The Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company and Norwegian/Jewish actress/vocalist Bente Kahan present The Legacy Project: Echoes, an evening of dance, theater and live music. The Legacy Project: Echoes includes elements of their individual repertoires and the collaborative piece Silent Echoes and features the world premiere of Tikkun with commissioned score by renowned jazz and Klezmer musician Greg Wall. Carolyn Dorfman has created a body of work, The Legacy Project, honoring her Eastern-European Jewish heritage. The two year project culminates at NYU Tisch School for the Arts, Department of Dance, 111 Second Avenue, Fifth Floor Theatre, NYC, on May 29 and 30 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $25-45 and are available at 1-800-838-3006 or www.brownpapertickets.com.
Performing onstage with CDDC, Kahan alternates between her songbook of Ladino, Yiddish, English and German music and work from The Legacy Project. In Silent Echoes, Dorfman and Kahan integrate elements of Dorfman's Cat's Cradle and Kahan's one woman theater piece Voices of Theresienstadt with new chorography, live music and text. The desire to blur the lines between art forms is the impulse for this section as the pair continues individual and collective explorations of their common heritage and vision.
Dorfman's newest piece Tikkun (To Repair) is the bridge between the past and the future and is the natural progression for The Legacy Project. While Silent Echoes challenges the audience to look at the past, Tikkun encourages them to look forward. The piece explores the ways we separate or divide, bind or link, engage or disengage by using images of the fractured and broken and by interweaving individual bodies and the whole ensemble.
These performances include commissioned scores by Greg Wall and Cecelia Margules, costumes by Katherine Winter and Russell Aubrey, and lighting design by Philip Treviño.
CDDC dancers: Kyla Barkin, Mica Bernas, Jacqueline Dumas, Rob Fernandez, Jennifer Jones, Aaron Selissen, David (Chien Hui) Shen, Mark Taylor, Sarah Wagner, Anna Woolf, and Jon Zimmerman
Musicians: Aaron Alexander (percussion), Jeremy Brown (violin), Patrick Farrell (accordion), Dave Richards (bass), and Norbert Stachel (woodwinds).
Since 1983, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company's high-energy and technically demanding repertory has used movement as metaphor to take audiences on "intellectual and emotional journeys" (Observer Tribune). Led by artistic director Carolyn Dorfman, CDDC's twelve dancers display extraordinary physical, technical and dramatic range.
A creator of provocative dances that reflect her concerns about the human condition, Carolyn Dorfman is interested in creating worlds for audiences to enter. Since founding the Company, she has created more than 50 works. Her body of work is about a spirit and passion for life, people and truth, and survival and renewal. A native of Michigan, she received her BFA in Dance with certification to teach K-12 from the University of Michigan and her MFA from New York University Tisch School for the Arts. Ms. Dorfman has been designated a Distinguished Artist and granted five Choreography Fellowships, including a 2004 Fellowship, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts (NJSCA), in additional to other national choreography honors. In 2004, she received the Jewish Women in the Arts Award for Dance from the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit and the Janice Charach Epstein Gallery. She is a master teacher and is a guest artist at universities and in communities regionally, nationally and internationally.
In The Legacy Project, Ms. Dorfman has created a body of work that honors her Eastern-European Jewish heritage and explores the trials and triumphs, treasured uniqueness and, most importantly, the commonalities this legacy has with others throughout history and across cultures. In Cries of the Children, Mayne Mentshn (My People), Echad (One), Odisea (Odyssey), Cat's Cradle, Silent Echoes and now Tikkun (To Repair), she has created pieces that are tributes to family, as well as humanity in its entirety. Described by critics as "ingenious" (The Star-Ledger) and "emotionally resonant" (The New York Times), the dances in The Legacy Project bring together her family stories, Jewish history, and a universal struggle for identity. Through this combination, Ms. Dorfman inspires in her audience feelings of familiarity and unity, creating dances that serve as metaphors for the greater truths of the human experience. "In her works, visual images become still photographs that capture and freeze certain universal truths … both reflect[ing] and engender[ing] a profound humanity. Because her dances are about people and life experience, often moving from the autobiographical to the universal, they hold immediate appeal" (The New York Times). The Legacy Project: Echoes will tour throughout the U.S. in 2009-2011.
Bente Kahan was born in Oslo, Norway in 1958, trained as an actor in Tel-Aviv and New York and began her career in the classical theatres of Habima, Israel's national theatre, and Nationaltheatret in Norway. In 1990, she founded Teater Dybbuk - Oslo whose aim is to convey Jewish-European culture and history through drama and music. In addition to full-scale works, Ms. Kahan often appears alone with her guitar or collaborates with European klezmer bands such as Gjertrud's Gypsy Orchestra (Norway), Di Gojim (The Netherlands), Jowel Klezmorim (Germany), Sabbath Hela Veckan (Sweden) and Chudoba (Poland). Bente Kahan tours internationally and is repeatedly called upon to perform in connection with official commemorations paying homage to the victims of the Holocaust. Kahan is a major force in the cultural and Jewish communities of Wrøcław, Poland. The FBK foundation she established in 2006 aims to present Jewish culture and history to a large audience primarily in Wrøcław and Lower Silesia, Poland, and to renovate and preserve Jewish heritage in the region. Its first major project is to complete the renovation of "The White Stork Synagogue" in Wrøcław, a historical building from 1829, which Ms. Kahan was appointed Director of in 2005. After renovation, the Synagogue will include a Jewish Museum devoted to the history of the Jews of Wrøcław and the preservation of the rich heritage of the city's decimated Jewish community. The Wrøcław Center for Jewish Culture and Education, also located in the Synagogue and administrated by FBK, organizes cultural and educational events year around, serving as a house for learning and culture, a place for tolerance and understanding and existing as a vital Jewish heart in the middle of Europe. In 2006, she received the Wrøcław Mayor's Prize for her work.
The music for Tikkun was commissioned by the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program with generous support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.
These performances are supported by the Tisch Summer Dance Residency Festival. Each summer the Department of Dance at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts offers a six week festival that offers the opportunity to study with six contemporary dance companies and provides a multi-leveled, kinetic, and aesthetic experience.
The Legacy Project: Echoes is part of the Festival of Jewish Theater and Ideas, which consists of performances on Jewish themes at venues throughout the city from May 20 - June 14. The festival is produced by Untitled Theater Company #61. For more information, visit www.untitledtheater.com or call 212-866-1073.
CDDC is supported in part by grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner of the NEA; The American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program; the Karma Foundation; the Harkness Foundation for Dance; the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; among other generous foundations, corporations, and individual donors committed to CDDC's artistry and programming.
For more information, visit www.cddc.info.
Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company and Bente Kahan
NYU Tisch School for the Arts, Department of Dance
111 Second Avenue, 5th Floor Theater, NYC
Friday, May 29 and Saturday, May 30 at 7:30pm
Appropriate for all ages.
($25 general admission, $35 premiere reserved seating, $45 reserved seating and post-event reception)