New York Theatre Ballet presents LIFT Lab Live at St. Marks’s Church-in-the-Bowery
April 7 – May 1, 2021
New York Theatre Ballet presents the second installment of LIFT Lab Live, an in-house live performance series created in the fall, that provides emerging and established choreographers with a safe space to create and offers audiences a safe space to experience live music and live performances of new choreography. LIFT Lab Live will take place from April 7-May 1, 2021 at St. Marks’s Church-in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street (entrance on 11th Street), 2nd floor, with performances on Wednesdays & Fridays at 8pm and Saturdays at 7pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, available at https://nytb.org/calendar-and-tickets/view/SPRING-LIFT-LAB-LIVE/. Tickets must be purchased in advance online and will not be sold at the door.
Choreographers and Composers (3-4 per program date)
Richard Alston / J. S. Bach
Claire Davison / Erik Satie
Sonia Dawkins / tbd
Julian Donahue / Zenobia Powell Perry
Nicolo Fonte / tbd
Clove Galilee / tbd
Jennifer Goggans / Kelly Moran
José Limón / Frédéric Chopin
Marco Pelle / Felix Mendelssohn
Amanda Treiber / Ryan Anthony Francis
Jean Volpe / Pyotr Tchaikovsky
William Whitener / Enrique Granados
James Whiteside / tbd
ALL PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Audience will be limited to 10 guests per performance to allow for proper social distancing. NYTB utilizes hospital grade IQAir filters, seats will be separated by clear partitions, and doors and windows will remain open for added ventilation. Masks are required to be worn at all times by everyone, including dancers. Each performance will run approximately 45 minutes with no intermission. Please make sure to arrive on time. Guests will not be admitted once the performance begins.
DIANA BYER, FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Diana Byer is the founder and Artistic Director of New York Theatre Ballet and Ballet School NY. She is a répétiteur for The Antony Tudor Trust, a member of the Board of Directors of the Dance Notation Bureau, an Education Ambassador for The New York Pops, on the Dance Portal Advisory Board of The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, and on the Selection Committees of The Bessies and Clive Barnes Awards. She has staged the ballets of Antony Tudor for American Ballet Theatre and The Hartt School and the ballets of Agnes de Mille for the Alabama Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She coached the principals for the Columbia Pictures film, Center Stage.
ABOUT NEW YORK THEATRE BALLET
With its ever-expanding repertory, NYTB’s cutting-edge programming brings fresh insight to classic revivals paired with the modern sensibilities of both established and up-and-coming choreographers. For over 40 years NYTB’s diversity in repertory explores the past while boldly taking risks on the future.
ABOUT THE CHOREOGRAPHERS
Sir Richard Alston, knighted in the 2019 Honours, choreographed his first work in 1968. He went on to choreograph for Robert Cohan’s London Contemporary Dance Theatre before forming Britain’s first independent dance company, Strider, in 1972. In 1975 he came to New York to study for two years. His teachers included Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Brown, Viola Farber, Valda Setterfield, Gus Solomons Jr. and Alfredo Corvino. On his return to Europe, he worked internationally as choreographer and teacher. In 1980 he was appointed Resident Choreographer of Ballet Rambert, becoming the company’s Artistic Director from 1986-1992. During his time there he created 25 works for Rambert, besides being commissioned to create works for the Royal Danish Ballet (Dances from the Kingdom of Pagodas, 1982) and the Royal Ballet (Midsummer, 1983). As Artistic Director of Rambert, he commissioned work from Merce Cunningham (Touchbase, 1991); Lucinda Childs (Four Elements, 1988, designed by the painter Jennifer Bartlett); and David Gordon (Mates, 1987). In the repertoire also were Antony Tudor’s Dark Elegies, Merce Cunningham’s Septet and Doubles, and Frederick Ashton’s Capriol Suite. In 1994 he formed his own company, where he took up the post of Artistic Director of The Place. Over the past 24 years, Alston has made over 37 pieces for his company. He made his first commissioned work for New York Theatre Ballet, A Rugged Flourish, in 2011 and his second The Seasons. He has also remounted Light Flooding into Darkened Rooms, Such Longing, and Small Sonata for NYTB.
Claire Davison was born in Boulder, Colorado. She received her initial ballet training at the Boulder Ballet School and later went on to join the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre in 2010. Davison joined ABT as an apprentice in November 2012 and the corps de ballet in June 2013. She has created roles in multiple ABT productions as well as reprised many roles in the full-length classics. Davison was a selected choreographer for ABT’s Innovation Initiative in 2014 and the”Incubator” choreographic workshop in 2019. In 2018, Davison created the one act ballet, “One of Us,” in collaboration with The Boulder Ballet and composer Paul Fowler. She has toured with Twyla Tharp Dance and appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Aside from ballet, Davison is an actor, clown, improviser, and film maker based in Brooklyn.
Sonia Dawkins, founder and artistic director of Sonia Dawkins|Prism Dance Theatre, is a graduate of The University of the Arts and earned a Master’s in Dance/Kinesiology & Choreography from SUNY Brockport. Ms. Dawkins has been a faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle (the first African American female teacher, 12 1⁄2 years) and Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington D.C. She has also been an Artist-in Residence at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre School; University North Carolina School of the Arts; University of Oklahoma; Cincinnati Ballet School; and Jones – Haywood Dance School. She has performed extensively with choreographers and companies in the United States and the National Dance Company of Jamaica. Her national and international choreography credits include: Village Theatre (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, My Heart Is the Drum); Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Goodman Theatre (Pullman Porter Blues); Seattle Repertory Theatre (Three Musketeers, Brother Size, The Breach); Seattle Children’s Theatre; Pacific Northwest Ballet; Nevada Ballet; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater School; Seattle Theatre Group (Dance This); and at the children’s musical theatre, Broadway Bound ( 13 the Musical, Bye Bye Birdie, God Lives in Glass). She choreographed her dancers to perform at the Northwest Tap Connection; Iliev Foundation at the Bulgaria Dance Festival and the Mexico International Festival. At Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, she choreographed for PNB Ripple Mechanic and choreographed and coached winning participants in the Youth Grand Prix and the Young Arts Recognition. Ms. Dawkins has received the Gypsy Rose Lee Award for choreography for Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, 2019, Brother Size, 2011, and was nominated for the same award for Pullman Porter Blues, 2012. A recipient of the New Directors Choreography Lab from Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, Sonia Dawkins has been selected to present a new musical at the New York Theatre Barn. She has served on the faculty of Ballet Academy East, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet summer intensives, as choreographer and faculty at SLK Ballet, and is very honored to have choreographed a world premier ballet on PHILADANCO, Pieces of My Heart, based on unpublished poetry by August Wilson. SD|Prism has presented workshops at dance schools in Barcelona, 2017-2019, at Studio Harmonica in France, 2017, and served as a Judge for the World Cup Dance Competition in 2019. Presently, a guest choreographer for Taratibu Youth Association and producing two SD|Prism productions, Sonia Dawkins will be choreographing for Seattle Opera 2021.
Julian Donahue graduated in 2019 with a BA in dance and political science from Hofstra University. Prior, he trained at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre and at Manhattan Youth Ballet. At JKO, Julian was the second ever recipient of the David Hallberg Scholarship. He joined New York Theatre Ballet for their production of Cinderella in the spring of 2019 and joined the Company for the 2019-2020 season. At NYTB, Julian has performed work by Richard Alston, Antonia Fransceschi, Margo Sappington, Pam Tanowitz. As a student, Julian performed works by Adam Barruch, Robin Becker, Sean Curran, David Parker, Frederick Earl Mosley, Eleo Pomare, and Larry Keigwin. At Hofstra, Julian showcased choreography in Student Repertory showcases seven times, twice at the Intercollege Choreography Showing hosted by David Parker, and at the American College Dance Association Conference. Julian taught dance to adults with disabilities at Hofstra, bringing the joy of creative dance to differently abled students. Julian also studies Baroque dance and performs with the New York Baroque Dance Company. Outside of the dance world, Julian co-founded a voting rights initiative on Long Island aimed at expanding democracy in the community where he grew up.
Choreographer Nicolo Fonte is known for his unique movement language as well as the highly developed fusion of ideas, dance and design that is a hallmark of his work. A first generation American, Fonte- whose parents emigrated to the US from Argentina, started dancing at the age of 14. He studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet and also completed a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase. His dance career took him from Peridance in NYC, to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and, ultimately to Nacho Duato’s Compañia Nacional de Danza in Madrid. Mr. Fonte received a Choo San Goh award for Almost Tango, his 2002 choreography for Pacific Northwest Ballet. Almost Tango was also voted as one of Dance Europe’s “Best Premiere’s” when it was re-staged for The Australian Ballet in 2004. His very first full-length work Re: Tchaikovsky, created for The Gothenburg Ballet in 2005, appeared on the “Best of 2005” lists of both Ballett-Tanz and Dance Europe. Since that time, Fonte has created an additional two full-evening works, both for BalletX (Philadelphia): Beautiful Decay (2013), and Beasts (2015). Fonte’s choreography has been performed by companies large and small all over the globe – from Het National Ballet in Amsterdam to the National Dance Company of El Salvador. In addition to his three original full-length ballets, re-invigorated versions of classic scores, and extraordinary collaborations with artists across many disciplines are all well represented in Mr. Fonte’s work over the past twenty years. From 2002 to 2006 Nicolo enjoyed an ongoing creative partnership with The Gothenburg Ballet in Sweden and has been an important contributor to the repertories of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and BalletX in Philadelphia. He is currently the Resident Choreographer for both Ballet West, in Salt Lake City, and Oregon Ballet Theatre, in Portland and has contributed numerous successful works to the repertory of both of these acclaimed ensembles.
Clove Galilee is co-artistic director of her theater company Trick Saddle and an artistic associate with Mabou Mines. Her work has been presented in New York at P.S. 122, the Public Theater, The Performing Garage, Arts at Saint Ann’s, The Flea, P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art / MOMA, The Skirball Center, HERE Center for the Arts, and St. Ann’s Warehouse. She has been an artist-in-residence at U.C. Santa Cruz, BARD College, Voice and Vision, Mabou Mines/Suite RAP, and HERE Art Center. Clove is a TCG New Generations Fellow, a Princess Grace Foundation-USA Fellowship recipient, a Princess Grace Special Projects award recipient, and a Jerome Robbins Grant recipient. Her work is supported by the Princess Grace Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, the NYFA Emerging Artists Fiscal Sponsorship Program and the New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Commissions. Performance credits include The Tempest at the Delacorte in Central Park, Alice Tuan’s, The Roaring Girle with Foundry Theater, Lear, Ecco Porco, Animal Magnetism (Cherie Obey) and Young Lucia Joyce in Cara Lucia with Mabou Mines. Film credits include Contemplating Emily (as Emily Dickinson), Clifford Odets, Dead End Kids, and In Love Again.
