Pace University Celebrates Frederic Franklin With FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH, Now thru 6/1
After collaborations in 2012 and 2013 with an all-male cast, Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham's The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth make their return to New York today, May 30 through June 1 in honor of ballet great Frederic Franklin (1914-2013) in what would have been his centenary year. This celebration will take place at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts (3 Spruce Street, between Park Row and Gold Street) and is presented by Pace University.
This one-of-a-kind dance/theater event will include a Gala performance of From the Horse's Mouth on Friday, May 30 at 7:30pm, with a male and female cast. Proceeds from the Gala will include the Frederic Franklin Scholarship Fund at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JKO) School at American Ballet Theatre. Performances of The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth, an all male tribute to Frederic Franklin, will be presented Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1, also at 7:30pm.
The cast for the Friday, May 30 gala will include Mindy Aloff, Jack Anderson, Charles Askegard, Bill Ausman, Ella Baff, Joy William Brown, John Canemaker, Marge Champion, Jacques d'Amboise, Eleanor D'Antuono, Carmen de Lavallade, George Dorris, Ron Honsa, Susan Jones, David La Marche, Kevin McKenzie, Arthur Mitchell, Norton Owen, Xiomara Reyes, Nancy Reynolds, Jan Schmidt, Gus Solomons jr, Martin van Hamel, and more.
The cast for the Saturday May 31 and Sunday June 1 performances (vary from day-to-day) includes Jack Anderson, Bill Ausman, George Dorris, David La Marche, Norton Owen, Gus Solomons Jr., Todd Allen, Arthur Aviles, Germaul Barnes, Christopher Caines, Mark DeGarmo, Tito DelSaz, Chad Hall, Fadi Koury, Trent Kowalik, Hari Krishnan, Steven Melendez, Max Pollak, Pascal Rekoert, Prashant Shah, Tony Waag, Kota Yamazaki, William Whitener, Jacoby Pruitt, and more.
Rare film footage, videos and multimedia will combine with From the Horse's Mouthunique blend of movement and storytelling to bring "Freddie" vividly to life. Through the sharing of personal experiences by dancers, actors, and critics, an insightful portrait of the charismatic and much-loved Fredric Franklin will emerge. The intimate From the Horse's Mouth format provides the ideal vehicle in which to celebrate Frederic Franklin's extraordinary legacy.
"Freddie was a beacon; he had an impact on so many. It's exciting to see so many dancers and friends appear in this special tribute. He would have been 100 years old in June. This makes the Horse's Mouth event even more meaningful," said Mr. Ausman.
Jamie Cunningham said he and Horse's Mouth co-founder Tina Croll were grateful to have spent a long afternoon with Freddie toward the end of his life. "At 99, he was as lively as ever," said Mr. Cunningham. "One story he told really stayed with me - Freddie said when he danced Stanley Kowalski in the ballet of Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando came back stage and said, 'If I could do with words what you're doing with movement, I'd be a better Stanley.' That's the kind of artist he was," said Mr. Cunningham.
The Men Dancers: From the Horse's Mouth was first introduced during the Jacob's Pillow 80th anniversary season. That all-male production, in honor of the Pillow's founder Ted Shawn, cast 25 extraordinary male dancers from all backgrounds, including Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell; master choreographer Lar Lubovitch; Merce Cunningham Dance Company Director of Choreography Robert Swinston; Chet Walker, who conceived the 1999 Tony-award-winning musical Fosse; former NYC Ballet principal dancer Charles Askegard and Trent Kowalik (one of the original "Billy" performers from the musical Billy Elliot). Inspired by the success of that production, almost all of the dancers featured at Jacob's Pillow returned to New York City for a reprise in January, 2013.
Tickets can be purchased at http://schimmel.pace.edu/events/view/from_the_horse_s_mouth. Ticket prices for From the Horse's Mouth at The Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University range from $25 to $95. $5 student rush tickets are available at the box office with valid student ID.
Located one block east of City Hall and immediately adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, The Schimmel Center's 670-seat theatre regularly hosts academic and community events in addition to its yearly schedule of the world's finest music, theatre and dance. Over the past twelve years, The Schimmel Center has served as a founding venue for The River-to-River Festival (2002), hosted both The Tribeca Film Festival and The Tribeca Theatre Festival (2001), provided a headquarters for The National Actors Theatre (2002 to 2004), presented the only Democratic Presidential Debate to present all ten candidates for the 2004 election, and actively hosts James Lipton's award-winning Bravo series Inside the Actors Studio, taped on the Schimmel Theatre's stage since 2005.
For more than 100 years, Pace University has helped prepare students to become leaders in their fields by providing an education that combines exceptional academics with professional experience. Pace has three campuses in New York City, Westchester and White Plains. A private metropolitan university, Pace enrolls approximately 13,500 students in bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs in the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, via its rapidly growing Performing Arts Department, Lienhard School of Nursing, Lubin School of Business, School of Education, Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems and School of Law.