Lar Lubovitch and his renowned Lar Lubovitch Dance Company return to Greenwich Village-having celebrated their 36th anniversary at Washington Square Church last year - for a four-night stand presented by NYU's Jack H. Skirball Center, in association with the company.
They will perform the U.S. premiere of Lubovitch's Elemental Brubeck and a reprise of their highly acclaimed Men's Stories. The anticipated performances will take place at 8:00 P.M. on the evenings of November 8, 10, 11, and 12.
Over 37 years leading his company in dances described by The New York Times as "lushly romantic, passionate, tender" and "shamelessly beautiful," Lubovitch has drawn on a number of musical styles, from classical (Bach, Stravinsky, Ravel) to standards (Cole Porter, Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein) to rock (The Doors, Tom Waits and Annie Lennox). He was among the first to use the music of new music pioneers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
For Elemental Brubeck, Lubovitch brings his poetic, lyrical choreography to a music defined by similar qualities and rarely mined in his choreography to date: jazz. The work, which the San Francisco Ballet premiered in Paris to acclaim this summer, appropriates three pieces from the Dave Brubeck Quartet's 1963 album Time Changes: "Iberia," "Theme from Elementals," and "Elementals." The choreography combines aspects of bebop and early 20th century American film with a modern, athletic sensibility.
Of the San Francisco Ballet's performance of the work, London's The Independent raved, "Lubovitch finds a freedom in the form [of jazz] that is genuinely uplifting." For the U.S. premiere at the Skirball Center, Elemental Brubeck will be performed by members of Lubovitch's own company for the first time.
The program for the company's four nights at the Skirball Center also includes Lubovitch's sexy, critically lauded Men's Stories, which features an all-male cast of nine dancers. With an audio collage and original score by composer Scott Marshall, based on Beethoven's Third Piano Concerto, the work conveys the individual and shared stories of these men without words, relying solely on movement and music.
The choreography unfolds as a series of scenarios-rather than through a single, uninterrupted, overall narrative-that ranges from pensive and melancholy to virtuosic and acrobatic, replete with fistfights, duets, and breathtaking solos.
In reviews of the original New York run of the piece in 2000, The Village Voice called Men's Stories "one of Lubovitch's finest," and The New York Times described it as a "joyous, poignant expression of everything that Mr. Lubovitch seems to have had in mind about the personalities, histories and distinctive movement styles of the nine terrific male dancers for whom the piece was created."
The company's dancers are: Julian Barnett, Griff Braun, Patrick Corbin, Jay Franke, Junichi Fukuda, Roger C. Jeffrey, Tai Jimenez, Gabby Malone, Miho Morinoue, Rebecca Rigert, Scott Rink, Kevin Scarpin, Sean Stewart, Michael Leon Thomas, and Rasta Thomas. For bios and headshots of company dancers, visit the Lubovith company website.
Tickets for performances can be purchased in person at the Skirball Center, 566 LaGuardia Place (Washington Square South); online at skirballcenter.nyu.edu; or by calling Ticket Central at 212.279.4200. NYU Students can purchase tickets to all Skirball presentations for $12 per show.
Skirball has also launched their new Insider Program-a flexible, significantly discounted advance ticket purchase plan. Skirball "Insiders" who purchase tickets to two shows in advance will receive a 20% discount. A purchase of three or more shows in advance translates to a 30% discount. Benefits include early ordering privileges, prime seat locations, and invitations to special private events.
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