Supported by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, the gatherings provide an opportunity for Latino artists residing in non-metropolitan New York State to come together to discuss issues and solve common problems. March’s theme will be “Challenges and Opportunities for Traditional Artists in Rural New York”, and we will hear of some of the current initiatives being tried to link artists across distances.
The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY has announced the second in a series of three “Summer Dance Saturdays” featuring Iroquois social dance groups. This Saturday, July 31, will feature the Haudenosaunee Dancers from Onondaga. The group will perform three sets at approximately 11, 1, and 3. Visitors are encouraged and welcomed to join in with the dancers.
Led by Sherri Waterman Hopper, the Haudenosaunee Dancers will perform Iroquois social dances as practiced in their small traditional community near Syracuse. Waterman-Hopper has traveled internationally as an artist and cultural speaker.
The Dancers feature a core group of seasoned singer/musicians and young adults. Pride in the culture and adherence to the traditions are the hallmarks of this troupe. Hopper is also a respected designer and seamstress who incorporates her knowledge of the construction and significance of traditional outfits into her presentations.
For more information contact the Museum at: Iroquois Indian Museum, P.O. Box 7, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave, NY 12092, 518-296-8949, [email protected] or visit their web site at www.iroquoismuseum.org.
The Iroquois Indian Museum is proud to present a weekend Dance Festival on July 11 and 12, 2009. This two-day event will feature international dancers as well as Iroquois Social Dance performers. On Saturday, July 11th the dance groups will include St.Adalbert’s Polish Dancers, St. Sophia’s Greek Dancers and the Irish dancers Iona Troupe. Each group will perform for approximately 45 minutes beginning at noon. The Iroquois Dancers, Alan Brant and Family, Mohawk from Tyendinaga, will also perform. The Brant Family are returning again by request and, as is the tradition, they will be teaching Iroquois Social Dance to all who wish to participate.
On Sunday the Iroquois Indian Museum will feature two award winning DVD’s: Maria Tallchief at 1:00pm and Jock Soto at 3:00. Both DVD’s compliment the Museum’s current exhibit “Native Americans in the Performing Arts: From Ballet to Rock & Roll. The Mohawk Dancers will perform throughout the day on Sunday as well.
Photo: Alan Brant, leader of the Mohawk Dancers from Tyendinaga.
The Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY has announced the opening of their 2009 exhibition: “Native Americans in the Performing Arts: From Ballet to Rock and Roll.” America’s first Prima Ballerina, Maria Tallchief- Grammy winning singer/songwriter, Joanne Shenandoah- founding member of the Village People, Felipe Rose- and legendary Rock musician, Robbie Robertson are a few of the Native American performers featured in this dynamic new exhibition.
According to the exhibit announcement: Native American performing artists are an integral part of the growth of popular music and dance in America. Many Native musicians and dancers rank with the most notable and recognizable of popular performers. In classical, country, opera, and rock music and in vaudeville, ballet and modern dance, Native American performing artists often have been the innovators and the inspiration to other performers. In addition to the numerous contemporary Native performers, the exhibition honors some of the groundbreaking artists who starred in the early Wild West Shows and traveled the world performing with orchestras, operas and vaudeville productions. We also explore the rich
history of traditional Iroquois song and dance.
The exhibition runs from April 1 to December 31. A free opening reception and party will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 3 to 6 pm. As part of the exhibition, the Museum will present “Saturday Matinees” on the first Saturday of every month, featuring films and documentaries on many of the featured performers. For more information contact the Museum at: Iroquois Indian Museum, P.O. Box 7, 324 Caverns Road, Howes Cave, NY 12092, 518-296-8949, [email protected] or visit our web site at www.iroquoismuseum.org
Shortly after the assassination of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Arthur Mitchell was inspired to start a ballet school that would offer African American and Latino children — especially those in Harlem, the community in which he was born — the opportunity to study dance and the allied arts. In 1969, a year later, Mitchell and Karel Shook, founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) which the New York Times called “one of ballet’s most exciting undertakings”. Now in its fourth decade, DTH has grown into a multi-cultural dance institution and national treasure. Armed with an extraordinary legacy of training exceptional artists, DTH continues to set the standard for artistic excellence in the performing arts.
