Thursday, January 30th, 2014 12:00 PM
Legendary Trisha Brown Dance Company Comes to PlayhouseSquare for One Performance March 8 Final main stage tour honors retirement of dance icon
CLEVELAND (Jan. 20, 2014) – Trisha Brown Dance Company, whose founder has created dances for more than 50 years, will take the stage at the Ohio Theatre on Saturday, March 8 at 8 p.m. Part of a final main stage tour, "Proscenium Works, 1979-2011," the Cleveland performance will showcase one last time the major works of legendary choreographer Trisha Brown in their original theatrical context.
Tickets, starting at $20, can be more › purchased at the PlayhouseSquare ticket office, 216-241-6000 or online at www.dancecleveland.org.
One of the most remarkable choreographers of the past century, Brown has left an indelible mark on the dance world, creating over 100 dance works since she began choreographing in 1961.
Repertory for the evening will include dances from three decades of Brown's extraordinary career. "Set and Reset," created in 1983, is choreographed to music by Laurie Anderson, with sets by renowned visual artist Robert Rauschenberg, "If You Couldn't See Me" (1994) is a solo that Brown originally created for herself, with sets and music by Rauschenberg. This work was later transformed into a duet which she danced with Bill T. Jones and then with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
The program will also include the final two dances that Brown created for her company. "Les Yeux et l'aime" from 2011 is set to Jean-Philippe Rameau's "Pygmalion." Brown's last work, "I'm going to toss my arms – if you catch them they're yours," premiered in Paris in 2011 and is set to music by Alvin Curran.
The evening at the Ohio Theatre will feature a free pre-performance talk in the theatre at 7:15 p.m. and a post-performance moderated Q&A session with members of the company.
When Brown first arrived in New York City in 1961, she became immersed in what was to become the post-modern phenomena of Judson Dance Theater and began to push the limits of choreography, changing dance forever. In 1970 when she founded her own company, she created early dances for alternative spaces, including roof tops and walls, in her groundbreaking work. She collaborated with such visual artists as Rauschenberg, Fujiko Nakaya, Donald Judd and Elizabeth Murray, among others, and with modern composers including Laurie Anderson, Dave Douglas and Alvin Curran.
Brown was the first woman choreographer to receive the coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship "Genius Award." Among her numerous other awards are five fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two Guggenheim Fellowships and a lifetime Bessie Award.
In planning for the future of Trisha Brown Dance Company, Brown took the title of Founding Artistic Director and Choreographer in 2013. She named Diane Madden and Carolyn Lucas as Associate Artistic Directors. The company's plan going forward offers a new vision for extending the life of a single-artist dance company, including the ongoing presentation of Brown's masterworks in both site-specific and museum contexts; and the preservation of her papers, film and video archive, sets and costumes. The president of the company's board of directors Kirk Radke says the plan "is a bold reimagining of how the public experiences the work of a great choreographer."
For more information about the company visit www.trishabrowncompany.org
ELECTRONIC PHOTOS AVAILABLE FROM PAM BARR AT 216-932-5060 or email@example.com
About Dance Cleveland
DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization's programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio.
Funding for this presentation is generously provided by:
FirstMerit Foundation, Nordson Corporation, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The Cleveland Foundation, The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ohio Arts Council.
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 12:00 PM
The coveted $50,000 grant supports the creation of thought-provoking work
from artists of color and non-profit collaborators
CLEVELAND (Jan. 29, 2014) – New York-based choreographer Camille A. Brown and DANCECleveland are one of four recipients of the 2014 Joyce Awards, given annually by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago to recognize artists of color who collaborate with non-profit institutions. The $50,000 grants aim to strengthen cross-cultural understanding by bringing diverse audiences together.
"We are more › thrilled the Joyce Foundation selected our proposed project with Camille for this prestigious and generous award," said Pam Young, DANCECleveland executive director. "We're looking forward to supporting Camille as she creates a new work that we will present as part of our 60th anniversary season in 2015."
For the Joyce Award, Brown will create a powerful dance and music composition with the working title Black Girl. The piece will depict the complexities of carving out a positive identity for African American females in urban American culture. The multimedia creation will use literary works, including Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, as inspiration. Brown and her dancers will interview communities of African American women, both young and old, in Cleveland and other parts of the country. Their struggles and triumphs will be incorporated as spoken text during the performance. Combining history and musicology with the fantastical approach of imagery in Alice in Wonderland, this work will shed light on feminism, patriarchy, stereotypes and beauty.
