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Michelle Brandon
Press Releases
Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

THE ENCHANTED PIANO: Dances for Piano with Electronics, Piano Strings, and Amplified Piano

by Michelle Brandon
October 21, 2011
Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
248 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 787 1178
James Martin Music/Dance, in collaboration with pianist Eliza Garth, presents The Enchanted Piano: Dances for Piano with Electronics, Piano Strings, and Amplified Piano on October 21 and 22 at 8pm at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center at 248 W. 60th Street, NYC (between Amsterdam and West End Avenues) in the Lincoln Center area. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students, seniors and dancers) and are available at www.manhattanmovement.com or by phone at 212-787-1178.

The Enchanted Piano features music by major American composers, each a pioneer in his time: Aeolian Harp and Fleeting by Henry Cowell; Eine Kleine Mitternachtmusik by George Crumb; Synchronisms No. 6 by Mario Davidovsky; and Chamber Symphony by Maurice Wright. Performed by five dancers and Eliza Garth, The Enchanted Piano utilizes classical, contemporary and post-modern dance styles. Structure and patterns are plotted with human relationships to change the way the viewer/listener hears the music through the various pieces in this suite. The dance and music are two tributaries that flow into a single pool of thoughts and feelings.

James Martin Music/Dance is a group of dancers and musicians under the artistic direction of choreographer and composer James Martin. The group strives to find deep feeling and clear meaning. Mr. Martin's approach is interdisciplinary, dovetailing his musical background with his experience as a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Classical, contemporary and post-modern dance idioms are used. Structural elements and patterns are plotted with human relationships. The group is modular and performs in various combinations, in a range of settings—as a dance company, or as a band in music venues. For more information, visit www.jamesmartindance.org.

James Martin is currently Associate Arts Professor and the Associate Chair of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Dance Department. He has danced with Gus Solomons jr, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane and Company, Donald Byrd/The Group, Jamie Cunningham and Tina Croll, Heidi Latsky, The New York Baroque Dance Company, Connecticut Ballet Company, and Claire Porter, among others. Mr. Martin has taught at schools and festivals throughout the world including the Mark Morris Monnaie Dance Group in Brussels, the Ballet Academy of Stockholm, the Dansen Hus in Copenhagen, the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Bat Dor School in Tel Aviv, the National Institute of the Arts in Taiwan, the American Dance Festival, The Juilliard School, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, Tulane University, James Madison University, and the White Mountain Dance Festival. His choreography has been produced in New York City by P.S. 122 (New Stuff), Ballet Builders/New Choreographers on Point, St. Mark's Danspace Project (Food for Thought), 92nd Street Y, The Soho Arts Festival at Dia Center for the Arts and DTW's Dance Now series. He produced, On Merces's Floor, an evening of work at the Merce Cunningham Studio for seven dancers and a six-piece music ensemble. His work has also been commissioned by the Connecticut Ballet Company, the Bat Dor Summer Workshop, the American Dance Festival, the White Mountain Dance Festival, the New Dance Collective, the Atlantic Dance Theater, the Pittsburgh-based company Bodiography, and the dance departments of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, James Madison University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and Tulane University.

Pianist Eliza Garth has achieved international distinction as a performer of the music of our time and the standard repertoire, through her recordings and through her concert appearances in major cities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Widely regarded as an artist with a passionate voice and an adventurous spirit, she has championed some of the most demanding works in the repertoire. As described by critic Bernard Holland in The New York Times, "Ms. Garth … has an exquisite ear for piano sound. One can think of no one better qualified to play this intricate, shining music." Ms. Garth's recordings of the complete piano works of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Donald Martino have attracted national critical acclaim. The first of these, her debut solo CD, was the first-ever recording devoted entirely to Martino's solo piano music, including his monumental works Pianississimo and Fantasies and Impromptus. In a New York Times survey of its own music critics' favorite recordings of music written since 1945, Anthony Tommasini included this CD. After completing her studies at The Juilliard School, she made her New York recital debut the following year. Since then Ms. Garth has performed nearly 200 new works, more than 50 of them premieres, including numerous works written for her. Recent among these is Gradualia, a piano concerto by the American composer Scott Wheeler. In collaboration with conductor Jeffrey Silberschlag, she performed the world premiere of Gradualia at the 2006 Alba Music Festival, and the American premiere at the 2006 River Concert Series at St. Mary's College of Maryland. In the spring of 2007 Ms. Garth returned to the Alba Festival to perform John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes. A founding member of the Chamber Players of the International Society for Contemporary Music in New York City, Ms. Garth also is in frequent demand as a guest artist. Ms. Garth's recordings are available on the Centaur, CRI, Opus One, and Arabesque labels. Her performances have been heard on the BBC Radio 3, WQXR and WNYC in New York, Radio de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, and WGUC in Cincinnati. She has won the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award twice, most recently in 2010.
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