DANCE — ELISA MONTE DANCE CELEBRATES 35TH ANNIVERSARY WITH GALA, VARIED PROGRAM, GALLERY EXHIBIT, Three World Premieres, a Special Homecoming, an Alumni Celebration, and a Full-Evening Premiere! Celebrate a 35-Year Legacy! March 2 -5
It is rare in our current artistic climate for a dance company to sustain itself and thrive for 35 years. We have also grown accustomed to bidding farewell to those companies that have lost its namesake leader, as few lack the tenacity to continue the legacy of previous work while forging ahead with a new and progressive voice. These are only some of the reasons this 35th year of Elisa Monte Dance is significant and noteworthy. On this anniversary, Elisa Monte will retire from her role as Artistic Director from the company she has both founded and built over the last three and a half decades, and Tiffany Rea-Fisher, former dancer at EMD and current Associate Artistic Director, will assume full artistic leadership at the close of the season.
It seems appropriate then, for Elisa’s final world premiere to be titled Pangea, as this season represents a movement in structure that will change the future history of not only EMD but of modern dance as a whole.
ELISA MONTE DANCE CELEBRATES
35TH ANNIVERSARY WITH GALA, VARIED PROGRAM, AND GALLERY EXHIBIT
This upcoming March 2-5 NY season, which includes a retrospective photography exhibition, Gala celebration, and world premieres, shares alumni performances by artists who have gone on to dance with major global dance companies since leaving Elisa Monte Dance.
Elisa Monte Dance, an emotionally charged and highly acclaimed dance company that champions individuality, announces its 35th anniversary season and gala, March 2-5, at City College Center for the Arts’ Aaron Davis Hall. The season pays tribute to the company’s eponymous director who will present the world premiere of Pangaea. The season will also foreshadow the future artistic vision of the company with two world premieres by Tiffany Rea-Fisher, who will take over as artistic director at the close of the 2015-16 celebratory season. Rea-Fisher will premiere Newton’s Cradle and Current and also return to the stage for a special solo performance of Monte’s signature work Run to the Rock. Rea-Fisher, who retired from performing with the company in 2010, is among another 20 alumni who return for a tribute alumni finale of Shattered, a high-speed work first performed at the Joyce Theater in 2000.
During the 3-night run, a photographic retrospective of the company’s 35-year legacy will be on display in the lobby of Aaron Davis Hall.
Leading up to the run, the company will participate in free pop-up performances at the Microsoft Store and Hunter College to excite audiences about this milestone season.
A panel discussion will take place February 1, with Woman of Color in Arts and the Harlem Arts Alliance, to engage the local Harlem community.
“This season hosts a gala with a celebration in its sincerest form,” explains Monte. “Audiences are invited to join us for five different dance experiences that pay homage to the role this company has played in the modern dance world for 35 years. We put together a varied program that would spotlight our dramatic and powerful ensemble of artists, and also give audiences an exciting and energizing look into the next decade of this company’s dynamic choreographic voice.”
Set to the music of David Van Teighem, Lois V. Vierk, Rubin Kodheli, and Kevin James, Elisa Monte will present her final company masterpiece Pangaea, a full evening-length work and culmination of a four-year journey. The work highlights concepts and vocabulary from the development of Monte’s past four works Lonely Planet, Terra Firma, Unstable Ground and Vanishing Languages. Themes of environmental instability, economic uncertainty, the passing of loved ones, and the ongoing mass extinction of indigenous language throughout the world define this epic and final contribution to the role of artistic director. Like the supercontinent Pangaea, the breakup and formation of these themes dramatically alter the planet’s history. In parallel, Monte’s retirement from the company she built over the past three decades is also altering the future of Elisa Monte Dance. With excerpts to be unveiled at the gala on March 2, Pangaea will be performed in its entirety March 4.
The program on March 5 will feature the world premiere of Tiffany Rea-Fisher’s Newton’s Cradle and Current. Featuring the full 12-dancer company—the largest cast to date for a work in Rea-Fisher’s repertory—Newton’s Cradle is influenced by Sir Isaac Newton’s device which demonstrates conservation of momentum and energy with a series of swinging spheres. Working within a modern construct, the work examines the known and unknown consequences of one’s actions and utilizes multiple dance genres to create an intricate and explosive collection of phrases. Current, a solo created for company dancer Alrick Thomas investigates disconnection in both the physical and digital worlds. The premiere is Rea-Fisher’s most contemporary work; we see the solitary dancer discover new strengths as he recognizes and overcomes weakness. The evening will also present Rea-Fisher’s 2015 premiere why so curious?, a solo set on company dancer Thomas Varvaro. Off-balance, unusual and ominous, the dynamic of these two male solos stand in contrast to the ensemble works being presented in the program.
Monte and Rea-Fisher welcome back nearly 20 alumni for the closing evening of Monte’s 35th season. Making appearances, speaking or dancing Monte’s iconic work Shattered, will be Vernon Scott (White Oak), Nicole Corea (Ballet Hispanico and Lar Lubavitch), Sarita Allen (Alvin Ailey ), Bradley Shelver (STEPS Ensemble Artistic Director), Andre Zachary (Renegade Dance Project), and Riccardo Battaglia (Ailey II), among others.
35TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON SCHEDULE
Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 p.m. – Gala performance will include excerpts of Pangaea, Newton’s Cradle, and a Solo performance of Monte’s Run to the Rock by Tiffany Rea-Fisher
March 4, 7:30 p.m. – Premiere of Elisa Monte’s Pangaea
March 5, 8:30 p.m. – Premiere of Tiffany Rea Fisher’s Newton’s Cradle, and Current. Program also includes Rea-Fisher’s why so curious? and alumni performance of Monte’s Shattered
An intermission toast with the company’s Artistic Director will take place Friday night.
A photographic retrospective will be on display in the lobby of Aaron Davis Hall from February 8- March 7 and can be viewed Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m-6:00 p.m., and open until10:00 p.m. during performances.
TICKETS and VENUE INFORMATION
Tickets are available starting January 18, and can be purchased by phone at 212-650-6900 or online through https://ccny.secure.force.com/ticket
General admission tickets are available at $25. Group sales for groups of 10, student and senior tickets are $15. A $5 rush ticket is available for City College of New York Students. March 2 Gala tickets include the 7:00 p.m. performance with dinner to follow at 8:30 p.m. Gala benefactor tickets are $550, executive ticket $400, young executive $250, and junior board/alumni ticket $125.
Aaron Davis Hall is located on the campus of The City College of New York at 160 Convent Avenue, between West 133rd and 135th Streets. Convent Avenue is one block east of Amsterdam Avenue. The theater is accessible by the 1 train to 137th street, and the A, D, B and C trains to 145th street.
ABOUT ELISA MONTE DANCE
Founded in 1981, Elisa Monte Dance is hailed around the world for its visceral and sensual style and embodiment of diverse cultural influences. Based in New York City, the non-profit dance company actively tours nationally and internationally showcasing its distinctive cross-discipline style and bridging cultural barriers through dance. The company’s eight dancers rise to the creative challenge in an ecstatic display of physical prowess that gives life to an intense array of emotions. The company has taken a practical and integral approach to arts education, regularly teaching professional workshops and creative movement for K-12 schools as well as working with at-risk populations. The company recently developed an eight-week creative tools mentorship program in collaboration with Steps on Broadway. For more information visit www.elisamontedance.org
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