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11.5.2005



MOMENTA

the premier dance company of Oak Park

presents

its Fall Dance Concert Series

 

A Dances of Passion, Tragedy and Drama

 

MOMENTA’s Fall Concert Series

 

        November 5, 6, 12 and 13 are the dates for MOMENTA’s Fall Concert Series.  The evening concerts, DANCES OF PASSION, TRAGEDY AND DRAMA, (Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM) will feature the three works from the Athenaeum concerts, along with Valery Dolgallo’s staging of the Divertissement from Russlan and Ludmilla, and works by Sarah Cullen Fuller, Sarah Najera and Raphaelle Ziemba. 

        MOMENTA  will feature two new works – one a solo, Ida, (November 5 and 6 only) about Ida B. Wells created for Sarita Smith Childs by award winning choreographer Randy Duncan, the other 254 is by MOMENTA’s co-artistic director, Larry Ippel, who has used visual artist Bruno Surdo’s epic painting, Tragedy, Memory and Honor, based on 9/11.  Ida B. Wells was an extraordinary African American woman who spoke out for civil rights and against lynching in the 1920s and 1930s.  MOMENTA will also perform Charles Weidman’s powerful 1936 work, Lynchtown, the choreographer’s response to his childhood memory of witnessing a lynching. 

        MOMENTA’s Family Matinees, November 5 and 12, Saturdays at 3:00 PM and November 6 and 13, Sundays at 2:00 PM will feature some of the most popular works from our summer showcase and a premiere of co-artistic director Stephanie Clemens’ The Child and the Sorcerers, an opera-ballet by composer Maurice Ravel.  The ballet tells the story of a small boy who does not want to do his homework, has a tantrum and damages many of the tings (and animals) in his home; furniture, a clock, a teapot, cup and saucer, wallpaper, book pages, the fire.  These all come to life to make him realize what harm he has caused.  Larry Ippel will appear as Mr. Arithmetic, a nightmare vision of the despised homework.

MOMENTA’s Fall Concerts will take place in the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake Street, Oak Park (entry at back of building).  The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.  Call (708) 848-2329 for rates for groups of ten or more.  Otherwise, tickets can be purchased at the door shortly before the concerts.  The concerts do tend to sell out, so come early!!   

 Tickets:  Adults/$10.00 - Seniors and Students/$5.00 (Matinee Concerts)

Tickets:  Adults/$15.00 – Seniors/$10.00 – Students/$5.00 (Evening Concerts)

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:  Stephanie Clemens

(708) 848-2329

stephanieclemens@hotmail.com

 

 

09.21.2005



MOMENTA

the premier dance company of Oak Park

presents

 

 A Combustible Cultural Journey of Dance

3 - A DANCE COLLABORATIVE

 

Chicago – MOMENTA, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, and DanceLoop Chicago present 3- A DANCE COLLABORATIVE on October 1 and 2, 2005 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago.  The three-way collaborative offers a selection of dances with subjects fiery and explosive in their emotions and content that will take audiences on a combustible cultural journey. Live music and vocalists will be featured along with the dancers in several works to create a full theatrical experience.

 

 

MOMENTA, as led by Stephanie Clemens and Larry Ippel, will present three works by three choreographers. Award winning choreographer Randy Duncan's new work Ida will have its World Premiere in these October concerts.  Performed by dancer, Sarita Smith Childs, Ida is a portrait of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, a fearless, anti-lynching crusader, suffragist and journalist. She was active first in her native Mississippi, then in Tennessee, and came to Chicago in the 1890s to continue her impassioned work until her death in 1931. Another perspective on the horror of lynching is the dance Lynchtown, a 1936 work by modern dance pioneer Charles Weidman.  The dance is set to an original percussive score written by Lehmann Engle and performed by Weidman himself on the drum; MOMENTA performs to this historic recording. Co-artistic director Larry Ippel has created 254,a dance-drama based on Chicago artist Bruno Surdo's epic painting "Tragedy, Memory and Honor" - a memorial to those lost and to those who labored heroically around the event known now as 9/11. This multimedia work, also a World Premiere, will use video projections of the painting as the dancers, including wheelchair dancer, Kris Lenzo, and veteran performer Sam McGrier take on roles of individuals portrayed in the painting. The music for 254 is a collage ranging from classical to contemporary and also includes live stomp, hambone and body music.

