Audrey Ross • Publicity
555 Kappock Street, 17R
Riverdale, New York 10463

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Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn


Dances by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn
The Mother and Father of American Modern Dance

September 30-October 3 (Thurs/Fri/Sat. at 7:30 PM; Sunday at 3 PM)
Theatre at St. Jeans, 150 East 76th Street (just east of Lexington Avenue)
(the theater is accessible down the flight of stairs on E 76th St., or by elevator at the corner of Lexington & 76th St.)
Tickets: $35; $25 for students/seniors/dancers

“Denishawn” a program of rarely seen works by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn, regarded as the Mother and Father of American Modern Dance, will be presented September 30-October 3, 2021 at the Theatre at St. Jeans, 150 East 76th Street, NYC. The cast:

Christine DAKIN
Antonio FINI
Valentina KOZLOVA
dancers from LIMÓN2
SOKOLOW Theatre/Dance Ensemble
Jonathan Howard KATZ, pianist

(from Audrey): I had the great pleasure of handling publicity for Denishawn Repertory Dancers for several years, even going to Lyon, France, with the Company when they appeared at the Biennale Festival. I was very saddened by the passing in 2010 of Jane Sherman at the age of 101, the last living member of the original Denishawn Company, and the subsequent closing of the Denishawn Repertory Dancers. It has been my wish ever since to produce some of these dances that heralded the beginning of American Modern Dance, so that they may be enjoyed and not forgotten. I have added producing to my usual job of publicity, and am making my dream come true with a dream cast of remarkable artists:

Arthur Avilés, former member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance and founder of BAAD!, will perform “Danse Américaine,” (1923, Shawn);

PeiJu Chien-Pott, former principal dancer and current guest artist with the Martha Graham Dance Co, will perform “A Javanese Court Dancer” (1926, St. Denis);

Christine Dakin, former Artistic Director and longtime principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, will perform “Waltz/Liebestraum” (1922, St. Denis);

Antonio Fini, former member of the Martha Graham Dance Company, will perform “The Cosmic Dance of Siva” (1926, Ted Shawn);

Nina Jirka, member of the Vanaver Caravan, will perform “The Legend of the Peacock“ staged for the Vanaver Caravan by Jane Sherman (1914, Ruth St. Denis);

Valentina Kozlova, former principal dancer with the Bolshoi Ballet and New York City Ballet, will perform “Incense” (1906, St. Denis);

Bradley Shelver, Metropolitan Opera Ballet principal, will perform “Japanese Spear Dance” (1919, Shawn);

Limón2 dancers will open the program with “Floor Plastique” (1916, Shawn), taught and coached by Henning Rübsam.

Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, principal custodian of the works of Anna Sokolow, will perform the trio “Choeur Dansé” (1926, Shawn), taught and coached by Francesca Todesco;

Jonathan Howard Katz, pianist/composer, director of Periapsis Music and Dance.

RUTH ST. DENIS (January 20, 1879 - July 21, 1968). From an early age, Ruth Dennis displayed a marked interest in theater and especially in dance, and first appeared in vaudeville and musical comedy shows as a teenager. While touring in David Belasco’s productions, St. Denis saw a cigarette poster featuring an Egyptian scene of the goddess Isis, and began investigating Asian art and dance, which remained an inspiration and passion for the rest of her life. She took the stage name Ruth St. Denis and in 1906, after studying Hindu art and philosophy, offered a public performance in NYC, followed by a European tour. In 1914 she met and married Ted Shawn and formed Denishawn, which toured the world from 1915 to 1928, from Ohio to India, with their original choreography. Among the members of Denishawn were Martha Graham, Charles Weidman, Doris Humphrey, and Jane Sherman. With Ted Shawn, St. Denis founded numerous dance schools around the country and continued to teach and inspire her pupils until her death at age 90, still a devout believer in the good, the true, and the beautiful.

TED SHAWN (October 21, 1891 - January 9, 1972). Shawn took his first ballet lessons after a bout of diptheria left his legs temporarily paralyzed, and made his professional debut in 1913 as a ballroom dancer. He met and married Ruth St. Denis in 1914, and during the next years the activities of their Denishawn Company and School changed the course of dance history. Shawn subsequently became a major impresario, forming Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers, which toured the U.S., Canada, Cuba, and England from 1933 to 1940, and founding the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in 1931, the crowning achievement of his many years as a dancer and choreographer. Although St. Denis and Shawn separated, they remained business associates, promoting the glory of the dance through education, producing a generation of major dancer/choreographers, and the lasting legacy of Jacob’s Pillow.

Program subject to change.

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