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Buglisi Dance Theatre Premieres Two New Works with Special Guests

by Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 13, 2007
The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue (at the corner of 19th Street)
New York, NY 10011
212-242-0800
About the Author:


Buglisi Dance Theatre
(Buglisi Website)
Presented at the Joyce Theater
www.joyce.org

Artistic Director and Choreographer: Jacqulyn Buglisi
Executive Director: Suzanne Konowitz
Associate Founders: Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin
See Interview with T. Capucilli and Interview with C. Dakin

The Company : Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin, Kevin Predmore,
Virginie Victoire Mécéne, Helen Hansen, Junichi Fukuda, Marie Zvosec,
Sadira Smith, LaMichael Leonard, Jr., Lauren Sambataro, Emily Walsh,
Sean Scantlebury, Andrea Miller

Guest Artists: Martine van Hamel and Robert La Fosse

Musicians: The Cassatt String Quartet
Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins;
Michiko Oshima, viola; Nicole Johnson, cello

Composer: Libby Larsen
Artist: Michael Arthur
Lighting Design: Jack Mehler, Clifton Taylor
Production Stage Manager: Betsy Ayer
Set Design: Jacobo Borges, Jack Mehler,
Debora Maché, Sergio Savarese
Costume Design: A. Christina Giannini
Masks: Jane Stein
Soprano: Ximena Borges
Press: AudreyRossPub@Aol.com
Formerly Buglisi/Foreman Dance, the newly named Buglisi Dance Theatre has as its Artistic Director, Jacqulyn Buglisi, a former lead dancer of the Martha Graham Company. Ms. Buglisi founded Buglisi/Foreman Dance in 1994 with Donlin Foreman, Terese Capucilli, and Christine Dakin. All four had danced as principal artists with the Graham Company. And, Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin were, for many years, Co-Artistic Directors of the Graham Company. Tonight, Ms. Buglisi invited Ms. Capucilli and Ms. Dakin to join her on the opening night of her Joyce Theatre season. With Ms. Buglisi premiering two new original works, Ms. Capucilli dancing solo in one of Ms. Buglisi's 1998 works, Ms. Dakin narrating a world premiere, and Ms. Capucilli and Ms. Dakin both dancing in another world premiere, history was made tonight. And, to expand this historical event, none other than the former American Ballet principal, Martine Van Hamel (whose signed ballet slippers I still own), and the former NYC Ballet Principal, Robert La Fosse (who just danced in City Ballet's winter season), danced, as well, in the final Buglisi work, a grand premiere.

Against All Odds (Quand Même) (1998): Choreography by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Music by Sergei Rachmaninoff (Piano Concerto No. 1), Lighting Design by Jack Mehler, Costume Design by A. Christina Giannini, Set Design by Debora Maché, Voice: Sarah Bernhardt, Performed by Terese Capucilli. Terese Capucilli, a former principal artist and Co-Artistic Director of the Graham Company, was onstage once again tonight, in an impassioned dance à la Sarah Berhardt, set to a recording of Rachmaninoff's 1st Piano Concerto. In one of the most impassioned, powerful, and riveting solo dance performances seen in quite some time, Terese Capucilli exuded intensity, internalized angst, and athletic prowess, as she flew about the stage, shifted direction, tilted upside down, and literally sucked the air from the Joyce in primal force.

"Against the Odds", so a propos, as Ms. Capucilli re-captured her Graham technique, with torso contractions, wide leg sweeps, and glaring eyes straight toward the audience, in wild abandon. At once, Ms. Capucilli personified fragments of Bernhardt's roles, such as Cleopatra, Medea, Lady Macbeth, and Joan of Arc. This memorable performance, against an expansive curtain, generating vulnerability and vivacity, would have made Martha Graham proud, as she always saw herself, first and foremost, as a dancer.