 

Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre under the direction of Artistic Director Wilfredo Rivera and composer Joe Cerqua, will present works featuring Latino and Latin American influenced life experiences. Live vocalist and musicians will interact with the dancers as they perform in front of visual art backgrounds especially designed for the company. On the program will be Brujos Deseos (Witching Lust) that uses the language of the Tango to create this sensuous and predatory dance; Millennium Mambo composed by Joe Cerqua with lyrics by Regina Taylor, which explores assimilation experiences of five women and Mi Primer Baile (My First Dance), a segment of “The American Dream” that explores an immigrant’s journey into the American existence. Additionally, A veces cuando cierro los ojos... (Sometimes when I close my eyes...) is a work inspired by three Latino writers: Chile native and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda, Chicago born Mexican-American Sandra Cisneros and Marco Tulio Del Arca from Honduras. The company’s finale is Manteca, an original composition by Dizzy Gillespie that celebrates life with joy and abandon as dancers and musicians paint the walls red.

 

DanceLoop Chicago’s Paula Frasz and Dmitri Peskov will present three World Premieres peering into social and emotional issues that are inherently part of all of our lives. Paula Frasz has choreographed Scorched Earth, an ensemble work based upon a poem “In the Field” by Sue Glavan, a native of Aurora, IL.  Featuring live vocals by the dancers, the work delves into the issue of disappearing farmland and the ensuing loss of the continuity of farming communities. Dmitri Peskov will offer Anniversary, a duet set to a string quartet by Henryk Gorecki that brings the audience inside a private moment of a relationship reflecting all its fluctuating emotions both tender and cruel. The Unknown Citizen is an abstract solo based upon a poem by W. H. Auden for Peskov illuminating the eternal Russian theme of the battle of the “little man. ” The work utilizes a three dimensional abstract statue including bicycles, vibrating springs and other miscellany as the set on which Peskov takes his voyage.    

3 -  A DANCE COLLABORATIVE will take place at the Athenaeum Theatre on October 1 and 2, 2005.  Performances will be Saturday, October 1 at 8pm and Sunday, October 2 at 2pm.  The Athenaeum Theatre is located at 2936 N. Southport in Chicago. Tickets which are $20 and $15, may be purchased through Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 312-902-1500 and the Athenaeum Theatre Box Office 773 935-6860.

 

 

02.13.2005



MOMENTA

the premier dance company of Oak Park

presents

 

 NEW DANCES ~ A Second Generation

 

                MOMENTA  presents a wonderful variety of new dance – most of them world premieres – for its upcoming evening concerts on March 5, 6, 12 and 13.  The concerts all take place in MOMENTA’s home in the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre at 605 Lake Street in Oak Park.

                A rarely heard musical score by Kara-Karaiyev is the inspiration for ballet master Valery Dolgallo’s “Seven Beauties,” the tale of seven sculpted images of exotic women brought to life by an old hermit.  Each woman (Chinese, Spanish, Turkish, Hindi, Slovenian, Byzantine and Persian) comes to life and dances for the Pasha, who finally succumbs to the Persian, only to find them ephemeral and once again sculptures in their niches.

                Sandra Kaufmann has created a new work for our concerts - "The Seed" - a work in the spirit of Martha Graham (Kaufmann danced with the Graham Company in New York for ten years).  It tells the story of Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, whose fatal taste of six pomegranate seeds takes her to the Lord of the Underworld for half the year.  Persephone's return brings spring each year to the upper world.

                Another extraordinary work for this series is by Ginger Lane, a wheelchair dancer, who has choreographed “Interplay,” a work for five dancers, two of whom are also wheelchair dancers. One, Kris Lenzo, is now performing for his fourth season with MOMENTA; the other, Alana Wallace, a guest artist, has performed with Baryshnikov’s White Oak Project.