Through a rich and colorful mix of spectacular costumes, stage props, posters, programs, intimate photographs and video recordings, Dance Theatre of Harlem: 40 Years of Firsts traces the history of the company, its community outreach, renowned productions and cast of legendary dancers, fans and supporters. The free exhibition is on display in the Vincent Astor Gallery of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, February 11 through May 9, 2009. The Library is also presenting related free public programs at the Library for the Performing Arts and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
In a time when black dancers were all but invisible in mainstream ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, brought ballet to the neighborhood and black dancers to the main stage. Since its inception the company has continued to cross social and geographic barriers by introducing the ballet world to a Creole Giselle, inviting audiences to a Caribbean wedding in Dougla, bringing black dancers to the international stage through programs such as Dancing Through Barriers® and bringing ballet to Harlem with education and community outreach.
Many of the stories behind the achievements of the company were artfully documented in photographs by Martha Swope, Marbeth and others. Those on display include photos of guests such as Hillary Clinton and Congressman Charles Rangel attending the company’s monthly open houses where performers of all arts and from other organizations showcase their talents to captivated audiences seated on folding chairs and sometimes on the floor.
One of the centerpieces of the show is an eight-foot-long three-dimensional puzzle that took artist Frank Bara two years to create. Completed in 1989, it was commissioned by Arthur Mitchell to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. Each layer of the puzzle, crafted entirely from wood, depicts a different aspect of the company’s first two decades in intricate detail, from ballet casts and music to floor plans and blueprints.
From the ceiling of the gallery hang original character costumes such as Firebird’s firebird and monster created by Geoffrey Holder and the wedding canopy from Dougla. Also on display are examples of tights and pointe shoes illustrating Mr. Mitchell’s ground-breaking insistence that they be dyed to match each dancer’s skin tones. Pictures from Footprints in Red document the stunning costumes designed by Salvatore Ferragamo, which needed to be such a specific blue that craftsmen were flown from Italy to Harlem to dye them just the right shade.
There are also many photographs that show rehearsals in churches and other borrowed spaces that were used before Dance Theatre of Harlem had a home of its own. Other pictures document the world-wide appeal of the company’s talent and show its famous fans like Nelson Mandela after a performance in South Africa and Princess Diana back stage in London.
Dance Theatre of Harlem’s dedication to dance and community has inspired support from a wide range of renowned figures from the world of dance. On view are pictures of candid moments in master classes being taught by such prominent dancers as Rosella Hightower and Carmen de Lavallade- William Dollar, who is coaching young ballerinas for Combat- Alexandra Danilova and Joseph Wyatt who are shown rehearsing Paquita- and Gregory Hines who is pictured tapping with children from the DTH school.
Throughout the gallery, cases exhibit show programs and tour materials including the Australian tour scrapbook that contains newspaper clips from the local press punctuated by negative stereotypes less commonly found in press coverage from the United States.
Also on view are a series of film clips including performances of Giselle and Streetcar Named Desire and a compilation of interviews with those close to the Dance Theatre of Harlem and press coverage the company has received over the years.
Free Public Programs Related to the Exhibition at the Library for the Performing Arts:
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
Inspired by a Dream: The Dance Theatre of Harlem Story
Panel moderated by Anna Kisselgoff. With Robert Garland, Virginia Johnson and others.
Thursday, March 12, 2009, 3:00 p.m.
Dance Theatre of Harlem: Classically American
Panel moderated by Alastair Macaulay. With Frederic Franklin, Lorraine Graves, Suzanne Farrell, and others.
Thursday, March 12, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
The Stories I Could Tell: Arthur Mitchell at 75
The Founding Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem in Conversation
with Robert Greskovic.
Thursday, May 7, 5:30 p.m.
African American Choreographers
Panel discussion on making work for Dance Theatre of Harlem
Free Public Programs Related to the Exhibition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Thursday, April 16, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Where are the Black Swans?
A panel discussion.