Curated by Doug Varone
LAR LUBOVITCH OPENS FESTIVAL FEB. 17-19
Friday, Feb 17 at 8pm
Saturday, Feb 18 at 8 pm
Sunday, Feb 19 at 3 pm
NEW YORK, NY: January 12—This year’s Festival curator, choreographer Doug Varone (a former dancer with Lar Lubovitch, who opens the festival) invited each artist to present a Stripped/Dressed evening. In the first half – “Stripped” – the artists show the skeleton and seeds of the full work, stripped of theatrical devices, as one might see it in a studio rehearsal. Then they present the work “Dressed” with costumes and lights in a more theatrical setting.
For Lubovitch, the Stripped part of the program gives the audience a chance to “see the motivation of the dance, rather than just taking it at face value;” they also get to see how conversation and sharing ideas are integral parts of dance-making. “People think dancers just dance all the time,” he says. “But as you’re creating a dance, there’s much more speaking than dancing.” For his “Stripped” presentation, Lubovitch plans to welcome dance writers and former dancers to talk with him about his creative process.
For the 92Y Festival, Lubovitch has chosen The Legend of Ten, a dance he considers one of his most successful and a work that shows off his entire company. “Dance is the main subject of my dances,” Lubovitch says. “I pretty much stick to my guns that it’s not about the scenery or costumes.” The primacy of movement makes sense for someone whose choreography is lush and flowing, and who is inspired by music with an “urgency for movement.” The Legend of Ten, which premiered in 2010, is set to the first and fourth movements of Brahms’ Quintet in F Minor. The “Legend” refers not to a mythic story, but to the legend at the bottom of a map that explains the symbols used. The dance, Lubovitch says, is a “sort of map of the music, the story of the music told by ten dancers.” For the Stripped portion of the evening, his dancers will show excerpts not only from The Legend of Ten but also from other recent dances that share a connection.
Lar Lubovitch gave his very first dance concert back in 1968, at 92nd Street Y. In the 44 years since, he and his company have travelled all over the world and given thousands of performances; Lubovitch is one of the master choreographers of contemporary dance. While his company has offered audiences around the country many opportunities to learn more about contemporary dance, they have rarely offered this particular kind of casual and intimate experience in New York City. Lubovitch thinks it’s an appealing idea. “Wouldn’t everyone want to know more about dance?” he says.
ABOUT LAR LUBOVITCH
Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968. Over the past 44 years, the Company has gained an international reputation as one of the world’s foremost dance companies. Celebrated for both its choreographic excellence and its unsurpassed dancing, the company has created more than 100 new dances and performed before millions throughout the United States and in more than 30 other countries. Lubovitch is one of America’s most versatile, popular, and widely seen choreographers. His dances have also been performed by many other major companies in addition to his own. His dances on film include Othello (broadcast throughout the U.S. on PBS’s “Great Performances” and nominated for an Emmy Award), Fandango (winner of an International Emmy Award), and My Funny Valentine for the Robert Altman film The Company (for which Lubovitch was nominated for an American Choreography Award). Lubovitch has also made a notable contribution to choreography in the field of ice-dancing, having created concert dances for Olympic skaters John Curry, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Brian Orser, JoJo Starbuck, and Paul Wylie, as well as two one-hour ice-dances for television: The Sleeping Beauty (PBS) and The Planets (A&E) (nominated for an International Emmy Award, a Cable Ace Award, and a Grammy Award). His work on Broadway includes Into the Woods (Tony Award nomination), The Red Shoes (Astaire Award), and the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I. In 2007 he co-founded the Chicago Dancing Festival with former company dancer Jay Franke. The Festival is a series of performances and lectures by major American dance companies that takes place every August at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Harris Theater, the Auditorium Theatre, and Chicago’s Millennium Park. The Chicago Dancing Festival reaches approximately 12,000 audience members annually and showcases some of the country’s best dance companies completely free to the public. In 2007, Lubovitch was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune, and in 2008, Lubovitch and Franke were named by Chicago Magazine as “Chicagoans of the Year” for their efforts with the festival. Last month, Lubovitch was named a Ford Fellow by United States Artists, and earlier in the year he received the Dance/USA Honors, the dance field’s highest award.
The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company is also presenting two other acclaimed works, February 10–12, 2012, at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center (MMAC). The program will feature Histoire du Soldat and Lubovitch’s most recent work, Crisis Variations, both performed to live music played by the ensemble Le Train Bleu, under the direction of conductor Ransom Wilson. Performances will take place Friday, February 10 at 8:00pm; Saturday, February 11 at 8:00pm; and Sunday, February 12 at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $15 to $45 and can be purchased through MMAC at 212.787.1178, or online at www.manhattanmovement.com/event/LAR. MMAC is located at 248 West 60th Street, between Amsterdam and West End Avenues (aka 10th and 11th Avenues) in New York City.
Upcoming at 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival
Fri, Feb 24 & Sat, Feb 25 at 8 pm; Sun, Feb 26 at 3 pm
Fri, Mar 2 & Sat, Mar 3 at 8 pm; Sun, Mar 4 at 3 pm
Fri, Mar 9 & Sat, Mar 10 at 8 pm; Sun, Mar 11 at 3 pm
Fri, Mar 16 & Sat, Mar 17 at 8 pm; Sun, Mar 18 at 3 pm
About 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center
In 1935, what became 92nd Street Y’s Harkness Dance Center provided a home to the fledgling American modern dance movement and its leader, Martha Graham. In the decades that followed, every great American dancer and choreographer – visionaries including Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Robert Joffrey and Donald McKayle – spent time at the Y, building the foundation for modern dance as we know it. Through the generous support of the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Dance Center continues this proud tradition of dance teaching, creation and performance, serving the professional world and the community at large. Technique classes range from ballet and modern dance to hip-hop and Flamenco. Rounding out the program are several performance programs including the annual 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival; a professional development program for dance educators; and several teen dance troupes. For more information, please visit www.92Y.org/dance.
About 92nd Street Y
92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people at every stage of life to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness, and Jewish life. Through the breadth and depth of 92Y’s extraordinary programs, we enrich lives, create community and elevate humanity. More than 300,000 people a year visit 92Y’s New York City venues, and millions more join us through the Internet, satellite broadcasts and other digital media. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and enthusiastically welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. 92Y is an open door to extraordinary worlds.