Tag Archives: modern dance

Modern Dance Legend Mary Anthony Dies at 97

Mary Anthony in a 1947 photo by Peter Basch

Mary Anthony in a 1947 photo by Peter Basch

Mary Anthony

(November 11, 1916 – May 31, 2014)

Gia On The Move is saddened to announce:

Mary Anthony, a national treasure and legend of modern dance, died in her studio home in the East Village in New York City on May 31, 2014 at the age of 97.  Former company member, Daniel Maloney who is the Artistic Director of the Mary Anthony Dance Theater Foundation, was like a son to her and took care of her to the end.

Mary Anthony is recognized as one of the leaders of the modern dance movement both as a choreographer and an exceptional teacher .  She was the 2004 recipient of the Bessie Award for lifetime contribution to the field of modern dance. In 2006 she received the Martha Hill Award. Other awards and honors include: Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke’s Balasaraswati Award from American Dance Festival, American Dance Guild Award of Artistry, American Dance Association Award, New York State Dance Education Award, and Channel One New Yorker of the week. In 2004 she was entered into the Dance Hall of Fame as part of an installation for the New Dance Group at the Saratoga Dance Museum and in 2011 she received a Citation from New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer at her 95th birthday, declaring November 11 as Mary Anthony Day.

Mary Anthony, a native of Kentucky, began her career with a scholarship in dance with Hanya Holm in the early 40’s, eventually joining the Holm Company and becoming her assistant. She was an original member of the radical modern dance organization The New Dance Group in the 1940’s. Ms. Anthony danced in concerts with Joseph Gifford as well as appearing in many Broadway Shows. Her staging of the London production of Touch and Go, in which she danced one of the leading roles, resulted in a long association as choreographer for Italian Musical Theater.

Ms. Anthony started the Mary Anthony Dance Theater in 1956. Following the premier of Ms. Anthony’s signature work Threnody – for which composer, Benjamin Britten gave his special permission to use his Sinfonia da Requiem – Louis Horst wrote, “Here is the most beautiful and complete dance composition this observer has seen.” Her company performed throughout the United States for over 40 years, including appearances at Jacob’s Pillow, The American Dance Festival, the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood and toured as part of the Dance Touring Program of the National Endowment for the Arts, and for over 30 years presented home season performance in New York City. Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times described Ms. Anthony’s Songs as “hauntingly lyrical with the emphasis on simplicity and ageless craft.” In 1996, Mary Anthony Dance Theater celebrated its 40th Anniversary seasons at The Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York City. In 2004 Ms. Anthony reconstructed one of her oldest works, Women of Troy, on Dancefusion, which was presented in Philadelphia along with her legendary solos Lady Macbeth danced by Mary Ford Sussman. In 2009 her work The Devil in Massachusetts from 1952 was reconstructed by the 360º Dance Company.

An internationally recognized choreographer, Ms. Anthony has had her works added to the repertory of Pennsylvania Ballet, Bat-Dor Company of Israel, the Dublin City Ballet, Dancefusion in Philadelphia and the National Institute for the Arts of Taiwan. Ms Anthony taught at the Herbert Berghof Studio for Actors in New York City for many years.  Shetaught at her own studio at 736 Broadway for over 50 years, retiring only last year.   In November 2013 a Tribute to Mary Anthony was presented as part of Fridays At Noon at the 92nd Street Y, honoring her legacy in modern dance and her 97th Birthday.

Mary Anthony has been an extraordinary presents in the dance community and the artistry and depth of her choreography is timeless. She will live on through the dancers she trained and the people who loved her. Andrea Pastorella, one of her long-time students stated the following, “Mary continued to teach, she never lost her “Eagle Eye” even when the right eye failed she never missed a blink. She would only give a compliment if she really meant it. Her honesty was relentless. One of the things that she loved most was teaching her choreography workshops which culminated twice a year at her studio with performances. She used to say: ‘These shows are what I live for’!”

