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.

20 May 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Life is a Dance: Inside “From the Horse’s Mouth” and Frederic Franklin

The 2013-14 Pace Presents’ season is coming to a close but we still have one last unique offering to bring you. May 30-June 1, will bring Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham’s exciting dance/theatre event, “From the Horse’s Mouth.” The opening night, on May 30th,  will double as a special gala performance that will feature esteemed guest stars such as Marge Champion, Jacques d’Amboise, Arthur Mitchell and Carmen de Lavallade who will all be honoring the life and career of dance legend, Frederic Franklin.

A publicity still of Fredric Franklin in Agnes DeMille's 1942 ballet, "Rodeo."

A publicity still of Frederic Franklin in Agnes DeMille’s 1942 ballet, “Rodeo.”

“From the Horse’s Mouth,” is a one of a kind experience that combines the stories of dancers’ careers and lives, with movement from all genres, “from tap to ballet to Bharat Natyam to Irish step dancing and beyond.” The show was conceived back in 1998 by creative directors, Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham. The two had known each other since 1966 when they met at the Dance Theatre Workshop. When they met up again in the late 1990’s for a concert they were performing in, they shared with each other their mutual passion for celebrating dancers of all ages, races and styles. The show has traveled globally to celebrate dancers from all types of communities. One of the team’s favorite productions was done in Hawaii with authentic hula dancing, music and stories. In June, the team will head to Toronto with actors, dancers, athletes and military to celebrate the stories of the LGBT community during World Pride month.

As mentioned previously, the production mounting at the Schimmel will celebrate the life of the great Frederic Franklin. When asked why they wanted to honor him, Croll and Cunningham had the following to say, “He was a major figure in the world of ballet.  He started off in tap and ballroom dancing and went on to dance star roles with every major dance company, continuing to be called up to do cameo appearances when he was in his 90′s!  In addition he had a photographic memory for movement and could remember a whole dance after seeing it once.  Balanchine called him in to help him reconstruct a dance from the 30’s that no one else, including Balanchine, could remember!  He helped many, many young dancers with their roles.” Croll and Cunningham had both met Franklin near the end of his life. When asked about him they remarked that he was, “amazingly lively at 98 when we met him.  He regaled us with stories.  He was full of light.” Cunningham has a particularly moving story about Franklin, “One story he told really stayed with me – Freddie said when he danced Stanley Kowalski in the ballet of Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando came back stage and said, ‘If I could do with words what you’re doing with movement, I’d be a better Stanley.’ That’s the kind of artist he was,”

While all three performances will focus on stories about the legendary dancer, the opening gala performance on May 30th will feature an all-star cast of dancers who were closest to him. With the likes of Martine van Hamel, Gus Solomons Jr, Ella Baff and Xiomara Reyes sharing their personal stories, the gala promises to be a spectacular event. Audiences who come for the last two performances will have the pleasure of watching an all-male cast. When asked about the decision for an all-male cast, the two directors remarked, “ there is a lot of male energy on stage – clear and direct.  They all take care of each other and bond back stage!  The atmosphere is wild and wacky good humored and loving.  It’s important to celebrate men in dance.”

Beyond theatre and dance, “From the Horse’s Mouth” is really a celebration of life and community. Just as our primitive ancestors used to congregate around fires and tell stories to revere their common experiences, using dance and spoken word; Croll and Cunningham  continue the tradition in their work. While you are sure to take away a great deal from this experience, Croll and Cunningham do hope you take away at least one thing in particular, “an interest in dancers – their lives and their work.  It’s a special magical world.” Be there to experience this “magical world” with us!

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

See you at the Schimmel!

Michael Scott-Torbet

Pace Presents’ 2013-14 Blogger

 

FROM THE HORSE’S MOUTH

May 30th, 7:30pm | May 31st, 7:30pm | June 1st, 7:30pm
$95 | $40 | $35 | $25 (Please note all seats include a $1.50 facility fee)

GALA PERFORMANCE Friday, May 30 at 7:30pm – $95 Gala seats include VIP seating and reception. To purchase Gala tickets, click here
Featuring Jacques D’Amboise, Arthur Mitchell, Charles Askegard, Martine van Hamel, Gus Solomons jr, Carmen de Lavallade, Xiomara Reyes, Marge Champion and MoreGala proceeds to include the Frederic Franklin Scholarship Fund at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (JK0) School at the American Ballet Theatre.Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1 at 7:30pm The Men Dancers: From the Horses Mouth.  These two evenings feature an All Male Tribute to Frederic Franklin.

 

 

 

 

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.