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 Post subject: From Mexico, Tania Perez-Salas Brings Two U.S. Premieres
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:25 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Press Contact and Photos: French Clements
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Becket, MA - In a tour de force of the imagination, the Mexico City-based
dancers of Tania Pérez-Salas arrive in the Ted Shawn Theatre with two U.S.
premieres, July 12-16. Known widely in Mexico and Europe for extravagant,
sensual theatrics and their director's talent for visually arresting
movement and ideas, the alluring group, led by the thirty year-old wonder
Pérez-Salas, has appeared only once before in the U.S and is considered a
key part of Mexico's burgeoning contemporary dance scene. The company
dancers, while gifted in a number of techniques, possess a contemporary
physical presence and the clean lines of solid ballet training. These are
on view most arrestingly in a revelation of the senses entitled Waters of
Forgetfulness. Pérez-Salas herself opens that work lying in a shallow pool
of water that covers the entire stage, and soon joins her dancers in moving
with breathless abandon through sheets of sand pouring down on them. Also
to be experienced are The Hours, a feat of costume design for three women,
and Anabiosis, a sleek work exploring the significance of love. The
company's appearance at the prestigious 2002 Lyon Biennale in France, that
year entitled "Terra Latina," incited an overwhelming run on tickets and
forced the organizers to add an extra show. Lyon's Le Progrès wrote after
the premiere, "Mexico's peerless Tania Pérez-Salas is a revelation as a
beautiful, energetic dancer, and creator of deeply moving and emotive
works...definitely the most accomplished performances of 'Terra Latina' so
far." In a must-see related free event, Tania Pérez-Salas discusses the
development of her career and the two U.S. premieres, Saturday, July 15.
For a glimpse of the choreography of Tania Pérez-Salas, watch the 2006
season overview video at

Performance and Ticket Information for Tania Pérez-Salas: Evening
performances are Wednesday, July 12 through Saturday, July 15 at 8pm, with
matinées on Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16 at 2pm. Tickets are $45
each, with a 10% discount available for seniors, students, and youth age 13
and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Box Office at
413.243.0745, faxing orders to 413.243.0749, or ordering online at Jacob's Pillow is located on George Carter Road in
Becket, MA, 10 minutes east on Route 20 from Mass Pike Exit 2. This program
contains some nudity.

Though her highly developed sense of aesthetics is on full display at the
Pillow, the three works of this program are also notable for their literary
inspirations. First, Waters of Forgetfulness, from 1998, is based on the
short novel H20 and the Waters of Forgetfulness, published in 1986 by the
revolutionary philosopher-polymath Ivan Illich. In his book, Illich (who
kept a home in Cuernavaca, Mexico much of his life) points out how our
notions of water, and other features of the landscape we take for granted,
have changed according to shifting ideas of the usefulness of the earth.
Illich's eclectic mind addresses everything from urban design to the
"historicity of stuff," and although Pérez-Salas alludes to Illich's idea of
water as an eternal and life-giving force, the choreographer overall has
interpreted the book in an impressionistic (albeit no less impressive) way:
water, more than 500 gallons worth, and eventually sand, are key elements of
the work, as is a massive swath of silky fabric. Uniting all this is the
dancers' sharp awareness of how grand their movements must be to counter
such impressive scenography. The music is by a range of contemporary
composers including Arvo Pärt.

>From 2000 and also set to a host of composers, including Handel, Bach, and
modern-day electronic artists, Anabiosis draws inspiration from a series of
essays collected in The Double Flame: Love and Eroticism, published in 1993
by Mexico's Nobel Laureate Octavio Paz. In that book, he observes that love
is our last remaining solace in an increasingly technocratic world, and with
her choreography, Pérez-Salas upholds Paz's assertion of love's
immutability. She also conveys with her work that eroticism and love are
two increasingly divergent stems whose mutual root, love, cannot be
underestimated, just as Paz writes, "Sex is the primordial source.
Eroticism and love are forms derived from the sexual instinct:
crystallizations, sublimations, perversions, and condensations which
transform sexuality." Critics and audiences repeatedly report being won
over by these mercurial choreographic touches and crystallizations made

The Hours, inspired by Michael Cunningham's 1999 hit novel of the same name,
was choreographed in 2001 and so predates the book's adaptation for film.
In keeping with the book's depiction of three women united by their
dissatisfaction but divided by decades, Pérez-Salas links the women at times
in a single ball gown, while at other times, a single figure in a massive
Victorian hoop skirt shows just how dramatic choreography can be. The Hours
is set to baroque composers (Vivaldi and Lully) and the polyphonic
Gypsy-rock of Goran Bregovic.

