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A POSTCARD from Jennifer Muller on the WOMEN / CREATE! Dance Festival at New York Live Arts from June 12-16, 2018

A POSTCARD from Jennifer Muller on the WOMEN / CREATE! Dance Festival at New York Live Arts from June 12-16, 2018

Published on June 11, 2018
Photo: Carol Rosegg

WOMEN / CREATE! A Festival of Dance

July 12-16, 2018

New York Live Arts

For tickets, click here.

Women choreographers have been pioneers of contemporary dance since its inception. From June 12-16, 2018, we will celebrate women creators in the dance world with WOMEN / CREATE! A Festival of Dance. The five-day festival will present works choreographed by four visionary female artists (Karole Armitage /Armitage Gone! Dance, Jacqulyn Buglisi / Buglisi Dance Theatre, Carolyn Dorfman / Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and Jennifer Muller / Jennifer Muller/The Works). Among these 4 pieces are 2 world premieres. 

Let me introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Muller, and I am the founder and artistic director of Jennifer Muller/The Works, a company that has traveled the world offering innovative and dynamic theatrical dance productions since 1974. I am the curator of the WOMEN / CREATE! festival, which is now in its 7th year. This year is particularly exciting because even though there has been a shared bill for 6 years, it’s the first year we’ve officially designated the series as “WOMEN / CREATE! A Festival of Dance.”

A man in a wrestling mask lifts up a woman in a gold leotard. Her legs, in knee-high boots, kick towards another dancer in the background who is also wearing a wrestling mask.
Armitage Gone Dance's Donkey Jaw Bone; Photo: Photo courtesy of the company

What I think is the most magnificent and unique thing about WOMEN / CREATE! is that the audience gets to enjoy four different and accomplished choreographers sharing one evening. It creates a rare situation, and one that I think is valuable for the field and enjoyable for the spectator. The choreographers on the program are completely different, with varied points of view. But what makes the evening so rich is that all the choreographers are accomplished, and all believe in technical dance; in technique, virtuosity and a tremendous amount of craft.

The program will also include Armitage Gone! Dance’s Donkey Jaw Bone, which is an excerpt of a new work commissioned by National Sawdust and the Mexico Now Festival, loosely based on Mexico’s theatrical sport, Lucha Libre. It sits at the border of sport, dance and ritual, invoking connections between sometimes contradictory domains: rural and urban, traditional and modernity, ritual and parody, machismo and feminism, politics and spectacle. Performed on pre-Columbian instruments, the teponaztli (a pitched slit-log drum) and the quijada, (a donkey jawbone), the dance draws on Balanchine’s Agon, ancient and contemporary minimalism, drag queen style and re-enacts documentary Lucha wrestling matches.

A woman lies on the ground. Her right arm reaches above her. A man in a costume that has fringe on the pant legs steps over her. Her grabs her forearm and one of her legs.
Buglisi Dance Theatre's Threshold; Photo: Terri Gold

My company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, will present the world premiere of Shock Wave, which is inspired by the physics of a cataclysmic disturbance, characterized by destructive interference and abrupt, discontinuous change. From sudden, inconceivable changes that destroy normality, the sequence of the piece proposes that “the life we expect” when disrupted by tumultuous events can lead to emotional devastation, followed by an urgent attempt at healing and finally arriving at the need to battle back to create a regained sense of community. 

Buglisi Dance Theatre will present Threshold, which is a primal, expressionistic work about life and death set to a haunting score by Arvo Pärt. The dance is performed by renowned dancers Virginie Mécène and Kevin Predmore.

A group of dancers in aqua-colored unitards stand in a straight line. They bodies lean over the person in front of them, creating a chain-looking effect.
Caroline Dorfman Dance's Waves; Photo: Daniel Hedden

Finally, Caroline Dorfman Dance will present Waves, which uses an eclectic and unusual grouping of instruments, sounds, vocals, and artists to create new and visceral movement connections between the dancers, the musicians, their sounds, and the dance. The extraordinary composer/musicians of the work include cellist Jessie Reagen Mann, beat boxer, Pete List, and recorder player, Daphna Mor. In exploring the multi-faceted meanings and metaphors of 'waves'; Dorfman and the dancers created reactions to the sound waves and vibrations and the musicians responded to the movement in tone and sound. 

We hope that you’ll come join us to enjoy and celebrate the craft and vision of these 4 acclaimed women choreographers, and the incredible skill of the 27 dancers on stage.

For information about the festival which runs from June 12-16th, you can visit the New York Live Arts website.

For the most up-to-date information on Jennifer Muller/ The Works follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo and our website.

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