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American Dance Guild, Post Diaghilev

by Marian Horosko
September 13, 2009
New York, NY
The Centennial Exhibit at the Lincoln Center Library has closed, but the reconstructions of ballets performed by Ballets Russes de Serge Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes companies that followed: Les Ballets de Monte Carlo (1932) founded by Rene Blum; Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo (1933); Ballets Russes de Col. W. de Basil; Monte Carlo Ballet Russe; and Col. W. de Basil's Ballets Russes (1936 and 1937) toured the U.S. and gave America its first real exposure to classical ballet on a high level.

Although most ballet companies, big and small returned to the classics, modern dance in the U.S. fulfilled its golden age in New York City where there have never been so many great choreographers in one place and at one time. In the last half of the century, they included Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman, Hanya Holm, Erick Hawkins, Balanchine, Tudor, and many, many more. And the American Dance Guild has seen it all through their conferences, festivals, and master classes in their 53 years of existence.

Granted not all programs are pure gold, much of the performance may be on the level of admiration for friends and family, but this year, the Guild presented works from the almost forgotten: Erick Hawkins, Daniel Nagrin, Donald McKayle and Jeff Duncan, September 11-13 at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center on West 60th near 10th Avenue, a relatively new site for small theater presentations.

ADG continues to bring together artists from across the nation and internationally for performance opportunities and master classes. They also offer student scholarships for summer study at Jacob's Pillow (another famous modern dance site). For information: info@americandanceguild.org.

Want to know more about the post Diaghilev era? "Fall for Dance," includes "Dance Talk," three free pre-performance panels: Wednesday Sept 23 at 6:30 p.m. with panelists Frederick Franklin (still performing at 98 with ABT), Eleanor D'Antuono former ballerina with ABT; Friday, September 25, with Alexei Ratmansky, Simon Morrison on collaborations with designers, choreographers, composers and perfomers created lasting change; Oct 3, focuses on the influence of the Ballets Russes on today's choreography with Mark Dendy, critic, and others. All talks take place at the City Center Studios, 130 West 56th Street (back of the City Center Theater entrance).
Nejla Yatkin

Nejla Yatkin

Photo © & courtesy of Lois Greenfield

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