Brown is one of four African American Joyce Award recipients that include composer Jessie Montgomery with the Sphinx Organization in Detroit; and in Minneapolis, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage with the Guthrie Theater and playwright Tracey Scott Wilson with the Pillsbury House Theatre. An anonymous national panel of cultural organization and business leaders selects winners based on artistic merit, quality of work and community engagement in artistic process.
"Throughout the Joyce Awards' 11 years, we have been so proud to support over 35 community-oriented arts projects to diversify and engage audiences and artists," said Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation. "This year's endeavors bring strong voices to the table and showcase the incredible artistic talent of the winning artists, and we're excited to be part of the process."
Brown, a prolific choreographer who has achieved multiple accolades and awards for her daring works, is the artistic director of her own New York City-based company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Dance companies that have commissioned her work include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco, Urban Bush Women and Complexions, among others.
Photographs and additional information about each artist and partnering organization is available on the Joyce Foundation's website.
DANCECleveland, a Cleveland, Ohio based non-profit, is one of a handful of presenters nationally that is dedicated solely to the presentation of modern and contemporary dance. The centerpiece of the organization's programming is its annual performance series. The performances are surrounded by an array of educational outreach events including artist-run master classes, residency programs, student matinees, pre-performance lectures and post-performance Q&A sessions, designed both to break artistic boundaries and provide community access to the dance aesthetic and dance luminaries that DANCECleveland brings to Northeast Ohio. For more information visit www.dancecleveland.org
About the Joyce Foundation: The Joyce Foundation supports policies that improve the quality of life for people in the Great Lakes region and that can serve as models for the country. Our efforts are focused on addressing today's most pressing problems while also shaping the public policy decisions critical to achieving long-term solutions and creating opportunity. The work is based on sound research and aimed at areas where we can add the most value. We encourage new, forward thinking and innovative approaches with a regional focus and the potential for a national reach. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.joycefdn.org.
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Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 12:00 PM
DanceCleveland was named today one of four recipients of a prestigious 2014 Joyce Award.
The award, a $50,000 grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, supports cross-cultural art projects and will enable the group to commission and present a new work by New York choreographer Camille Brown.
"We didn't really think they'd be interested," said Pam Young, executive director of DanceCleveland. "They give out so few of these. But the project will be more › a real challenge for us, and I think they found that exciting."
The only dance organization to win a Joyce grant this year, DanceCleveland will now work closely with Brown and her company, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, as they research, develop and perform a piece addressing the experience of African-American women in contemporary urban culture.
The work, tentatively titled "Black Girl," will be based on interviews with a diverse range of women in Northeast Ohio as well "The Bluest Eye," the first novel by Lorain-born author Toni Morrison. The other three Joyce Award winners are composer Jessie Montgomery and playwrights Lynn Nottage and Tracey Scott Wilson
"She's a pretty remarkable person," Young said of Brown, noting performances of her choreography by such companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Philadanco and Urban Bush Women. "There's a lot of poignancy to her work."
Young said Brown will make several visits to Cleveland, starting this summer, and then spend the rest of this year and much of the next creating "Black Girl" in time for DanceCleveland's 60th anniversary in the fall of 2015.
The grant also enables DanceCleveland, which also won a Joyce Award in 2006, to provide Brown with rehearsal and training space and to support public performances of the work in a smaller PlayhouseSquare venue such as the Allen or Hanna Theatre.
But while the work itself is likely to be intimate in nature, Young said the significance of the project will be huge for DanceCleveland.
"These kinds of fellowships are becoming rarer and rarer," she said. "This a big deal for us."
Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 12:00 PM
DANCECleveland and New York-based choreographer Camille A. Brown are one of four recipients of the 2014 Joyce Awards, given annually by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago to recognize artists of color who collaborate with nonprofit institutions.
Each winner receives a $50,000 grant for work designed to "strengthen cross-cultural understanding by bringing diverse audiences together."
Pam Young, executive director of DANCECleveland, said in a statement, "We are thrilled the Joyce Foundation selected more › our proposed project with Camille for this prestigious and generous award. We're looking forward to supporting Camille as she creates a new work that we will present as part of our 60th anniversary season in 2015."
With the Joyce Award money, Brown "will create a powerful dance and music composition" with the working title "Black Girl," according to DANCECleveland.
The piece "will depict the complexities of carving out a positive identity for African American females in urban American culture," the nonprofit organization said in a news release. "The multimedia creation will use literary works, including Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye,' as inspiration. Brown and her dancers will interview communities of African American women, both young and old, in Cleveland and other parts of the country. Their struggles and triumphs will be incorporated as spoken text during the performance."
DANCECleveland said the work combines "history and musicology with the fantastical approach of imagery in 'Alice in Wonderland,' " and will "shed light on feminism, patriarchy, stereotypes and beauty."
