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April Thibeault
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All-Female Ensemble, Ariel Rivka Dance, Celebrates its 10th Anniversary at New York Live Arts, September 6-9, 2017

by April Thibeault
July 15, 2017
New York Live Arts
219 W 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
(212) 691-6500
Known for its “powerfully engaging” (New York Arts) choreography, Ariel Rivka Dance reflects on 10 seasons of provocative modern dance with a pair of career-spanning programs to be performed at New York Live Arts from September 6-9, 2017. Along with beloved repertory by choreographer Ariel Grossman, each evening welcomes performances by the acclaimed Taylor 2, a work by Chanel DaSilva (Trey McIntyre Project, MOVE(NYC)), and/or a world premiere by Michael Phillips (RIOULT Dance NY). Program details are below.

From its early beginnings at Grossman’s community center in the building where she took her very first dance class to premier venues in Manhattan and around the country, ARD has grown its company size, performance opportunities, collaborative efforts, and artistic capacity. An audience favorite for its accessible, graceful signature style of movement, ARD has captivated sold-out crowds in six states in 40+ venues, at 20+ festivals, and has premiered over 15 works. “We are thrilled to be celebrating 10 years of Ariel Rivka Dance,” exclaimed Ariel Grossman, artistic director of Ariel Rivka Dance. “It is rather humbling to reflect on the dancers, collaborators, children, and audience members that we have impacted (and more importantly, have impacted us) this past decade. Thanks to them, we now serve as one of the leading, all-female contemporary dance ensembles in the nation.”

Grossman’s openness, and deep musical connections have remained a constant while her choreographic style has shifted from narrative, to abstract, to socially-driven. “I believe it is my responsibility to use my art to connect with audiences and provide a space to feel,” said Grossman. “I have always felt the intense vulnerability that comes with sharing my heart and guts. It is terrifying, but I have never felt I had any other choice then to do so.” According to her dancers, she is a strong female artist whose movement vocabulary continues to evolve. “My favorite aspect of working with Ariel is that she always challenges herself to step outside of her comfort zone as an artist,” explained dancer Hana Ginsburg Tirosh. “One of her primary choreographic devices is to identify an element that she has not worked with previously (narrative, floor work, stillness for example), and then specifically set out to explore that concept. This willingness to take creative risks and push her own boundaries in turn inspires us to do the same as dancers, and has fostered an atmosphere of rapid growth, stylistic diversity and constant evolution.”

Leading the program are five classical works by Grossman—of which four were set to original music by Grossman’s husband/composer David Homan. Holly (2011) is an emotional solo to be performed by a different dancer each night demonstrating athleticism and grace. Variations on a Box (2016) drives the full ARD company of eight dancers to explore the constraints of shape and sound. Receiving its New York premiere is Undertow (2016), commissioned by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC). It brings to life the flowing fauna, mysterious sea life, and powerful force of the undertow that controls it all. Four Concerned (2012) explores the many faces of friendship through intricate partnering among four women. According to The Model Critic, it has “a freedom and beauty beyond technique that is [was] very inspiring.” The most recent of Grossman’s works, No Words (2017), also commissioned by NJPAC, celebrates its New York premiere and the first time Homan has performed live on piano in five years.

Dedicated to empowering and supporting fellow female choreographers, Grossman welcomes SUSAN (2016) by Chanel DaSilva. This three-section piece is driven by a passionate score, including vocals, tap dancing, and percussion that strikes a perfect balance between chaos and order. Also on the program are a world premiere by Michael Spencer Phillips and Piazzolla Caldera (1997) by Paul Taylor featuring the dancers of Taylor 2. Through sizzling sexual duets and trios, Piazzolla Caldera looks at the culture of tango, the predatory dance that originated in the brothels of Buenos Aires at the turn of the 20th Century.

About Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD)

“incredibly athletic, energetic and lyrical all at once” - Critical Dance

“inspiring, hypnotic, compelling…freedom and beauty beyond technique”
- The Model Critic

“contemporary and fresh” - Theatre Is Easy

Ariel Rivka Dance (ARD) is a critically acclaimed all-female contemporary dance company led by a married choreographer/composer team, Ariel Grossman (Artistic Director/Choreographer) and David Homan (Executive Director/Composer). Based in New York/New Jersey, ARD is committed to creating work with new music that explores emotionally driven movement with underlying currents of technique and structure. Collaboration and accessibility are the heart of ARD. It produces shows that incorporate various styles of dance and music, exposing our audiences to quality artistry in an inviting way.

