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Anna's Americana

Anna's Americana


The Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble


14 Street Y Theater, 344 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003, United States


Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 8:00pm
Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 8:00pm
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 8:00pm
Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 8:00pm
Sunday, December 7, 2014 - 3:00pm



The Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble

The Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble
in association with the Dance Series at The 14th Street Y
Program includes Anna Sokolow's Preludes to music by George Gershwin and Homage to Edgar Allan Poe
A Solo Portrait, conceived, written and performed by Sarah Ford
Directed by Director/Dramaturge Zoya Kachadurian

Sokolow Company schedule
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 3, 4, 5*, 6 at 8 PM; Sunday December 7 at 3 PM
                                     *GALA celebrating the life and artistry of Alan Danielson
Georgia & Me schedule
Saturday December 6 at 3 PM; Sunday December 7 at 7:30 PM

Theater of the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14th Street (near First Avenue)
Tickets: $30; 18 for students/seniors; $25 for member of the Y
Tickets for Gala evening, Friday December 5: $100 (includes performance and reception)
Reservations: http://www.14streety.org/theater-and-dance/dance-series or  646.395.4322

Dancers: Eleanor Bunker, Samantha Geracht, David Glista, Jim May, Lauren Naslund, Alexandra Pfister, Richard Scandola, Yayoi Suzuki, Lucy Sydell, Francesca Todesco, Gregory Youdan, Luis Gabriel Zaragosa.
Guest Artists: Clay Taliaferro, Sarah Ford

  "Evidence of such purposeful homage by dancers to masters of their craft is hard
                                  to find in today's multi-faceted dance world, where commercial intentions predominate."    
                                                                                                                                                   — Deborah Jowitt

The Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble, in association with the Dance Series at The 14th Street Y, is proud to present Anna's Americana, a program of dance/theater works by Anna Sokolow  that have a special connection to America.  The legendary Anna Sokolow created Preludes in 1984 to music by George Gershwin and Homage to Edgar Allan Poe (1993).   The program will also feature Frida, (1997) a multi-media tribute to Sokolow's friend Frida Kahlo, and the duet Are We There Yet (2000), choreographed by Alan Danielson and danced by company artistic director Jim May and guest artist Clay Taliaferro. 

The Company has invited guest artist Sarah Ford to perform Georgia & Me, a memory and fantasy play investigating inspiration, passion, creativity and survival.   Georgia O'Keeffe is the catalyst. 

The December 5th Gala will be dedicated to Alan Danielson, celebrating the life and artistry of the much-loved dancer, choreographer, and former director of the Limon School, who sadly passed away earlier this year.

Anna Sokolow (1910-2000) was an international pioneer of American Modern Dance in the era of Martha Graham, Jose Limon, Charles Weidman and Doris Humphrey.   Ms. Sokolow's works, revealing both the lyric and stark aspects of the human experience, are as relevant today as they were when this iconic and uncompromising choreographer first created them.

Artistic director Jim May is returning to the repertory Sokolow's Preludes, not been performed since 1985, the year after it was created.  Acclaimed pianist Amir Khosrowpour will perform George Gershwin's music live at all performances.

Homage to Edgar Allan Poe, created in 1993, combines the author's poetry as well as biographical insight in a sweeping tribute that includes a duet to the poem Annabel Lee.  The Sokolow Ensemble welcomes young guest artist Lucy Sydell, a student of Ellen Robbins, enacting the part of Annabel Lee, joined by Jim May, who will also narrate. The music by Rachmaninoff will be played by Khusrowpour.

Frida was created in 1997 when Ms. Sokolow was 87 years old.   The choreographer was amused by the number of documentaries about her close friend Frida Kahlo and, unconvinced that the various commentaries truly understood the great artist, Sokolow choreographed a multi-media piece in honor of Kahlo.  Set to music selections by composers Chavez, Revueltas, and Rodrigo, Frida was Ms. Sokolow's last major work.

Another highlight of the program will be the duet Are We There Yet, choreographed by Alan Danielson.  Created in 2000, the duet will be danced by Jim and special guest artist Clay Taliaferro.   The Satie music will be played by pianist Khosrowpour. 

SOKOLOW THEATRE/DANCE ENSEMBLE is a company of dancers, under the artistic directorship of longtime Sokolow associate and principal dancer Jim May, whose aim is to recreate works choreographed by legendary American choreographer Anna Sokolow, continue her teachings, and develop her artistic vision for the purpose of passing on for posterity her lifetime efforts to combine the arts of theater, dance, music and visual art.    The renowned choreographer had a profound influence on the course of 20th Century American Modern Dance and its historic evolution.   Her works were informed by her long association with theater and her belief that "truths are hidden from the surface."    Early on, Sokolow broke away from the limitation of pure, abstract movement and turned to the incorporation of all the arts - dance, theater, poetry, painting, and multi-media - as a way to present artistic themes with humane undertones.   Her students included Ohad Naharin and Pina Bausch, both of whom were directly influenced by her and developed this form in Europe.


Georgia & Me, conceived, written and performed by Sarah Ford.
Directed by director/dramaturge Zoya Kachadurian

The award-winning one-woman play is an autobiographical fantasy that follows the reigniting of creative passion and the rediscovery of a forgotten voice.  In this compelling theater/dance work, Sarah finds herself in the midst of a spiritual artistic crisis and is confronted in a dream with Georgia O'Keeffe, who defied the male art world and challenges Sarah to rekindle her creative fire.  Sarah discovers "It's never too late to find out who you thought you were."   Premiered in 2011 at the Midtown International Theater Festival in NYC, the tour-de-force won an award for outstanding production of a solo show.

Sarah graduated from The Juilliard School in NYC and danced with the Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow and Nimbus Dance Theater companies.   As a young mother and dance teacher living in Westchester, NY, in the late 1970s, she visited a Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at the Whitney Museum, and a deep and lasting connection was made.  Sarah was profoundly affected by the work and the way it affected her own spirit and sense of herself as an artist.   Zoya is a member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab and is currently directing Detroit Blues, a play set in 1967 Detroit about racial justice then and now.


Image: RobinMeemsImages


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