DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL 2014 PRESS RELEASE

DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL 2014 PRESS RELEASE
Contact Name: Christina Levin
Contact Phone: 8325334826
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                        2/19/2014

 

SEVEN USA PREMIERES in DANCE SALAD FESTIVAL 2014!

 

HOUSTON, TX - The next Dance Salad Festival performances are scheduled for April 17, 18 and 19, 2014, 7:30 PM at the Wortham Center, Cullen Theater. Now celebrating the 19th anniversary season in Houston and the 22nd season since its inception in Brussels, Belgium, Dance Salad Festival promises another gathering of world-class performers. Famous in their own countries, the dance companies/dancers have won praise from critics and audiences wherever they have toured. To download photos, check for more updates, and to buy and print tickets, $20-$50, go to: www.dancesalad.org.    

USA PREMIERES marked with *

1.Paris Opéra Ballet’s Étoiles, Manuel Legrisand Laetitia Pujol, Paris, France, are coming to Dance Salad Festival. Manuel Legris, an international star and Étoileof 23 years, is now the Artistic Director of the Vienna State Ballet, Austria. These two Etoiles will perform two featured Pas de Deux from Sylvia by renowned choreographer John Neumeierwith music by Léo Delibes,and Le Parc created by internationally acclaimed French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, set to oneof the most beautiful adagios from Mozart's piano concerto No.23.

John Neumeierwas the first choreographer to realize a modern version of the prominent classical ballet Sylvia, ou La nymphe de Diane originallycreated by Louis Mérantein 1876. John Neumeier says about his work: “…First performed in 1876 at the Paris Opera Louis Merante's choreography, Sylvia was the first ballet to be created at the Palais Garnier. It broke with Romantic ballet and the ethereal image of the fairy or sylphide which gave way to the maiden warrior, a distant sister of Penthesilea… However Sylvia interest lies less in its historical and cultural aspects and original choreography than in its music. The score betrays Wagner's influence and, even though it does not shrink the worst clichés of nineteenth-century ballet, it is still full of poetry and sensuality.” www.hamburgballett.de

“John Neumeier was born in 1942 in the U.S.A. He went on to study ballet both in Copenhagen and at the Royal Ballet School in London. Since 1973, John Neumeier has been Artistic Director and Chief Choreographer of The Hamburg Ballet, since 1996 he has been "Ballettintendant" (General Manager)…Under Neumeier's direction The Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies in the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.” www.hamburgballett.de

Sensual and thought provoking, Le Parc, isinspired by the Countess de La Fayette's La Princesse de Clèves (1678), and Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liasons dangereuses (1782), which elegantly explores 17th century sexuality.

“Like a stroll through the labyrinths of love, Le Parc follows its course through the codes of seduction, from initial encounters to physical love and on to total self-surrender… Le Parc remains a timeless story in which Angelin Preljocaj questions with humor and acuity the relationship with the other, that strange attraction where awakening sensuality comes into play, the discovery of the other and through the other, oneself. Mozart’s music, in particular some of the finest adagios from his piano concertos, lend a touch of tenderness to the piece.

The first ballet created by the choreographer for the Paris Opera in 1994, Le Parc has since become a key work in the repertoire subtly blending classical with modern.”www.operadeparis.fr

 

“Choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, …described [Le Parc] as a search for what remains of the 'art of loving'…” wrote Patricia Boccadoro, www.culturekiosque.com,2002.

