News - March 2006 Volume 3 Issue 1

Anna Sokolow Archival Dance Company

Sokolow Now! dancer Nicola Iervasi in Panic from Rooms
Photo: Ron Williams

Sokolow Now! performed on March 11 & 12, 2005, at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Center. The company presented Preludes in a joint concert with Dancefusion, under the artistic direction of Gwendolyn Bye, which performed Sokolow's masterpiece Rooms. The black box theater created an intimate setting for these performances which marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Rooms. This sold out concert was part of the Penn Presents programming.

Sokolow Now! made guest appearances in Attleboro, MA on June 25 and Holliston, MA on August 13, 2005. These performances captivated the audiences as they watched excerpts from Lyric Suite and Rooms.


Hofstra University students in Rooms
Photo: John Elber

Lance Westergard, head of the dance department at Hofstra University brought the Sokolow Dance Foundation in for a three week residency. The students learned Rooms for their annual spring concert and gave six outstanding performances on April 21-24, 2005.

Weber State University student in Rooms
Photo: unknown

Ms May traveled back to Weber State University, UT to conclude a one - year project.  The first part of the project, September 27 to October 15, 2004, was a Sokolow Legacy Workshop consisting of technique classes, lectures and repertory class.  The second part of the project, March 30 to April 6, 2005, was in preparation for a full-scale theater production of the Rooms Suite at the Alfred Theater on the campus of Weber State University.

Ms May joined the faculty of Quantum Leap,  an advanced musical theater intensive for pre-professional students which is under the direction of Leslie Woodies.   Enthusiastic students from the Boston area took daily classes in ballet, modern, repertory, acting, voice and musical theater styles.

Amy Taravella (Sokolow Now!)in The End (solo) from Rooms
Photo: Jim Bush

Suellen Haag, Managing Director of the Sokolow Dance Foundation, presented a workshop on the Rooms Etude at the American Dance Legacy Institute's Conference 2005-Dancing Rebels.  Saratoga Springs, NY, was the site of this four-day educational event which focused on the work of the New Dance Group.  The conference concluded with a gala performance on August 12, 2005 in which Sokolow Now! company member Amy Taravella performed The End, an excerpt from Rooms.

Thanks to Elena Rusnik, Dance Director, for inviting us back to Naugatuck Valley Community College, CT for the fourth consecutive year. A two-day workshop of technique and repertory classes was conducted on November 14 & 21, 2005. Students learned sections from Time +. and presented the work in a studio showing as part of their dance history class.

Stephanie Moy, director of the American Academy of Dance, MA, invited members of the Sokolow Dance Foundation to   conduct daily classes in technique and repertory as part of a four week workshop from July 18 through August 12, 2005.  The summer intensive culminated in a studio performance that highlighted the talents of these aspiring young dancers.

Mary Jo Horvath, professor, was in instrumental in bringing the Sokolow Dance Foundation to Southwestern College, CA, March 22 & 23, 2005, for a two-day workshop. It was the first Sokolow Legacy experience for the students who learned the Rooms Etude in addition to taking technique classes and participating in video lecture/discussions on the life and work of Anna Sokolow.


June 28, 2005 began a two-week residency with the London Children's Dance Theater, Canada.  This youth company is under the direction of Jennifer Swan.  Ms May reconstructed As I Remember, three early Sokolow solos and Four Songs, a suite of dances set to music by Israeli composers.  A return trip was made in preparation for performances on November 11 - 12, 2005.  The Sokolow repertory was part of the programming for Holocaust Awareness Week.  Audiences were astonished by these young dancers' mature and sensitive performances.  

Sokolow Now! dancer Amy Taravella in Dreams
Photo: Joseph Arthur

The Second Wind Dance Company's artistic director Beverly Cordova Duane, engaged the Sokolow Dance Foundation to reconstruct Dreams.  Rehearsals began July 8th, culminating in a performance July 24, 2005 at the Todi Music Fest, Virginia Beach, VA. Sokolow Now! company member Amy Taravella, appeared as a guest artist with the Second Wind Dance Company.  She performed Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the dead, as well as dancing the primary role in Dreams.

"Dreams, the first serious exploration of the Holocaust, choreographed in 1961 by Anna Sokolow, was a moving center piece of Second Wind's cpmpelling "A Vision of Loss, Prayer and Hope" program.  A number of recurrent gestures effectively suggested the suffering and helplessness of its victims.   An intimate,  in the round staging gave Dreams an  exceptional potency with the audience mere inches from the action."
Sue Van Hecke ~ The Pilot

Atempo Repertory Dance Ensemble's artistic directors, Karen Hermes and Oliver Dahler, presented a concert based on the paintings of Renee Magritte on February 10, 11, 12, 2006 in Bern, Switzerland. Ms Hermes reconstructed Anna Sokolow's Magritte, Magritte from the Labanotation score and Lorry May spent two weeks coaching the work. The other piece on the program, by contemporary European choreographer Serge Campardon, was also based on Magritte's images. This unique concert was met with standing ovations.

The Dance Theater of Lynchburg, VA, under the direction of Keith Lee, commissioned the Rooms Suite for his company of teenaged dancers. The students beautifully performed the Rooms Suite on a program comprised of choreography by numerous American dance pioneers. Performances were April 22-24, 2005.

New Classic Dance Company in Dreams
Photo: unknown

The Neo Classic Dance Company, Taiwan, under the direction of Fengshueh Liu, presented a tribute to Anna Sokolow.  This program, called "Dance for Real Life", consisted of Sokolow's masterpiece Rooms and her signature work Dreams. Yunyu Wang was the Labanotation reconstructor for both works and Lorry May spent two weeks coaching the dancers in the Sokolow style.  This was the first time sets were created for Dreams, which added a powerfully visual dimension.  "Dances for  Real Life" was beautifully performed and enthusiastically received at the National Theatre, Taipei, Taiwan on October 28-30, 2005.