Henning Rubsam's SENSEDANCE to Showcase Performances at Studio 4, 1/10
Choreographer Henning Rübsam and his company SENSEDANCE showcase four contrasting duets that explore different kinds of relationships this week at the upcoming presenter's conference (APAP) in New York City. Represented by River City Artists Management, SENSEDANCE will perform at City Center Theater's Studio 4, 130 West 56th Street (bet 6th & 7th Ave) on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:45pm. The showing is 25 minutes and is preceded and followed by other artists of RCAM.
SARAO for Erin Ginn and Matt Van is set to a fiery piano score by frequent collaborator, composer Ricardo Llorca. Just as the music deconstructs a Scarlatti Sonata, so does the choreography play with the conventions of a classical pas de deux and puts wit in the phrasing. SARAO is a Spanish word for party. Not every relationship continues after the ball is over.
The pas de deux CAVES to a guitar work by the same composer pays tribute to the long-time collaboration of the two Juilliard graduates and faculty members Rübsam and Llorca. The unconventional use of point work as a means of story telling is demonstrated by company member Temple Kemezis who is partnered by Lloyd Knight.
The program also includes the male pas de deux RUSSIAN LESSON for Juan Rodriguez and Matt Van, accompanied by Russian phrases of a phonetic language lesson set to a moody jazz score. Simple phrases such as "Welcome to Moscow," "what is your name" and "where is your hotel" serve as part of the aural backdrop. Motivated by Russia's recently implemented propaganda law, Rübsam's choreographic statement is also a political one.
The fun and madcap Save The Country (from ART OF LOVE - a tribute to Laura Nyro) is danced by Oisín Monaghan and Jacqueline Stewart and shows that dancers of the company are equally at home on ground and in mid-air, be it barefoot or en pointe.
Henning Rübsam is the artistic director of SENSEDANCE, a resident choreographer for Hartford City Ballet, on faculty at The Juilliard School and a visiting guest artist at Texas Academy of Ballet. He earned his BFA in dance from The Juilliard School, where mentors included Martha Hill and Elizabeth Keen. While there, he performed as the Faun in the Nijinsky/Debussy ballet, worked extensively with Anna Sokolow, and toured internationally with the Limón Dance Company. Upon graduation he founded his own ensemble SENSEDANCE and continued to dance with other choreographers, namely Duncan Macfarland, Murray Louis, Beverly Blossom, and Alwin Nikolais. Rübsam appeared as a guest dancer with a myriad of contemporary choreographers, and in works of dance pioneers Isadora Duncan and Doris Humphrey. Among Rübsam's citations are a Jerome L. Greene Fellowship, a Lincoln Center Fellowship, a Manhattan Spirit Award as "best male dancer," a choreography award from Stephens College, an award for his advocacy from Dancers Responding to AIDS, and the Distinguished Artist Award from Bergen College, the first time this award was given to a dance artist. He and his company represented the United States at the Danza Nueva Festival in Lima. Rübsam also choreographs and directs for theatre and opera. He has been a guest choreographer and teacher for numerous companies and universities throughout the Americas as well as in Australasia and Europe. A writer, historian and advocate for his art form, he is a long-time board member of the Martha Hill Dance Fund, has implemented a dance appreciation program at Juilliard for the general public, taught dance history at SUNY Purchase, and has given lectures at the GEL Conference and for the Young Patrons Program at Lincoln Center. He created a solo for his late mentor, Prima Ballerina Assoluta Eva Evdokimova. Rübsam, who has presented annual performances with SENSEDANCE and has toured internationally, appears in several television documentaries about his work - produced by Dancevista - and in the documentary feature Behind the Curtain. ANOTHER TOUR, a documentary (by director Greg Vander Veer) about the company's Peruvian tour is available online at: www.sensedance.org.