheon that created American modern dance. The Company has traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor's ever-burgeoning repertoire to theaters and venues of every size and description in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities - and often to places modern dance had never been before. The Taylor Company has performed in more than 520 cities in 62 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State.

Jessica Lang Dance is a newly formed NYC-based dance organization under the direction and vision of Jessica Lang. Since 1999, Lang has created more than 75 works on companies including Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, among many others. She has also been commissioned by the Dallas Museum of Art and Guggenheim Museum. Lang has received numerous grants from organizations including the NEA, the Choo San Goh Foundation, the Jerome Robbins Foundation and is a recipient of a 2010 Joyce Theater Residency. Lang is a graduate of The Juilliard School and former member of Twyla Tharp's company, THARP!

Voices of Ascension, founded in 1989 and directed by conductor Dennis Keene, is one of the world's premier professional choral ensembles. The ensemble's annual series of concerts in New York City, recordings on Delos International, and Grammy-nominated "Song of the Stars" on the Naxos label, have received unalloyed critical acclaim. The singers of Voices of Ascension are among the finest ensemble singers in the United States. Most are active as soloists as well. Artistic Director Dennis Keene has blended this group of New York's finest professional singers into a richly satisfying ensemble, unique in its flexibility and artistic command of choral music of every period and style. The number of singers in the ensemble varies according to the works performed, usually ranging from 20 to 40.

Now in its 37th year, Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's foremost and most versatile ensembles. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, OSL performs approximately 70 concerts each year-including an annual chamber music series, an orchestra series at Carnegie Hall, and a summer residency at Caramoor International Music Festival. OSL collaborates regularly with the world's great artists on the world's greatest stages. Committed to community-building, OSL produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs as part of its Subway Series, and has engaged more than one million children in its arts education programs. OSL's stellar 70+ discography includes four releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.

The Joyce Theater Foundation, a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community and its audiences for three decades. The founders, Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea, which opened as The Joyce Theater in 1982. The Joyce Theater is named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther's clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. One of the only theaters built by dancers for dance, The Joyce Theater has provided an intimate and elegant home for more than 320 domestic and international companies. The Joyce has also commissioned more than 130 new dances since 1992. In 1996, The Joyce created Joyce SoHo, a dance center providing highly subsidized rehearsal and performance space to hundreds of dance artists, as well as special residency opportunities for selected choreographers to support the creation of new work. In 2009, The Joyce opened Dance Art New York (DANY) Studios to provide affordable studios for rehearsals, auditions, classes, and workshops for independent choreographers, non-profit dance companies, and the dance/theater communities. New York City public school students and teachers annually benefit from The Joyce's Dance Education Program, and adult audiences get closer to dance through pre-engagement Dance Talks and post-performance Dance Chats. The Joyce Theater now features an annual season of approximately 48 weeks with over 340 performances for audiences in excess of 135,000.

In Performance: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11
An Evening of Dance and Music presented by The Joyce Theater Foundation, Inc.

Performance by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Matthew Rushing,
David LaMarche conducting Orchestra of St Luke's,
World premiere by Jessica Lang Dance featuring Clifton Brown & Jamar Roberts
Musicians Yacouba Cissoko & Sam Dickey

In addition to previously announced performances by
Limón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension and
Paul Taylor Dance Company with Orchestra of St Luke's


SEPTEMBER 10 & 11, 2011


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