“Angelin Preljocaj was born in the Paris region, in France, and began studying classical ballet before turning to contemporary dance, which he studied with Karin Waehner. In 1980, he went to New York to work with Zena Rommett and Merce Cunningham, after which he resumed his studies in France, there his teachers included the American choreographer, Viola Farber, and the French one, Quentin Rouillier. He then joined Dominique Bagouet before founding his own company in December 1984. In 2011 he signed, for Air France, the commercial L’Envol, based on the choreography of Le Parc…His productions are now part of the repertoire of many companies, many of which also commission original production from him, notably La Scala of Milan, the New York City Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet. Choreographer and artistic director of the Ballet Preljocaj - National Choreographic Centre, Angelin Preljocaj has been living and working in Aix-en-Provence since 1996.” www.preljocaj.org

Manuel Legriswas born in Paris and trained at the ballet school of the Paris Opéra. In 1986 he was appointed Danseur Étoile by then ballet director of the Paris Opéra, Rudolf Nureyev. He performed the great roles of the classic and modern repertoire and appeared in numerous world premières. He was a guest performer with renowned ballet companies around the world and also appeared with his own ensemble, “Manuel Legris et ses Étoiles”. In May 2009, he gave his farewell performance as Danseur Étoile of the Paris Opéra. Since September 2010, Manuel Legris has been Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and Artistic Director of the Ballet School of the Vienna State Opera.” www.wiener-staatsoper.at

Laetitia Pujol, Etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, started dancing at the age of eight in Toulouse and became a laureate of several national dance competitions. Pujol joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1993 as a member of the corps de ballet and was nominated Etoile on May 2, 2002. Laetitia Pujol is a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of Arts and Letters) and is a recipient of: Gold medal at the Competition at Houlgate and Montpellier, France, 1990-91;Grand Prix Méditeranéen, 1991; Gold medal at the Competition at la Baule, France, 1992; 1st Prize at the International Competition at Lausanne, 1992 among others. Among her repertoire are such works as the Sleeping Beauty, La Sylphide, Giselle, Swan Lake, La Bayadère, Don Quixote and many others.”www.operadeparis.fr

2. A Sadler’s Wells Production, London, UK, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui m¡longa *,will come to Dance Salad Festival in a curated version. Celebrated contemporary dancer/ choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui explores the social and choreographic vocabulary of tango in his new work, m¡longa, a Sadler’s Wells production which opened at the Théâtre du Jorat, Switzerland on 23 May 2013 and toured Europe until July, arriving at Sadler’s Wells in autumn 2013.

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui is a Sadler’s Wells Associate Artist. Internationally renowned for his ground-breaking and critically revered productions with artists including Akram Khan and Maria Pagès, and for his award winning works such as Sutra and Babel, he has created more than 20 productions and is widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s most exciting choreographers.

Deeply rooted in Argentinean culture, tango has fascinated and captivated the world with its sexuality, power and beauty. It is this unique appeal that has drawn Cherkaoui to create m¡longa. He says, "What attracts me most about tango is the eternal embrace of the dancers. When a tango couple dances, we sense the hypnotic dialogue between two bodies connecting intuitively, merging into one. If there is such a thing as my style of dance, it is rooted in touch, in physical contact - and that is inherent in tango."

Taking the idea of milonga as its starting point, social dances parties held in intimate late night bars in Buenos Aires, Cherkaoui draws on traditional influences and adds a contemporary twist. This is the first time an international large-scale production inspired by tango is directed by a non-Argentine artist, offering exciting opportunities to explore the traditional dance from another cultural perspective.

m¡longa features new music from Argentinean composer Fernando Marzan and Cherkaoui’s long term collaborator Szymon Brzóska, video and set design by Eugenio Szwarcer, costumes by renowned fashion designer Tim Van Steenbergen, lighting by Adam Carrée and sound by Gaston Briski. Tango expert Nelida Rodriguez de Aure is artistic consultant for the production. m¡longa is performed by a cast of 10 tango dancers from Buenos Aires, two contemporary dancers and a tango band of five musicians.

m¡longa is a Sadler’s Wells production, co-produced with Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne; Migros Culture Percentage Dance Festival Steps; Théâtre du Jorat, Mėzières; deSingel, Antwerp; Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg; Les Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon; Movimentos Festwochen der Autostadt in Wolfsburg; Festspielhaus St Pölten; Fondazione Musica per Roma; and Eastman.

