Koresh Dance Company to premiere La Danse, inspired by Matisse’s famous painting, April 25-28

Koresh Dance Company’s Artistic Director, Roni Koresh will present a world premiere inspired by Matisse’s famous painting “La Danse”. This production combines tender, joyful, passionate and humorous interpretation of Matisse’s three permutations of the painting starting with “the joy of life” followed by the two versions of “La Danse”; the work will be danced to an original musical composition by John Levis and poetry by Karl Mullen. This work has been funded by the Del E. Webb Center, Made in Wickenburg Artist Residency Program.

Koresh describes his inspiration for this new piece – “This painting has a unique history as the image of five nude dancers in a circle actually appeared in three different paintings. The first time this circle appears as a small image in the distance as part of a larger painting of five women called “Le bonheur de vivre”. Later Matisse brought this image from the background and painted it alone in a work entitled “La Danse” (the dance) depicting the circle as all women.”

He goes on to state – “Years later Matisse was commissioned to paint “La Danse” again in what became the most iconic of the series. In this version of “La Danse” Matisse changed the color of the dancing bodies from nude to red and included both men and women in this circle.  I found the latest version to be most impactful to me. This particular painting was hung in my home ever since I was a child. At a young age, I admired it, but never really explored the hidden meaning behind it. As an adult and a choreographer, I started to investigate the reasons why I am so fascinated by this image. As an artist who constantly seeks inspiration, the evolution of this painting and Matisse’s choices in that development intrigues me. For instance, why had he added men into the painting? In the words of the poet Karl Mullen, the space of a life and the dance, the joy of a pain and holding on, the red hand of love. In the palm of my hand, green earth, blue sky, fingernails deep in the universe, flesh, flat space, human race.”

Thursday & Friday Performance Events
On Thursday, April 25 and Frida,y April 26, the performance will be followed by a talk-back conversation with the artists, where audience members will be invited to ask Roni Koresh, the collaborators and the company dancers about the process of this new work.

Koresh Kouture – High Fashion Performance & Gala
Koresh Kouture will take place on Sunday, April 28, 6-10pm at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The evening presents Koresh Dance Company’s world premiere performance of “La Danse” paired with an elegant reception. The reception will include hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer. We are also pleased to be partnering with the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator and local fashion designers who will be dressing our dancers in today’s hottest fashions.

Dance Field Trip for 500 Elementary Students
On Monday, April 8th, 500 students from the eight elementary schools that partner with the Koresh Kids Dance education and outreach program will attend a field trip held by Koresh Dance Company at G.W. Child’s Elementary. This will be our first year partnering with one of our classroom schools who have opened their auditorium to host this field trip. The attending students will be 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade students 20 classrooms from Cayuga School, G.W. Childs Elementary, F.S. Edmonds Elementary, McCall Elementary, Andrew Jackson, Robert Morris Elementary, and George Sharswood School and William H. Hunter elementary. These students are weekly participants in the Koresh Kids Dance outreach program. KKD brings creative dance education into Philadelphia public school classrooms every week under the direction of Director Teresa VanDenend Sorge and her associate instructors Loren Groenendaal, Ryan Stauffer, Lindsey Jaynes, Margot Steinberg, Elizabeth Weinstein, Jacqueline D’Amico. This is the fifth year that Koresh Dance Company has invited the Koresh Kids Dance students to see contemporary dance in its element. The field trip also gives an opportunity for the elementary-school audience to learn dance movements, and to ask the Company dancers questions from their seats. Koresh Kids Dance has been made possible with the support of The William Penn Foundation, The Dexter and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund through the Youth Arts Enrichment Grant, Joseph Skilling Foundation, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation

La Danse
Koresh Dance Company
Thursday, April 25, 7:30 pm
Friday, April 26, 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 27, 8:00 pm
Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia
Tickets: Thursday-Saturday performances: $10-$40; Koresh Kouture: $75
http://philadelphiatheatrecompany.org/on-stage/inresidence/