Her company with co-artistic director Jenny Rogers, created and produced Trick Saddle at PS 122 and as a site-specific piece at a Drive-In in Central Pennsylvania. The company’s following piece, WICKETS, played to sold-out crowds at 3LD in 2009. WICKETS, a radical adaptation of Maria Irene Fornes’ Fefu and Her Friends was set in an airplane at 30,000 feet and performed by 1970’s stewardesses. Clove produced, co-directed and choreographed WICKETS. Other collaborations include the choreography for and starring role in Red Beads with Lee Breuer, Ushio Torikai and Basil Twist at the Skirball Center in NYC and choreography commission with New York Theatre Ballet for a ballet of James Joyce’s The Dead. Ms. Galilee also choreographed The Libation Bearers in collaboration with Jenny Rogers, Lee Breuer and Theater Armadillo in Athens, Greece for the Patras Festival. The cast of 27 performed and danced the play on a huge sand painting designed and developed by Ms. Rogers. In California, Clove is part of the ATLAS program with Theater Bay Area in San Francisco and plays the title character, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, in Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson in the SF Bay Area. Clove was the assistant director and producer for Jenny Rogers’ Perfect Surf (2012), a dance film that takes place in the largest wind tunnel in the world. In 2010 she collaborated with Ruth Maleczech, Julie Archer and Valeria Vasilewski on Imagining the Imaginary Invalid at Mabou Mines studio. They had two showings, in July 2012 at Mabou Mines ToroNada Studio and July 2013 at La Mama but never completed the project– (This was Ruth’s last performance before she passed away on September 30, 2013). In January 2016, Clove directed and choreographed the final production of Imagining the Imaginary Invalid at La Mama’s Ellen Stewart Theater. The play was co-produced by her theater company, Trick Saddle, Mabou Mines, and La Mama ETC.
Jennifer Goggans, a Kentucky native, holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and performed as a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for 12 years. She was the Assistant to the Director of Choreography during the company’s final Legacy Tour. She has taught Cunningham Technique® classes and staged his works across the globe, notably, the Paris Opera Ballet, the Lyon Opera Ballet, the Bayerisches Staatsballet, L.A. Dance Project, the Stephen Petronio Company and the Juilliard School. Goggans has performed with the Louisville Ballet, MOMIX, Chantal Yzermans, Christopher Williams and has appeared as a guest artist with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She also studied fashion design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and has created costumes for Tere O’Connor and RoseAnne Spradlin. Goggans acted as both the Director of Choreography and a performer in Alla Kovgan’s 3D documentary film, Cunningham, which premiered in 2019. Currently, she is the Program Coordinator for the Merce Cunningham Trust.
José Limón (1908-1972) was born in Culiacan, Mexico in 1908. When he was seven, his family moved to Arizona and later to Los Angeles. In 1928, after a year at UCLA as an art major, Limón moved to New York to continue his art studies. It was there that he saw his first dance concert – one by German expressionists Harald Kreutzberg and Yvonne Georgi – which changed his life. Limón enrolled in the dance school of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, and between 1930 and 1940 performed in most of their works. During this period he also began to choreograph, and formed a small concert group. In addition, Limón danced in and choreographed several Broadway productions. In 1946, with Doris Humphrey as his artistic director, Limón collected a small group of dancers and formed his own company. During the ensuing years, many of his works were recognized as masterpieces and his company grew in size and stature, becoming the first group to tour abroad under the auspices of the State Department’s Cultural Exchange Program. Limón performed several times at the White House, and was the recipient of numerous commissions, awards and honorary doctorates. During his lifetime, Limón choreographed seventy-four works, the most famous of which is The Moor’s Pavane. Some of his other works include Missa Brevis, The Traitor, The Exiles, There Is a Time, Emperor Jones, Carlota, The Unsung Dances for Isadora, and A Choreographic Offering. José Limón died on December 2, 1972. Today, The José Limón Dance Foundation continues his work through two entities: The Limón Dance Company, an international touring repertory company; and The Limón Institute, an educational and archival resource organization.
