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Elisa Monte Dance's 34th Gala Celebration Held Tomorrow


Elisa Monte Dance, an emotionally charged and highly acclaimed dance company that champions individuality, announces its 34th anniversary gala on January 22, 2015, at The Ailey Citigroup Theater. With the recent appointment of Tiffany Rea-Fisher as the next artistic director of Elisa Monte Dance in 2016, the gala, will resurrect the work and legacy of company founder, Elisa Monte, while spotlighting Rea-Fisher as a groundbreaking dance maker with a unique voice of leadership. The evening will revisit excerpts from Monte's two most recent works Terra Firma and Lonely Planet, along with Feu Follet, and the world premiere of Fisher's why so curious?.

"The gala will offer audiences a profound opportunity to see the creative and distinct route the company has taken in its 34 years," expressed co-artistic director Tiffany Rea-Fisher. "It is a direct representation of where Elisa Monte Dance has come from and the artistic voice it has personified, but is also a projection of where it is headed in its new era of leadership and creative authenticity. The varied gala program showcases an impressive versatility, which is something that has remained constant in the company's history. "

Set to the music of David Van Teighem, Elisa Monte will re-visit excerpts from Lonely Planet, a work that has taken a four-year journey. The work investigates the notable current issues of the rapid disappearance of language and culture in a society that is seemingly more technological. Within progression, Monte weaves a fabric of isolation and disconnection that is hard to combat. The flux of sound and visual movement, and a cast of eight dancers bring accessibility for wide audiences to endure the exploration of the world around them.

Terra Firma, a requiem to the many colleagues, and friends who have passed on yet continue to exist in Monte's accumulated memories, will also be presented in excerpts. This work features original music by composer Rubin Kodheli, inspired by the music of Meredith Monk. This work represents the fleeting moments that define the memory of a time, place and person once it has passed into history and serves as a placeholder in time and space.

A 1995 collaboration between Elisa Monte and David Brown will also be resurrected for this evening. Feu Follet explores the history and culture of the Acadian people in their travels from France to Canada to Louisiana. The title, Feu Follet, translating to "crazy fire," refers to the strange marsh lights seen on the Louisiana bayous and encompasses the sights, sounds and flavors this time-a compliment to the rest of the programming concentrated on the recreation of snapshots in time.

Lastly, the world premiere why so curious?, created by Rea-Fisher with a sweet yet sinister mode of movement, will also be included on the program. Combining everyday pedestrian and gestural movements into a contemporary modern movement vocabulary, the phrase posed in the work's title evokes an emotional state-slightly off balance, unusual and ominous, focused around a single dancer infused with energy, athleticism and theatricality. The piece considers the state of anxiety a situation might suggest when encountering unfamiliar places and the imagination that creatively generates false truths to fill in the blanks of confusion.

The festive evening is hosted by board chair Rima Vargas-Vetter and gala co-chairs Paul Ukena and Matthew Fisher along with Elisa Monte and the organizations board of directors.


Gala patron tickets start at $400 and includes a 7:00 p.m. performance, with dinner to follow at 8:30 p.m. General admission tickets are available at $25. Tickets are available for purchase by phone at 212.868.4488 or through eventbrite online, click here. Performance only tickets will go on sale Wednesday, December 17.

The Ailey Citigroup Theater is located at 405 W 55th Street in Manhattan and is accessible by the 1, A, B, C, D, N, and Q trains.

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