Welcome to the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts' Blog!

The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts Blog The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts seeks to enrich and engage our audiences by bringing world-class talent to Lower Manhattan. The Pace Presents series features internationally-acclaimed talent in the areas of music, dance, theatre, cabaret and lecture.

22 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Dance Maker: Inside Taylor 2 and Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is one of the last living legends given to us by the second generation of the twentieth century’s modern dance movement. His dance is more than movement and storytelling. His choreography moves the spirit by tackling hard-hitting issues, such as war, piety, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality head on.  In the early 1950’s, Taylor’s work was so controversial that it sent audiences running from the theatre and Martha Graham even dubbed him “the bad boy of dance.”Fb-esplanade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend, we are proud to have Paul Taylor’s chamber- sized dance company, Taylor 2 to present some of Taylor’s best known works in an intimate and personal presentation. One of those pieces is “AIRS.” When the piece originally debuted in 1978, some modern dance enthusiasts didn’t know what to make of the piece. They viewed it too “accessible” as it took its accompaniment from a classical composition by Handel. Many regard the piece as one of their favorites because of the light and breezy mood it evokes.

Our lucky audiences will also get to experience the New York premiere of one of Taylor’s latest pieces, entitled, “The Uncommited.” The piece debuted in 2011 at the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina in honor of the festival’s director, Charles L. Reinhardt . The New York Times described it as both “beautiful and raw.” Set to musical compositions by Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, Taylor’s dance propels us into a world where the viewer learns that “loneliness is not the same as being alone.”

The third piece on the roster for this weekend’s offering is “Esplanade.” Taylor created this piece in 1971 to explore the beauty in every day, pedestrian movement. Inspired by contemporaries such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg who used “found objects” in their art, Taylor decided to create a dance that was comprised of “found movements” from the real people around him.

This weekend’s presentation is a rare treat for true Paul Taylor fans as well as a perfect sampling for those who have yet to discover this master’s work. Not only will our audiences get to watch three stunning pieces from three different era’s of the master’s career, they will also treated to live musical accompaniment by the esteemed Kenneth Hamrick and American Virtuosi. The six dancer ensemble brings about a never before seen or felt intimacy with Taylor’s choreography. Come join us for this truly amazing program.

To purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111.

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Pace Presents Blogger

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the performance would include a piece titled “AUREOLE.”

TAYLOR 2

April 24th, 7:30pm | April 25th, 7:30pm | April 26th, 7:30pm
$40|$35|$25
Paul Taylor’s renowned Taylor 2 Company, composed of six professionals with a particular gift for his style, are headed back to the Schimmel! The program consists of three of Paul Taylor’s works; “AIRS” with music by George Frideric Handel“ESPLANADE,”with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, and “THE UNCOMMITTED” with music by Arvo Pärt.Live music for these performances is the result of a special collaboration with the distinguished American Virtuosi, an ensemble of period and modern instruments, conducted by Kenneth Hamrick Artistic Director.Come and see Taylor 2 and hear American Virtuosi. This is the way Mr. Taylor’s dances were meant to be experienced! 

Live music made possible by a gift from Dr. Frank L Ellsworth and Dr. Kristin L. Ellsworth 
and the American Virtuosi Foundation Inc. as part of the Live Music for Dance Initiative.  

 

18 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“Taylor Too”: Inside Taylor 2

Some of our favorite reviews of our next offering, Taylor 2

“Don’t think of it as a farm team. Think of it as Taylor Too. Taylor 2 is wonderfully intimate. Watching only six dancers perform Taylor works clearly reveals both structure and movement for an eye-opening appreciation of the master’s approach… It’s like hearing Mozart played on original instruments, or birds in the woods without traffic noise. There’s an authenticity about them that also speaks with the voice of authority: It’s easy to see why Taylor’s work stood out from the crowd right from the start. These dancers are every bit as skilled and delightful as the senior company and so eager, so ready to captivate, they can’t fail.” – Allison Tracy, The Berkshire Eagle

From the Taylor 2 Ensemble!

From the Taylor 2 Ensemble!

“Taylor 2 is a kind of a miracle… All of the dancers are considerable talents [who] unite fearlessness with skill.” — Gia Kourlas, New York Times

A major interest is in seeing how ingeniously Taylor has edited his work for a six-person ensemble — half the size of the original… This version of Company B is not a patched hand-me-down, but a lighter and more intimate creation that delivers the same emotional knockout.” — Robert Johnson, The Star-Ledger

With live music accompaniment, six astounding dancers and the breath-taking choreography of Paul Taylor, Taylor 2 will have you saying, “That’s Taylor too not Taylor 2.” Be sure to come down to the Michael Schimmel Center and see the works of Paul Taylor through new eyes!