Curated sections of Cherkaoui’s Myth and Origin came to DSF in 2009. In 2010, Loin was danced by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genéve.  Also, in 2011 DSF presented his Faun danced by award winning Daniel Proietto  and Daisy Phillips. A very special version of Larbi’s PUZ/ZLE, which was named Petrus (out of PUZ/ZLE), was created specifically for Dance Salad Festival and premiered in the Festival with live musicians in 2013.

3. Beijing Dance/LDTX, China, with its 4th appearance in Dance Salad Festival 2014, will perform a curated version of Treading on Grass*, set to the piano version of Firebird by Igor Stravinsky,and of Sorrowful Song* danced to Henryk Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, createdby Co-Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the company and one of its leading choreographers, Li Hanzhong, and his wife and artistic partner of many collaborations, Ma Bo.

“Treading on Grasswas specially created for the opening performance of the Beijing Dance Festival 2013. The work is inspired by the piano version of Stravinsky’s Fire Bird which premiered in 1910. As a sequel to the masterpiece All River Red, which was presented in DSF in 2006 and 2011, by the same choreographers, Treading on Grass continues the dialogue between the traditional and the innovative, and permeates a sense of tranquility as the artists become more seasoned.” Beijing Dance/LDTX, 2013.

“Sorrowful Songis a tribute to the music of the prominent Polish composer, Henryk Gorecki. The choreography attempts to convey an intense power of what is believed to be the most touching of Gorecki’s compositions.” Beijing Dance/LDTX, 2013

Li Hanzhongco-founded Beijing Dance / LDTX with Willy Tsao in 2005 and has served as the Executive Artistic Director since. Some of his most acclaimed works include All River Red, Undetermined Domain, Rear Light, The Cold Dagger, allchoreographed together with his wife, Ma Bo, rehearsal director and choreographic collaborator. Li Hanzhong is currently choreographing a major work commissioned by the Chinese government about Mao Tse-Tung.

The birth of Beijing Dance/LDTX (Lei Dong Tian Xia; literally translated as Thunder Rumbles

Under Heaven) in September of 2005 not only caught widespread international attention, but also captured the imagination of many artists in China. Beijing Dance/LDTX was born out of a

controversial and exciting time of rapid cultural change in China, becoming China’s first

non-governmental and independent professional dance company.

 

Critics say about Beijing Dance/LDTX: "The company doesn't merely dance splendidly, it dances ferociously. " LA Times;  "This is the spirit of what modern dance should be, it makes one immensely hopeful for what comes next."Philadelphia  Metro; "Thought provoking and beautiful…"The Philadelphia Inquirer;"A sleek and well trained ensemble."The New York Times.

 

4. Royal Danish Ballet, Copenhagen, Denmark, will present a section from a classical burlesque ballet The Kermesse in Brugescreated by legendary choreographer August Bournonville,who is considered as “the calling card of The Royal Danish Ballet”and set to music by Holger Simon Paulli. Another work performed by the Royal Danish Ballet  dancers will be Traditional*winner of Erik Bruhn Competition in Montreal, Canada choreographed by Brazilian born choreographer Alessandro Sousa Pereira,danced to music by Zoe Keating.

The Kermesse in Brugespremiered by the Royal Danish Ballet in 1851, is inspired by the bourgeois Flemish painting style of the 17th century and takes place at a Holy Fair in the 17th-century city of Bruges, telling the comic story of three brothers who receive three magic gifts. The Kermesse in Brugesis one of the most popular of Bournonville's ballets.

August Bournonville(1805-1879) was born in Copenhagen and educated in the best French and Italian dancing traditions by his father, a French dancer, and the Italian, Vincenzo Galeotti, who was ballet master in Copenhagen from 1775 – 1816. With a firm foundation in the Danish cultural tradition of the period – the Danish Romanticism – Bournonville maintained that art should be positive; its purpose was to elevate us and to make us into harmonious beings. This harmony is to be found not only in the stories and the happy endings of his ballets, but also in his style of beautiful proportions and delicate musical timing.

