Purchase Dance Company Fall Dance Concert
Purchase Dance Company
From December 6-9, the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY, will present a program of world premieres alongside historical re-stagings.
The Fall Dance Concert highlights the dynamic range and technical virtuosity of the Company’s dancers and reflects the Conservatory of Dance’s commitment to providing the best of both classical and contemporary training. Members of the Purchase Dance Company are selected from the college’s highly competitive Conservatory of Dance BFA program, which, according to the New York Times is “one of the country’s most highly regarded dance conservatories.”
“We are delighted to welcome home acclaimed alumna Rena Butler and to shine a spotlight on female choreographers with compelling works by Ana Maria Lucaciu and Anna Sokolow. Meanwhile, Norbert De La Cruz III’s demanding and ethereal pointe work will showcase our students’ broad technical range,” said Nelly van Bommel, Director of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College. “These performance opportunities introduce dancers to many of the most sought after choreographers working today. Our students’ training and exposure to contemporary choreography uniquely prepares them for successful careers with a wide-range of companies.”
Performances will take place at the Dance Theatre Lab at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY) on Thursday, December 6, at 8 p.m., Friday, December 7 at 8 p.m., Saturday, December 8 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 9 at 3 p.m. A special pre-concert talk with the artists will be held on Friday, December 7 at 7:15 p.m. The talk will be moderated by Darrah Carr, Assistant Professor in the Conservatory of Dance.
Ticket are $17.50 with discounts available for students and seniors. Tickets are available through the box office at The Performing Arts Center in advance or at the Dance Theater Lab at the door (cash and check only): https://www.artscenter.org/events/purchase-dance-company-fall-dance-concert-2/
About the Works:
Norbert de la Cruz III: Lunar (2017)
This demanding and ethereal pointe work was originally created for the New York Choreographic Institute, which pairs choreographers with composers from the Juilliard School. Norbert de la Cruz’s work is set to a luscious original score by Nathan Pirllaman.
Norbert de La Cruz III has won several awards including the Princess Grace Foundation choreography fellowship. He is a recipient of the Alvin Ailey New Directions Choreography Lab, the Joffrey Academy of Dance's Winning Works, and has been named one of Dance Magazine’s 25 to Watch for 2016. He has been commissioned by several leading companies to create new works including Santa Fe Ballet, Hubbard Street 2, and Joffrey Academy of Dance; and has performed as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera, Aszure Barton, and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, among others.
Ana Maria Lucaciu: Untitled (2018)
Commissioned for Purchase Dance Company, Ana Maria Lucaciu’s new work will explore how the focus of a dancer affects the rest of the group. The piece will be set to late 19th century piano music, as the many dynamic changes will help inform distinct narratives.
Ana Maria Lucaciu was born in Bucharest, Romania. After graduating from the National Ballet School of Canada she joined Canada’s National Ballet and went on to dance with the Royal Danish Ballet, Augsburg Ballet (Germany), The Portuguese Contemporary Dance Company (Lisbon), and most recently, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, where she danced for seven years. Lucaciu has performed and created works with contemporary dance's foremost choreographers, including Ohad Naharin, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter, Jiří Kylián, Alexander Ekman, Jo Stromgren, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and many others. After earning her BFA in dance from Empire State College, she has been collaborating and performing with a wide range of artists and companies, and freelancing as a dancer and choreographer. Ana Maria teaches ballet, contemporary, and improvisation workshops at professional programs and dance companies across the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
Rena Butler: II. Second (2018)
Rena Butler will present the second episode of a three-part work that also includes segments at Loyola University and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase’s commission is a stream of consciousness that poses questions to challenge the audience members on the way they view themselves and the connectivity/differences they find with other people in the world. The choreographer’s goal is to provoke, challenge, and prompt viewers to reflect their own patterns of human behavior from a process steeped in the language of self, relativity, social constructs, race, culture, sexuality, and gender.
Rena Butler is currently a Dancer and Choreographic Fellow for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. She has danced in companies such as Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, David Dorfman Dance, Manuel Vignoulle/M-Motions, The Kevin Wynn Collection, and Pasos Con Sabor Salsa Dance Company. Rena has also starred in Director Yara Travieso’s live musical film La Medea and has danced for visual artists Carrie Mae Weems and Nick Cave. She has been featured in Dance Magazine’s ‘On the Rise,’ as well as The Dance Enthusiast, Chicago Magazine, among other publications. Butler began her studies at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, studied overseas at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and received her BFA from Purchase College’s Conservatory of Dance, where she received the Bert Terbourgh Award for Dance Excellence in 2011.
Rena's choreographic work includes Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Ailey School/Fordham, The New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Grammy award-winning jazz composer Terrence Blanchard, Taipei National University of the Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the Young Choreographer's Festival in NYC, among others. Rena currently serves on The Consortium for Chicago Dancemakers Forum and as a panel member for Black Girls Dance in Chicago.
Anna Sokolow: Dreams (1961)
Spun from the choreographer’s nightmares of the Holocaust, this masterpiece penetrates the most terrifying realms of human experience, demanding that the audience see the humanity of persecution’s victims.
Anna Sokolow (1910-2000) began her training at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Martha Graham and Louis Horst. In the 1930s she was a member of the Graham Dance Company and assisted Mr. Horst in his dance composition classes. During this period, in addition to her association with the WPA dance unit, she formed her own company and began choreographing and performing solo concerts and ensemble works. Her vast range of repertory includes drama, comedy, and lyricism with her commentaries on humanity and social justice threaded into each of her works.
In 1939, Ms. Sokolow began a lifelong association with the dance and theater arts in Mexico. Her work for the Mexican Ministry of Fine Arts grew to become the National Academy of Dance there. In 1953, she was invited to Israel to work with Inbal Dance Company. Following that, she choreographed for the major dance companies in Israel including Batsheva, Kibbutz Dance Company, and Lyric Theatre. She visited Mexico and Israel frequently to teach and to choreograph.
Ms. Sokolow also choreographed for the Broadway theater. Her credits include Street Scene, Camino Real, Candide, and the original Hair. In the late 1950s, Ms. Sokolow was the first modern dance choreographer to have her work (Rooms) presented on national television.
Ms. Sokolow’s interest in teaching took her to universities, dance companies, and acting studios throughout the U.S. and abroad. She was a longtime faculty member of the Juilliard School in both the dance and drama divisions. She received many honors and awards, including Honorary Doctorate degrees from Ohio State University, Brandeis University, and the Boston Conservatory of Music. She received a Fulbright Fellowship to Japan, the Dance Magazine Award, a National Endowment for the Arts’ Choreographic Fellowship, among others awards.
About The Conservatory of Dance and Purchase College, SUNY:
The Conservatory of Dance in the School of the Arts at Purchase College is one of only a handful of programs in the world where dancers can learn what it means to be a dance professional. The BFA program features rigorous training in classical ballet and modern/contemporary dance, a faculty of renowned professionals, and proximity to New York City dance companies and choreographers. Purchase boasts an award-winning dance building and opportunities to perform in the world-renowned Performing Arts Center.
Purchase alumni perform with many of the foremost contemporary modern and ballet dance companies in the world. They also teach, direct, choreograph major productions, and have founded their own companies all around the globe.
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