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American Dance Guild Festival 2017

American Dance Guild Festival 2017


The American Dance Guild


Ailey Citigroup Theater
405 W. 55th Street at 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10019


Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 8:00pm
Friday, September 8, 2017 - 8:00pm
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 8:00pm
Sunday, September 10, 2017 - 7:00pm



The American Dance Guild


“CELEBRATING DIVERSITY” Choreographer Garth Fagan, Educator Martha Myers, and Thunderbird American Indian Dancers Honored

September 7- 10 | The Ailey Citigroup Theater

The rich diversity of contemporary dance will be on view for four nights, Thursday, September 7 through Sunday, September 10 at this year’s Annual Performance Festival of the American Dance Guild at The Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 West 55th Street, New York City.

“Celebrating Diversity” is the theme of the 2017 Festival, presenting thirty-four artists, companies and honorees representing a broad spectrum of American dance life.

ADG’s Lifetime Achievement Awards will go to three American dance masters: The Lion King choreographer and Tony and Olivier Award winner Garth Fagan; dance educator, dance medicine pioneer and Dean of the American Dance Festival Martha Myers; and Louis Mofsie, director of Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, who have sustained the legacy of indigenous American Indian dances for the past 54 years.

An awards ceremony presenting Lifetime Achievement Awards to the three guest artists will be included on opening night, September 7, followed by a Gala reception.

The American Dance Guild 2017 Performance Festival, at 8pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 7pm on Sunday, will feature Garth Fagan’s duet, “No Evidence of Failure,” danced by Natalie Rogers and Vitolio Jeune (Thurs/Fri); a tribute to Martha Myers (Sat.); and a program by Thunderbird American Indian Dancers which includes traditional Fancy Dance and Hoop Dance, along with other distinct regional tribal dances (Sun. only).

As well, Margie Gillis’s "Bloom" will be performed (Sun) by Troy Olgivie (Ms. Gillis was honored for Distinctive Artistry at the Guild's 50th anniversary); John Pennington will return with an historic solo by Bella Lewitszky, "On the Brink of Time" (1969) (Fri); Molissa Fenley will present "Sargasso Sea" (Thurs); and a reconstruction of "Impromptu" by the late Claudia Gitelman (Fri) will also be shown.

Other Festival highlights include Bertl Gstettner, an artist from Vienna, Austria, in a startling new version of "Medusa"; Li Chiao Ping, from Madison, Wisconsin, will present "Between Here and There," an exploration of cultural identity in the contemporary USA; Maxine Steinman will present a soulful duet, "…still we sit," with music of Henryk Gorecki; Ara Fitzgerald offers a biting political satire in "Make the Bullies Dance"; Catherine Meredith’s company DANCING WHEELS will show choreography with wheelchairs as well as legs. Choreographers Nai-Ni Chen, Sabatino Verlezza, Lisa Giobbi, Endalyn Taylor, add to the mix. **Full line up below.

“The American Dance Guild holds a unique position as both a promoter of the new and preserver of the living history of modern dance as an art form,” said Gloria McLean, president of ADG. “Each American Dance Guild Festival honors at least two master choreographers and includes performances of their work along with emerging and mid-career choreographers ranging from modern to post-modern to performance art to cultural hybrids,” she said. “This year’s festival, highlighting the Guild’s 60 years of inclusiveness in dance and the diversity on which this country was built, is so poignant in this year of political change.”

About the ADG Festival ‘17 Honorees:

·      Garth Fagan (Sept. 7 and Sept. 8) (Choreographer) Critics have called Garth Fagan “a true original,” “a genuine leader,” and “one of the great reformers of modern dance.” Fagan is the founder and artistic director of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance, now celebrating its 46th anniversary season. For his path-breaking choreography for Walt Disney’s The Lion King, Fagan was awarded the prestigious 1998 Tony Award for Best Choreography. He also received the 1998 Drama Desk Award, 1998 Outer Critics Circle Award, 1998 Astaire Award, 2000 Laurence Olivier Award, 2001 Ovation Award, and the 2004 Helpmann Award for his work on the Broadway musical and more.