Denise Sum of Danceviewtimes.com writes about Traditional: “The androgynous pas de deux, danced in black pants and blazers with soft shoes, starts with the dancers' backs facing the audience. Tension builds gradually, mirrored in the cello-inflected music of Zoe Keating. Lifts were unconventional and steps were unexpected and daring. Praetorius and Kaas (dancers of the Royal Danish Ballet) shared the same great chemistry here and showed themselves as mature and versatile artists.”

Alessandro Sousa Pereira, Brazilian, born in 1983 and educated in São Paulo, danced at Lina Pentiado Danca Cia., Bahia Ballet (Ballet do Teatro CastroAlves), and Tanz Graz in Austria. In 2003–2007, he engaged at Ballet Theatre Munich under direction of Philip Taylor, working with choreographers such as Carolyn Carlson, Jirí Kylián and Richard Alston. Alessandrostarted as a dancer with Danish Dance Theatre, directed by Tim Rushton, in July 2007. Alessandro has created several prize winning choreographies.

5.Staatstheater Ballett Wiesbaden, Germany will bring a curated section from Stephan Thoss’s recently premiered  Loops and Lines* set to music by John Adams.

“Why do we move? What makes us move? These are the questions posed by the most important dance researcher of the 20th century, Rudolf von Laban. This is also the point of departure for the choreographer Stephan Thoss in the dance project “Loops and Lines”, realized in cooperation with the Ensemble Modern, which had its premiere in Wiesbaden on October 26, 2013…the dancers of the Wiesbaden State Theatre use this context to explore Laban’s theory of movement. Sound and movement cause and relate to each other.” www.ensemble-modern.com

“In this interdisciplinary project, Stephan Thoss and his dancers illustrate the significance of Rudolf von Laban’s movement studies from the 1920s on propulsion, impulses and dynamics as a singular sensual experience. In doing so, Thoss, whose work is rooted in German free dance traditions, also relates these teachings on the movements of the human body to the world of orchestral musicians and their instruments. This is enabled by a cooperation with the Ensemble Modern, an ensemble specialized in innovative performances of 20th and 21st century music which is always keen to experiment with new ideas.” www.staatstheater-wiesbaden.de

Stephan Thoss was born in Leipzig, Germany. “In 1983, Thoss joined the ballet company of the Saxon State Opera Dresden. It was here that his first choreographies were born. In 1994, he accepted an invitation from Macia Haydée to serve as a guest choreographer with the Stuttgart Ballet. There he created a new ballet set to Stravinsky’s Les Noces. He subsequently received commissions from some of the world’s most renowned dance companies, including the Bavarian National Ballet, the Hamburg Ballet, the Balletto di Toscana in Florence, and NDT2.

In 2001, he left Kiel to become the director of the Staatsoper Hannover, which at the time had some thirty dancers. From 2001 to 2006, he created 20 new choreographies. In August 2007, Thoss became the ballet director of the Staatstheater Wiesbadenchanging the company’s profile from classical to modern, with a repertoire of contemporary works. In recent years, in addition to conceiving the choreography, he has also selected the music, and designed the sets, costumes, and lighting for his works. His meticulous, minimalist visual aesthetic and unique choreographic language bring a heightened intensity to his ballets.

In May 2011, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal presented the North American premiere of Searching for Home, a ballet by Stephan Thoss.”www.grandsballets.com

Stephan Thoss’s work has been presented in Dance Salad Festival previously, including the choreography Thundering Silence which was presented by Ballet Staatsoper Hannover, in 2006. Also, a solo from Carmen was danced in 2007 by Masa Kolar. She later performed Thoss’s No Cha-Cha-Cha with Zoran Markovic in 2011.
 

