News - March 2005 Volume 2 Issue 1


UPDATE: Web Site

The Sokolow Dance Foundation has launched a new web site at www.annasokolow.org. This site is an extensive source for information pertaining to:

  • biographical information about Anna Sokolow
  • repertory which can be licensed
  • educational programs and residencies
  • Sokolow Now!, the foundation's archival performing company

For engagements and bookings, contact the foundation at: mail@annasokolow.org.


SOKOLOW NOW!
Anna Sokolow Archival Dance Company


Sokolow Now! in Dreams
Photo: Joseph Arthur

The Sokolow Dance Foundation has developed a touring company to present the extensive repertory of Anna Sokolow. Sokolow Now! is the only company dedicated exclusively to the Sokolow idiom, performing concerts which are a "living library" for over 4 decades of choreography.

This company of eight passionate young dancers, under the artistic directorship of Lorry May, embody Sokolow's dynamically vibrant dance and theatrical techniques with unrivaled perfection.


Performance Initiative Residency Program

One of Anna Sokolow's greatest contributions to the modern dance world was her ability to shape and dramatize choreography for large groups of dancers. Sokolow Now! maintains many dances within their active repertory which require a cast of 10 or more. Among them are Ride The Culture Loop (1975), Opus 65 (1965), Ellis Island (1976) and Everything Must Go (1982).

The reconstruction of these large group pieces is the creative foundation of the Performance Initiative Residency Program. This residency program offers every student the unique opportunity to participate in a "living" dance history lesson.

After learning the repertory in class, the students will perform the dance with members of Sokolow Now! in a culminating performance. Every student will have an equal opportunity to perform while gaining invaluable professional experience.


Education

The Sharing the Legacy conference at Hunter College, NYC, is an annual event which presents yesterday’s modern dance classics performed by today’s college students gathered from across the United States. Sokolow's work was well represented with performances on April 2, 2004 by the University of Alabama (Rooms Etude), and on April 3, 2004 by the University of California (Preludes) and Slippery Rock University (From The Music of Charles Ives). Kudos to these young Sokolow dancers from the Sokolow Dance Foundation.

A video lecture on the life and work of Anna Sokolow was given at the University of Buffalo, NY on Sept. 8, 2004 for the students of the dance department. An audience of over 100 students and faculty was inspired by the breadth and depth of Sokolow's work.


Weber State University student in Rooms
Photo: unknown

Joanne Lawrence, Dance Program Director, was instrumental in spearheading a Sokolow Legacy residency at Weber State University, UT, Sept.27-Oct. 15, 2004. Students attended technique classes, lectures, and repertory classes in which they learned sections from Rooms. This Rooms Suite was performed November 18 - 21, 2004 at the Eccles Theater, a small, informal black-box theater. Programming also included student choreography. A full-scale theater production will be presented as part of their spring concert on April 7-8, 2005 at the Alfred Theater in the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts.

Thanks to dance department head Lance Westergard, a two-week residency was held January 11-25, 2005, at Hofstra University, NY. Twelve students learned Rooms, which will be performed on the annual spring concert April 21-24, 2005. Ms May will return to Hofstra for a week of coaching prior to the concert.

A video lecture about Anna Sokolow entitled Life and Art of a Legend, was given at the Free Library of Philadelphia, PA on October 16, 2004. The audience ranged from dancers to dance enthusiasts of all ages who enjoyed a lovely fall afternoon.

Thanks to Elena Rusnik, Dance Director, for inviting us back to Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT for the third year. A two-day workshop of technique classes and repertory was conducted on November 1 & 8, 2004, in which the students learned sections from Ride The Culture Loop. The excerpts were presented in a studio showing as part of their dance history class.

The American Academy of Dance, under the direction of Stephanie Moy, held a summer intensive workshop from July 27-August 12, 2004 in Mansfield, MA. Students were immersed in modern dance technique, lectures and historic videos about modern dance master choreographers. The course completed with two sold-out public performances.


Presentation


Dancefusion in Time +
Photo: Ron Williams

Dancefusion, under the artistic directorship of Gwendolyn Bye, performed Time + and Quartertones in a concert at the Painted Bride, Philadelphia, PA on April 2-3, 2004. The audience enjoyed the opportunity to see these two newly reconstructed works which had not been seen since 1966 and 1974 respectively. Grants from Dance Advance, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the PA Council on the Arts, made these reconstructions possible.

"The theme of Time + is timely and the punch line just as emphatic 36 years later".
Janet Anderson ~ City Paper



Sokolow Now! dancer Amy Taravella in Rooms
Photo: Jim Bush

Sokolow Now! and the Buffalo Contemporary Dance Company, under the co-directorship of Leslie Wexler and Amy Taravella, joined forces to present an evening of Anna Sokolow's choreography September 17-18, 2004 at the Flickinger Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY. It was part of CURTAIN UP 2004, the 23rd annual celebration of the opening of Buffalo's theatre season.

Sokolow Now! set up residency in Buffalo for three weeks, working with a cast of eleven exceptional dancers, which represented both companies. The program consisted of Preludes, A Short Lecture and Demonstration on the Evolution of Ragtime, and Rooms. This stunning event was the premiere performance of Sokolow Now!

Sokolow Now! will perform at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center on March 11-12, 2005 as part of a joint concert with two other companies in a celebration of dance. This performance is part of the university’s Penn Presents programming.