PRESS RELEASE: Contemporary Dance Theater presents 2014 Area Choreographers Festival in partnership with Llanfair Retirement Community
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ABOVE: Choreography by Judith Mikita. Pictured: Della Lehane, Sergey Pakharev. Photo by Jonathan Gibson.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2014
Cincinnati, Ohio — Contemporary Dance Theater, celebrating its 41st anniversary, has not only put Cincinnati on the map nationally (for its presentation of touring artists at the Aronoff), but “CDT” has also been a staunch supporter of local performing artists since its formation in 1972. One of the dance organization’s longest-running programs is a presentation of local and regional artists as its season-closer. Formerly called “Choreographers Without Companies,” the Area Choreographers Festival takes place June 13 & 14 at the Aronoff Center and celebrates dance choreographers and dancers with ties to the region.
The 2014 Area Choreographers Festival celebrates a special, first-of-its-kind collaboration: Contemporary Dance Theater is partnering with its neighbor, Llanfair Retirement Community to create four of the seven festival works. The collection of works by Ka-Ron Brown Lehman, Judith Mikita, Nikki Wetter, and Steven Evans is referred to as “Chronicles” and captures the life stories of its residents through modern dance performance.
“Llanfair is excited to initiate this partnership,” says Sheena Parton, Executive Director, Llanfair Retirement Community in College Hill. “At Llanfair, we don’t accept the stereotypes associated with usual aging. Llanfair is a ‘masterpiece living community,’ where aging is a vibrant, inspired process. Participating in ‘Chronicles’ fits that philosophy by giving our residents the opportunities to capture, share, and see their life stories come to life…through dance.”
Jefferson James, Artistic and Executive Director of Contemporary Dance Theater: “Chronicles reminds us of our shared humanity, [strengthening] and build[ing] the connections between people. The dance performance teaches the value[s] of listening, interpreting, and creating cultural performances that convey every life is rich in meaning.”
An Area Choreographers Festival veteran, choreographer Ka-Ron Brown Lehman is the former Artistic Director at the famed Los Angeles County High School for the Arts’ Dance Department. Her new work, “The Last Train,” was inspired by Llanfair resident Margret Mailly’s watercolor paintings. Ms. Lehman’s piece reveals what happens to an elderly man who is suspended in time and allowed to re-visit missed opportunities for true love.
Another “CDT” veteran, Judith Mikita found inspiration for her work “Too Many Sad Stories” from Llanfair residents Jan Lykins, as well as Bill and Peggy Kehrer. Ms. Lykins surmounted the grief of complications with two children at birth, and the Kehrers found joy together after Bill Kehrer’s service in the Korean War. Ms. Mikita’s work uses projections by photographer-designer Jonathan Gibson.
Steven Evans (a first-year performer in modern dance company MamLuft&Co. Dance) makes his Cincinnati choreographic debut in “Successions,” inspired by changes occurring throughout the lives of Llanfair residents’ Sharon Cusick and Joyce Uetrecht.
Nikki Wetter also makes her Cincinnati debut with “Bridged.” A graduate of Wright State University and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company 2, Ms. Wetter drew inspiration from two Llanfair residents’ love stories: one about a love’s beginning, and one about a love’s end.
A presentation on June 8th at 1pm at the Llanfair Retirement Community will extend the experience to the residents, as well as the College Hill neighborhood.
In addition to the “Chronicles” Llanfair project choreographers, Contemporary Dance Theater also proudly presents the works of Jeri Gatch, Diane Germaine, and Leslie Dworkin, who are all Area Choreographers Festival “repeats.”
Jeri Deckard Gatch (a teaching artist, choreographer, and arts advocate) will premiere “The Year of Dreams.” Throughout a two-year process, Ms. Gatch and her collaborating artist-performers created a work minute-by-minute, month-by-month, thereby encapsulating change over the course of time. “The Year of Dreams” laces these moments together as a dream-filled night that travels through varying cycles of sleep and awareness.
Diane Germaine is a choreographer and writer originally from New York City who has won a number of choreography awards and has taught nationally and abroad. Germaine’s work, “The Empty Room,” finds an individual caught between an intense recognition of people actively engaged in living all around her (or in her memory), but is, yet, unable to feel or be a part of it.
Leslie Dworkin is a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, and a dance artist and choreographer who has performed in the works of such dance luminaries as Ralph Lemon, Mauren Fleming, and Bebe Miller. Ms. Dworkin will perform “The Beast,” a solo that channels the stars of silent film, articulating the immigrant’s experience by portraying the grit in surviving, the pathos of loss, and the wit and charm of a hopeful outsider.
Tickets for the performances on Friday and Saturday, June 13 & 14, 2014, 8:30pm at the Jarson-Kaplan Theater range from $22 to $32 and are available from the Aronoff Center’s box office located at the theater (650 Walnut St., Cincinnati, OH), (513) 621-ARTS (2787), or at cincinnatiarts.org. More information about the show is available at cdt-dance.org/14acf. A free meet-the-artists reception will follow the Friday evening performance for a suggested donation of $5.
Contemporary Dance Theater’s 41st season also included presentations of the well-revered Doug Varone and Dancers of New York City, Philadelphia’s Koresh Dance Company, the moving and remarkably intelligent David Roussève / REALITY of Los Angeles, and the internationally-touring hip hop company, Rennie Harris RHAW.
Llanfair, a premier continuing care retirement community serving southwest Ohio, offers independent and assisted living, rehabilitation and long-term care. Llanfair is one of eleven retirement communities owned and operated by Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services Communities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services (OPRS), headquartered in Columbus.
The Contemporary Dance Theater is Southwest Ohio’s presenter of contemporary dance, and the longest-standing and most consistent presenter and supporter of local and regional dance artists. The Contemporary Dance Theater Guest Artist Series is sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation and is supported by the thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign. Support also comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Contemporary Dance Theater is also supported by The Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that supports public programs in the arts, as well as through gifts from the Robert J. Crosset Family Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation and the Warrington Foundation.
NUMEROUS HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD
These photos have credits for photographers in the filenames. If no photographer name, no need to credit. Filenames generally look like this – Dworkin, Leslie – abc123 by John Burgess. The filename will begin with the [Choreographer Last Name], [First Name] – [maybe some identifying text for internal locating purposes] by [photographer credit, such as John Burgess, Jonathan Gibson, or Splendiferously.net].