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Dance – DANCER AND EDUCATOR THERESA RUTH HOWARD LAUNCHES MOBBALLET: A DIGITAL ARCHIVE PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF BLACK BALLET
MoBBallet’s Roll Call is a list of professional black ballet dancers that today features 301 names and is growing as black ballet artists submit their names. The site also houses an E–Zine that features insights on issues affecting both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion –and a timeline that spans the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.
DANCER AND EDUCATOR THERESA RUTH HOWARD LAUNCHES MOBBALLET: A DIGITAL ARCHIVE PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF BLACK BALLET
Initiative Creates a Shift in Perspective on the Current Conversation around Diversity in Ballet through Stories of Current and Past Black Professional Ballet Dancers
Dancer Theresa Ruth Howard announces the launch of Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet), a groundbreaking legacy project documenting and transforming conversations around black ballet artists. The initiative will focus on bringing visibility to the lesser-known history of black ballet dancers around the world through video profiles, essays and archival data which capture the artistry and humanity of black ballet dancers. At launch, MoBBallet’s website houses a community sourced Roll Call which lists the names of black ballet dancers past and present, a digital timeline that places historical moments in black ballet history next to key events in world history, and an E-Zine that sheds light on issues affecting the ballet community and society at large.
The recipient of a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, MoBBallet’s first anchor project, the Philadelphia Project, will document the stories of four Philadelphia trained black ballerinas— including Joan Myers Brown, founder of The Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO!), Delores Browne from the New York Negro Ballet Company and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director Emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Coinciding with the launch of MoBBallet, founder Theresa Ruth Howard will serve as keynote speaker at Dutch National Ballet’s Positioning Ballet conference on February 11th, where she will officially introduce MoBBallet’s mission to promote larger discussions within the international dance community around the stories of black ballet dancers. A select group of leading artistic directors from America, Europe, Asia and Russia have been invited to attend the conference.
“Diversity in Ballet in America is a very specific challenge given our racial history” remarks Howard. “The histories and demographics of each of the companies that will be represented during Positioning Ballet are just as specific. This is an unprecedented opportunity to see and hear what their issues are regarding diversity in the field.”
To date, MoBBallet has captured over 301 names to the Roll Call and calls for professional black ballet dancers not already on the list to add their names. MoBBallet’s archival information covers important moments in the history of black ballet from 1919 to present day.
ABOUT MOBBALLET Memoirs of Blacks in Ballet (MoBBallet) is a non-profit organization that is building a digital archive where the history of blacks in professional ballet can be preserved. Founded by ballerina Theresa Ruth Howard, MoBBallet facilitates authentic dialogues on diversity, equality and aesthetics through workshops, panels and video profiles of both iconic and emerging black ballet dancers. The online archive provides timelines of important moments in the history of black ballet and juxtaposes them against key moments in world history. The Roll Call initiative is an ever-expanding list of black ballet dancers past and present –E-Zine brings visibility to issues that loom large in both the ballet world and society such as diversity and inclusion.
ABOUT THERESA RUTH HOWARD Founder of MoBBallet, Theresa Ruth Howard is an expert and advocate on the issue of diversity in Ballet. She has sat on panels for Dance/USA, Dance/NYC, Collegium for African Diaspora Dance at Duke University, and collaborated with International Association of Blacks in Dance in the planning and facilitation of the first Ballet Audition for female ballet dancers of color. A former member of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and Armitage Gone! Dance, Howard has worked extensively with choreographer Donald Byrd, and was a guest artist with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. As a contributor to Pointe, Expressions (Italy), Tanz (Germany) and dance media publications, Howard has emerged as a clear and defining voice on topics such as body image and race. She holds more than 17 years of experience as a dance educator including Ballet Faculty at the Ailey School.
ELISA MONTE DANCE TO SHOWCASE NEW WORK AND UNIQUE COLLABORATION AT 2017 APAP CONFERENCE
Elisa Monte Dance, an emotionally charged and highly acclaimed dance company that champions individuality, continues in it’s 36th Season under new directorship. Upon the retirement of 35-year founder and director, Elisa Monte, Tiffany Rea-Fisher has spent the first half of the season creating new work, defining a newer and edgier image, and working on a broad range of collaborations. The first of these collaborations with Chris Brubeck’s Band, Triple Play, will be showcased at APAP, the world’s premiere gathering of performing arts professionals, on January 7. During this showcase, Rea-Fisher will also present her newest evening length work, Things Past.
Instrumental in defining American modern dance, Elisa Monte’s legacy is defined by the creation of a specific and stylized dance language. It is not a coincidence that Rea-Fishers first piece presented in the new year, encapsulates all that came before, but with a contemporary flair suited and relevant to today’s dancers and audiences. In the spirit of inevitable evolution, Things Past, first premiered for an intimate audience in May, exposes the human behind the performer. In accentuating a particular artist’s eccentricities and oddities, they become defined as building blocks to drawing our personal lineage and drawing roadmaps for what is to come. This work is also a direct reflection of new relationships forged between dancers and their new director, perhaps seeing them as different movers than they may have previously served as, and a chance to explore undiscovered or under-celebrated skills in a varied dance language.
