Audrey Ross presents
Dances I Love
Dances I Love is a concert of some of my favorite dances, featuring recent works along with dances that I had the pleasure of seeing years ago and never forgot. I look forward to revisiting those dances and sharing them with today's audiences.
The stellar cast of dancers consists of Ane Arrieta (Graham II), Donna Clark, Christine Dakin, Margie Gillis, Valentina Kozlova, Daphne Lee (Dance Theatre of Harlem), and Lydia Johnson Dance joined by members of Limón2. Dances are by choreographers Jaime Blanc, Janet Collins (reconstructed by Yaël Lewin), Margie Gillis, Lydia Johnson, Valentina Kozlova, Lorn MacDougal, and Eleo Pomare.
Performances April 29 at 7:30 pm and April 30 at 3 pm at the The Theatre at St. Jeans, 150 East 76th St. Entrance to the theatre is on 76th St., just east of Lexington (down the stairs) or by elevator located on Lexington between 76th & 75th Streets.
by Lorn MacDougal (1974)
The Graham II company member performs the solo reconstructed and coached by Lorn MacDougal. Set to percussion on glass by Collin Walcott and voice by Meredith Monk, the stark and striking solo was last danced by the choreographer in 1982. Music courtesy of The House Foundation for the Arts.
in Narcissus Rising
by Eleo Pomare (1968)
Choreographed and originally danced by Eleo Pomare. Created for a man, the solo is a knockout when danced by a woman, namely Donna Clark, principal dancer and artistic director of Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.
in Short Story
by Jaime Blanc (2017)
Mexican choreographer Jaime Blanc was inspired for the dance by Tennessee Williams' Lady of Larkspur Lotion. Set to Luciano Berio's Sequenza III for voice, the solo was created on and for Christine Dakin.
by Margie Gillis (1989)
Set to Molly Bloom's "yes" soliloquy from James Joyce's "Ulysses," narrated by Siobhan McKenna, the solo was created out of a deep desire for the catharsis inherent in the word: yes! A text written by a man about a woman; interpreted and reclaimed by a woman.
by Lydia Johnson (2018)
Set to music by Philip Glass, the dance for ten women was created during the peak of the #metoo movement and includes women reclaiming classically feminine gestures and shapes. The confluence of the beauty of the poses and the strength of the women dancers creates an atmosphere of power and ultimately sisterhood.
in Til Then
by Valentina Kozlova (2022)
The former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet will dance an evocative solo inspired by a Scriabin etude. Kozlova finds that "Scriabin leads you to your own discoveries; there is always hope."
in Apre le Mardi Gras
by Janet Collins (1947)
A member of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Lee will perform the dance thought to be the only fully surviving solo by Janet Collins, reconstructed by Yaël Lewin, author of the book Night's Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins. This is the first known reconstruction
of the solo. The re-creation of Apre le Mardi Gras would not be possible without the generous support of Jody and John Arnhold and the Arnhold Foundation. Fiscal sponsorship provided by The Field.
(Apre is the Creole spelling.)
Graham2 dancer ANE ARRIETA, a dual citizen of Spain and the U.S., trained at the Newport Academy of Ballet, continuing at the Hartt School where she received her BFA in Dance Performance and Ballet Pedagogy. She has performed in works by major choreographers, including Limón, Graham, Balanchine, Taylor and has toured internationally with Newport Contemporary Ballet. Ms. Arrieta is also a Nationally Certified Pilates Instructor.
BABA DON EATON BABATUNDE has performed with major American dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Limón Dance Company, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. His recording career includes jazz idioms, rhythm and blues, and most African-derived music. He is the founder of JAAMBO, an Afro-Caribbean ensemble, and Percussion Arts Projects LLC. He is also a member of the esteemed Last Poets. In addition, Baba Don is one of New York City’s master teachers of African drumming and the rhythms of the Diaspora in the Americas. For over 30 years, he has been on the faculty of the Harlem School of the Arts.
DONNA CLARK has enjoyed a long association with Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, and is currently principal dancer and executive director of Alpha Omega, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary. The native New Yorker studied at the Martha Graham School on full scholarship for five years, and earned her BA in Psychology and Education from Baruch College. Ms. Clark has also appeared as featured dancer with Joan Miller's Dance Players, Eleo Pomare Dance Company, and Gallman's Newark Dance Theater. Her theater credits include European productions of Black and Blue and Porgy and Bess, a national tour of The Wiz, and performing and choreographing several regional productions.