6.Elephant in the Black Box (EBB), Madrid, Spain, founded by the upcoming choreographer Jean-Philipe Dury, former Paris Opera Ballet dancer and former Principal Dancer of Compania Nacional de Danza under Nacho Duato’s previous leadership, will present the men’s trio section from Remanso byNacho Duato set to music by Enrique Granadosand Dury’s own CEL Black Days* set to music byHildur Gudnadottir.

Remanso, premiered at the American Ballet Theater, New York in 1997, is inspired by the world of poet Federico Garcia Lorca and was described as “an outpouring of ingenuity, continually flirting with the audience in its insightful movement” when it was first presented in Dance Salad Festival by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genéve in 2005. www.dancesalad.org.

“Born in Valencia, Spain, Duatosigned his first professional contract with the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm in 1980 and a year later Jiří Kylián brought him to the Nederlands Dans Theater in Holland, where he was quickly assimilated into the company and its repertoire. In recognition of his achievement as a dancer, Duato received the Golden Dance Award in Schouwburgen, Netherlands in 1987. Duato’s natural talent as a dancer led him to begin exploring choreography, and his first attempt at it in 1983 turned into a major success: Jardí Tancat , set to Catalan music by Maria del Mar Bonet won him the first prize at the International Choreographic Workshop in Cologne. In 1988 Nacho Duato was named Resident Choreographer for Nederlands Dans Theater alongside Hans van Manen and Jiří Kylián.
In 1995 he received the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, presented annually by the French Embassy in Spain.

The Spanish Government awarded him the Golden Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts in 1998.
He won the Benois de la Danse at the Stuttgart Opera, one of the most prestigious international awards for choreography, presented by the International Dance Association for Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness in April of 2000. In 2003, Duato became the winner of Spain’s National Dance Award, in the Creative category.In 2010, he was awarded with the Chile Arts Critics Circle Prize and his choreography Na Floresta was nominated for the Golden Mask, Russia’s critics’ circle highest award. Nacho Duato had been the Artistic Director of Compañía Nacional de Danza since June of 1990, when he was invited to take the position by the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escénicas y de la Música of the Spanish Ministry of Culture.” www.mikhailovsky.ru

In 2010, he celebrated his twentiethAnniversary with the Compañía Nacional de Danzaand left to leadSt.Petersburg’s Mikhailovsky Ballet. In fall of 2014, he will start working as the Artistic Director of the Staatsballett Berlin.

Choreographer, Jean-Philippe Dury writes about CEL Black Days:

“Youth is not a period of life.

It is a state of mind, an effect of will

A quality of imagination, in emotive intensity

A victory of courage over shyness

From taste of adventure over love of comfort

We don’t get old

For having lived a certain amount of years

We get old

Because we have deserted our ideal

Years wrinkle skin; renouncing our ideal, wrinkles the soul.

Concerns, doubts, fears and despair

Are the enemies who slowly tilt us toward earth

And become dust before the death.”

 

“Jean-Philippe Durywas born in Paris in 1978. Jean-Philippe joined the Paris Opera Ballet as a member of the Corps de Ballet.In 1998 he won first prize for artistic and contemporary dance at the Saint Petersburg Awards. In 2001, he was awarded first prize at the Firenze & Danza dance awards in Florence, as well as at the Grand Prix de la República de Italia. During the 2003-04 season Paris Opera Ballet granted him a sabbatical year during which he danced for Les Ballet de Monte Carlo. He returned to Paris, rejoining Paris Opera Ballet as a soloist.