                Alberto Arias, formerly with Hubbard Street, and now ballet master for Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, worked with MOMENTA in the early years.  He returns now to choreograph “El Bosque” (The Forest), a large group work based on sensuous Latin rhythms.  The work features a solo for Sarita Smith Childs, who is well-known in the Chicago dance community.

 

                Two other works, one by Cora D. Mitchell, the other by Jennifer Sprowl, are dedicated to the victims of the tsunami.

 

                MOMENTA, the premiere dance company of Oak Park, has been presenting high quality dance concerts since its inception in 1983.  Many of MOMENTA’s current professional dancers and choreographers began as students with MOMENTA during the 1980s and 90s.  During the course of the series, there will be fourteen world premieres, seven of them short audition solos created for the rising stars of a new generation of MOMENTA dancers.  As our senior apprentices, all advanced students, prepare for the next step in their careers, college or professional dance company auditions are a fact of life.  MOMENTA has asked its alums who have already taken their places in the professional dance world to return and give a “leg up” to the next generation by creating highly challenging, intense audition solos – solos that have to show the maximum the dancer is capable of in two breathtaking minutes!

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

&

The Thirteen Dancing Princesses

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is one of the ballets featured in MOMENTA’s Family Matinees scheduled at the Academy of Movement and Music on March 5, 6, 12 and 13.  This familiar story will be told in dance, mime and music by the dancers in MOMENTA’s Junior Company.  Choreographer Mary Kelly Kren is drilling the dwarfs, who are played by Philip deTombe (Doc), Tommy Schimmel (Grumpy), Frank Orphan (Sneezy), Jack deTombe (Bashful), Tommy Jackson (Happy), Robert Hunter Bry (Sleepy) and Hunter Standen (Dopey).  She is also working with double casts of Snow White (Meghan Angelos and Maria Renee Plona) and the Wicked Queen (Teresa Deziel and Meghan Young).  Aidan Feldman, a MOMENTA Senior Company member, is Prince Charming, with Alex Schorsch as his Squire.  Audrey Deziel and Ella Grossman share the role of the Bad Apple, and Emily Tucker and Emma Silverman share the role of the Deer that is sacrificed so that Snow White can live.  John Barkidjija and Zachary Schorsch alternate as the Huntsman, with Jesse Benedict, Max Gorgol and Jack Schimmel as the Hunting Dogs.

 

Once Snow White is safely married to Prince Charming, the Dwarfs, Dogs, Huntsmen and Squire turn into Cavaliers for the second ballet in the March Family concerts.  “The Thirteen Dancing Princesses” (yes, we know the original story had only twelve!!) are danced by Rachel Ackerman, Sophianna Banholzer, Hanaan Bing-Canar, Emily Rose Cannon, Molly Eisenhardt, Lucy Gill, Jessica Goldberg, Sarah Green, Christiana Ho, Ariel Levin, Caroline Meister, Leah Soffer and Katie Williams.  Tommy Schimmel plays the Prince who discovers the secret of the worn-out dancing slippers and wins the hand of a princess, and the hands of the other twelve for their Cavaliers.  Senior company members Sara Magee as the Nanny and Aidan Feldman as the Shoemaker join the younger members in dancing waltzes, polka and mazurkas all by the Strauss family.  Choreographer Stephanie Clemens is thrilled to have thirteen boys able to waltz with the thirteen Princesses!

 

 

10.02.2004




MOMENTA
You Can Go Home Again!

MOMENTA, the premiere dance company of Oak Park, proves that you can go home again!  In this case, the ”you” refers to those dancers who grew up dancing as students with MOMENTA, and who now come “home” to perform in the theatre they once danced in as children.  Generations of these alumnae from the early 80’s to the beginning of the new millennium will come together this fall to choreograph and to perform with each other, still under the w3atchful eye of co-directors Stephanie Clemens and Larry Ippel.