Dance pioneer JANET COLLINS (1917-2003) had a rich and varied career, including performing with the companies of Lester Horton and Katherine Dunham, in the Broadway production of Cole Porter's Out of This World, and, most significantly, with the Metropolitan Opera, where she soared over the color line in 1951 as its first full-time African-American company member. She was also a noted concert dance soloist, and premiered Apre le Mardi Gras - a nod to her birthplace of New Orleans - in 1947 in Los Angeles in the first concert of her solo choreography, made possible by a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship.
CHRISTINE DAKIN, Performer, teacher, creator, was principal dancer and Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Dance Company She was honored to receive the Dance Magazine Award, a “Bessie”, Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Fellowship, and an honorary Doctor of Arts from the Universidad de Colima, Mexico. Her film La Voz del Cuerpo / The Body Speaks was an official selection of the NYC Independent Film Festival and NewFilmmakersNYC. Her Terpsikon - fundamental sequences of Martha Graham’s technique. is available on Vimeo on Demand. Ms. Dakin recently guested with the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, Denishawn: Dances by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, and Oui Danse. Creating solo work for her are Jaime Blanc, Brice Mousset, and Alejandro Chávez. Her choreography and teaching have been supported by a Fulbright Senior Scholar award, the USIA, Rockefeller US-Mexico Fund for Culture and CEC ArtsLink grants. Dakin is a founding member of Buglisi Dance Theatre, danz.fest (Italy), and Invernadero Danza (Mexico). Her teaching includes a decade at The Juilliard School, Visiting Lecturer at Harvard and throughout Mexico since 1981. She was a Creative Advisor for Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Choreography Lab and is guest teacher for Ailey and Ailey II, Tecniche di Danza Moderna (Italy), Graham for Europe (France) and is on the faculties of the Ailey School and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.
MARGIE GILLIS, internationally acclaimed dance artist, is one of the most influential Canadian choreographer/dancers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Her company, the Margie Gillis Dance Foundation, was founded in 1981. Ms. Gillis has created more than 150 creations, solos, duets, and group works, which have been performed around the globe. She has guested with the National Ballet of Canada, British Columbia, and Momix, to name a few, and has collaborated with many other renowned creative artists, including John Butler, Peggy Baker, Veronica Tennant, and Robert LaFosse. Ms. Gillis has received numerous awards for her unwavering effort to develop her craft through experimenting, teaching, creation, and performance. In 2023, Margie Gillis is celebrating her 50th career anniversary; 50 years of creation, love, and dance.
LYDIA JOHNSON (choreographer) trained in Boston and NYC on scholarship at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Finis Jhung, Sara Rudner, and others. Ms. Johnson showed her work at various NYC venues; then took a hiatus to raise her three young children before returning to the dance world and founding Lydia Johnson Dance. Her company performs regularly in venues in New York and New Jersey, and among her awards are an Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and a Harkness Dance Center Space Grant.
VALENTINA KOZLOVA trained at the Bolshoi School and became a principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet in record time, dancing all the ballerina roles. On tour with the Bolshoi in 1979, she defected in Los Angeles, went on to guest with major companies around the world, and star in the Broadway shows A Christmas Carol and On Your Toes. At the invitation of Balanchine, Kozlova joined New York City Ballet as a principal, dancing with that Company for thirteen years. Ms. Kozlova then directed her own company, Ballet: The Daring Project, which appeared at The Joyce for three seasons and on tour, before opening her own schools and becoming active with international competitions and companies as a judge and coach. Kozlova received recognition by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation as a "2018 Great Immigrant/Great American." She most recently taught and coached for the Boston Ballet, and continues to direct the annual Kozlova International Ballet Competition, which awards company contracts and scholarships to talented dancers from around the world.
DAPHNE LEE, a native of New Jersey, was trained by her late mother, Jay Skeete-Lee, and at the Dance Theatre of Harlem School. Her education includes a BFA in Dance from Ailey/Fordham University and an MFA from Hollins University. Lee has danced with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Collage Dance Collective, Oakland Ballet, Alvin Ailey II, and the Black Iris Project.
YAËL LEWIN (reconstructor) is a dance historian, choreographer, and Gestalt therapist. She is also the author of Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins (Wesleyan University Press), for which she won the Marfield Prize. She has performed with several dance companies, including her own.
LORN MACDOUGAL (choreographer/reconstructor) worked as a dancer, choreographer and teacher in NYC for over three decades, performing in the companies of Martha Graham, Lar Lubovitch, Daniel Nagrin, Bertram Ross, and Phyllis Lamhut while producing evenings of her collaborations with film animator/performer Alain Le Razer, whose award-winning dance/animation film Distillations featured Lorn. She has taught at The Juilliard School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton University, Rutgers University. Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and the U of Texas at Austin. Lorn currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she has a Pilates practice.