Other winners of Joyce Awards this year are composer Jessie Montgomery with the Sphinx Organization in Detroit; and in Minneapolis, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage with the Guthrie Theater and playwright Tracey Scott Wilson with the Pillsbury House Theatre.
"Throughout the Joyce Awards' 11 years, we have been so proud to support over 35 community-oriented arts projects to diversify and engage audiences and artists," said Ellen Alberding, president of the Joyce Foundation, in a statement. "This year's endeavors bring strong voices to the table and showcase the incredible artistic talent of these four women, and we're excited to be part of the process."
SCOTT SUTTELL, Crain's Cleveland Business
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 12:00 PM
By Steve Sucato
When Walmart heiress Nancy Laurie founded New York-based Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet a decade ago, skepticism abounded over the troupe with a big-city budget and a small-town name. Since then, however, the company has created quite the buzz in the dance world for its to-die-for repertory by A-list choreographers and its talented roster of international dancers.
Saturday night at PlayhouseSquare's Ohio Theatre, it was Northeast Ohio's turn see what more › all the buzz was about, as DanceCleveland presented the troupe in three stylistically diverse ballets.
While Saturday's nasty winter weather put a slight damper on attendance, those who braved the elements were treated to a sampling of the crème de la crème of contemporary ballet technique, style and taste gracing world stages today.
The program opened with the ballet "Indigo Rose" (1998) by the Balanchine of contemporary ballet, Jiri Kylian.
A wire strung diagonally across the stage from ceiling to floor served as the backdrop to dancer Jon Bond as he ripped through a sequence of hectic dance moves that shimmied and shook.
Bond was soon joined by others in Kylian's choreography, set to an eclectic mix of music by composers including John Cage and Robert Ashley, as the ballet moved through smart, lively, gesture-filled and expertly crafted dance phrases that paused at times, allowing some of the dancers to cheekily mug at the audience as if saying, "How do you like me now?"
The ballet then switched gears, as two male/female couples engaged in sparsely lit, side-by-side pas de deuxs dense with lush, intricate partnering.
It concluded with another rapid-fire section where a white curtain was drawn across the background wire, making it look like a sail that bisected the stage. Dancers then performed in front of and behind the curtain, creating varying sized shadows on the curtain as they moved.
The ballet wound to halt when the dancers suddenly froze in place onstage and a video of some of them was projected on a screen above them, transitioning the audience's perspective on these beings as superhuman performers into a glimpse of them as ordinary people.
Next came five dancers, 10 duets and 20 minutes of pure dance gold in Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite's "Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue" (2008). The ballet gem, commissioned by Cedar Lake and set to beautifully haunting music from the sci-fi movie "Solaris" by Cliff Martinez, was atmospherically lit by a semicircle of freestanding white lights on stands the dancers wheeled about the stage at times.
Athletic and gymnastic partnering that twisted and turned produced breathtaking lifts and the graceful melding of bodies that spoke to one's soul. Limbs rose and fell as if pulled by imaginary strings – and meticulous, sometimes aggressive movement dotted the stage, briefly snapping one out of the ballet's lulling and mesmerizing lure.
Cedar Lake's dancers were at the top of their game in it, eliciting audible gasps from audience members thrilled by the unexpected turns in Pite's choreography. One of the ballet's most lasting images was that of Navarra Novy-Williams moving in slow motion horizontally across the stage with one arm outstretched behind her as Matthew Rich ran frantically in place trying to reach for her hand.
The program ended with Greek choreographer Adonis Foniadakis' 2013 ballet for the company, "Horizons." Inspired by the frantic pace of New York City, the ballet was set to a powerful and rousing score by Julien Tarride that interlaced music with the soothing dialogue of relaxation-tape narrators.
Foniadakis' movement language for the dancers, however, was anything but relaxing and worked as the antithesis of the music's hypnotic message of calm and reflection. His choreography was fitful and had the dancers looking as if in the throes of seizures, whipping their heads and limbs violently about and seeming to be without skeletal control.
After the initial shock of the movement's abandon, the piece settled into familiar patterns of dancer groupings and unison dancing, all employing Foniadakis' rag-doll movement language.
The somewhat overworked ballet's most interesting part came when a dancer was pulled out standing atop a red carpet. The carpet then became the stage for a series of motion-blurring duets that ended with dancers Jin Young Won and Guillaume Quéau in a passionate intertwining of their bodies as water rained down, slowly soaking them.
Cedar Lake's world-class performance proved a perfect beginning to a new year of dance, continuing a recent string of DanceCleveland hits.
Sucato is a writer and critic and chairman emeritus of the Dance Critics Association.
Steve Sucato, The Plain Dealer
RELATED COMPANY: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet