Four Favorites by Renowned Guest Choreographers to be Spotlighted by Jeanne Ruddy Dance

On the heels of Jeanne Ruddy Dance’s 10th Anniversary Spring Season success comes a delectable–and rare–artistic treat, the premiere of the Company’s very first fall season, titled GIVE AND TAKE. Juxtaposing the celebration of Ruddy-choreographed pieces last spring, this November 4-5 season highlights the repertoire of pieces contributed by just a few of the powerhouse Guest Choreographers commissioned over the course of the company’s decade-long tenure at the forefront of Philadelphia’s contemporary dance community — Jane Comfort, Mark Dendy, Zvi Gotheiner and Peter Sparling.

Slated for November 4-5, 2010 at Jeanne Ruddy Dance’s Performance Garage theatre, located at 1515 Brandywine Street, this fall season marks a pivotal first for the company; a showcase of works by guest artists whose brilliance and ingenuity have contributed greatly to the enduring — and always innovative — Jeanne Ruddy Dance identity. “[Jeanne] Ruddy…is to be commended for reaching out to other choreographers,” exclaimed The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2001. And the outreach to the dance world’s premier dance-makers has continued ever since, becoming a much-anticipated signature of the Company’s performance seasons.  This year’s new fall season serves as a nod to those many individuals, artists and audience members alike, who have supported the company since its inception.

“It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience working with the guest choreographers,” says Ruddy. “They have enriched both my company dancers and myself as an artist, challenging us to reach higher each year with fresh ideas and a variety of approaches to creating new work.” From this two-way exchange of creativity stems the apt title, GIVE AND TAKE.

These ‘out of the vault’ repertoire pieces — audience favorites all –offer an array of powerful experiences, from the “comic soufflé” that is Mark Dendy’s NO FEAR OF FLYING (excerpts) to the political outburst of Jane Comfort’s FOUR SCREAMING WOMEN; the romantic simplicity of Zvi Gotheiner’s  ENFOLD to the emotional entanglement of Peter Sparling’s THE SYSTEM.

The four featured works include:

·         FOUR SCREAMING WOMEN, Jane Comfort: Premiered the day after the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated on Oct. 4, 1982. It made its Philadelphia premiere in 2001. Like many Comfort works steeped in political sentiments, FOUR SCREAMING WOMEN spotlights a woman’s struggle to find a voice and identity. The work, a multi-dimensional text and gesture piece fraught with devilishly complicated rhythms, utilizes words and phrases that are introduced and subsequently remixed to shift meaning.

·         NO FEAR OF FLYING, Mark Dendy: Was hailed as “…irrepressibly crowd-pleasing…” by The Philadelphia Inquirer when it premiered during JRD’s debut season in 2000.  Set on a trio of women to pop tunes including Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walking and Peggy Lee’s Fever, the dance builds strong female portraits around a “diva” theme.

·         ENFOLD, Zvi Gotheiner: Made its Philadelphia debut in November 2001. A modern romantic duet featuring the music of legendary 1940’s German cabaret singer, Zarah Leander, ENFOLD is a lyrical yet powerful work that captures the symbolism of love and romance, and the pull and tug between a couple.

·         THE SYSTEM, Janet Lilly and Peter Sparling: Had its Philadelphia premiere in 2003, reuniting former Graham partners Peter Sparling and Jeanne Ruddy on stage together for the first time in 20 years.  The piece begins as a tentative sharing of separate worlds by a man and a woman becomes an intricate succession of encounters that intermingle traces of the comic, the mundane and the tragic to create a poignant double portrait.  In his 2006 restaging, Sparling infused focus on the still moments and silences — what happens between the lines — to examine the subtle impulses that drive the couple towards and away from each other.

From the performance of one work ten years ago, to an annual concert season, outreach programs, workshops, lecture demonstrations, touring and more, not to mention the renovation and creation of the Company’s studio headquarters, Jeanne Ruddy Dance has been on a trajectory of growth – both artistic and institutional – creating works that continue to expand the vocabulary and genre as well as the numbers and diversity of its audience.

Established in 1998, Jeanne Ruddy Dance features the work of such preeminent choreographers as Robert Battle, Ann Reinking, Mark Dendy and Martha Clarke. Now a mainstay of the region’s dance community, each season’s productions also include new  or re-imagined works by Ruddy herself, who continues to explore diverse styles and techniques with her company of 11 professional dancers. The company’s renovated studio theatre headquarters at 1515 Brandywine Street, THE PERFORMANCE GARAGE, together with its community involvement and touring programs, supports JRD’s mission to create a viable youth outreach program for area children and local schools, nurture new dancers and promote new audiences.

Jeanne Ruddy Dance’s Fall 2010 Season will be presented at The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine St (one block north of Spring Garden Street between 15th and 16th Streets), November 4-5, 2010. Performances are Thursday, November 4 at 7:30 pm and Friday, November 5 at 8:00 pm. There will be a Dance Party/Live Auction immediately following the performance on Friday, November 5.  Tickets are $25.00, $15 for students, seniors and dance professionals. Tickets are available online on Dance Box Office.

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