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Announcement: 92ND STREET Y HARKNESS DANCE FESTIVAL Celebrating 75 Years

February 24, 2010 by  
Filed under iDANZ Performance Bulletins


From The Horse’s Mouth: Celebrating 75 Years of Dance and Community

Fri & Sat, Feb 26 & 27 at 8 pm; Sun, Feb 28 at 3 pm

Performances take place at the 92nd Street Y

(1395 Lexington Ave at 92nd Street)

Tickets & Information: www.92y.org/HarknessFestival or 212.415.5500

New York, NY, January 21, 2010 — Everyone loves a good story. Not only do they entertain and enlighten, they link our past, future and present, reminding us of our common humanity. Fortunately, there will be plenty of stories at the opening of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival on the weekend of February 26-28 in Tina Croll’s and Jamie Cunningham’s “live dance documentary,” From the Horse’s Mouth. Close to 75 performers including Donald McKayle, Carmen deLavallade, Martine Van Hamel, Tina Ramirez, Yoshiko Chuma, Monica Bill Barnes, Christine Dakin, Suki John, Ze’eva Cohen, Gus Solomons, Jr., Bill Young, and Charles Reinhart, along with dance students, faculty and staff will share their thoughts about working and studying at this historic home of dance in three different programs (Fri, Sat and Sun).

Join iDANZ Today!In honor of the 75th Anniversary season of dance at the 92nd Street Y, this year’s five-week festival (running through March 28) moves back to the 92nd Street Y’s beautiful Buttenweiser Hall, the site of legendary performances by dance giants as well as two current dance performance series, weekly dance classes and socials.

About From the Horse’s Mouth:

Funny, thoughtful and poignant, the stories and diverse movement styles that comprise this version of From the Horse’s Mouth reflect and portray the inclusiveness and diversity of dance at the 92nd Street Y, which has long embraced and supported dance and dancers in all their myriad forms and styles. Each of the Horse’s Mouth performances at the 92Y Harkness Festival features a different cast of 25 dancers, all united by their connection to the 92nd Street Y which has served as a home and starting point for many of them. “So many dancers feel that this is the original home, the well-spring of dance,” notes Cunningham. “It’s good to be part of the Y community and to be part of what the Y has done.”

Like the community at 92Y, “From the Horse’s Mouth is totally democratic…It’s like a big family picnic,” says Cunningham, who along with Croll first created From the Horse’s Mouth in 1998 as a way to get dance friends to tell their stories. Since then, over 700 dance artists, as well as set designers, musicians, critics and presenters have participated in 35 different stagings of the work.

From the Horse’s Mouth generally consists of three sections. “We ask the performers to share something important about their life,” explains Croll. “Once they’ve told their story, performers have a chance to dance, using whatever movement they choose.” Croll and Cunningham never impose any of their own movement, leaving the possibilities open. The second section is more theatrical. Dancers may use costumes–either from favorite works or something they’ve always wanted to wear, but never had an opportunity to do so. The final section brings all the participants together in a procession where they can share in each other’s styles and celebrate the broad field of dance across backgrounds and genres.

About Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham

Croll and Cunningham have known each other and worked together for more than 40 years–in fact they live across the street from one another. Cunningham, who started acting and dancing with the Toronto Children Players at age seven, attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts before coming to New York City on a scholarship to the Martha Graham School. After majoring in dance at Bennington College and returning to New York to study and perform, Croll left dance for awhile. Encouraged by her spiritual teacher, she returned to the city where she reconnected with Cunningham. Since creating From the Horse’s Mouth in 1998, they have presented the work with organizations such as the Martha Graham Dance Company, the American Dance Festival and Jacob’s Pillow, including artists such as Mary Anthony, Sara Rudner, Douglas Dunn, John Jasperse, Jane Comfort, Carol Lawrence, Nicholas Leitner, Stuart Hodes, Wendy Perron, Yvonne Rainer, Don Redlich and Marcia Siegel.

Photography by David Levy, The Limon Company

92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival

PERFORMANCE LOCATION:  92nd Street Y (1395 Lexington Avenue)

DATES & TIMES: Fri & Sat, Feb 26, & 27 at 8 pm; Sun, Feb 28 at 3 pm

BOX OFFICE: Tickets at $15 ($12 for students/seniors) can be purchased at  www.92Yorg/HarknessFestival | 212.415.5500 

The Limon Company, Photography by David Levy

Coming up in the Festival:

WEEK 2 | Mar 5-7

THE LIMON COMPANY: Revivals of La Malinche and There is a Time, excerpts from works by Anna Sokolow, Donald McKayle and Daniel Nagrin.

WEEK 3 | Mar 12-14

DOUG VARONE PRESENTS:  Related/Unrelated (world premiere), featuring works by former company members Nancy Bannon and Gwen Welliver and current DOVA artist Daniel Charon.

WEEK 4 | Mar 19-21

YOSHIKO CHUMA AND THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS: Premiere of Hold the Clock, new works by accompanying artists

WEEK 5 | Mar 26-28

MOLISSA FENLEY: Old and new works by Fenley and friends

The Harkness Dance Center is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this season with major funding from The Harkness Foundation for Dance; Jody and John Arnhold; Daphne Recanati Kaplan and Thomas S. Kaplan; and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional funding is also provided by The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; Capezio/Ballet Makers Dance Foundation Inc; and Bernard Laterman, among others.

The Harkness Dance Center is made possible, in part, by public funds from: the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius; the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency; and the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and the New York City Council.

About the 92nd Street Y

The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center has been called “the cradle of modern dance.”  In the decades after the dance program began in 1935, every great American dancer and choreographer–visionaries including Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, Robert Joffrey and Donald McKayle–spent time at 92Y. Through the support of the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Y continues to offer classes for adults and children; teen dance troupes; professional development programs; and performances. Doug Varone and Dancers is currently the Dance Center’s company-in-residence. For more information, please visit www.92Y.org/Harkness.

Founded in 1874 by a group of visionary Jewish leaders, the 92nd Street Y has grown into a wide-ranging cultural, educational and community center serving people of all ages, races, faiths and backgrounds–about 300,000 people annually. For more information about 92Y’s programs, visit www.92Y.org.


One Response to “Announcement: 92ND STREET Y HARKNESS DANCE FESTIVAL Celebrating 75 Years”
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