·      Martha Myers (Sept. 9) beloved educator who was Dean of American Dance Festival for over 25 years, ADF Dean Emeritus Martha Myers has touched the lives of countless dancers. She joined the dance faculty at Connecticut College in 1967, founded its dance department in 1971, and led the department until 1992.  She was named Dean of the ADF School in 1969, where she remained until her retirement in 2000. At ADF and Conn, she pioneered the study of dance medicine and somatics, mentored thousands of young dance artists, and tirelessly shared her love of the art form. In 2002, she received the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. Today, she lives in New York where at 92 she continues to inspire and support the dance community.   

·       Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, (Sept. 10) directed by Louis Mofsie, have been steadfastly preserving the root culture of our land. This year marks the 54th year of their annual Powwow which brings together tribes from across the country who share old and new dances, cultural stories and practices that educate us all to the history of this place we call America. We are especially happy to honor them in this year of political change.

**FULL FESTIVAL PROGRAM (not in performance order and subject to change):

THURSDAY September 7at 8pm - Award Presentation and Gala Reception to Follow Performance: Garth Fagan, Molissa Fenley, Lisa Giobbi, Lucas Melfi, Catherine Meredith, Julian Nichols, Rebecca Tomas, Sabatino Verlezza, Nancy Zendora

FRIDAY September 8 at 8pm: Nai-Chen, Garth Fagan, Benvindo Fonseca, Claudia Gitelman/Lynn Needle, Marcia Kelly/Alberto Saz, Bella Lewitzky/John Pennington, Jeanette Stoner, Endalyn Taylor, Christina DiGiuseppe

SATURDAY September 9 at 8pm: Tina Croll, Ting-Ting Chang, Ara Fitzgerald, Bert Gstettner, Gloria McLean, Martha Myers, Li Chiao-Ping, Mary Seidman

SUNDAY September 10 at 7pm: Sue Bernhard, Margie Gillis, Kaoru Ikeda, Lucas Klinge, Nicoll & Oreck, Marlene Skog, Maxine Steinman, Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, Kathy Wildberger


34 ARTISTS OVER FOUR DAYS – SEPT 7-10 - The Ailey Citigroup Theater, The Joan Weill Center for Dance - 405 W. 55th Street at 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10019 - Subways: C, E to 50th St; 1, A, D to 59th St.; R, N, Q to 57th St., use exit at 55th St.

TICKETS:  http://adgfestival.brownpapertickets.com/

Prices range from $20 to $40.  Discounts are available for students, seniors, ADG members, and groups. Tickets will also be available at the box office one hour prior to curtain. By Phone: 800-838-3006 ext. #1

Announcing The American Dance Guild annual summer scholarship award to Jacob’s Pillow, Becket, MA. ADG supports one-half of the tuition for a gifted young dancer to attend this renowned summer festival. This year’s award will go to Megan Davis, a very talented tap dancer and writer.


The American Dance Guild has served the dance field in many capacities over the past 60 years, including sponsoring conferences, festivals & publications. Festival 2015 continues the Guild tradition of bringing together artists from across the nation and internationally for performances and master classes.  ADG offers performance opportunities that range from gala productions to bare-bones choreography showcases.  In June 2014, ADG participated in Jacob’s Pillow’s Inside/Out program. In addition, ADG sponsors an annual Student Scholarship for summer study at Jacob’s Pillow, and provides scholarly resources through its New Dance Group Gala Video and its publications such as Branching Out: Oral Histories of Six National Dance Organizations and Dance Scope.

Read more: http://www.americandanceguild.org/

Martha Myers photo credit: Peter Cunningham

*Press Contact for 2017 American Dance Guild Festival: Adria Rolnik PR, Adria Rolnik 973-568-0060 adria.rolnik@gmail.com.



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