The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company Celebrates its 45th Anniversary at The Joyce (DanceUpCloseVideo)
The Dance Enthusiast Dances Up Close to Lar Lubovitch to Reflect on Dance and Truth.
The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a two-week engagement at The Joyce Theater running Tuesday, October 8th through Sunday, October 20th. On the first week of the run we will be fortunate enough to experience Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin. This lucious dance created 13 years ago for a cast of nine men is set to a haunting original score by Scott Marshall.
Lar Lubovitch On : The Beginning of His Career, His Relationship to Music, and The Uncomfortable World of Creation
Last week, I caught Lar Lubovitch and the men of the company in rehearsal reviewing lifts and positions and agreeing (or gently disagreeing) over elements of the choreography. All the while Lubovitch alternated between singing the score and running into the dance to fine tune.
I was swept away not only by the magnetism of the movement and the gifted dancers before me, but also by the obvious sense that this calm rehearsal studio, located above the manic swarm of tourists and the vagaries of Time Square, was the center of the world for these people (and hence for me.) It is a privilege to be invited into a family of artists to share the intimate space where they bring dances to life. The experience was made all the more rich by being able to speak with Lar Lubovitch about his lifetime of work and consummate belief in dance.
Lar Lubovitch On: Giving and Taking Advice About Choreography
“I try to revisit works I believe in,” says Lubovitch, when we speak of the revivals that will appear in the company’s programs this season. “I’ve done an awful lot of dances -- about 120, I think -- and I don’t really think of many of them as worth revisiting, so the few that I bring back I bring back because I care to see them again.”
One such dance, The Time Before The Time After (1970), a duet set to Stravinsky’s Concertino for String Quartet, has not been performed by the company in 30 years. “The original title was, The Time Before The Time After After The Time Before, but I’ve come to my senses,” he laughs.
“Now I only call it The Time Before the Time After. The title indicates a relationship that is caught in an obsessive circle that always returns to its central nuisance -- its central problem -- very neurotic. That happened to have been the first duet I ever choreographed. I am bringing it back for this 45th anniversary season for that reason and that reason alone. My duet work became quite notable over the years and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what I was doing intuitively back when I didn’t know much about my craft.”
Lar Lubovitch On: The Duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two and Responding To AIDs
When asked if he could trace any specific periods over his years of making dances, Lubovitch replied that he didn’t see his past work so much in terms of “periods” but did see certain pieces as personal watershed moments. He describes these dance pieces as, “keynote moments...realizations or urgent needs that finally rose to the surface allowing me to take a leap within my own terms, a leap of my own imagination.”
The central duet from Concerto Six Twenty-Two (1986), set to Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, was one of Lubovitch’s watershed moments. He is always quick to qualify these moments as personal, and not defining for the larger dance world. “I believe I have always been on the side of dance but not the center of it, just kind of following my own step and doing work that had meaning to me...”
His tender and supportive dance for two men, created at the height of the AIDs crisis has become emblematic for the fight against the disease. “I didn’t know it would have that impact.”
Enjoy A Dance Enthusiast Minute of Truth Telling From Lar Lubovitch
The Dancers: The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company's Thirteen Dancers are: Jonathan E. Alsberry, Anthony Bocconi, Clifton Brown, Nicole Corea, Attila Joey Csiki, Tobin Del Cuore, Oliver Greene-Cramer, Reed Luplau, Brian McGinnis, Milan Misko, Laura Rutledge, John Michael Schert, and Katarzyna Skarpetowska.
About The 45th Anniversary Programs:
Program A (Tuesday, October 8 to Sunday, October 13) will include the world premiere of Vez, a duet set to a commissioned score by Woolf for voice and flamenco guitar that will be performed live; the wildly popular Men’s Stories: A Concerto in Ruin (2000), a work for nine men set to an original score by Scott Marshall; a duet from Lubovitch’s acclaimed work Concerto Six Twenty-Two (1986), set to Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra; and a revival of The Time Before The Time After (1970), a striking duet that has not been performed by the company in 30 years, set to Stravinsky’s Concertino for String Quartet.
Program B (Tuesday, October 15 to Sunday, October 20) will feature Crazy 8’s, a new work for eight dancers set to music by Woolf; Lubovitch’s recently premiered As Sleep Befell (2013), a dance for six men with a score by Paola Prestini, performed live by Le Train Bleu, and conducted by Ransom Wilson; and Lubovitch’s award- winning Crisis Variations (2011), with an original score by Yevgeniy Sharlat. The program also includes Lubovitch’s beautiful and moving Transparent Things (2012), inspired by Picasso’s “Family of Saltimbanques” and set to Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10, played live by The Bryant Park Quartet; and Listen (2013), choreographed by longtime company member Katarzyna Skarpetowska, with music by Paola Prestini.
Tickets and Times for the Show:
Program A will be presented Tuesday, October 8 to Sunday, October 13, and Program B will be presented Tuesday, October 15 to Sunday, October 20. Performances both weeks are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30pm (except for the 7pm opening night gala on Tuesday, October 8), Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm.
Tickets range from $10 to $59. Prices are subject to change. Tickets can be purchased by calling JOYCECHARGE at 212-242-0800, or online at www.joyce.org. For information and to purchase tickets to the opening night gala on October 8, please call 212-221-7909. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue (at 19th Street) in New York City.