Infinity Dance Theater & Alison Cook Beatty Dance present "Ghosts in the Machine"
Infinity Dance Theater and Alison Cook Beatty Dance
Join Infinity Dance Theater and Alison Cook Beatty Dance for a dynamic performance at The Riverside Theatre featuring 24 dancers with and without disabilities. Infinity’s first formal New York concert program was presented at The Riverside Theatre in 1997, so Infinity is thrilled to return to Riverside in 2019 for a full concert engagement with Alison Cook Beatty Dance. Alison Cook-Beatty, Founder and Artistic Director, has performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2, among other companies and choreographers in New York City. She has performed with Infinity Dance Theater at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
For the Riverside concert program, Ms. Cook-Beatty has adapted two of her works for a collaboration of dancers from Infinity and Alison Cook Beatty Dance. First, Touched by Fire has been adapted from a solo into a duet that she and Kitty Lunn, Infinity’s Founder and Artistic Director, will perform together with live cello accompaniment. An ensemble of dancers from both companies will perform an adaptation of Alison Cook-Beatty’s inspiring Mahaway: Spring Eternal, originally created in 2013 to commemorate the centennial of Igor Stravinsky’s and Vaslav Nijinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Mahaway is set to a score composed by Dorian Wallace, the co-artistic director of Tenth Intervention, and performed live by a chamber ensemble. Dancers from Infinity and Alison Cook Beatty Dance will be joined by 11 community dancers for the work.
The program’s first world premiere is Kitty Lunn’s new ensemble piece Ghosts in the Machine, set to an adaptation of Ravel’s Bolero by composer/multi-instrumentalist William Catanzaro. The piece is inspired by the origins of Bolero, as Maurice Ravel conceived of the masterwork’s rhythms when thinking about machines he heard as a child. The concert will close with the world premiere of Ms. Lunn’s new solo Pietà, created in honor of her late husband Andrew Macmillan, who played a pivotal role in Infinity’s development since the company’s founding in 1995. Pietà will be accompanied by live vocals.
Founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Kitty Lunn, INFINITY DANCE THEATER (New York, NY) is committed to expanding the boundaries of dance by featuring dancers with and without disabilities and changing perceptions of what a dancer can be. Infinity’s ensemble performs throughout the New York City metropolitan area and New York State, across the country, and around the world. Notable performance appearances include, among others, New York City’s Gibney (2016), Theater for the New City (2013), Judson Memorial Church (2012), and Joyce SoHo (2004, 2006, 2009); the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show (2015); the Kennedy Center (2000, 2004); 1999 VSA arts International Art & Soul Festival in Los Angeles, CA and 2004 International Festival in Washington, D.C.; Festival of Wheelchair Dance in Boston, MA (1997); the 1st Cultural Paralympiad at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, GA; and overseas programs in Italy (1999-2001, 2010) and Scotland (1996, 2002).
Kitty Lunn began her study of ballet at an early age, and at 15 she was dancing principal roles with the New Orleans Civic Ballet, where she made her professional debut as Swanilda in Coppélia. Her work in New Orleans led to a scholarship to the Washington Ballet, where she studied and worked with both Mary Day and the great ballet master Edward Caton. Numerous ballets in which she danced include Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides, and The Nutcracker. While in Washington, Kitty Lunn worked with such dance legends as Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, Jose Limon, and Erik Bruhn. While preparing for her first Broadway show, she slipped on ice, fell down a flight of stairs, and broke her back. Now a paraplegic using a wheelchair, Ms. Lunn works diligently on behalf of performing artists with disabilities. She is a Registered Dance Educator and a frequent guest teacher at New York University.
Kitty Lunn was described by Phyllis Goldman, writing in Backstage, as “a marvelous creature, an exquisite dancer with an upper body of seamless fluidity, a touching emotional tone in her movement quality, and a complete mastery of her instrument. Did I mention that she performs from a wheelchair? ... She has made a friend and partner of her wheelchair, and the results are both creative and gratifying.” Jennifer Dunning of the New York Times has described her as “radiant.”
Alison Cook-Beatty received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee, receiving the Ruth Sandholm Ambrose Scholarship Award with high honors. In 2012, Ms. Cook-Beatty founded ALISON COOK BEATTY DANCE, a classically-based modern dance company exploring the universal human condition through expansive and emotionally-driven movement grounded in American modern dance while exploring new approaches to finding unique creative expression. The healing and transformational power of the arts inspires the company to work with diverse groups within the community and pursue collaborative efforts with other artists across multiple disciplines.
Alison Cook Beatty Dance has performed throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, California, Vermont, and Washington D.C. The company and Ms. Cook-Beatty's work have been featured at Symphony Space, Kaatsbaan, The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, Ailey Citigroup Theater, Joe’s Pub, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The 92nd Street Y, DUMBO Dance Festival, Dixon Place, the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance, NYU Frederick Loewe Theater, The Riverside Theatre, The Martha Graham Studio Theater, The 14th Street Y, Battery Dance Festival, Hunter College, Gibney, City Center Studios, GK Arts Center, Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, and Ballet Hispanico.
In addition to the company’s New York-based performances, it has also toured and performed at The National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, D.C.), San Jose State University (California), Harvard Arts First Festival (Massachusetts), and AS220 (Rhode Island). In Vermont, Alison Cook Beatty Dance has performed and taught at the Putney School, St. Johnsbury Academy, and the Southern Vermont Dance Festival. The company has performed in Connecticut at the Palace Theater, The Hartt School, the Milford Fine Arts Center, and for the Altar’d Spaces series at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. The company’s first performance was in New Jersey at MishMash201.
Alison Cook-Beatty’s choreography has been commissioned by professional companies and universities such as Ballet Next, Columbia Ballet Collaborative, Carolina Ballet Theater, The Joffrey Ballet School, Opera Dolce, The Boston Conservatory of Music at Berklee, Infinity Dance Theater, and New York University. She has been awarded the 2013 sjDANCEco Award for Artistic Merit & Best Choreography from San Jose State University, the Caroline H. Newhouse Scholarship Award from Career Transitions for Dancers, a grant from Assets for Artists, and other residency programs, grants, and individual support. In 2017, she was selected for DEVICES 4, a mentorship program led by Bessie Award-winning choreographer Doug Varone. Alison Cook Beatty Dance became a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in 2018.
Infinity Dance Theater is supported by generous contributions from the
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the
City Council and through the CreateNYC Disability Forward Fund;
National Endowment for the Arts; Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. Residency Program, made possible, in part, by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation; Jody and John Arnhold;
Creative Engagement, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; and the Harkness Foundation for Dance.
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