Jean-Philippe has also choreographed his own work: Fardo (1999), Mémoires Oubliées (2001), Háblame (2003) and Les Jardins du Silence (2006), all of which were premiered at the L’Amphithéâtre Bastille at the Paris Opera Ballet during their choreographers season. In September 2007 he joined the Compania Nacional de Danza as Principal Dancer... In 2012, Jean-Philippe left  Compania Nacional de Danza deciding to focus on developing his own choreographic works. In 2013 Jean-Philippe founded The Elephant in the Black Box company, where he is the artistic director and resident choreographer. In March 2013 Jean-Philippe was awarded for the Best Choreography at the Talent Festival Madrid 2013 for his last creation CEL Black Days.” www.ebbcompany.com

 

7. Contemporary Dragon KungFu Dance Company from Beijing, China, will debut in the USA with its signature work Gateway*created by Liu Lu. This kungfu company was established in 2006 by the internationally renowned super kungfu star, Jackie Chan. Liu Lu trained these kungfu artists in contemporary dance for a year in order to create the choreography Gateway.

Liu Lu writes about what inspired her work: “A gateway leading to an unknown world…‘ The opening and closing of doors are the most significant actions of man's life. What a mystery lies in doors! Which one of us has not sat in some ante-room and watched the inscrutable panels of a door that was full of meaning?’ Excerpt from ‘On Doors’ by US writer Christopher Morley.”

Established on October 21st, 2006 Contemporary Dragon Kungfu Dance Company includes members from prestigious kungfu groups in China, like Shaolin Kungfu Monk Corps and Chinese Shenwu Cultural Communication Company, all with solid Kungfu techniques and rich performing experience, now adding contemporary dance to their technique.

Liu Lugraduated in 1984 from the PLA Academy of Arts and later majored in Classical Dance in Beijing Dance Academy and graduated in 1991.Since 1996, Ms. Liu has been a

Director of Grand Evening Galas at Phoenix Television based in Hong Kong. Her works cover the areas of movies, martial arts, acrobatics and charity. Returning to dance has always been her dream, deeply rooted in her heart. She expresses her rich emotions and thoughts towards life through “dialogue with the body”.Contemporary Dragon KungFu Dance Company, 2013

USA PREMIERES are marked with *

 

Other Important Events in Dance Salad Festival Week

Press Conference: Wednesday, April 16, from 11 AM - 2 PM,@ Wortham Basement Studio Lounge, 510 Preston, 77002, one floor down from the entrance level, signs will be posted. Please RSVP directly to Christina Levin at dsfassist@aol.comor832.533.4826 toarrange your name to be listed with the Wortham Center’s back stage security desk and/or book an individual time slot from 11 am to 2pm with a particular company’s dancers/choreographer or director of the festival, Nancy Henderek, depending on her/his availability.

Choreographers’ Forum: A Conversation, Wednesday, April 16, 7:00 PM @ the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is a special opportunity to glimpse the creative process from some of the Festival’s invited choreographers; to hear their points of view and to see film clips of their work. This highly anticipated event is generously co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. There will be a reception following the Forum at the MFAH. Updates on who is invited for this year’s forum are coming soon.

During the Festival week, Artist to Artist Workshops will be held in various locations throughout the city so that students and professionals can learn from these invited master choreographers.

Classical, modern and contemporary dance share the Dance Salad Festival stage to form a mix of movement and compelling choreographic invention. Members of some of the world’s best dance companies come to the city to participate in this week-long Festival. Each night’s production is uniquely curated and designed as a coherent, expressive performance. To see the full range of the choreography we highly recommend you attend at least two of the three evenings.

This multicultural presentation has received international recognition for its quality and innovativeness and because of the Festival’s broad international nature, it has consistently been a source of cultural pride for many of the expatriate and ethnic communities that reside in Houston. The city's 94 member Consular Corps is a community partner and many foreign members serve as sponsors and hosts. Director Nancy Henderek strongly believes that through the arts, bridges can be built between different countries and cultures.

Dance Salad Festival has been praised by local, national and international publications. Dance Magazine said: “Producer Nancy Henderek’s eye for some of the best international dance is unparalleled.” In a special section of The Houston Chronicle entitled “Houston’s Ultimate People,” Nancy Henderek is described as a “one-woman United Nations.”

PR/Assistant to the Director, Christina Levin:dsfassist@aol.com, Mobile: 832.533.4826.