MOMENTA’s fall concerts are titled “Choreographic Offerings” and include a variety of dances:  The oldest, the Romantic Ballet, “Pas de Quatre” dates from 1845, the newest are world premieres this fall.  “Choreographic Offerings” is a reference to the beautiful work, “Choreographic Offerings” created by the great José Limón in tribute to his mentor Doris Humphrey.  Oak Park audiences will have a rare opportunity to see two members of the New York based José Limón Dance Company when Limon dancers, Brenna Monroe-Cook and Francisco Ruvalcaba, take the stage November 6, 7, 13, and 14, Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM in the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre, 605 Lake Street, Oak Park.  Brenna, a MOMENTA alumna and “Pablo,” as Ruvalcaba is known to his fellow dancers, will present two excerpts from “Choreographic Offering” and a duet new to the Limón Company by Adam Hoaglund.  Brenna began at the Academy of Movement and Music when she was three years old and studied there and danced with MOMENTA through her high school years.  After her graduation, she went on to Juilliard and from there into the Limón Company.  During her MOMENTA years, Brenna was exposed to many of the dances of Doris Humphrey; this helped her to make the transition from the little girl who dreamed of being a ballerina in a tutu to the glorious young woman who is now cast in leading roles in one of the most prestigious modern dance companies in the world.  Recently, Brenna had the opportunity of playing the role of Desdemona (opposite Ruvalcaba’s Moor) in Limón’s hallmark work, “The Moor’s Pavane.”

 

Two alumnae, Sandra Kaufmann and Mary Kelly Kren, are part of the creation of a new work “Oh to be Mellow!” by co-artistic director Larry Ippel.  Ippel is collaborating for the second time with well-known Chicago composer, Ilya Levinson.  Together they are choreographing a dance/composing music to a poem written by Dominique Lemieux for her sister, soprano Elaine Lemieux – who will perform the work live with three other musicians in all four concerts.  Kaufmann and Kelly Kren become the recreation of the relationship between the two sisters.

 

Sandra Kaufmann will also contribute as a choreographer to the MOMENTA concerts, her work, “The Pleiades,” is based on the seven sisters who form the constellation.  Kaufmann will also dance in a work by another alumna, Sarita Smith Childs, who, in turn, will perform a solo choreographed by Chicago choreographer, Kirby Reed, as a portrait of the 1960’s activist, Angela Davis.  Kaufmann and Smith Childs danced together as teens with MOMENTA and both received early training at the Academy of Movement and Music.

 

Mary Kelly Kren will be featured in a world premiere reconstruction of Loie Fuller’s “Night” from 1896.  Like “Fire Dance” which was a brilliant success in MOMENTA’s Spring 2004 concerts and which will go down to Dance Chicago this fall, “Night” also features a voluminous gown – this time it has more than forty yards of jeweled BLACK silk.  Fuller, who made a sensation at the Follies Bergere in Paris in the 1890’s, held more patents for stage lighting inventions than anyone else in her generation – male or female.  What we achieve today with computers and “intelligent” lights, she achieved with 16-20 electricians who hand-held instruments and devices she created.  Fuller was the first dancer to insist on a black-box theatre to set the dancer like a jewel in black velvet.  She was also the first dancer to insist that the house lights be turned off.  “Night” is as much a display of Fuller’s lighting design as it is of her dancing and features a swirling galaxy, a rising moon and a powerful thunderstorm.

MOMENTA was thrilled last spring to discover a young woman, Jessica Lindberg, who had spent three years researching Fuller and “Fire Dance” in order to recreate it.  This past summer, MOMENTA brought Lindberg and her lighting designer, Megan Slayter, to Oak Park to reconstruct “Night,” a dance that has not been seen since the early 1900’s and which must be reconstructed from old photos, written descriptions and artwork of the period.  Mary Kelly Kren, who began at the Academy at age three, and who now teaches there, performed “Fire Dance” in the spring and will take over the performances of Night” after Jessica Lindberg dances the premiere on November 6.

Babar Comes to Oak Park

MOMENTA is pleased to present “The Story of Babar – the little elephant” as a ballet to family audiences in the Oak Park area.  The concerts will take place on Saturdays, November 6 and 13 at 3:00 PM and on Sundays, November 7 and 14 at 2:00 PM at the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre in the Academy of Movement and Music at 605 Lake Street in Oak Park.  “The Story of Babar – the little elephant” will also be performed at the Oak Park and River Forest Symphony Youth Concert in January 2005.

