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Agnes de Mille Authorities Creates Dance/Speak for New York Theatre Ballet (April 17, 18, 24, 25, Manhattan, NY)

by Sarah Hart
April 17, 2009
Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
Agnes de Mille Authorities Create Dance/Speak for New York Theatre Ballet

New York, NY -New York Theatre Ballet celebrates its 30th anniversary with the landmark production of Dance/Speak: The Life of Agnes de Mille Friday & Saturday, April 17 & 18 and April 24 & 25 @ 7:30 pm at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, between Park & Madison avenues.

Dance/Speak, which uses spoken word, dance and dramatic interpretation to reveal choreographer Agnes de Mille's struggle for success and her eventual triumph as a pioneer of 20th century American theater, is created and staged by three accomplished artists, each of whom brings diverse aspects of Miss de Mille's persona and works to life.
Dance/Speak is staged by Gemze De Lappe and Liza Gennaro. Miss De Lappe worked closely with Agnes de Mille for decades and is well-known for her reconstructions of works by both Miss de Mille and Isadora Duncan. Trained by Michel Fokine and Irma Duncan, she was a member of the Agnes de Mille Dance Theatre Company and was the premier dancer in Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Carousel and Paint Your Wagon on Broadway. Miss De Lappe also danced with American Ballet Theatre in leading roles, including Lizzie Borden in Fall River Legend. She was praised by Agnes de Mille as one of the finest interpreters of her work, and has since gone on to stage and reconstruct Miss de Mille's ballets and repertoire internationally, as well as assist in the writing of her biography.
Liza Gennaro choreographed Broadway revivals of Once Upon a Mattress and The Most Happy Fella on Broadway, along with many other works, including Loving, Repeating: A Musical of Gertrude Stein in Chicago and Gypsy at The Paper Mill Playhouse. Ms. Gennaro is a professor of Drama and Dance Studies at Barnard College, Marymount Manhattan College and Hofstra University. She authored "Agnes de Mille and Jerome Robbins: Integration and the Decline of Dance in the Broadway Musical" which she presented at a CUNY musical theater conference a few years ago.
Dance/Speak was conceived and written by Anderson Ferrell, an award-winning author who serves as chairman of The Agnes de Mille Working Group. Well-versed on intimate details of Miss de Mille's artistic life, including childhood influences and early attempts as a solo artist, Mr. Ferrell also has first-hand knowledge of her choreography, having danced for her on Broadway and at the Kennedy Center in the early 1980s.

Dance/Speak: The Life of Agnes de Mille will include celebrated full and excerpted dances from Carousel, Bloomer Girl, One Touch of Venus and Brigadoon, as well as Fall River Legend, Three Virgins and a Devil, Rodeo and Debut at the Opera. It is directed by Scott Alan Evans, Executive Director of The Actors Company Theatre/TACT. Live music will be provided by pianist Ferdy Tumakaka, NYTB music director. The production will be a first for New York Theatre Ballet as the company expends beyond its usual repertory of small classic masterworks.

The April 17 performance of Dance/Speak coincides with a celebration of New York Theatre Ballet's 30th anniversary. Tickets are $25 (plus a $1 Florence Gould Hall facility fee) and can be purchased at www.nytb.org or by calling Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100. or the Florence Gould Hall box office at 212-355-6160.
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