CriticalDance Forum

It is currently Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:09 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Joffrey Ballet Kicks Off Cal Performances' Monthlong Tribute
PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:27 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 6883
Location: El Granada, CA, USA



A SIGHTLINES pre-performance talk will be given by dance critic
Elizabeth Zimmer,
Friday, October 5 at 7:00 at Zellerbach Hall

An array of education and community events, including a lecture and film
series, is offered in conjunction with the focus on Tharp*

BERKELEY, August 29, 2007---Fresh from celebrating its 50th
anniversary, Chicago-based *Joffrey Ballet* returns to Cal Performances
with a program of works that demonstrates its pioneering role creating
boundary-pushing new works by modern American choreographers. The
company will perform *Twyla Tharp*'s seminal /*Deuce Coupe*/, set to the
music of the *Beach Boys*; *Laura Dean*'s /*Sometimes It Snows in
April*/, part of Artistic Director Emeritus Gerald Arpino's full-length
ballet, /*Billboards*/, set to the music of *Prince*; and *Robert
Joffrey*'s sly homage to classical ballet, /*Pas des Déesses*/, which
was featured in the very first Joffrey Ballet program, set to 19th
century piano music by *John Field*, and performed here by company
pianist *Paul Lewis*.

A /*Sightlines*/ pre-performance talk with dance critic *Elizabeth
Zimmer* will take place *Friday*, *October 5*, at *7-7:30 p.m.* at
Zellerbach Hall. This /Sightlines/ event is free to all ticket holders.

The Joffrey Ballet's engagement kicks off Cal Performances' salute
to one of the true mavericks of modern dance, *Twyla Tharp*. She is a
phenomenon in American dance, merging jazz, ballet and modern dance with
a penchant for popular culture and a post-modernist flair. In
recognition of her vast influence, Cal Performances presents three
acclaimed American ballet companies, all long absent from the Bay Area,
dancing key Tharp works. In addition to the Joffrey Ballet, *Miami City
Ballet* will perform /Nine Sinatra Songs/ and /In the Upper Room/ (Oct.
26-28); and *American Ballet Theatre* dances/ Baker's Dozen/ and
/Sinatra Suite /(Nov 7-11).

Company co-founder *Robert Joffrey* commissioned /Deuce Coupe/ in
1973, revolutionizing forever the way the world views ballet. He
suggested Twyla Tharp set the piece to the Beach Boys' hit, "Little
Deuce Coupe," a paean to the burgeoning youth culture,
California-style. This was Tharp's first commission from a ballet
company, one of the very first ballet commissions to go to a modern
dance choreographer. With its edgy youthful spirit---graffiti artists
created the backdrop live on stage---/_Deuce Coupe_/ was a watershed in
contemporary ballet, establishing Tharp's reputation for daring,
avant-garde work as "one of the bona fide, boundary-stretching geniuses
of modern dance" (/The New York Times/).

/Deuce Coupe/, developed with the combined forces of Tharp's own
troupe and those of the Joffrey Ballet, now stands as the first
so-called "cross-over ballet" that put such works on the map. In a
swirl of the pop-music and dancing that makes up the bulk of /Deuce
Coupe/, a lone, female ballerina calmly goes through the ABC's of the
entire ballet vocabulary of technique from /Ailes de Pigeon /through to
/Voyagé/. Around this white-clad dancer, two tiers of more outgoing
dancers gather and perform (one in ballet's regulation toes shoes and
the other in Tharp's familiar jazz oxfords). The music's infectious
good humor and animation inspire references to the social dances of its
era: the frug, the jerk, the swim and the monkey, as well as more
formally theatrical arrangements for duets, trios and canons. With the
women in brightly colored dresses and the men in vivid, loud-print
shirts and pants, the dance evolves like a spontaneously arranged dance
party with the lone ballerina in white at its center. The original
backdrops were created live on stage by graffiti artists in the 1973
production. That practice was discontinued because of the dangerous
fumes, and the original drops were subsequently lost in the 1980s. The
Berkeley engagement will use the rarely seen recreated panels.

Joffrey Ballet co-founder *Gerald Arpino*'s 1993 anthology
/*Billboards*/ advanced the company's tradition of commissioning new
works to pop music. /Billboards/, a full-length ballet set to music by
*Prince*, provides the frame for *Laura Dean*'s /*Sometimes It Snows in
April*/. Her choreography and Prince's propulsive music are joined in a
dynamic and elegant mix of rock 'n classical dance. Dean approaches
Prince's varied music in a distinctive way, applying her trademark
repetition and complex patterning to build to a powerhouse conclusion
that sends a large ensemble leaping, spinning and displaying its
flashiest moves to the point of high tension and exhaustion. It's a
fascinating gloss on the grand finales of classical ballets, and thus
brings this Joffrey bill full cycle in its exploration of ballet and the
pop world.

