American Dance Guild Festival Returns to Ailey Citigroup
The American Dance Guild Performance Festival 2018, Visions Then and Now, will honor choreographic luminaries Jane Comfort and the late Eleo Pomare in four days of performances by 32 multi-generational artists from across the United States. The Festival will take place October 25 through October 28 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street, in New York City.
The ADG Festival 2018 participating artists represent a wide variety of aesthetic and cultural voices, many of them female, reflecting the wide spectrum of American dance life and the diverse character of dance today. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to the two honorees on opening night, October 25, followed by a gala reception. *Full lineup below.
"The American Dance Guild holds a unique position as both a promoter of the new and preserver of the living history of modern dance as an art form," said Gloria McLean, president of The American Dance Guild. "Each year, the Festival honors at least two master choreographers with performances of their work alongside emerging and mid-career choreographers ranging from modern to post-modern to performance art to cultural hybrids," she said. "This year's festival, on the heels of the Guild's 60th Anniversary, exhibits the inclusiveness of dance and the diversity on which this country was built."
Jane Comfort, who recently celebrated her 40th year as a choreographer with a retrospective performance at La Mama, is an innovator in dance with text. Jane was nominated for a 2018 Bessie award for this retrospective. She has chosen to present a medley of shorts from her socially observant and politically charged form of dance theater including excerpts from Superman, Underground River, S/He, Spiderwoman and excerpts of interviews and works from the video that accompanied her 40-year retrospective at La MaMa in May 2018. (Thursday and Friday).
Eleo Pomare, the formidable choreographer of the 1960's until his death in 2007, was known for his outspoken engagement with contemporary political and social issues. His work, Radeau/Raft (1996) (Thursday) finds new relevance in this time of world migrations and refugee crises. It is danced by a trio from the Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company. Dyane Harvey, longtime leading dancer, will perform the solo, Hex (1964) (Saturday).
Celia Ipiotis will return on opening night to present archival footage of her interviews with Ms. Comfort and Mr. Pomare, from her popular and informative television program, EYE ON DANCE*. Her presentation will feature the only extended recording of Eleo Pomare speaking about his sensibility and belief that dance is a product of one's culture. Ms. Ipiotis will also show film excerpts of Pomare's Roots danced by Dyane Harvey. Archival footage of Jane Comfort, describing the effects of pregnancy on a dancer's body with excerpts from her film, For The Spider Woman, will also be shown.
Saturday night's program will include a special tribute to American modern dancer, choreographer and teacher Donald McKayle, who passed away in April 2018. Mr. McKayle was a long time member, friend, honoree, and advisor to the ADG board, beginning with his connection to the New Dance Group and ADG's founders. In honor of this relationship, Roxanne d'Orleans Juste of the José Limón Company will perform a solo excerpt from Heartbeats (1997), a work full of the exuberance and soulful optimism that marked Mr. McKayle's work.
Jane Dudley's Canta Flamenco (1944) will be danced on Sunday by Santa Barbara Dance Theater's Christine Sanchez (reconstructed by Nancy Colahan). Die Unbekannte aus der Seine (1938), a work of Austrian choreographer and concentration camp survivor Hannah Berger is reconstructed and danced by Betsy Fisher, former Nikolais dancer (Saturday). New works by Douglas Dunn, Sarah Skaggs, Ara Fitzgerald, Tina Croll, Stafford C. Berry, Li Chiao-Ping and many more round out the program.
Prices range from $20-$40. Discounts are available for students, seniors, ADG members, and groups. Tickets will also be available at the box office one hour prior to curtain. By Phone: 800-838-3006 ext. #1
Photo: Archival photos: ADG Festival 2018 Honorees Jane Comfort and Eleo Pomare*