Marco Pelle, recipient of the 2016 Primi Dieci USA Award, under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as one of the ten most influential Italians in the USA, he began his dance training in his Italy, continued in Monaco at the Academie de Danse Classique Princesse Grace before moving to New York City to study under several merit scholarships with Merce Cunningham. He’s been one of New York Theatre Ballet’s resident choreographers since 2012. He created several works for the company, among which Solitude, Spaces, and Endless Possibilities of Being, whose musics were all composed by his brother, Federico Pelle. In 2013 Marco also collaborated with great ballerina Alessandra Ferri on her comeback show The Piano Upstairs presented at the Spoleto Festival, starring Ferri and Boyd Gaine. As an Opera choreographer he has worked extensively in the US and abroad. In Beijing, China, he has choreographed a total of four productions at the National Centre of the Performing Arts, including Aida, with costumes by Academy Awards winner Franca Squarciapino and sets designed by Academy Awards nominee Ezio Frigerio. In 2013 he choreographed Passage, a short film starring Bolle and Semionova and directed by Fabrizio Ferri, with music also by Fabrizio Ferri, which opened Venice Film Festival. Passage went on to become a viral video. In 2015, American Ballet Theater soloists, Luciana Paris and Sterling Baca, performed his work Libera! at the Guggenheim Museum in NYC. American Ballet Studio Company has performed Libera! extensively ever since. In 2017, Marco Pelle had his directorial debut with Florida Grand Opera, directing and choreographing Un Ballo in Maschera. He directed and choreographed contemporary operas like Frida and Song From The Uproar for Cincinnati Opera and Tosca for Michigan Opera Theater. In January 2018, his new work, Carmen, for American Ballet Theater Studio Company debuted at the Frick Collection before engaging on a national tour. The same year, he became ballet choreographer of Pose, the Golden Globe nominated tv series created and directed by American tv and movie director, Ryan Murphy. In 2019 he was the Artistic Director of the dance gala Alessandra Ferri: The Art of the Pas De Deux, featuring Alessandra Ferri, Marcelo Gomes and Herman Cornejo. His new piece Shall I breathe?, with original lights by Brandon Stirling Baker, was danced by Sarasota Principal Dancers Kate Honea and Ricardo Graziano. After directing the opera Frida in Miami for the Florida Grand Opera, he created a new work for Royal Ballet first principal dancer Mara Galeazzi based on Marie Antoinette and a new work for ballet super star Roberto Bolle, titled LXIV. The piece was performed by Bolle on his TV show Danza Con Me (aired on Italian national channel RAI) reaching an incredible 22% of audience share.
Amanda Treiber is a principal dancer at New York Theatre Ballet, where for the past twelve seasons she has been featured in masterworks by Sir Frederick Ashton, Merce Cunningham, Agnes DeMille, José Limón, Jerome Robbins, and Antony Tudor, and has originated roles in premieres by Richard Alston, Gemma Bond, Nicolo Fonte, Antonia Franceschi, and Pam Tanowitz. Additionally, Ms. Treiber has appeared with Gemma Bond Dance, David Gordon’s Pick Up Performance Company, Tom Gold Dance, in FX’s Pose and in Park Avenue Armory’s production of De Materie. Other honors include performing in the 11th Annual Classical Ballet Gala in Managua, Nicaragua, 15th Festival Internacional de Ballet de Trujillo, as well as the ribbon cutting ceremony for Blake’s Barn at Jacob’s Pillow. Ms. Treiber is on faculty at the New York Theatre Ballet School and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida State University.
Jean Volpe trained at the Juilliard School and with Margaret Craske. She danced as a soloist with the Zurich Ballet and the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Volpe has taught classical technique at the 92nd Street Y and currently teaches at New York Theatre Ballet School and the Sarasota Ballet School.
William Whitener performed worldwide and on Broadway with The Joffrey Ballet, Twyla Tharp Dance, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, New York City Opera and Martha Clarke’s Garden of Earthly Delights. He choreographed over sixty dances for Boston Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, Ballet Hispanico, New York Theatre Ballet, Seattle Repertory Theater, Seattle Opera and John Curry’s Ice Theatre. He has also created dances for stage and television for Ann Reinking, Tommy Tune, Bill Irwin and Faith Prince and staged the debut of American Ballroom Theater at The Kennedy Center and BAM. Mr. Whitener has set Twyla Tharp’s ballets in the U.S and France and assisted Mr. Robbins with pre-production for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. He served as Artistic Director for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal and Kansas City Ballet. He was an evaluator for the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi, a jury member of Benois de la Danse and has served on a variety of panels including the NEA and Pew Charitable Trust Fund. He has taught ballet, modern dance and composition at Harvard University Summer Dance, Cornish College of the Arts, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, University of Washington, Pacific Northwest Ballet and was the Director of Dance at Concord Academy.