March 12, 2003
For Immediate Release
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9 NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERES SET THE
FOR INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED
DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL 2003 IN HOUSTON
The one-of-a-kind, curated international Dance Salad Festival 2003 takes place in Houston, TX, at the Wortham Center’s Cullen Theater on April 17, 18, and 19, at 7:30 p.m. Six international companies, rarely seen in this country, will showcase no less than nine North American premieres in the eleventh year of this mixed repertory festival, produced by Nancy Henderek. Three prominent American companies will offer pieces new to the Houston stage. Unique to this festival is the careful interweaving of different work each evening, providing audiences the opportunity to return for a new experience each night. To see the full program, at least two nights are required. Tickets, ranging in price from $15-$39, are available at the Wortham Center, 550 Prairie, Houston, TX 77002 or by calling the Houston Ballet Box Office 713-227-ARTS (2787). Patrons may also purchase tickets at the Houston Ballet Studio on West Grey. Discounts are offered for multiple evenings’ attendance.
Participating in this season’s three-day, invitation-only festival are members of the prominent Dutch (Het) National Ballet led by its famed choreographer Hans van Manen. Coming also, is Paul Lightfoot, acclaimed resident choreographer from Netherlands Dance Theatre (NDT) in The Hague. The National Ballet of China will premiere a suite from a work by Houston’s Ben Stevenson, created in China especially for the dancers who will be coming to Houston. The Royal Swedish Ballet and the Göteborg Ballet represent Sweden in this year’s festival, including works of reknown choreographers Mats Ek and Ulysses Dove. Rounding out the international visitors will be the exciting and stirring Quasar Companhia de Danca from Brazil. Three prominent American companies will participate: Buglisi-Foreman and Battleworks from New York and Ballet Memphis.
Each of these groups comes to the United States solely to participate in this critically acclaimed weekend of dance, and not as part of an ongoing American tour. This combination of companies and works will never be seen in any other venue.
DANCE SALAD PARTICIPATION INCLUDES THE WORK OF KNOWN MASTERS AND STARS ON THE RISE
Update and Highlights
Hans van Manen
Ben Stevenson’s Latest Premiere: Principals from The National Ballet of China will appear in Dance Salad in a suite of Ben Stevenson’s choreographed, full-length work Fountain of Tears, created for them by the departing Artistic Director of Houston Ballet in China in the fall of 2002. These sections of the full evening’s work will be seen for the very time on this continent and will be danced by the Beijing dancers for whom the work was created.
Announcing Paul Lightfoot: Particularly exciting is the appearance of Paul Lightfoot, now a resident choreographer of the Nederlands Dance Theater I, II, and III, whose performance in his own choreographed work has not been seen in the U.S. Mr. Lightfoot, will dance his Sigue, which he choreographed as a pas de deux, with his wife Sol Leon, a member of NDT I.
Choreographer David Dawson, who joined the Dutch National Ballet in 1995, after successful years with the English National Ballet and the Birmingham Royal Ballet, will present the U.S. premiere of The Gray Area. This provocative piece, danced to the music of J.S. Bach, explores the area between life and death and echoes the tradition of William Forsyth, Mr. Dawson’s mentor. The Dutch National Ballet brings its stellar artistry to the work.
Jaqulyn Buglisi from Buglisi/Foreman Dance will present Requiem, her stunning memorial piece created after 9/11. Requiem will be performed on April 17 only. This seminal work, described as a stunning piece and using five female dancers, sets the emotional bar at the highest possible level. The New York Times’s Anna Kisslegov describes it as a Baroque portrait, evoking September 11 "…in a collective image of grief and rage."
Dance Salad Highlights
Sofiane Sylvie, having just finished her guest stay with the New York City Ballet, will make her only appearance outside New York before returning to Europe to rejoin the Dutch National Ballet. Again, Anna Kisselkov of The New York Times, noted her strength and the refinement within that strength; and she said that Ms. Sylvie is a French ballerina "…of amazing verve and projection." This is Ms. Sylve’s second appearance at Dance Salad, having danced here in 2001with the Dutch National Ballet. She will be performing Thursday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.
