National Day of Culture: Prešeren Day Slovenian Holiday Celebrated on 2/8

The opening night of Felice Lesser Dance Theater's 2017 season falls on February 8, the Slovenian holiday of Prešeren Day, a national holiday that celebrates culture of all kinds. Lesser's world premiere, entitled Lightning, is a multi-media dance dealing with timely issues facing the world in the new year, set to a score by the contemporary Slovenian composer Borut Krzisnik. The season will run for six performances, February 8 - 12, 2017 at The Duke on 42nd Street,229 W. 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues).

The Slovenian holiday of Prešeren is a national cultural holiday and work-free day, celebrated with free cultural festivals, performances and art exhibits, and is named for the Slovenian poet France Prešeren (1800-1849). In Slovenia, schools and businesses close so that all citizens can enjoy free cultural events - museums, lectures, theaters, concert halls, open their doors to the public, reflecting the importance of culture in every aspect of Slovenian life. In keeping with the spirit of the holiday and its own strong commitment to cultural outreach, Felice Lesser Dance Theater's opening night audience will be invited to a post-performance toast featuring Slovenian wines, in honor of the holiday.

Lightning combines drama and humor to reflect Lesser's reaction to today's complex political and social issues, including Trump's election, the rise of racism and anti-gay sentiment, the plight of immigrants and refugees, and growing world violence. Video preview link:

The Felice Lesser Dance Theater (FLDT), founded in 1975 by choreographer, playwright, filmmaker and animator, Felice Lesser, creates and performs her contemporary dance works, which are mixed with theater and technology. Lesser's "moving sets" of simultaneous projected video and computer animation are featured as a visual background to what is happening onstage, where live dancers interact with filmed ones, or distorted images appear as counterpoint.Lightning will reflect on some of today's most important issues: borders, global warming, inclusion, terrorism, technology, and Artificial Intelligence.

In its 41-year history, FLDT has produced over sixty dance works, two full-length plays about dance and

dancers, video/dance works, original television broadcasts, and many contemporary music and art collaborations performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Joyce SoHo, the Sarasota Ballet, and the 1991 Tokyo International Choreography Competition. FLDT is committed to education as well as performance and has an extensive array of lecture-demonstrations, classes, residencies and workshops to develop audiences and bring the public and students into the creative process. The company feels strongly that dance should be available and accessible to all, and provides outreach and free ticket programs to special and underserved populations, and will do so again during these performances.

Borut Krzisnik is a Slovenian composer based in Ljubljana. He has released seven albums, including Lightning, Valse Brutal, Sacre du Temps and A Life in Suitcases (film and soundtrack). His music has been featured in many films, dance and Theater Productions, including Peter Greenaway's multi-media trilogyTulse Luper Suitcases and A Life in Suitcases.

Felice Lesser Dance Theater will present six performances as follows: February 8 - 11 at 7:30 pm, with matinee performances on February 11 and 12 at 2pmat The Duke on 42nd Street, a NEW 42ND STREET® project. Tickets are $40 ($25 students/seniors/FLDT members) and will be available after January 11, onlineat, by phone at 646.223.3010, or in person at The Duke on 42nd Street's Box Office.

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