Sand (2001): Choreography by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Music by Philip Glass (String Quartet No 5), Music Performed by The Cassatt String Quartet, Lighting Design by Clifton Taylor, Costume Design by A. Christina Giannini, Set Design by Jacobo Borges, Performed by Helen Hansen and LaMichael Leonard, Jr., Marie Zvosec and Junichi Fukuda, Andrea Miller and Sean Scantlebury. This 2001 Buglisi work brought out the Cassatt String Quartet in a seamless score by Philip Glass, danced by three couples. In ethereal choreography, the dancers create soft, elegant, and wind-swept imagery. This work is dedicated to the earth and the desert. The couples exude eroticism and connectedness, with many levels used for crawling, lifting, and carrying of partners. The dancers are skilled and confident.

Acapelorus (A Walrus Tale) (World Premiere): Choreography by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Music by Libby Larsen, Music Performed by The Cassatt String Quartet, Lighting Design by Clifton Taylor, Costume Design by A. Christina Giannini, 7 For All Mankind, Artist: Michael Arthur, Costume Development by Helen Hansen, Narration: Christine Dakin, Soprano: Ximena Borges, Opening Poem: Olive Numeroff, Performed by Helen Hansen, LaMichael Leonard, Jr., Marie Zvosec, Junichi Fukuda, Andrea Miller, Sean Scantlebury, Emily Walsh, Josh Johnson, and Lauren Sambataro.

This premiere is called a "dance opera", with poetry by Lewis Carroll and Gregory Orr, recited by a young, articulate girl, Olive Numeroff, followed by Christine Dakin's narration and Ximena Borges' arias. Libby Larsen has created the contemporary score, and nine Buglisi dancers perform. Buglisi, according to the press notes, explores "classical forms through a contemporary lens…through the eyes and emotions of children…" Excerpts of children's verses are recited, against a projected video backdrop by Michael Arthur, depicting a hand drawing figures, and the nine dancers move with persuasive speed and propulsive power.

Caravaggio Meets Hopper (World Premiere): Choreography by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Music Soundscape from works of Nino Rotta, Jelly Roll Morton, John Corigliano, Lighting Design/Set Design by Jack Mehler, Costume Design by A. Christina Giannini, Masks by Jane Stein, Sound Editing by Junichi Fukuda, Performed by Martine van Hamel, Robert La Fosse, Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin, Helen Hansen, LaMichael Leonard, Jr., Marie Zvosec, Junichi Fukuda, Andrea Miller, Sean Scantlebury, and Sadira Smith.

This premiere was fascinating, with Robert La Fosse and Martine Van Hamel together in impressive choreography, well suited to their talent and temperament. Costumes included hats, shoes, and contemporary suits, and Terese Capucilli and Christine Dakin were in great shape and cool attitude, seemingly thrilled to be onstage. Extrapolating the essence of the artists, Caravaggio and Hopper, Ms. Buglisi explores "human relationships that reveal the bold visceral strength, humor…hyper theatrical lines of Caravaggio and phlegmatic stillness of Hopper". (Program Notes). This is true aesthetics. Ms. Buglisi uses varied musical genres, visually artistic genres, masks (that resemble little cages), varied moods, and dancers rising in their careers with dancers in fully formed careers.

Tonight's historical program and performances are testament to the concepts of artistic re-invention and renewal. Kudos to Jacqulyn Buglisi, Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin, Martine Van Hamel, Robert La Fosse, and the full cast of dancers and artists who joined talent and energy for this eclectic and exciting event.
Terese Capucilli in 'Against All Odds'

Terese Capucilli in "Against All Odds"

Photo © & courtesy of Jack Mitchell


Junichi Fukuda and Helen Hansen in 'Acapelorus' (A Walrus Tale)

Junichi Fukuda and Helen Hansen in "Acapelorus" (A Walrus Tale)

Photo © & courtesy of Kristin Lodoen


'Acapelorus' (A Walrus Tale)

"Acapelorus" (A Walrus Tale)

Photo © & courtesy of Kristin Lodoen


Terese Capucilli in 'Caravaggio Meets Hopper'

Terese Capucilli in "Caravaggio Meets Hopper"

Photo © & courtesy of Kristin Lodoen


Therese Capucilli and Jacqulyn Buglisi After the Performance

Therese Capucilli and Jacqulyn Buglisi After the Performance

Photo © & courtesy of Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower

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