Pointe of Departure
Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance and Vicky Virgin
“Two Distinct Feminine Voices in Contemporary Ballet”
WHERE: Baryshnikov Art Center’s Howard Gilman Performance Space
450 W 37th Street between 9th and 10th Ave, Studio 4A (Subway: A, C to 34th St)
WHEN: Saturday, June 27th at 8:00pm
Sunday, June 28th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm
TICKETS: For tickets call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or go to www.SmartTix.com
$20 general admission, $12 students
Contemporary ballet choreographers Vicky Virgin and Cherylyn Lavagnino will share a NYC Season entitled “Pointe of Departure” at Baryshnikov Arts Center on June 27th at 8:00pm and June 28th at 7:00pm, with a 2:00pm matinee. Vicky Virgin will present her 2007 ballet titled Salt Lake, the Ballet and Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance will present two world premieres in addition to her 2008 ballet Facets.
As a shared Season “Pointe of Departure” will focus on how Virgin and Lavagnino, two choreographers who are stylistically very different, take on the genre of contemporary ballet. Lavagnino’s style is distinctively modern and lyrical while Virgin’s is theatrical and experimental. In a field dominated by male choreographers these women will present two important feminine interpretations of the art of contemporary ballet.
In Virgin’s Salt Lake, the Ballet, story ballet converges with performance art to provide the platform for Fleur de Sel, a creature obsessed with salt. She is joined by three salt nymphs and together they journey through a dangerous terrain of passion and despair. Virgin’s choreography crisscrosses over and through the disciplines of theater, performance art, and classical ballet. Salt Lake, the Ballet is choreographed and performed by Vicky Virgin with theatrical direction by Űmit Cēlebi. The three salt nymphs are danced by Stephanie Oakes, Rie Ogura, and Elena Zahlmann. Fritz Masten designed the costumes and filmmaker Trent Harris directed the film of the Great Salt Lake in Utah in all of its eerie beauty. Music direction is by Michelle Kinney through her cello duo with Jacqueline Ultan, Jelloslave, and with guitarist Jason Crigler.
Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance’s portion of the program will feature three ballets, two of which will be world premieres. The first premiere, Between Four, will be performed to the Haendel-Helvorsen “Pasacaglia” for violin and cello, which will be played live by Jane Chung and Tawnya Popoff of the Mosaic String Quartet. The choreography will explore the interplay of the two string voices with quick, technical footwork, ample movement, and quirky partnering to reflect the pull and bounce of the music and individual qualities of each dancer.
The second premiere, currently untitled, will be set to Johan Sebastian Bach’s “Ciaconne” for solo violin, again performed live by Jane Chung. The choreography will juxtapose two male/female duets responding to the severe intensity of the music with angular, taut movement, and a cool, internally driven performance quality.
The 2008 ballet Facets will be the final piece on the program for Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Created during a Company Residency at The Yard to a voluptuous score by Zöe Keating, the piece is a full-bodied and exuberant study of space and partnering with a truly contemporary aesthetic.
Vicky Virgin (Choreographer) has been creating dance theater performances for over ten years. Her work has evolved from solo dance to large-scale productions, blending text, video, accordion, slide shows, bagpipes, dancers, actors, and musicians. She is intrigued by the interplay of form and content and the resulting challenge of how to organically integrate movement with other theatrical elements.
Her work has been produced by HERE and FringeNYC in New York as well as Newsteps at the Mulberry Street Theater, Crossing Boundaries at Dixon Place, an empty swimming pool for Dance/NYC, a storefront window as part of the OASIS summer festival produced by Chashama, and an installation in an old department store’s dressing room in lower Manhattan. She has also been presented by Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, MN. Funding has come from LMCC, with additional support from the Salt Institute and Realsalt from Redmond Utah.
Virgin’s choreographic work was preceded by a career as a professional ballet dancer. She has danced with the companies of New York Theatre Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Ballet de Montreal and D. C. City Ballet. Her performing experience includes modern dance, musical theater, opera, folk dance and film. She was a member of the experimental theater groups, Cannon Company of New York and Impossible Theater of Baltimore where she served as both performer and choreographer. Virgin holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and works as a demographic analyst for the City of New York. She lives in New York with her husband and thirteen year old son.
Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance is a New York City based contemporary ballet company formed in 2000 as a platform for the choreography of Cherylyn Lavagnino. The company’s mission is to excite dance audiences through the medium of classical ballet while expressing the immediacy and humanity of post-modern contemporary dance. Lavagnino’s choreography requires both traditional technical expertise and the spare, honest performance quality of post-modern dance. She uses the physically limiting state of dancing “en pointe” to access extreme aspects of the human condition, such as aggression, fragility, or tension. Using this exaggeration of the classical ballet form, her choreography creates a passionate display of the ever-shifting nature of our emotions and interactions.
The company has been presented for four NYC Seasons by Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church and has performed at The Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, DanceNow/NYC Festival, The Joyce Theater’s “Evening Stars” series in Battery Park, Symphony Space’s “Dance Sampler”, and three times at Inside/Out at Jacob’s Pillow. They have received funding from the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance award and the LMCC Manhattan Creative Communities Fund.
Cherylyn Lavagnino (Artistic Director/Choreographer) has an MFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a BA in Philosophy from USC. Lavagnino toured nationally as a soloist with the Pennsylvania Ballet, performing at New York’s City Center and at BAM. Her merits as a performer include work with the San Diego Ballet, Arizona Ballet Theatre, and Ballet Teatro del Espacio in Mexico City.
Lavagnino has created over thirty works in the past fifteen years, and since 2000 the platform for her choreography has been Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance. Many of those works were created in collaboration with composers Scott Killian and Andy Teirstein, and she regularly incorporates the performance of live music into her performances. Lavagnino is a recipient of the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation’s award for choreography and of a space grant residency from the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Most recently she completed a commission from Princeton College to create a new ballet.
Lavagnino is currently serving as Chair of the Dance Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has been a full-time member of the NYU faculty since 1987 and has directed Tisch’s Second Avenue Dance Company for 14 years. She teaches professional ballet locally in NYC and internationally at venues including the Paul Taylor Intensive (NYC), Bates Dance Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and daily company class for the Lyon Opera Ballet. In recognition of her superior work, Lavagnino won New York University’s prestigious David Payne Carter Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2003.