To Purchase tickets visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111
See you at the Schimmel!

April 24th – April 26th

TAYLOR 2

April 24th, 7:30pm | April 25th, 7:30pm | April 26th, 7:30pm
$40|$35|$25
Paul Taylor’s renowned Taylor 2 Company, composed of six professionals with a particular gift for his style, are headed back to the Schimmel! The program consists of three of Paul Taylor’s works; “AIRS” with music by George Frideric Handel“ESPLANADE,”with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, and “THE UNCOMMITTED” with music by Arvo Pärt.Live music for these performances is the result of a special collaboration with the distinguished American Virtuosi, an ensemble of period and modern instruments, conducted by Kenneth Hamrick Artistic Director.Come and see Taylor 2 and hear American Virtuosi. This is the way Mr. Taylor’s dances were meant to be experienced! 

Live music made possible by a gift from Dr. Frank L Ellsworth and Dr. Kristin L. Ellsworth 
and the American Virtuosi Foundation Inc. as part of the Live Music for Dance Initiative. 

16 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Conjuring New Music With the Sorcerer of Congolese Rumba, Hip-Hop and Funk!

Honoring the tradition of bringing our audiences the best up and coming artists from around the globe, Pace Presents is proud to bring you a young musical artist who is promising a completely new brand of music unknown to your ear drums. Baloji is a young Belgian artist with Congolese roots. His nomenclature is well chosen as it is the Swahili word for “sorcerer.” Sorcery of music would be the perfect way to describe his unique talent for fusing the worlds of Congolese rumba and hip-hop and funk. With a sound so unique, you must hear it for yourself. The following video was made by NPR music and was filmed this past January at Global Fest at Webster Hall in Manhattan. Baloji sure knew how to spin his magic to enchant the crowds. It surely felt like they were under some sort of spell.

To purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111. Be sure to use the code “20Tix” for $20 tickets!
See you at the Schimmel!
Michael Scott-torbet
Pace PResets’ Blogger

April 17th at 7:30pm

FUTURISTIC AFRICA: Congolese Rumba, Hip-Hop and Funk: Baloji & L’Orchestre de la Katuba

All Tickets $35
Curated by LiveSounds.org

Baloji is a quirky Belgian rapper and crooner with Congolese roots whose nom de guerre means “sorcerer” in Swahili. His inventive mix of rap with vintage Congolese soukous, rumba and 60s soul grooves performed in a highly original way has garnered him a huge fan base. Critically acclaimed for his modern interpretation of Congolese music, Baloji is at the forefront of redefining African music in a savvy, modern way. He will be joined by his elegant band on guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion and a horn section.

10 April 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Feeling the beat of Charanga Cubana!

“Charanga” is a form of popular Cuban dance music that was made famous in dance halls during the 1940′s. The movement has its origins in French and Haitian culture mixing with Cuba’s “son” music. Perhaps the most quintessential charanga orchestra is the “Orquesta Aragón.” The “Orquestra” was founded in 1939 and was world renowned by the mid twentieth century. They are known for their,”high-class instrumentalists playing in tight ensemble style, and rhythmical innovations which kept their sound up to date.” Pace Presents is proud to have the “Orquesta Aragón” on hand to play some of their biggest hits on Sunday, April 13 at 7:30. I could tell you more but their music speaks volumes louder. Please enjoy the following videos of “Orquesta Aragón” in action and then secure your tickets to this thrilling event!

 

To purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111

 

See you at the Schimmel!

Pace Presents Blogger

Michael Scott-Torbet

April 13th at 7:30pm

CHARANGA CUBANA Orquesta Aragón

All Tickets $35
Curated by LiveSounds.orgOne of Cuba’s grandest and enduring, charanga bands, Orquesta Aragón, the “Duke Ellington and Count Basie Orchestra of Cuban music” is a national treasure on the island and have performed worldwide for over 60 years. Orquesta Aragón has been a cornerstone of Cuban culture for seven decades, playing danzón, son, cha-cha-chá, rumba and their own styles. Their Afro-Latin innovations shaped the evolution of Cuban music for decades and they have been credited for inspiring New York’s mambo scene in the 50s, making an indelible mark on African music in the 70s, and influencing a who’s who of NY’s Latin music icons like Fania All-Stars’ Johnny Pacheco and Mambo King Tito Puente. Since 1939 Aragón has kept its focus, spreading irresistible Cuban rhythms around the world.