The program's third work, Joffrey's 1953 /*Pas des Déesses*/,
engages a modern sensibility to look back with gentle irony at the
ballet traditions of the 19th century, specifically at the way the prima
ballerina was held in worshipful esteem, often captured
(pre-photography) in idealized lithographs and prints. Joffrey
unleashes the static ballerinas of Jacques Bouvier's well-known 1846
lithograph titled /Pas des Déesse/, breathing life into its idealized
images. The dance is set to solo piano music by 19th century composer
John Field performed live by Joffrey company pianist Paul Lewis

Each of the works on the Cal Performances' program makes conscious
and affectionate reference to the traditions of classical ballet while
championing the new, offering a path for the continuing evolution of the
ballet idiom. In its embrace of the past while forging the future, the
Joffrey can be considered the quintessential American ballet company.

*Robert Joffrey* and *Gerald Arpino*'s uniquely American vision of
dance first took form in 1956. Co-founders of the Joffrey Ballet, the
original company consisted of six dynamic and highly individual
dancers. While Joffrey stayed in New York to teach ballet classes and
earn money to pay the dancers' salaries, Arpino led the troupe across
America's heartland---every night a different venue---in a station wagon
that pulled a U-Haul trailer. Their repertoire of original ballets by
Joffrey set them apart from other small touring companies, which often
performed scaled-down versions of the classics.

The ensemble's first performance in a major city as the Joffrey
Ballet occurred in Chicago in 1957 during a terrible snowstorm which
fortunately did not dampen spirits. The company was the first to tour
the Soviet Union and the first to perform at the White House. The
Joffrey Ballet had originally settled down in New York City, where The
Joffrey Ballet School still resides, but it was Chicago they ultimately
returned to in 1995 to establish their permanent residence.

With Joffrey's death in 1988, Arpino became the Artistic Director
and remained in that position until recently stepping down. Currently,
*Cameron Basden*, longtime Joffrey company member and personally
selected by Joffrey and Arpino, leads the company. The Joffrey Ballet
boasts 46 dancers, and performs its regular October-May season at the
Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, as well as
domestic and international tour dates throughout the year. One of the
foremost companies in the world, the company regularly performs full
length ballets such as /Giselle/ and /The Nutcracker/, while balancing
those classics with modern dance pieces choreographed by stellar
individuals such as Alvin Ailey, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp
and George Balanchine, among many others, including, of course, founders
Robert Joffrey and the prolific Gerald Arpino. In January 2008, The
Joffrey Ballet is scheduled to take possession of its new permanent home
in downtown Chicago.

*Twyla Tharp* began dance classes when she was four, and soon was
studying every kind of dance available: ballet, tap, jazz and modern.
Tharp attended Barnard College in New York City, where she was able to
study concurrently at the American Ballet Theatre School with most of
the great masters of modern dance: Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Paul
Taylor and Erick Hawkins. Graduating with an art history degree, she
resolved to make a career in dance. She joined the Paul Taylor Dance
Company in 1963, but left to start her own group in 1965.

Tharp's work combines a classical discipline and rigor with
avant-garde iconoclasm, her ballet technique making use of natural
movements like running, walking and skipping. If modern dance is
supposed to be serious and spiritual, hers is humorous and edgy, dynamic
and unpredictable. Tharp and many of her dancers have been invited to
collaborate and perform with the major ballet companies, first the
Joffrey Ballet with her /Deuce Coupe/, /As Time Goes By / and /Sue's
Leg/ (to music of Fats Waller) then American Ballet Theatre, where
Mikhail Baryshnikov danced the lead role in her /Push Comes to Shove/,
which juxtaposed variations by Mozart with rags by Scott Joplin. Her
autobiography, /Push Comes to Shove/, was published in 1992. In the
same year, she received a MacArthur Fellowship, one of its so-called
genius grants. She continues to work with the world's great ballet
companies and to choreograph and direct for film and television.

In addition to performances of works by Twyla Tharp by the Joffrey
Ballet, Miami City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre, Cal Performances
has arranged a variety of related community and campus events. The
Osher Long Life Institute (OLLI), an organization on the UC Berkeley
campus that provides courses for community members aged 50 and over,
offers a fall course titled *Tharp's Impact on American Dance* that
features a series of lectures by dance critics and authors, including
*Elizabeth Zimmer*, former senior editor at the /Village Voice/ (Oct.
4); *Janice Ross*, Associate Professor at Stanford (Oct. 25); and
*Marcia Siegel*, Tharp biographer and dance critic for the /Boston
Phoenix/ (Nov. 8). The class includes discounted tickets to
performances by the three companies. A film series titled *Twyla
Tharp's Choreography* in Film will be held at Wheeler Auditorium and
includes screenings of four films /Hair/ (Oct. 9); /Ragtime/ (Oct. 16);
/Amadeus/ (Director's Cut) (Oct. 23); and /White Nights/ (Nov. 14).

