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Philadelphia, PA: Exciting Free Event this Thursday at Temple University!

Philadelphia, PA: Exciting Free Event this Thursday at Temple University!


Temple University


Rock Hall, on Temple University's Main Campus, Philadelphia, PA 19122


Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 3:00pm



Temple University

 Information for Promotion and Marketing

“Captured on Camera: Modernist Spaces in George Balanchine's Choreography”

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Master classes from 3:00-5:00 PM, & 7 PM Exhibition

Choreography George Balanchine © The George Balanchine Trust New York City Ballet

Credit photo: ©Paul Kolnik. paul@paulkolnik.com.


Synopsis of Event:

Temple University’s Center for the Arts has generously supported an interdisciplinary initiative inspired by the photography of Paul Kolnik documenting the work of neoclassical choreographer George Balanchine (1904-1983). On April 16th, renowned dance photographer Paul Kolnik (sole photographer of NYCB and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre of four decades) and legendary ballerina Kyra Nichols (principal dancer and 30 year member of NYCB), will visit Temple University’s Center for the Arts to conduct student workshops in the afternoon (3-5 PM) and a formal exhibition and dialogue in the evening (7:00 PM at Rock Hall). This event will allow participants to experience

both hands-on practical sessions lead by these guest artists, as well as the reflective experience of viewing an exhibition and engaging in a discussion session with Kolnik and Kyra Nichols.

Dr. Laura Katz Rizzo will introduce the exhibition, inviting the audience to consider the historical, aesthetic and, ideological contexts captured in Kolnik’s photographs. These images exemplify the importance of Balanchine’s work in the emergence of American ballet in the 20th  and 21st  centuries, as well as dance’s participation in larger artistic, historical and cultural movements like the Taylorism and the post WW II move toward capitalist efficiency.


Biographies of Contributors:

Kyra Nichols was born in Berkeley, California, in 1958. She studied with her mother Sally Streets, a former NYCB dancer, and then with Alan Howard and at the School of American Ballet. She joined New York City Ballet in 1974 and was appointed principal in 1979. She spent her entire career with NYCB and was admired as one of the most classical of their ballerinas.

She dances a wide range of Balanchine roles, and created roles in many Robbins ballets, including The Four Seasons (1979), Rondo (1980), Piano Pieces (1981), I'm Old Fashioned (1983), Antique Epigraphs (1984) and Eight Lines (1985). She also created roles in Martins Histoire du soldat (1981), A Schubertiad (1984), Poulenc Sonata (1985),Tanzspiel (1988), Beethoven Romance (1989) and A Musical Offering (1991).

Paul Kolnik, a native of Chicago, moved to New York in 1975. He began photographing the New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine. His intimate association with the New York City Ballet over the past four decades, has produced hundreds of thousands of photographs which have become the iconography of the company in all media. His range in photographing the performing arts is extensive: including major symphony orchestras and solo artists, more than fifty Broadway plays, as well as, leading dance companies. His work has been shown in galleries and museums including, exhibitions at The National Museum of Dance, The New York Historical Society, The Hermitage Theater in St. Petersburg, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.  There have been many books published of his own work on theater and dance. He has also contributed his photographs to numerous books and magazines. His photographs appear regularly in publications throughout the world.

Dr. Laura Katz Rizzo, is the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program Director and an Assistant Professor in Temple University’s Department of Dance, located within the University’s Center for the Arts. Katz has written for many scholarly and popular dance publications, as well as presented papers, lectures, choreographic work and master classes at significant conferences, and renowned universities and dance companies around the world. Her first book, Dancing the Fairy Tale: Producing and Performing “The Sleeping Beauty,” was published in January of 2015, and her essay on Ricki Starr, the ballet dancing wrestler, will be included in  Routledge’s upcoming volume, Wrestling and Performance.


Event Details:

Afternoon Workshop: Pearson Hall, Studios 221 and 222, 3-5 PM.

(Student Workshop for Photographers, Visual Artists, Painters, Film Makers, Architects, Sculptors, etc., and Master Class for Dancers, Singers, Musical Theatre Majors, etc.)

Visual artists will experience a 90-minute workshop conducted by renowned photographer Paul Kolnik (Primary photographer for The New York City Ballet and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre for four decades). This master class will focus on capturing dance movement as visual images using the camera or and/or other technology and media.

Dancers and performing artists will experience a 90-minute master class with renowned ballerina, Kyra Nichols (a highly respected dancer and teacher who was a member of the New York City Ballet from 1974 until 2007, and appointed to the rank of principal dancer in 1979).

For the last 30 minutes of this joint session, both artists and all students will come together in a shared space to put their ideas into practice, creating an impromptu exhibition in which the visual artists capture dance movement in space, allowing the architectural forms of dancing bodies visible through their pictorial illustrations.

Digital Exhibition and Lecture/Discussion: Rock Hall 7:00 PM

Students and faculty from across Temple University’s Center For the Arts, as well as community members, will have the opportunity to view Kolnik’s digital exhibition and participate in a lecture and discussion with Kolnik and Nichols.  The exhibition and discussion will be introduced by Katz Rizzo, who organized and curated the event and has recently presented internationally on Balanchine’s use of architectural concepts in his plot-less ballets.  She has argued that these ballets speak not only to formal aesthetic concepts such as Cubism and Minimalism, but also to the social and cultural aspects of how architecture also maps and regulates the relationships between bodies.

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