Mary Anthony loved flowers and still has a bulb that has been coming back for 40 years. It was given to her by Ross Parkes, who was Associate Artistic Director and principal dancer with Mary’s Company for many years. She loved walking in nature, planting and growing her own tomatoes in the dance studio.  She loved cats, nature programs, travel, adventure, Ireland (her parents were from Ireland), hot coffee, a hot bath, taking a sauna, and good food. She spent summer weekends on Fire Island with her good friend of 60 years, Maya Helles with whom she loved watching the “Britcoms” and talk about dance.

Donations in Mary Anthony’s memory can be made to the Mary Anthony Dance Theater Foundation and sent to 736 Broadway, New York NY 10003. A memorial service will be scheduled in July please call the studio at 212-674-8191.

 

 

Suzanne Beahrs Dance Presents World Premiere of Amid

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“I love suddenly finding myself alone in an elevator, with no one around to bump into or wonder what the heck I’m doing. When the elevator doors close, I may have only a few moments, but my arms swipe and curve, my spine arches and folds, and my legs swing and step. This is how I really feel … I want to create dances that connect us with the intricacy of the present moment through movement that is as potent as it is vibrant.” – Suzanne Beahrs

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Suzanne Beahrs Dance presents a full evening of dance on March 27-29, 2014 at 8 pm at Danspace Project, located inside St. Mark’s Church, 131 East 10th Street, NYC 10003. Tickets are $20 General ($17 Early Bird if ordered before 3/6) / $15 Danspace Members and are available at danspaceproject.org.

Amid, a new hour-long dance piece by Suzanne Beahrs Dance, is a vigorous representation of how a personal trial can take audiences on convoluted journeys through pain, love, fear, loss, joy, and resilience.

Suzanne Beahrs shape

Presented as part of DANCE: Access, a self-production series administered by Danspace Project that serves independent choreographers and dance companies, the work for five women (Suzanne Beahrs, Sarah Hillmon, Julia Jurgilewicz, Celine Syslo, Madeline Wilcox) expresses how we understand and shape our own stories and is a celebration of the exquisite power in our broken, impermanent selves.

Choreographer Suzanne Beahrs makes dances designed to engage viewers on both small and large scales, drawing the eye to a delicate gesture and then back out to a sweeping group of leaping, twirling dancers, propelling through space along spiraling, intersecting pathways.  The company’s mission is to share Suzanne’s artistic vision that investigates and celebrates the impermanent human experience through kinetically driven modern dance.

For those of you not in New York City, Gia On The Move found a compilation of Suzanne’s “to date” dance projects.  They are incredibly worth watching.  It’s a full 10 minutes and a performance unto itself.  Suzanne Beahrs “FULL ON”… In the meantime, find this company on FACEBOOK and like their page.  I just did!

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Amid Presented by Suzanne Beahrs Dance

When:

Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 8pm
Friday, March 28, 2014 – 8pm
Saturday, March 29, 2014 – 8pm

Where:    Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, 131 East 10th Street, NYC 10003

Tickets:    $20 General (($17 Early Bird before 3/6) / $15 Danspace Members

Box Office: (866) 811-4111 or Online: danspaceproject.org

Suzanne Beahrs dances, teaches, and choreographs in New York City. Her work has been presented at many NYC venues including the 92nd St. Y, Judson Church, Cora Dance, FAB Festival, and Dance on the Greenway, commissioned by Dance Theater Etc. In the San Francisco Bay Area, Suzanne has shown her work at the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley as 2010 Artist in Residence as well as at the 2011 West Wave Dance Festival (ODC Theater). She has been called a “rising name” by The New York Times. Suzanne was on Dance New Amsterdam modern dance faculty until it closed, and has also taught at Dancewave. She is Education Manager at Cora Dance in Brooklyn, where she was previously a 3G (Give/Get/Grow) Resident Artist and has set choreography on the Cora Youth Company. Suzanne has performed with Mare Nostrum Elements, Dana Boll, Carol Mendes & Artists, and others (NY) and Ishika Seth and Dancers, Dance Ceres, Mo Miner, Christine Cali, and others (CA). Suzanne received her MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and her BA in Geology from UC Berkeley.  Photos courtesy of the Suzanne Beahrs Official Website

We Fall Down – We Get Up – May 17th and 18th

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RG Dance Projects presents We Fall Down, We Get Up featuring three pieces from choreographer and Artistic Director Rubén Graciani on May 17, 2013 at 8pm and May 18, 2013 at 3pm and 8pm at the Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance’s Studio Theater at Westbeth, 55 Bethune Street, 11th Floor, NYC.  Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors, and artists) and can be purchased here: buy-tickets-now

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The evening will include two works from the repertory – Swing and a Miss set to music by Richard Danielpour and Rapture, a multi-media duet to the music of Debussy. The program culminates with the new work, We Fall Down, We Get Up – a larger work with 5 dancers, 24 singers from the Broadway Community Chorus, and a “living” set by Philip Treviño.