“There is nothing more fitting than starting this new directorial season with Things Past, my first evening length work for the company,” explains Rea-Fisher. “The months following our 35thseason have been tremendous for us as a dance company. It has been a time of seeing each dancer through new eyes, learning key technique from the celebrated Monte repertory, and looking at ways to move and think differently. The new charge for the company is to cater to change, to new expectations and to the promise of progress.”
Lastly, musician Chris Brubeck, son of the acclaimed American jazz pianist and composer, Dave Brubeck, celebrates his father’s famous “cool jazz” standards with working along side Rea-Fisher and her dancers. A collaborative work set to live music, this work pays homage to the Brubeck legacy and its famous compositions, and enlightens it for the present—mirrored in Fisher’s movement approach. In setting movement with a contemporary modern flair, incorporating jazz, line dancing and pedestrian movement, Blue Rondo, Memphis Hesitation, and Take Five are the musical landscape of a work that merges past and present, a company theme of 2017.
ELISA MONTE DANCE APAP SCHEDULE
Things Past will be presented from in Studio 4 at New York City Center.
The showcase with Triple Play, will be presented from in Studio 5 at New York City Center.
TICKETS and VENUE INFORMATION
This showcase is free to the public. New York City Center is located on West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The studios are centrally located and accessible by the N, Q, R, W, F, D, E, A, B,C,D and 1 trains.
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.
WHAT: The Architectural Digest Design Show (at Pier 94) is a four-day luxury design destination for extraordinary residential and hospitality finds from over 400 brands. From furniture, accessories, lighting, and art, to kitchen, bath, building products, hardware and flooring, the show boasts offerings by both independent makers and established manufacturers. The experience includes insider access to seminar programs headlined by design world luminaries, as well as exciting culinary demonstrations, stunning installations, and VIP industry events, such as DIFFA’s DINING BY DESIGN (co-located at neighboring Pier 92).On the Show floor:MADE: Now in its 10th successful year, the juried MADE section is a resource for handcrafted, often limited edition or one-of-a-kind furnishings, accessories, and art pieces. More than half of the 2017 exhibitors are new to the show this year. Exhibitors include the nationally recognized designs of Pelle, Patrick Weder Design, Fort Standard, and Vetro Vero, as well as the emerging talents of JM Szymanskii, Topher Gent, A Space, Christopher Kurtz, John Sheppard, and more.SHOPS: The show offers a retail boutique of décor, gifts, tabletop accessories, objets d’art and more, available for immediate purchase from brands including Owen+Fred, Golden Doors Artisanal Food + Skin Care, Konsuk, Christophe Pourny, Rikumo, Big Picture Farm and American Design Club.REFRESH: Attendees will encounter an extensive collection of kitchen, bath, luxury appliances, and premium building products from well established luxury brands, as well as up-and-coming manufacturers. This year’s exhibitors include Bosch, Gaggenau, Thermador, Baldwin, Benjamin Moore, Dacor, Miele, Scavolini, as well as Porcelenosa, Ronbow, Waterworks, Native Trails, Ammonitum and Cesar, among many others.FURNISH: Exhibitors from across the globe will converge in FURNISH, an expanding assemblage of contemporary and classic furniture, lighting, carpets and rugs, decorative accessories, textiles, and art. Attendees will discover great design for residential and commercial settings from companies that include: Ligne Roset, The New Traditionalists, Arther, Buster + Punch, Constantini, OrionHD, KOKET, Warp+Weft, and IMAESTRI, to name a few. For many of the international and emerging brands in this section, the show will be their only US exhibition for the year – making attendance a must for design lovers in search of something new and extraordinary.The Jenn-Air Master Class Studio, which will be in a new location in the South Wing, will play host to exciting design talks. Here is a sneak peek at the programming:On Thursday, March 16, Architectural Digest sets the stage with seminars tailor-made for the trade. This year’s keynote features Architectural Digest Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley in conversation with a prominent celebrity designer. Top tastemakers and world-renowned designers will headline the weekend programming, Friday, March 17 – Sunday, March 19. Speakers and more details on the engaging design dialogues will be revealed closer to the show dates!WHERE: Pier 92 + 94, 55th Street at the West Side Highway (12th Ave.), New York CityWHEN: Thursday, March 16, 10am-6pm — Design Trade & Preview Ticketholders
Friday, March 17 & Saturday, March 18, 10am-6pm — Open to the Public. Sunday, March 19, 10am-5pm – Open to the Public*VIP Preview Consumer Tickets on Thursday are available for $95. Admission is complimentary to the design trade with two forms of business credentials via online pre-registration; on-site design trade tickets are $30Friday through Sunday, General Admission tickets are $30 online or $40 at the door. To purchase tickets, visit ADDesignShow.com.A portion of ticket sales will benefit DIFFA (DESIGN INDUSTRIES FOUNDATION FIGHTING AIDS).
The Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) will bring more than 3,600 artists and performing industry leaders from the worlds of dance, theater, music, opera, family programing and more to New York City Jan. 6-10. Preconference workshops and events, many of which are free and open to the public, take place Jan. 5-6. You will especially want to attend and cover plenary sessions, where major artists and leaders from arts, culture and other sectors will share their perspectives on conference themes and engage with the audience of local, national and global arts professionals. Please also spread the word early that plenaries are also live streamed.
APAP works to advance the global performing arts industry, and the annual conference offers one-on-one contact and shared experience and insights for members, the public, and the media. The event provides significant opportunities, economically and creatively, for the range of constituents comprising the performing arts presenting field. This year APAP|NYC will feature artists and arts leaders at the top of their fields; more than 1,000 world-class performance showcases; more than 370 exhibitors promoting their artists and their work in the EXPO Hall; more than 60 professional development sessions and intensives, some open to the public; the annual APAP awards luncheon, and a free classical music concert at Carnegie Hall.
The conference again provides a platform for artists, presenters, promoters, and other performing arts professionals to reflect and engage in discussions and solutions around pressing current issues such as cultural conflict and social justice—issues that have intensified since last January and that resonate throughout our communities in the U.S. and worldwide, fueling our collective need for innovation and creativity.
•The opening plenary Friday at 5:00 pm will include
welcome remarks from Mario Garcia Durham, President and CEO of APAP,
opening remarks from a nationally-known arts and cultural leader (to be confirmed),
followed by a panel discussion moderated by Robyn Archer, Deputy Chair of the Australia Council.
Panelists will include several dynamic thought leaders such as
Chicana activist Martha Gonzalez, who is a singer/percussionist with Quetzal, a bilingual (Spanish-English) Chicano rock band from East Los Angeles
and Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American.
An additional speaker will join the above to explore how artists and cultural leaders, in collaboration with agent/managers, presenters and other co-producers have the potential to serve as catalysts for positive community engagement that leads to social change and social justice.
•At the 9:00 am featured session Saturday, “Changing the Flow: Creativity, Innovation and Disruption at Work,”
Steven Tepper, dean of the new Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at ASU will lead a discussion
with digital media expert Michael Hawley and others to explore the creative capacities needed to advance culture, build community and address the most pressing challenges of today. (The institute at ASU is a think tank that brings high-powered creatives together to reconsider how we talk about the arts as a creative and innovative force.) The session is followed by breakout discussion groups.
•Sessions that tie to APAP year around programs, grants and resources, including:
oAPAP’s Building Bridges: Arts, Culture, and Identity grants program, aimed at building greater knowledge and awareness about Muslim societies and how to affect social change in these troubled times
oThe Cultural Exchange Laboratory (CXL), a new tool and resource to support the process of identifying, booking and touring international artists
oA session on how to use marketing research to build arts audiences, including hints on designing and applying market research activities to arts organizations (based on The Wallace Foundation’s Building Arts Audiences initiative)
oSharing of experiences by members of the first cohort of APAP Leadership Fellows who reach across generations, gender, job sectors and other ways performing arts professionals identify themselves in the presenting field
•The APAP|NYC “5 Minutes to SHINE!” competition Jan. 9 at 9:30 a.m., where artists, presenters, agents and other industry professionals share a compelling story or idea in an exciting pecha kucha format and the audience votes on one winner to present at the Annual APAP|NYC Awards Luncheon the same day
•New this year, each plenary will open with a “creative moment,” a brief performance or guided creative experience that provokes, inspires or otherwise sets the stage for the conversation that follows (e.g. spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain before Friday’s opening plenary; and Heidi Latsky’s piece, “On Display,” with up to 50 dancers with disabilities strategically placed across the entrance area to the Saturday plenary session.
•Each year the popular, fast-moving pecha kucha-style plenary Saturday at noon features five ultra-creative artists that talk about their source of inspiration, their career arc, and their place in these challenging times.
APAP|NYC 2017 is a monumental gathering of performers, agents, presenters, producers and more, with great stories to tell and mesmerizing visuals everywhere you look.
Plenary and Featured Speaker Highlights:
•Taylor Mac whose recent work, “A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” speaks directly to today’s headlines around equality, equity, civility and our fundamental human rights; his recent 24-hour marathon performance was featured in The New York Times, and he was recently reviewed by The Guardian.
•Camille A. Brown, dancer, choreographer, and founder of Camille A. Brown & Dancers, which is recognized for its introspective approach to cultural themes through visceral movement and socio-political dialogues.
•Maysoon Zayid, Arab-American comedienne, writer and tap dancer from New Jersey; at her TED Talk she said “I got 99 problems…palsy is just one”
•Paola Prestini, plays the German lieder and composed the new production of the opera “Gilgamesh”
•Jonah Bokaer, choreographer and media artist whose latest collaboration with Daniel Arsham and Pharrell Williams, “Rules of the Game,” is in the midst of a global tour.
•Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, dancer, teacher and choreographer of modern dance, and founder of Urban Bush Women dance company
•Jose Antonio Vargas, who started the platform called “Defining American,” and explores the question, “What does it mean to be American?” He is a Filipino immigrant who is gay, and thus has been through most of the identity battles
•Aaron Dworkin, dean, School of Music, Theater and Dance; University of Michigan
•Steven Tepper, dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts