Events & Performances

There are informal and formal opportunities throughout the year to present student composed and faculty choreographed dance works.

 

  • Every fall semester, the department produces the Fall Dance Performance, which includes faculty, guest, and student work. Exceptional student work is selected from improvisation and choreography classes to perform in the Fall Dance Showing as well as other special performances.
  • The spring semester includes the American College Dance Festival, Dance Theater Workshop Performance Lab, the Senior Work Festival, and the annual Spring Dance Performance at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. The Spring Dance Performance showcases faculty repertory as well as guest artist and company residencies.

  • Another performance venue is the monthly Lang Coffee House Cabaret. The Coffee House Cabaret provides students a casual atmosphere to present works in progress and collaborative projects to the larger Lang community. Student performance groups also hold several events.

Spring Dance Performance 2008 Photos
Spring Dance Performance 2007 Photos
Spring Dance Performance 2006 Photos
Dance Department Student Work Photos

 

Historical Works and Guest Residencies

Lang invites a guest artist every year to either restage a classic work by a modern dance luminary or create a new work on our students. Residencies often include the technique, history and life of the artist and their work, including any historical, social, political, or cultural context. In addition to research, writing, and critical thinking, classes with guest artists involve intensive rehearsals to restage or create new repertory which is performed in the Fall or Spring Dance Performance.

Anna Sokolow Residency—Fall 2009/Spring 2010
The Anna Sokolow Dance Residency will begin in the Fall of 2009 with an exploration of the life and work of world renowned modern dancer, choreographer and teacher, Anna Sokolow. In celebration of Anna's 100th Birthday, Jim May, Artistic Director of the Sokolow Theatre Foundation, will conduct workshops and lectures examining the historical and social context of Sokolow's work through research, rare videos and photographs. The fall semester will also include a walking tour of Greenwich Village, where The New School is situated and where Ms. Sokolow was born and raised. Mr. May worked with Anna Sokolow for 35 years before continuing her legacy.

In Spring 2010, Jim May will reconstruct "Lyric Suite," the 1953 classic modern dance work with music by Alban Berg. Mr. May will conduct an audition in the Fall of 2009 to select a cast of dancers from Eugene Lang College for the piece. While “Lyric Suite” is comprised of 10 dancers, Jim May anticipates double casting the piece with 20 dancers for a series of solos, duets, and a quartet. “Lyric Suite” will be reconstructed in the Spring of 2010 through six to eight weeks of intensive rehearsals, and performed in early May at the Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City as part of the college’s Spring Dance Performance.

Several courses at Lang will be structured to include themes around Sokolow and the residency including a year long dance history course as well as integrative arts courses open to all of the students. Other events coinciding with the Sokolow Residency include open rehearsals of the Limon Company and Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble performing works of Anna Sokolow, and exhibits at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center and the Skybridge Art Space located at the New School.  The reconstruction of Lyric Suite is made possible by American Masterpieces: Dance, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with Dance/USA.

William Forsythe Residency—Spring 2009
Taught by Forsythe dancers and collaborators, Jill Johnson and Mario Zambrano, the residency explores the life and work of renowned choreographer, William Forsythe. The residency includes a series of intensive workshop master classes during the first three weeks. Students learn Forsythe movement technologies including a coordinative training series, task-based improvisation and composition modalities. Discussion and lectures about William Forsythe’s approach to dancing and choreographic development, including stage, lighting, and text designs, are included. In the second half of the residency, students collaborate with Johnson and Zambrano to create an original Forsythe-inspired work based on the essential principals and movement phrases from one of Forsythe’s renowned choreographic works, "One Flat Thing Reproduce. The work will be performed at the end of the semester in the 2009 Spring Dance Performance.

An exhibition of images from Forsythe's work in the Skybridge Art Space will appear concurrently with this residency.

Wally Cardona, Guest Choreographer, "Almost Real" – Spring 2008

In Spring 2008, BESSIE award winning choreographer, Wally Cardona created a new work on Lang Dance students titled “Almost Real.” Cardona auditioned dancers in the fall semester and selected 13 dancers to work with ranging from freshman to seniors. Students were active participants in a process that included research, experimentation, creation, and setting of new material. The environment where the action took place was important in choreographer Wally Cardona’s recent body of work. In ALMOST REAL, the environment to be navigated was the space and entities present in the space itself: its history, currency, and potential. Continuing his interest in the making of

from nothing, Cardona asked the performers to start from nothing, return to nothing, begin again and begin again, offering an experience in impermanence that is more ghost-like than solid. Original music is by New York composer Phil Kline. The work debuted in the Spring Dance Performance on May 2nd and 3rd at Ailey Citigroup Theater in New York City.

Recipient of a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in choreography, WALLY CARDONA has been recognized nationally and internationally for creating vast yet intimate landscape works that use the performance setting itself as an integral partner in making a movement language unique to each piece of choreography. Brooklyn Magazine hailed him as “one of the most adventurous choreographers of his generation, a master of passionate abstract dances.”

The Limón Residency, “Choreographic Offering” – Spring 2007

Historical context by Ann Vachon / Restaged by Sarah Stackhouse and assisted by Geraldine Cardiel

Limon Residency Performance Photos
Limon Residency Rehearsal Photos

Continuing the legacy of restaging American modern dance classics, the Lang dance program celebrated the work of legendary choreographer, José Limón. The Limon Residency was designed to investigate the training techniques and repertory of modern dance pioneers, José Limón and his mentor, Doris Humphrey. Ann Vachon, Director of the Limon Institute taught the first eight weeks of the semester providing background on the life and work of Limon and Humphrey. The course examined the historical and cultural context of Limón and Humphrey’s work to better understand its innovation and influence. The lectures included viewings of archival videotapes, readings of critical commentary, and excerpts from Limón's memoir. Students also studied the Limón technique with Ann Vachon as well as guest classes with former and current Limón Company members.

The students spent the remaining weeks working with Sarah Stackhouse, former soloist and rehearsal director of the Limón Company and assisted by Geraldine Cardiel, former Limón dancer to restage an excerpt from “A Choreographic Offering”. Limón created "A Choreographic Offering" in 1963 in tribute to his mentor and teacher, Doris Humphrey. Set to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, "A Choreographic Offering" is built upon the movements and motifs of modern dance pioneer, Doris Humphrey. Working with a cast of twenty-two dancers, Sarah and Geraldine coached the students in intensive rehearsals to gain a deeper understanding of the artistry and choreography of modern dance luminary, José Limón.

The Martha Graham Residency, "Steps in the Street" - Spring 2006
Historical context by Ellen Graff / Restaged by Yuriko

Graham Rehearsal Photos
Graham Performance Photos
Graham Rehearsal Video with Yuriko

In the early 1930s Martha Graham taught, rehearsed and performed in the New School studio of 66 West 12th Street to create seminal pieces in her career. Years later, the dance hall at the New School was dedicated to her. Graham, along with Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and dance critic John Martin shaped the history of American modern dance through a series of lecture-demonstrations and performances at The New School.

Over seventy-five years later, in commemoration of the Martha Graham Dance Company’s 80th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of Eugene Lang College, the dance program commemorated the work of legendary choreographer, Martha Graham. The Martha Graham Residency was designed to not only teach an exemplary piece of Graham repertory but also to explore Graham’s work within its historical and political framework. In both Ellen Graff’s and Yuriko’s pedagogy, equal importance was placed upon the intensive Graham movement technique and its place within American history and culture.

Ellen Graff, former Graham dancer and director of programs at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, worked with the students for the first eight weeks of the residency. Graff focused on integrating intensive work in Martha Graham technique with an overview of her life and work, focusing on the social, historical and political significance of her dances. Particular emphasis was placed on the technique of the 1930s, the movement vocabulary central to the 1936 dance Steps in the Street, and the political and historical forces influencing its creation.

Yuriko, Martha Graham’s former soloist and rehearsal director, worked with a cast of twelve students to restage the celebrated 1936 work, Steps in the Street for six weeks. Yuriko coached the cast in intensive rehearsals to gain a deeper understanding of the intentions and emotion behind the movement

Contemporary Works

In addition to classic historical modern works (Graham, Limón, Sokolow), the dance faculty continually creates new works for our students. Lang's prominent New York City location affords contemporary choreographers, many of whom have worked with renowned dance artists such as Ralph Lemon, Lar Lubovitch, Paul Taylor, Stephen Petronio, and Bill T. Jones, an opportunity to deepen their own movement explorations while working with our students.

Daniel Baudendistel - “Dance in Blue” (Spring 2005)
Eric Jackson Bradley - “Private Fawn” (Spring 2008)
Wally Cardona - “Almost Real” (Spring 2008)
Joao Mauricio Carvalho - “Karada” (Fall 2004, Spring 2005), “Phenilunio” (Spring 2005), ‘Untitled’ (Fall 2005), “Valsa do Abraco” (Spring 2006)
Rebecca Stenn - “Untitled” (Fall 2005), “What Color is the Dark” (Spring 2006), “Eight Duos” (Fall 2006), “Glib” (Spring 2007), “Leading One Shadow – Then They Too” (Spring 2008)
Takehiro Ueyama - “One” (Spring 2007), “Footsteps in the Snow” (Spring 2008)
Karla Wolfangle - “7 New Minutes” (Fall 2004, Spring 2005), “The Concert” (Spring 2005), “L’Air du Temps” (Spring 2006), “Angeli” (Fall 2006), “Pentimento” (Spring 2007), “Petite Sensations” (Spring 2008)
Todd Williams - “Right at Home” (Spring 2006), “Stand Beside Her” (Spring 2007)

American College Dance Festival

Eugene Lang College participated for the first time in the American College Dance Festival in February 2007 as a member of the New England Chapter. A committee of dance faculty and guests choose two pieces of student-choreography for adjudication and one for the informal concert from the fall semester’s choreography classes. Past works include:

  • “Metagenesis” choreographed by Maia McCoy, Saifan Shmerer, and Vanessa Soudan
  • “Sleep Cycle” choreographed by Mary Mailhot
  • “Collective Moments” choreographed by Danielle Vialpando
  • “O Dismal God-damned Night the Birds are Limp” choreographed by Vanessa Soudan
  • “Easier” choreographed and danced by Jillian Hervey
  • “I’ve Got it Down to a Science” choreographed by Nadia Mathys. 

Students who have presented work in the informal concert include Emily Skillings and Jeffrei London.  All of the work was well received by both the judges and an enthusiastic audience, providing our emerging artists with fruitful insight. 

 

 
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