We Fall DownWe Fall Down, We Get Up is an extension of a work begun at Skidmore College about the boundaries of identity. The new work is an exploration of one’s boundaries; both those we create for ourselves and those we inherit. The work questions how much control we have over the “performance” of our identity if some of those identifying markers are more or less inherited and permanent. The singers will be part of a “living” set to which they are tethered, demarking the stage space with tangible boundaries for the dancers to either work through or be constrained by. The singers are not only performing with the dancers, but also creating and changing the dynamics of the performance space as a living, breathing set piece.

Rubén GracianiRubén Graciani has performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group (1994-1999), been a company member of the Kevin Wynn Collection, Company Stefanie Batten Bland, and the Joe Goode Performance Group, and has been a Guest Artist with the City Dance Ensemble and the Brian Brooks Moving Company, among many others. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase, and an MFA from University of Maryland-College Park. His work in dance film was profiled in the November 2012 issue of Dance Magazine. He is currently an Associate Professor at Skidmore College, and a Dance Panelist for the New York Council on the Arts.

RG Dance Projects was loosely formed in 2009, and was formalized with debut performances in the DanceNow Raw Materials show in April of 2012. The company performed at the International Woodwind Festival in July of 2012 – cementing our commitment to collaborating with other artists on performance projects. The company performed in the DanceNow Joe’s Pub Festival in September of 2012, winning the Audience Favorite Award for our evening. In February 2013, the company debuted at the CoolNY Festival, and in March, the Current Sessions Festival premiered a dance film project. The company had a residency at DanceNow SILO in Pennsylvania as a result of our Joe’s Pub performance. RG Dance Projects is ecstatic to be able to begin work on a spring season with such a prestigious award. They have also been invited to perform their season at Saratoga ArtsFest in June of 2013.

For more information, please visit www.RubenGraciani.com.

From Martha Graham to Agnes DeMille

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.  And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.  The world will not have it.

It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions.  It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.  You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.  You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you.  Keep the channel open.

No artist is pleased…there is no satisfaction whatever at any time.  There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.

 

Quote of the Day: Martha Graham

Martha Graham and Bertram Ross

No matter how bitter things become for me, personally economically, I would never allow myself to be destroyed from within.  I would sustain all kinds of disappointment without ceasing to believe, to hope, to love.  I would never yield to the temptation of pessimism, the ease of despair or withdrawal.

It was as if I took an inner vow

Martha Graham

NEVER TO ALLOW GRADUALLY THE TRAFFIC TO SMOTHER WITH NOISE AND FOG the flowing of the spirit.

Dancers! Dance with IGaF – NYC

Hey All, I wanted to invite my Dance friends at large to participate in SHARE with Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends.  Years ago, I participated on their board in order to move the company forward.

Isabel is a dedicated modern choreographer whose work is incredibly athletic.  She is currently based in New York City.

Good Luck!

This fall: SHARE: Chapter 2

Once again, IGaF will invite dancers to join the company for performances in an informal setting. During a 6-7 week project we will set company repertory on dancers looking for the opportunity to work with us. JP 3In addition, IGaF will perform new and old work and IGaf company members will contribute to the program as well.

More information will be send soon, but we are aiming to start the project in the 3rd week of September with tentative performance dates on November 12 & 13. Mark your calendars!

For now I am signing off, wishing you a wonderful rest of summer. I will send the occasional update for your information.

Be well and warmest regards, Isabel.

 

 
Contact Information

phone:917.721.0282    email: isabel@isabelgo.org    website: http://www.isabelgo.org