Marcia Siegel, whose book on Tharp is titled /Howling Near Heaven:
Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance/ (2006), will make a
second appearance on campus when she gives a lecture on Tharp's work;
this event is co-sponsored by The Faculty Club and the Department of
Theater, Dance & Performance Studies (DTPS) (Nov. 9). Lastly, DTPS is
reconstructing one of Tharp's quintessential post-modern work,
*/Torelli/* (1976) with UC Berkeley dance students directed by Lisa
Wymore and Shannon Jackson; the production also includes choreography by
Jess Curtis, Kim Epifano and Ariel Osterweis Scott (April 18-27). All
of the events are made possible in part by Consortium for the Arts at UC

Tickets for the *Joffrey Ballet* on *Thursday* and *Friday*,
*October 4 *and *5* at *8:00 p.m.*; and *Saturday*, *October 6* at *2:00
p.m.* and *8:00 p.m.* at Zellerbach Hall are priced at *$34.00*,
*$52.00*, *$76.00* and *$90.00*. Tickets are available through the Cal
Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to
charge by phone; at; and at the door.
Half-price tickets are available for purchase by UC Berkeley students.
UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni
Association members receive a $5 discount (Special Events excluded).
For more information, call Cal Performances at (510) 642-9988, or visit
the Cal Performances web site at

For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student,
faculty and staff, senior and community rush tickets. Rush tickets are
announced two hours prior to a performance and are available in person
only at the Ticket Office beginning one hour before the performance;
quantities may be limited. Rush ticket sales are limited to one ticket
per person; all sales are cash only. Rush ticket prices are $10.00 for
UCB students; $15.00 for UCB faculty and staff (UCB ID required) and
seniors age 65 or older; and $20.00 for all other community members.
Information is available at 510-642-9988, press 2 for the rush hotline,
two hours prior to a performance only.

# # #

Cal Performances 2007/08 season is sponsored by Wells Fargo.

Classical 102.1 KDFC and are 2007/08 season media

# # #

Friday, October 5 from 7-7:30 p.m.

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave, Berkeley


A Sightlines pre-performance talk will be given by dance critic
Elizabeth Zimmer. Sightlines is a continuing program of pre- and
post-performance discussions with Cal Performances' guest artists and
scholars, designed to enrich the audience's experience. These events
are free to ticket holders.

# # #

Thursday & Friday, October 4 & 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 6 at 2:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.

Zellerbach Hall, UC Berkeley Campus
Bancroft Way at Telegraph Ave, Berkeley

Dance Series: Focus on Twyla Tharp
Joffrey Ballet
Twyla Tharp, choreographer
Robert Joffrey, choreographer
Laura Dean, choreographer
The Beach Boys, composer
Prince, composer
John Ford, composer
Paul Lewis, pianist

/Deuce Coup/ (1973): music by The Beach Boys; choreography by Twyla Tharp
/Sometimes It Snows in April /(1993) from Gerald Arpino's Billboards:
music by Prince, choreography by Laura Dean
/Pas des Déesses/ (1954): music by John Field; choreography by Robert

Tickets: $34.00, $52.00, $76.00 and $90.00, available through the Cal
Performances Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988 to
charge by phone; at; and at the door.

# # #


Thursday, October 4 & 25 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 8 from 1:45-3:00 p.m.

Osher Life Long Learning Institute
Alumni House, UC Berkeley Campus


A class titled Tharp's Impact on American Dance is offered by the Osher
Lifelong Learning Institute. Designed for participants aged 50 and
above, it features a series of lectures by dance critics and authors and
discounted tickets to performances by the Joffrey Ballet, Miami City
Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. For more information go to or call 510-642-9934. Pre-registration is required.

# # #

Tuesday, October 9, 16, 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Telegraph at Bancroft Ave., Berkeley

The film series titled Twyla Tharp's Choreography in Film includes Hair
(Oct. 9), Ragtime (Oct. 16), Amadeus (Director's Cut) (Oct. 23) and
White Nights (Nov. 14).

Tickets: $3.00, available at the door.

# # #

Friday, November 9 from 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Faculty Club, Great Hall, UCB Campus
College at Bancroft Way, Berkeley


A talk by Marcia Siegel, Boston Phoenix dance journalist and author of
Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance.
This event is presented by Cal Performances in association with The
Faculty Club and the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance
Studies. For further information go to or
call 510-642-9925.

# # #

Friday & Saturday, April 18 & 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday, April 25 & 26 at 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 20 & 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Zellerbach Playhouse, UCB Campus
Dana at Bancroft Way, Berkeley

Berkeley Dance Project

Produced by the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies,
Twyla Tharp's quintessential post-modern work, Torelli (1976) is
reconstructed with UC Berkeley dance students in a program directed by
Lisa Wymore and Shannon Jackson, which also includes choreography by
Jess Curtis, Kim Epifano, and Ariel Osterweis Scott. For tickets and
additional program information, call 510.642.9925 or go to

Images can be found at: ... 708/dance/


Christina Kellogg 510.643.6714

Joe Yang 510.642.9121

Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group