Still only in her early thirties, Tania Pérez-Salas, a native of Mexico
City, performed as a youngster in films, television, and theatrical
productions before beginning more intense dance studies with
Xavier Francis, a highly regarded teacher in Mexico. Since dedicating
herself to the form, she has consistently received awards for both her
choreography and physical prowess, ranging from winning the performance
component of Mexico's National Dance Competition in 1993, to three separate
two-year fellowships in choreography from Mexico's National Fund for Culture
and the Arts, that country's counterpart to the NEA. In 1994, she founded
her company, initially known as Mnemosine, after the Spanish word for the
Greek goddess of memory. In 2003, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of
Mexico's Compañía Nacional de Danza, she was commissioned to create a new
work. A key moment for Pérez-Salas was the overwhelming success of
Visitante, commissioned by the Lyon Biennale in 2002. Also, in 2002, she
was the focus of a feature-length documentary aired on Mexico's national
television network, entitled "Tania Pérez-Salas: Chronicle of Desire."
Aside from her company's one appearance in America and in Lyon, France,
Tania Pérez-Salas's work has appeared in Italy, Montreal, Barcelona, and

Free Events at the Pillow This Week
PillowTalks in Blake's Barn: Wednesday, July 12, choreographers Helanius J.
Wilkins (of Edgeworks) and Robert Moses (of Robert Moses' Kin) discuss their
projects investigating African-American heritage. Saturday, July 15, Tania
Pérez-Salas, a renowned presence on Mexico's contemporary dance scene,
discusses her two U.S. premieres here and the course of her career so far.

Inside/Out performances at 6:30pm: In a Doris Duke Studio Theatre preview on
Wednesday, July 12, San Francisco's Robert Moses' Kin performs their
director's thrilling, graceful work. Thursday, July 13, From Washington
D.C., Edgeworks Dance Theater describes the African-American experience with
thrilling power and precision, Thursday, July 13. Based in New York City,
the young dancers and directors of SYREN Modern Dance bring their
high-caliber repertory Friday, July 14. Saturday, July 15, participants in
The School's Contemporary Traditions program perform a new work by
choreographer Robert Battle to conclude their first week of study.

Ongoing Free Events include: Ted Shawn First, the first overview exhibition
ever mounted at the Pillow on the Festival's influential founder, in Blake's
Barn; Philip Trager: A Pillow Retrospective, featuring insightful images
from this master of portraiture, in the Ted Shawn Theatre lobby; Basil
Childers, with work from a rising star of the international dance
photography scene, in the Doris Duke Studio Theatre lobby; Picturing Shawn,
a survey of two-dimensional depictions of the man by diverse artists, in the
Reading Room at Blake's Barn; and the latest Highlights of the
Collection, on view in the venerable Bakalar Studio whenever rehearsals and
classes are not in session.


Jacob's Pillow is located in the town of Becket in the Berkshire Hills of
Western Massachusetts. The Pillow was originally the Carter family farm in
the 1700s, and in the 1800s served as a station on the Underground Railroad.
Its pioneering spirit was furthered in 1933, when legendary dancer, teacher,
and choreographer Ted Shawn founded the Festival as a showcase for his
company of Men Dancers and as a home for dance in the U.S.

Jacob's Pillow now encompasses an acclaimed international Festival (the
first and longest-running dance festival in the U.S.), a professional
School, rare and extensive Archives open to the public free of charge, an
Intern Program, year-round Community Programs, and a Creative Development
Residency program. The historic site includes 161 acres, 31 buildings,
three unique stages (including the first theater in the U.S. built
specifically for dance), three dance studios, exhibition spaces,
restaurants, the Pillow Store, residential housing, administrative offices,
a health center, gardens, trails, and woodlands.

The Pillow presents dance from all over the world in all forms, styles, and
traditions, plus approximately 200 free events each season, including
performances, lectures, tours, film showings, exhibits, and talks with
artists from all over the world, which attract approximately 80,000 visitors

Pillow Founder Ted Shawn was instrumental in beginning the careers of Martha
Graham and Jack Cole, and the Pillow has continued this mentoring role by
providing early opportunities to artists such as Alvin Ailey, José Limón,
and Mark Morris. Companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Parsons
Dance Company have been seen at the Pillow for the first time anywhere, and
international groups such as The Royal Danish Ballet and Nederlands Dans
Theater have made their U.S. debuts here. World premieres have been
commissioned from masters such as Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor, and
legendary artists such as Margot Fonteyn and Mikhail Baryshnikov have been
showcased in new works.

In 2003, Jacob's Pillow was declared a National Historic Landmark by the
federal government as "an exceptional cultural venue that holds value for
all Americans." It is the first and only dance entity in the U.S. to
achieve this honor. The Pillow looks forward to celebrating its 75th
anniversary in 2007, and has launched its first endowment campaign, The Fund
for Jacob's Pillow, to help ensure its eminence and longevity for others to
enjoy in years to come.

Major support for Jacob's Pillow, as of April 2006, has been provided by:
The Dana Foundation; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; Francis Alexander
Family Fund; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; The William and Flora
Hewlett Foundation; The Leir Charitable Trusts in memory of Henry J. Leir;
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Evelyn Stefansson
Nef Foundation; The William J. and Dorothy K. O'Neill Foundation; The
Prospect Hill Foundation; The Ira M. Resnick Foundation; The Ridgefield
Foundation; The Shubert Foundation, Inc.; The Starr Foundation;
Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; National Endowment for the
Arts; U.S. Department of Education; ALEX®; Altria Group, Inc.; American
Express Philanthropic Program, Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Berkshire Bank
Foundation; Canon, U.S.A., Inc.; TD Banknorth Charitable Foundation; The
Pillow Business Alliance; and Jacob's Pillow Members.

Jacob's Pillow is funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New
England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from Doris Duke
Charitable Foundation. Additional funding provided by The Ford Foundation
and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major endowment support is provided by The Barrington Foundation, Inc.; The
William Randolph Hearst Foundation; Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state
agency; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Onota Foundation; The Prospect Hill
Foundation; and the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a
collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Surdna
Foundation; and Jacob's Pillow Members.

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