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April Thibeault
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Thomas/Ortiz Dance Returns to NYC Nov. 7 & 8

by April Thibeault
October 3, 2014
Manhattan Movement and Arts Center
248 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
(212) 787 1178
Thomas/Ortiz Dance Celebrates Over 10 Years of Contemporary Dance
Thomas/Ortiz Dance makes a highly anticipated return to New York City with its two-night performance series November 7 – 8 at the Manhattan Movement Arts Center. Led by husband-and-wife team Ted Thomas (former Paul Taylor dancer) and Frances Ortiz, the 12-member contemporary ensemble shares a full evening of the couple's emotional and colorful works including the world premiere of Four Temperaments.

A mainstay on the New York dance landscape, Thomas/Ortiz continues to provide a platform for Latin choreographers, and dancers of color. "It has been six years since we last performed in Manhattan," explains Ted Thomas, Co-Artistic Director of Thomas/Ortiz Dance. "We are thrilled to be choreographing for and collaborating with our dancers again. They inspired us to rekindle the company and subsequently return to New York City after a six-year hiatus."

After a number of triumphant 2014 engagements — - In-Hale Arts Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Southern Vermont Dance Festival, to name a few — - Thomas/Ortiz presents an eclectic collection from its repertoire that spans the company's 13-year life. From the world premiere of Four Temperaments — — a group performance exemplifying a man's vices (while he supposedly works late at the office), to the New York premiere of Lagniappes — - an emotional duet depicting the loss of a home after a natural disaster, the program explores relevant themes from religion and sexuality to alcoholism, love, introspection, and resilience.

Melding Thomas's urban athleticism with Ortiz's Latin sensuality, their choreography is a seamless union of dance movements that is graceful and heartening yet forceful and agonizing. Cited as bringing a fresh and emotionally engaging new vision to contemporary dance, Thomas/Ortiz's works have been described as "ethereal and rejoicing, intriguing, light-hearted, sexually charged, political, thoughtful…(Show Business Weekly)." A few of the company's dancers are alumni of the New England Academy of Dance.

WHAT: NYC Season of Thomas/Ortiz Dance
WHEN: Friday–Saturday, November 7-8 at 7:30pm
WHERE: Manhattan Movement Arts Center, 248 West 60th Street, NYC, Train 1/A/B/C/D 59th St/Columbus Circle
TICKETS: General $25/Seniors + Students $15. To purchase, contact MMAC at 212.787.1178 manhattanmovement.com.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Thibeault, AMT PR, 212.861.0990, april@amtpublicrelations.com

About Thomas/Ortiz Dance

Combining their choreographic and musical sensibilities, Ted Thomas and Frances Ortiz founded Thomas/Ortiz Dance in 2001. The company of twelve dancers from culturally diverse backgrounds performs a repertoire that explores a multitude of thought-provoking and socially-relevant themes, while at times being content to present non- mimetic dance that strives to captivate because of its technique, musicality, and originality, — in short because of its "mere" choreography.

Thomas/Ortiz Dance made its debut at The Bronx Academy of Art and Dance in 2001. Among many other venues, the company has since performed at Joyce SoHo, Clune Center for the Arts, 2005, DeBaun Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Theater Workshop, Broadway Cares, Dancing at the Crossroads Time Square, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, American Dance Guild at Dance New Amsterdam, John Prinz and Friends at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Dance New York Festival, Lincoln Center, Master Dance Series, Nazareth College, Latin Choreographer festival, Jacob's Pillow, and Merce Cunningham Studios. In 2010, they were commissioned to create a work for Connecticut Ballet (CT), resulting in "Corelli", which premiered at July 2010 at the Katherine Hepburn Theater (CT). For more info, visit thomasortizdance.org.

About Ted Thomas (Artistic Director)

A native New Yorker, Ted Thomas attended the High School for Performing Arts (NYC) before receiving his B.F.A. from the State University of New York at Purchase. He went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in dance and higher education from New York University. He danced with Ballet Hispanico, Elisa Monte, and the Murray Louis and Nikolais Company prior to joining the Paul Taylor Dance Company in 1996. Subsequently, while choreographing and continuing to perform with Thomas/Ortiz Dance, Mr. Thomas was for two years Artist-in-Residence at Barnard College, Columbia University. He is an Associate Director of The New England Academy of Dance and The New England Dance Theater.

About Frances Ortiz (Artistic Director)

A native of Puerto Rico, Frances Ortiz studied at The New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL, prior to earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance at the State University of New York at Purchase. While studying for her M.A. degree at New York University, she performed with Kevin Wynn, Tim Martin, and Carl Paris. Ms. Ortiz has taught dance and has been a guest choreographer at Yale University. Frances and her twin sister Ginna Ortiz are co-owners of the New England Academy of Dance in New Canaan, CT, and Frances is co-Artistic Director of the New England Dance Theater.
Bafana Matea & Virginia Horne in 'ABLAZE'.

Bafana Matea & Virginia Horne in "ABLAZE".

Photo © & courtesy of Lois Greenfield

Elyssa Dole, Virginia Horne, Ginna Ortiz & Dominique Rosales in 'UNDAMELY'.

Elyssa Dole, Virginia Horne, Ginna Ortiz & Dominique Rosales in "UNDAMELY".

Photo © & courtesy of Lois Greenfield

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