In 2016 Ariel was named one of Jersey (New) Moves Emerging Choreographers and was invited back to the 2017 festival as a standout past grant recipient. The company recently toured to Houston, TX, for Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre and to the Gordon Center for Performing Arts in Baltimore, MD, and is looking forward to an upcoming choreographic & performance residency in Vero Beach, FL. ARD has also been presented at NJPAC, Rutgers University, the Gershman Y (Philadelphia, PA), Saratoga Dance Museum, Baruch Performing Arts Center, Dixon Place, White Wave's Wave Rising Series and Inaugural Solo/Duo Festival, and REVERBDance. Past performances include collaborations with RIOULT Dance NY, Heidi Latsky, Elisa King, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Carrie Ellmore-Tallitsch, Paul Dennis and Sean Curran. ARD has also held choreographic residencies at LaGuardia Performing Arts High School (NY) and Moving Youth Ballet Company (NJ) and was the recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council grant and a Nathan Cummings Foundation grant.

With a Masters in Early Childhood Education, Grossman has a passion for introducing dance to young learners offering family, community, and early childhood programming. Ariel Rivka Dance’s most recent family program is the touring work, “The Book of Esther: The Journey of Queen Vashti and Queen Esther,” which explores Ariel’s Jewish roots through a feminist lens. Traveling to Philadelphia, Ocean County, NJ, and various locations in New York City, “The Book of Esther” has provoked riveting conversations about artistic interpretation, biblical text, and the art of collaboration with adults and children alike. To learn more, please visit ArielRivkaDance.com.

About Chanel DaSilva

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Chanel DaSilva fell in love with dance at the age of three. She studied at The Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center and also studied at Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn under the tutelage of Jamel Gaines, Kevin Joseph, and Lakai Worrell. Her training continued at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, The Ailey School and Springboard Danse Montreal. She received a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. Chanel has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Eliot Feld, Doug Varone, Jose Limon, Jessica Lang, Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Camille A. Brown, and Lar Lubovitch. Chanel is a 2004 Presidential Scholar in the Arts and a 2011 Princess Grace Dance Honorarium Awardee. From 2008 – 2014 Chanel was a member of Trey McIntyre Project where she was the muse for many of Mr. McIntyre’s works. She is now a member of Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and serves on the dance faculty of her alma mater, LaGuardia High School. In addition to being a dancer and an educator, Chanel has choreographed works for schools, universities and dance companies across the country, including Idaho Dance Theater, Harvard Ballet Company, The Park Avenue Armory Artist-in-Residence Series and The Juilliard School. Alongside her partner Nigel Campbell, Chanel is the co-founder and co-director of MOVE(NYC), an annual summer dance intensive geared exclusively toward talented and motivated NYC teenagers.

About Michael Spencer Phillips

Mr. Phillips is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BFA, Dance) where he was also a member of the Peter Sparling Dance Company. He attended the Merce Cunningham School on scholarship and performed in the Cunningham Repertory Group. Other performance credits: New York City Opera, Battleworks Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Risa Jaraslow and Dancers, and an apprenticeship with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Mr. Phillips is a teaching artist with RIOULT’s DanceREACH program and has had the privilege to restage Mr. Rioult’s work. He joined RIOULT Dance NY as a dancer in 2002, is co-founder of RIOULT Circle, and began teaching for DanceREACH in 2007.

About Taylor 2

Paul Taylor established Taylor 2 in 1993 to ensure that his works could be seen by audiences all over the world, unhindered by economic or technical limitations. Mr. Taylor worked with longtime colleague Linda Hodes to create a company that could accommodate performance requests as well as teach and provide community outreach. Mr. Taylor looked back to the 1954 origins of the Paul Taylor Dance Company for the structure of his new company: six professionals with a particular gift for his style who perform his work throughout the world. Engagements are flexible and are customized to meet the needs of each community, and often consist of master classes and lecture demonstrations in addition to performances in nontraditional venues as well as theaters. In selecting repertoire for Taylor 2, Mr. Taylor chooses dances that span the broad spectrum of his work. Early Taylor works utilize the six-person Company as originally intended, and later works have been re-worked from the Paul Taylor Dance Company's larger version to enable the smaller ensemble of dancers to perform them. Critics and audiences cheer as Taylor 2 introduces the athleticism, humor and range of emotions found in Mr. Taylor's work.

