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Sharing the Legacy 2011: Nikolais Centennial

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The spectacular Alwin Nikolais Centennial celebration concludes its U.S. performances in New York City at The Kaye Playhouse with a long look back at Nikolais’s career that features an unusual showcase of the multimedia master’s rarely seen works, many of which have not been staged in New York in over a quarter of a century. Sharing the Legacy 2011 participants are Muhlenberg College, Tulane University, Middle Tennessee State University, DeSales University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Southern Utah University, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College and Hunter College. April 15 and 16, 8pm. Tickets: $17/$12 for students and seniors, can be purchased at the box office located at East 68th Street (between Park & Lexington Avenues) or by calling 212-772-4448. The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College is located at 695 Park Avenue.

Sharing the Legacy 2011: Nikolais Centennial

Gallery by Rosalie O'Connor

Featuring major works created between 1955 and 1985, the historic program, once again affirming Nikolais’s frontier challenging forays into multimedia, ranges from his pure dance works such as “Mechanical Organ,” which premiered in 1980 and was last seen in New York in 2003 to the imagistically complex doomsday message of “Gallery,” premiered in 1978 and last seen in New York in 1988. In “Pond,” a lyrical blend of light, sound and music, the dancers float like fantasies across a watery surface, while in “Water Studies,” first performed as part of “Sanctum” in 1964 and last seen in New York in 1992, the dancers’ movement and costumes are transformed by floods of changing light.Premiered in 1978 and seen in New York only in 1979, “Aviary” is a celebration of birds in flight, while “Temple,”1974, is far more grounded in its celebration of the intricate exteriors of ancient and contemporary Asian houses of faith. “Temple” was last seen in New York in 1982. The show also includes “Tensile Involvement,” the 1955 classic in which the dancers create and recreate a cat’s cradle; “Crucible,” the 1985 masterpiece, in which, through a dazzle of magic, Nikolais expresses his philosophic belief that man is only a part of the universe; and “Imago,” 1963, in which the dancers and scenery are indivisible partners. All three had been seen in New York last spring.

Sharing the Legacy was created by the Hunter College Dance Program’s Director Jana Feinman to help ensure the preservation of modern dance masterpieces through performance. College dance departments throughout the United States are offered the opportunity to have their students taught major American modern dance classics, which they are then invited to perform at The Kaye Playhouse.

Alberto del Saz, Artistic Director and Repertory Director of the Nikolais-Louis Foundation for Dance, set the works on the students, except “Aviary,” which was taught to the Hunter College dancers by former Nikolais dancer Gerald Otte. In addition to the public performances, Sharing the Legacy offers its participants panel discussions, master classes, composition classes and improvisation workshops.The Nikolais Centennial celebration, which has presented a wide range of Nikolais’s greatest works throughout the world over the past 18 months, concludes with a six week French tour, May 5-June 17, performed by the Ririe Woodbury Dance Company, with performances at La Coursive, Scène Nationale La Rochelle in La Rochelle (May 5-6), Opéra national de Paris in Paris (May 11-14), Théâtre national de Bordeaux en Aquitaine in Bordeaux (May 17-21), Scène Nationale de Sète in Sète (May 23-27), La Passerelle, Scène Nationale de Saint-Brieuc in Saint-Brieuc (May 30-June 1), l’Opéra de Lille in Lille (June 7-10) and Châteauvallon, Ollioules in Châteauvallon (June 16-17).

THURSDAY, APRIL 14 5:00 pm  Opening reception  South  Studio

FRIDAY, APRIL 15 9:30-11:00  Technique Class with Alberto Del Saz-South  Studio; Technique Class with Dianne Markham- North Studio 11:15-12:45  Panel Discussion: “On The Road With Nik” - South Studio Kay Anderson, Suzy Freidel, Ruth Grauert, Lynn Levine,  Timothy Harling, John Tomlinson Moderated by: Gerald Otte 1:45-3:15 Improvisation with Dorothy Vislocky- North Studio; Technique Class with Gerald Otte - South Studio 3:45  Run through of second half of program - Kaye Playhouse 6:00 Dancers Call - Kaye Playhouse 8:00  Performance - Kaye Playhouse

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 9:00-10:00 Pilates with Kim Gibilesco  South Studio, Yoga with Donna Scro North Studio; 10:00-11:00 Discussion with Murray Louis South Studio, 11:00-12:30  Town Meeting with Nikolais Co. members South Studio, Murray Louis, Phyllis Lamhut, Dorothy Vislocky, and others.  Moderated by:  Alberto Del Saz, 1:45-3:15 Composition with Phyllis Lamhut South Studio, Technique with Peter Kyle North Studio, Video of Nik’s “Relay” Middle Studio, 3:30 Run through of first half of program, 6:00 Dancers Call, 8:00 Curtain

Sharing the Legacy is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, American Masterpieces:
Dance Program, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Auxiliary Enterprise Council and Hunter College
Performing Arts Student Activity Fee Funds.

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