Ballet Memphis, recognized in 2000 by the Ford Foundation as a national treasure, will bring to Houston portions of young, contemporary ballet choreographer Trey McIntyre’s steamy work Memphis. Certain to be a crowd-pleaser, the music for the work is comprised of Memphis composers, including Elvis Presley.
Quasar Companhia de Dance, one of Brazil’s leading troupes, never seen here, will bring excitement, contemporary style, and verve to Houston audiences in its sexy and sizzling rendition of Mulheres. Choreographer Henrique Rodovalho’s trademark vigor and lacerating dance movements show forth in the drama of this work.
Royal Swedish Ballet/Stockholm 59º North, known for 225 years throughout the world for artistic precision and technical skill, will dance Kenneth Kvarnström’s Carmen?!. The dancers comprising Stockholm 59º North, are principals and soloists of the Royal Swedish Ballet. No other company in the world dances this serene work of extraordinary beauty, which is as fresh as if choreographed right now.
To Watch For
Two Finnish choreographers: Jorma Uotinen of the Göteborg Ballet, former Director of the Finnish National Ballet, will bring his Pathetique, Blue Ballerina section, from the work of the same name. The unique Virpi Pahkinen, never before seen in the United States will dance in her own piece with Jan Erik Wikstrom.
Jan Erik Wikstrom, on leave from the Royal Swedish Ballet, will be the featured dancer in Virpi Pahkinen’s Bardo. Mr. Wikstrom is now a principal with the English National Ballet.
Rafi Sadi, guest dancer from the Cullberg Ballet, Stockholm, will be dancing in Pointless Pastures, the work created for him by Mats Ek.
Dance Salad has been supported in part by ExxonMobil; Shell Oil Company Foundation; The Houston Endowment, Inc.; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts; The Ray C. Fish Foundation; Cathay Pacific Airways; Emery Worldwide; KUHF-FM; Tindall and Foster Immigration Attorneys; Sweet Tomatoes; Sterling Bank; Excelsior Limousine & Transportation; Jet Setters Printgraphics, Inc.; Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County and the Texas Commission on the Arts; the Theater District Association and the Houston Convention and Entertainment Facilities; Consulates General of the Netherlands (Houston and New York), China and Sweden; American Scandinavian Foundation, Netherlands American Foundation, and the Swedish Embassy; KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines; and American Airlines. Dance Salad has received additional support from the Houston Ballet and the Society for the Performing Arts.
About Dance Salad
Dance Salad is a project of the Houston Dance Coalition, and is committed to a multi-cultural presentation of diverse dance disciplines. Dance Salad provides a venue for local, national and international choreographers, across dance disciplines, to present their work to the Houston community in a collaborative performance.
Nancy Henderek, Founding Director of Dance Salad, created the concept of this curated evening of dance in 1992. She produces, directs and has choreographed in Dance Salad productions, including the first three in Brussels, Belgium. She has been a dancer and choreographer in Sweden, Brussels, Houston and Hong Kong. In Sweden, she was also a member of the Marchant Dance Theater in Gothenburg, directed by Claude Marchant, one of the original Katherine Dunham Company dancers. In Houston, prior to Brussels, she choreographed for local productions and was instrumental in bringing Mr. Marchant from Sweden for a six month residency. In Brussels, she taught at the International School and was Resident Choreographer. She also choreographed works for the Brussels Shakespeare Festival, Operetteheater, Noveau Theatre de Belgique and the American Theatre Company in addition to Dance Salad. In Houston, she also danced and performed for the Houston Grand Opera and taught dance at Episcopal High School and Houston Community College. She continues to bring to Houston audiences this wonderful evening of mixed repertoire, a dance “salad,” and this year will present the eleventh annual performance of this highly anticipated dance concert in Houston.