92Y Announces 2017 Harkness Dance Festival

The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival enters its 23rd season presenting five artists over five weeks, from February 24 through March 25, 2017. Centered around the theme of Then, Now + Next, the 2017 Festival features world premieres from two companies and showcases a varied spectrum of work, from revivals of classic works to cutting-edge pieces by emerging talent. The festival reflects the reputation of 92Y's Harkness Dance Center not only as the place where modern dance was born...but where it's all heading. The Festival is dedicated to the late Theodore S. Bartwink, longtime executive director of the Harkness Foundation for Dance.

"The 2017 Harkness Dance Festival is a five-week journey from the past, to the present and into the future," says John-Mario Sevilla, Director of the 92Y Harkness Dance Center. "First, New York Theatre Ballet brings us back to the early-mid 20th century with works by Antony Tudor, whose exploration of the emotional and psychological transformed classical ballet into a modern art form. The acclaimed chamber ballet will also present work by his student and mentee, MacArthur Genius Award-winning choreographer, Martha Clarke. Then, PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company presents classic modern dance works from their diverse and dynamic repertory rooted in the African-American tradition. Next, Bessie Award-winning choreographer Jessica Lang Dance presents works in Lang's signature style, which further pushes classical ballet language with its striking visual design. The festival ends with two weeks of world premieres by companies representing two exciting and different visions of the future of modern dance - from Boomerang's highly physical daredevil work to Jillian Pena's intellectual and spiritual vision."

PERFORMANCES

New York Theatre Ballet

Fri, Feb 24, 8 pm, Sat, Feb 25, 4 and 8 pm, tickets from $25

The acclaimed chamber ballet kicks off this year's festival with a program featuring the pas de trois from Martha Clarke's The Garden of Villandry (1979) presented alongside three ballets from her mentor, the legendary Antony Tudor: Fandango (1963), Les Mains Gauches (1951), and the pas de deux from Romeo & Juliet (1943). "In reviving little-known little gems," wrote The New York Times, "Theatre Ballet confirms its status as an invaluable company."

PHILADANCO!

Fri, Mar 3, 8 pm, Sat, Mar 4, 4 and 8 pm, tickets from $25

PHILADANCO! The Philadelphia Dance Company, founded in 1970, is celebrated for its innovation, creativity, preservation of predominantly African-American traditions in dance and embodiment of dynamic artistry. The company is known for breaking barriers, building bridges across cultural divides, and an audience that represents an amalgamation of people from diverse communities. PHILADANCO will perform several pieces from their repertory at the Festival. The New York Times noted, "During any one program the members of this repertory troupe from Philadelphia [can be] expected to shift among many styles. The breadth is always impressive."

Jessica Lang Dance

Fri, Mar 10, 8 pm, Sat, Mar 11, 4 and 8 pm, tickets from $25

Lang was formerly a dancer with Twyla Tharp, and, notes The Guardian, "like Tharp she has the gift of cramming together an eclectic range of colours and ideas without losing thought with her individual sensibility." Founded in 2011, Jessica Lang Dance is a New York City-based dance company dedicated to creating and performing work that enriches and inspires global audiences by immersing them in the beauty of movement and music. The company will showcase Lang's unique voice and signature style, which incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary work, with Solo Bach (2008), set to Bach's "The Six Sonatas & Partitas for Violin Solo," Mendelssohn/Incomplete (2011), set to Mendelssohn's "Concerto No. 1 II Andante con moto tranquillo," Sweet Silent Thought (2016) inspired by and featuring Shakespeare's sonnets set to an original score, and Untitled (2016) and Thousand Yard Stare (2015), both set to music by Ludwig van Beethoven.

BOOMERANG - WORLD PREMIERE

Fri, Mar 17, 8 pm, Sat, Mar 18, 4 and 8 pm, tickets from $25

BOOMERANG is a daringly physical, poetically-nuanced dance and performance project created in 2012 by co-artistic directors Matty Davis and Kora Radella with founding member Adrian Galvin. BOOMERANG premieres a new evening-length work,This is a Forge, performed by Massimiliano Balduzzi, Matty Davis, Simon Thomas-Train, and "New York's most daring violin duo," String Noise, with choreography by Kora Radella. The work navigates "the uneasy spaces between human connection." This new collaboration features text from award-winning poet Jamaal May, who "has a knack for turning the utterly mundane into lyric beauty."

Jillian Peña - WORLD PREMIERE

Fri, Mar 24, 8 pm, Sat, Mar 25, 4 and 8 pm, tickets from $25

Jillian Peña is a dance and video artist based in New York whose work is primarily concerned with confusion and desire between self and other, and focuses on the most complicated relationship we all have: that of the self to the self. Inspired by Russian ballet, psychoanalysis, queer theory, pop media, and spirituality, she draws from ballet vocabulary, paying careful attention to the history embedded in each movement and letting this subtext inform the content of the work. Using a form of dance thought to be "traditional," her work seeks to make visible what is deeply strange, experimental, and queer in ballet. She works collaboratively with her dancers, bringing out their fantasies about how they are seen.

DANCE TALKS & PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT

Dance Talk: Patricia Wilde, George Balanchine, and the Rise of New York City Ballet

Sun, Feb 26, 3 pm, tickets from $20

Joel Lobenthal, associate editor of Ballet Review and former chief critic for the New York Sun, provides insight into the life of Patricia Wilde, grande dame of ballet, and the golden age of the New York City Ballet. As a young star, Wilde toured America with Ballet Russe and was a first-generation member and principal dancer of New York City Ballet during the uniquely dramatic Balanchine era. Lobenthal brings us backstage into the world of Wilde and Balanchine, of Tanaquil Le Clercq, Diana Adams, Suzanne Farrell, Maria Tallchief and many others through some of ballet's great triumphs and tragedies.

Dance Talk: Annie-B Parson - Dance By Letter

Sun, Mar 12, 3 pm, tickets from $20

Choreographer and artistic director of Big Dance Theater, Annie-B Parson, is known for her original work that combines wildly disparate materials from pure dance to found text and literature. She also makes dance for operas, pop stars, television, movies, theater, ballet, objects and symphonies. She discusses and reads from her new book Dance by Letter: an illustrated dance abecedary, a unique text about dance-making presented with the same virtuosic economy and exactitude as her dances.

Dance Talk & Photo Exhibit | Athletes of God: Kyle Froman's Dance Photography

Tue, Mar 14, 7 pm, tickets from $20

Kyle Froman has made the extraordinary transformation from dancer for America's premier ballet company to one of the country's best-known dance photographers. His work has been celebrated in Vanity Fair, Elle and New York Magazine. His conceptualized photos and intimate behind-the-scenes photography capture the hard work, passion, beauty and exhilaration he himself experienced in his own career. Join him as he talks about his work and his exhibition Athletes of God on view in 92Y's Weill Art Gallery from Mar 13-Apr 24, 2017 as part of the 2017 Harkness Dance Festival.

TICKETS: $25-$35 at http://www.92y.org/harknessfestival or 212.415.5500



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