Taylor 2, which tours extensively, has had engagements in nearly 400 cities to date. In the Spring of 1994, the United States Information Agency sponsored the Company's first international tour that sent the dancers to the African nations of Mozambique, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. Having performed in India in 1997 in tandem with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Taylor 2 returned to India in 2011 for a three-week tour of Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

Taylor 2's widespread US domestic touring has already taken the Company to 46 states. Taylor 2 has completed significant statewide tours of Alaska, California, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. The Company has also participated in a record (10) New York State Long-Term Residencies with support from the New York State Council on the Arts. It has also done extensive residencies in Albany, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Francisco, teaching and performing for thousands of students. Rehearsal Directors of Taylor 2, all distinguished former Taylor dancers, have followed the inspired leadership of founding rehearsal director Linda Hodes. Past Directors are Richard Chen See, Mary Cochran, Patrick Corbin, Kristi Egtvedt, Francie Huber, Andy LeBeau, Susan McGuire, Thomas Patrick, Sandra Stone and Kenneth Tosti. Former Taylor dancer Ruth Andrien became Director of Taylor 2 in April 2010. The Company celebrated its 20th Anniversary in 2013.

When: Wednesday, September 6-Saturday, September 9 @ 7:30 p.m. + Saturday, September 9 @ 2:00 p.m.

Where: New York Live Arts, 219 W 19th St, New York City, Train: 3/F/M/L/A/C/E 14th St

Tickets: Evening Shows $30 General/$15 Students, Seniors & Artists. Matinee Show $15 General/$1 Child (Ages 18 and under). Additional VIP seating + pricing available. To purchase, contact NYLA at 212.924.0077 or visit newyorklivearts.org.

Program Details

(subject to change) *world premiere **New York premiere

Program A (September 6-7)

Four Concerned (2012)
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Music: David Homan
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Casie Marie O’Kane, and Danita Shaheen

Holly (2011)
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer: Stephanie Chun
Dancer: TBA

Undertow (2016)**
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer: David Homan
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Kristin Licata, Casie Marie O’Kane, Jaclyn Rea, Kyleigh Sackandy, Danita Shaheen, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

Variations on a Box (2016)
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman?€?
Composer: David Homan?€?
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Kristin Licata, Casie Marie O’Kane, Jaclyn Rae, Kyleigh Sackandy, Danita Shaheen, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

No Words (2017)**
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer/Pianist: David Homan
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Kristin Licata, Casie Marie O’Kane, Jaclyn Rea, Kyleigh Sackandy, Danita Shaheen, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

SUSAN (2016)
Choreographer: Chanel DaSilva
Composer: Chanel DaSilva, Michela Lerman, and Ulysses Owens Jr.
Dancers: Chanel DaSilva, Mia Brice, Kyra Ferguson, Sequoia Harris, Sherena Medford,
Shannon Dawson, Jaryd Farcon, Michael Santomassimo

Program B (September 8-9)

Title TBA*
Choreographer: Michael Spencer Phillips
Composer: David Homan
Dancers: Kristin Licata, Jaclyn Rea, Kyleigh Sackandy, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

Holly (2011)
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer: Stephanie Chun
Dancer: TBA

Piazzolla Caldera (1997)
Choreographer: Paul Taylor
Composers: Astor Piazzolla, Jerzy Peterburshsky
Dancers: Taylor 2

Variations on a Box (2016)
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer: David Homan
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Kristin Licata, Casie Marie O’Kane, Jaclyn Rae, Kyleigh Sackandy, Danita Shaheen, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

No Words (2017)**
Choreographer: Ariel Grossman
Composer/Pianist: David Homan
Dancers: Caitlyn Casson, Allie Kronick, Kristin Licata, Casie Marie O’Kane, Jaclyn Rea, Kyleigh Sackandy, Danita Shaheen, and Hana Ginsburg Tirosh

This presentation at New York Live Arts is made possible through New York Live Arts’ Theater Access Program. The Theater Access Program is a comprehensive subsidized rental program benefiting a diverse group of dance and theater companies and producing organizations. www.newyorklivearts.org
Credit: Jason Simon

Credit: Jason Simon

Photo © & courtesy of April Thibeault

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