AUG 17 | In-Person & Livestreamed
The late Jennifer Muller was a friend and beloved artist of the NYC dance community, and we at Battery Dance deeply feel the loss this year. Her beautiful company The Works previously appeared at the Battery Dance Festival in 2015 and 2016, and tonight they will begin our program with a performance in her honor.
Then, we will shift to a very special evening of dance dedicated to the legacy of several Turn of the 20th Century American modern dance pioneers. The artists on this program are key exponents of the seminal works of Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis, Ted Shawn, and Loïe Fuller. In addition to presenting several revivals of these historic works, this evening’s companies will also perform their current day original choreography, which is deeply inspired by these four legends of modern dance. In the midst of a world of rapid fire innovation and change, it’s important to take time to pay homage to our roots.
In-person: 7pm EDT at Rockefeller Park. Click here for directions.
The video will be available to watch for 10 days after the premiere and will expire on Aug 27.
Register for free to receive the livestream link and bonus content
Share this Page
Jennifer Muller/The Works
In memoriam: Jennifer Muller (1944-2023)
Miserere Nóbis (2014) is an entreaty for mercy and grace. In an age of unspeakable conflict and cruelty, loss and grief, each of us asks forgiveness for all of us.
DANCES BY ISADORA
Isadora Duncan: under a new sky
The program features a selection of works by Isadora Duncan created between 1901-1914. “Grand March” was made during Isadora’s time at Bellevue near Paris following the tragic deaths of her children in 1913. Originally set to the music of Franz Schubert, it has been reimagined here to music of African American composer, George Walker. In contrast, the vibrant Valse Brillante (Chopin) is offered as a quartet for a powerful new generation of dancers.
JODY SPERLING/TIME LAPSE DANCE
“American Elm” deepens the ongoing climate-engaged collaboration between choreographer Jody Sperling and composer Matthew Burtner. In this solo expressing human kinship with trees, Sperling begins by slowly unfurling her costume (in the style of Loie Fuller), hand-painted with tree limbs by textile artist Gina Nagy Burns. The dance explores shifting tempos, from arboreal stillness to human hurriedness, to mingle the perspective of tree and person. The music sonifies tree ring data from an elm, compressing the rhythm of its life into a few haunting, looping bars.
Excerpts from Denishawn
“Floor Plastique” was made by Ted Shawn for students at the Denishawn School of Dancing and Related Arts in or about 1916. “Incense” is based upon the Hindu ritual of puja, in which an individual worships the deities with offerings of flowers, food, fruit, and incense.“Choeur Dansé” reflects figures from a Grecian vase come to life for a delightful moment in the sunlight. “The Cosmic Dance of Siva” is an ecstatic Hindu dance in honor of Siva. “Waltz/Liebestraum” originated when Ruth St. Denis, inspired by the music, spontaneously began to dance at a party. The pianist played the Brahms Waltz, and then continued without pause into the Liszt, wanting to extend the magic of the moment.
JODY SPERLING/TIME LAPSE DANCE
Piece for a Northern Sky
Piece for a Northern Sky is a whirling meditation on planetary motion. Burtner’s score creates vortices of sound with vibraphone rhythms based on Fibonacci sequence patterns. This piece is one of Sperling’s signature solos inspired by the style of Loie Fuller (1862–1928). Considered one of the “mothers” of modern dance, Fuller was a visionary and Queer artist with an expansive legacy. Her innovative performances conjured mesmerizing, multimedia spectacles out of fabric, motion, light and image. Fuller was influential in the development of such artistic movements as Art Nouveau, Cubism, and Futurism, as well as in the advent of cinema.
LORI BELILOVE / THE ISADORA DUNCAN DANCE COMPANY
Tribute to Ukraine
Lori Belilove & The Isadora Duncan Dance Company will pay homage to the heroic valor and grit of the Ukrainian people. The suite was inspired by two of Isadora Duncan’s heroic dances: March Heroique created at the height of WWI (ca. 1916) and Varshavianka created after the Russian Revolution of 1905, which was directed against the Tsar, nobility, and the ruling class through acts including worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies. Belilove, herself a descendant of Ukrainian ancestry, stages Tribute to Ukraine to evoke the cry, the terror, and the loss of the Ukrainian people. “We are dancing these heroic dances in the fight for human freedom and solidarity in the name of the magnanimous revolutionary Isadora Duncan,” says Belilove.