18 March 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“Stretching the boundaries of hip-hop and classical dance!” Inside RUBBERBANDance Group and Choreographer Victor Quijada

This spring, the Michael Schimmel Center has been engaging audiences with a string of dance companies and artists that all have one thing in common. They all challenge the way we view dance. Brian Sanders’ JUNK taught us that we can find dance just about anywhere, even in every day disposed objects.  Israel Galvan showed us that flamenco does not have to be performed against a backdrop of classical guitar. Flamenco can find joy in the startling contrasts between silence and reverberation. Now a group from Montreal promises to challenge the way we look at both hip-hop and classical dance. With his own unique form of dance expression, choreographer Victor Quijada reconciles the spontaneous, gutsy dance form of hip-hop with the articulate maturity of ballet. Pace Presents is excited to welcome RUBBERBANDance Group to the Schimmel stage.

RUBBERBANDance Group

RUBBERBANDance Group

Victor Quijada found dance in the form of hip-hop, growing up in Los Angeles in the 1980’s. Due to his incredible dexterity as a dancer, his contemporaries dubbed him with the moniker, “Rubberband.” He immersed himself in a wide variety of dance forms and went on to perform with such celebrated companies as THARP!, Ballet Tech, and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Quijada was left with an extensive physical vocabulary that transcended several genres of dance. At the turn of the millennium, Quijada was living in New York and was feeling quite fed up with it. “(New York) has too much happening and not enough happening at the same time; too much because everyone is here. Not enough because there aren’t enough resources in one city for everyone.” He envisioned a dance company where he could create works with a new “language of movement,” one that was uniquely his own. He realized quickly that New York wasn’t the place to do that.

In 2002, Qujjada found himself in Montreal, Quebec on the brink of a new artistic horizon.  “Montreal, as a city, is the perfect balance. Art is happening all over in their culture and they have an audience for it. The fact that they speak their own language, French, says that they have a culture that they own and that they acknowledge is different from the rest of Canada.” The dancer known to so many as “Rubberband,” would start his own “RUBBERBANDance” company. The group not only takes its name from Quijada’s nick name, it also makes reference to the qualities of a rubber band. “A rubber band not only stretches, it binds things together.” Quijada’s choreography stretches the boundaries of hip-hop and classical dance as well as it binds the two genres together. But don’t walk into his show expecting to see clearly defined ballet and hip hop moves. He would refer to his dance as “gene splitting.” The genes of the two parent dances are, in actuality, giving birth to a completely new kind of dance form.

This is the dance that was “born of (Quijada’s) vessle.” Although this new dance technique is unique to his expression, Quijada doesn’t expect his dancers to be his “clone.” All of his dancers come from different experiences and disciplines. Some of his dancers were trained at Julliard while others learned their trade on the road with the circus. They do all have one thing in common according to Quijada, “they are all dope!” All of them had to be retrained in his unique, “RUBBERBAND Method,” a method born of his unique dance experience. “I realized that Break was this bizzaro-world counterpart to ballet. Everything that was upright in ballet was inverted. Everything that was a straight line in ballet was a broken line in break.” The new method teaches dancers to be both upright like ballerinas and horizontal and inverted like b-boys.

On March 20 through the 22nd, RUBBERBANDance Group will perform “Empirical Quotient.” “Empirical Quotient,” is a brand new seventy minute piece that is very theatrical in nature. Six gifted dancers attempt to explore an array of human relationships while touching on themes of “dependence, rejection, empathy and acceptance.” Quijada is very proud of this piece and goes as far as to dub it his, “coming of age,” piece. “This work is what I have been working towards my entire career,” he said. Join us at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts as Victor Quijada shares with us his very own personal masterpiece and dare to stretch your own ideas of what dance can be.

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Pace Presents Blogger

 


 

RUBBERBANDance GROUP

March 20th, 7:30pm | March 21st, 7:30pm | March 22nd, 7:30pm
NEW YORK DEBUT
$40 | $35 | $25

Montréal-based RUBBERBANDance Group, is recognized internationally for its unique ability to fuse breakdancing, ballet and modern dance into a spectacular showcase. Founder, Victor Quijada reconciles his opposing dance worlds and their aesthetics: the spontaneity, fearlessness and risk-taking of his younger years in hip-hop culture and the refinement and choreographic maturity of the ballet and contemporary works heimmersed himself in as a professional dancer. Beating with the fresh pulse of street attitude and an acute understanding of theatrical staging, his work explores human relationships by harnessing the ardour of obsession, the shock of violence, and the delicate nature of tenderness, comedy, and tragedy with a great deal of honesty and courage. Don’t miss this incredible group!

“Forever young in body and mind, RUBBERBANDance brings exploration and community to the forefront in this spellbinding new work.” – Bachtrack

To Purchase tickets, visit schimmel.pace.edu or call (866) 811-4111

Artist Website: http://rubberbandance.com/