American Dance Institute to Perform at The Kitchen This Summer

By: Jun. 01, 2016
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American Dance Institute (ADI), continuing to find new ways to support contemporary dance artists, will present performances in New York City for the first time this summer, offering five premieres over the course of five weeks at The Kitchen, June 2 - July 2. The third of ADI's New York premieres at The Kitchen will be celebrated choreographer Jane Comfort's You Are Here, June 16-18.

ADI's NYC engagement marks an expansion of ADI's acclaimed Incubator program, which is changing how dance is presented in NYC by giving choreographers the space and time to more fully develop new works in advance of premieres. At The Kitchen, ADI will present bold new works by five leading American artists: Yvonne Rainer, Jane Comfort, Brian Brooks, Jack Ferver and Susan Marshall.

ADI Executive Director Adrienne Willis said that the new New York component of the Incubator presenting program "will allow ADI to invest in artists, not just projects. By making long-term commitments early in the creation process and assuring ample support in the critical final stages, ADI hopes to free artists to create without limitations, realizing what would otherwise be just possibilities."

Jane Comfort's You Are Here is an ode to urban dwellers, the millions of citizens who live on top of each other, participate in the daily pedestrian dance of the sidewalk, street and transit system, and who are part of a massive improvised narrative. It explores how we interact without looking at or touching each other, how we recharge at home each night, and how we head back onto the city's stage again each morning, ready for more.

In 2013 Jane Comfort took a sharp turn from her career history of narrative dance theater works and created Altiplano, an abstract dance. Eschewing story or polemic, Altiplano was a formal study originating in a specific environment. Using a desert landscape, the piece worked with time frames from nature and made references to the evolution of animals and social codes. Comfort and Company's You Are Here, which will premiere at The Kitchen-with performers including Leslie Cuyjet, Paul Hamilton, Cori Marquis, Petra van Noort, Javier Perez, Gabrielle Revlock and Darrin Wright-is a direct outgrowth of that creative experience, a furthering of the process of structuring a work in direct response to a specific environment, and investigating its choreographic and temporal intricacies.

As with the 2013 piece, Comfort is working in deep collaboration with Bessie Award-winning lighting designer Joe Levasseur and composer Brandon Wolcott as well as video artist Lianne Arnold.Wolcott has built a score that transcends genre and plays with musical expectation. Levasseur's lighting creates architecture in the space and references the expansive verticality as well as the contained street life that are inherent in the urban landscape. Arnold's rich video projects onto the floor and the walls, evoking both abstract and literal translations of an urban center.

Tickets for performances of You Are Here at The Kitchen are $25 and can be purchased at thekitchen.org or 212.255.5793 x11. Critics are welcome as of June 16. The Kitchen is located at 512 West 19th Street in Manhattan.

Jane Comfort is a choreographer, writer and director who has created over 50 dance theater works for her company since 1978, the majority of them evening length. Her work explores the intersection of movement and text, and has long mixed high and low arts to make social and political commentary. With this new work she is exploring movement without text in one of the few times in her career. She is a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, and received a BESSIE Award for Underground River, a Doris Duke Award for New Work through ADF, a Habie Award for distinguished service to the arts from U/North Carolina, and multiple artist fellowships from the NEA, NY State Council on the Arts, and NY Foundation for the Arts. She also works in theater and opera, and choreographed the Broadway musicals Passion, by Stephen Sondheim, and Amour, by Michel Legrand, as well as Shakespeare in the Park's Much Ado About Nothing, the Off Broadway musical Wilder at Playwrights Horizons, and Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Salome with Deborah Voigt. She has had multiple commissions from Ballet Memphis; other commissions include the National Performance Network, Rhode Island College, Danspace Project, Performing Americas, The Joyce Theater, Headwaters Dance Company, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance.

Jane Comfort and Company creates dance theater works that push the intersection of movement and language to a new form of theater. Called by the New York Times "a postmodernist pioneer in the use of verbal material in dance," artistic director Jane Comfort addresses contemporary social and cultural issues with compassion and wit. The company is an extraordinary group of dancers, actors and singers whose multiple talents allow Jane Comfort to create deeply layered works utilizing a wide range of theatrical elements, from pure dance to chanted texts, a capella singing, film, lip-syncing, cross dressing, acted scenes and puppetry. The company creates theater in which transformation occurs through many voices.

Since 1982 the company has performed its innovative works throughout the United States, in Europe and Latin America for both dance and theater audiences. Jane Comfort and Company has been presented by such venues as Lincoln Center, The Joyce Theater, PS 122, Dance Theater Workshop and Off Broadway at Classic Stage Company in NYC, The American Center in Paris, Antwerp's Dance/USA Festival, Brazil's Londrina International Festival of the Arts, Jacob's Pillow, The American Dance Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Diverse Works, the Baltimore Art Museum and many universities and colleges across the country. www.janecomfortandcompany.org.



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