 

Many years ago French composer, Francis Poulenc, wrote delightful music for this classic children’s story by Jean de Brunoff.  Now, Stephanie Clemens, co-artistic director of MOMENTA, has set all the elephants, monkeys, birds, an Old Lady and even a poison mushroom dancing.  John Barkidjija and Zachary Schorsch share the role of King Babar, while Robert Hunter-Bry and Tommy Jackson portray Babar as a little elephant.  Sarah Green and Emma Silverman alternate the part of Celeste, and Ariel Levin and Emily Tucker both play the part of the Little Old Lady.

 

In addition to the ballet of Babar, MOMENTA dancers will also present a number of other dances, including “Winter Storm” choreographed by Mei-Kuang Chen to the music of Antonio Vivaldi, and four works by MOMENTA’s Young Choreographers Merril Doty, Greer Dworman, Madelyne Greene, and Liz Harmon.

 

MOMENTA is unusual in having ten boys who are active members of the dance company.  For the past two years these young athletes – and dance is a very athletic activity – especially for boys – have appeared mostly in comedic roles or as part of children’s stories.  This fall they take the stage in “Boys from the Sudan” – a tribute to the wandering bands of boys who attempt to escape from the genocide in war-torn Sudan.  In preparation for the performance, the cast of fortunate, healthy dancers, ages 8 to 11, has learned about the tragic lives of other boys their own ages.  This is a very different band of boys than that depicted in “Lord of the Flies”; the Sudanese boys value and cherish each other and have found that working together is their only hope of survival in life-threatening conditions including lions, snakes, crocodiles and lack of food and water.  The dancers are aware that a few of these boys have survived – some to come to the United States where they work hard to build a new life for themselves.  Stephanie Clemens first created the dance in 1992 – unfortunately, it is still timely.

 

09.18.2004




MOMENTA Alumni Association Plans 5th Annual
Summer Dance Festival

The MOMENTA Alumni Association is planning its 5th annual Summer Dance Festival July 19, 20 and 21, 2002 in the Doris Humphrey Memorial theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music. Each summer, dancers who have worked with MOMENTA and been affiliated with the Academy return to choreograph a wonderful show full of exciting new works performed by dancers who make the Academy/MOMENTA very proud indeed.

Many MOMENTA dancers have gone on to professional successes with such companies as Dance Theatre of Harlem, Hubbard Street Dance Company, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Houston Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Melissa Thodos and Company - and even the Rockettes and Ringling Brothers Circus! Some alums have gone on to choreographic success, like Randy Duncan, Ron De Jesus, and Samantha Fitschen. Others are involved in starting a new company like Cameron Jarrett with Instruments of Movement. Some are still finishing their university degrees at such prestigious places as Julliard, State University of New York at Purchase and the University of Illinios at Champaign. Writing in the national dance journal "Dancer" in 1998, Ann Barzel stated that: the entire alumni program was a smash hit, with bravos for every number."

Show times on Friday and Saturday are at 8:00 PM; Sunday's performance will be at 7:00 PM. Tickets for the Summer Dance Festival are $10.00/Adults, $8.00/Seniors and $5.00/Students. For further information, call (708) 848-2329 or click here.
 

MOMENTA's Young Choreographers' Workshop

MOMENTA's Young Choreographers' Workshop for Summer 2002 will feature many of MOMENTA's senior apprentices and a group of eager new junior dancers - some of the senior apprentices will creating new dances for the Workshop Concerts scheduled for July 26 and 27, 2002. In addition to encouraging young students to do their first choreographic works, MOMENTA alunmi will be mentoring the students and also creating original works for them. Six alumni/Academy faculty members are on staff for the summer: Anita Fillmore, Iris Jastram, Sandra Kaufmann, Mary Kelly, Cora D. Mitchell and Sarah Najera. & TOMMY!

Workshop Concerts on Friday and Saturday are at 8:00 PM and will be held in the Doris Humphrey Memorial theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music. General admission tickets are $5.00/person. For further information, call (708) 848-2329 or click here.

05.08.2002



SPRING CONCERTS: WORDS THAT DANCE

MOMENTA's Spring Concerts prove that words can dance. The family matinees and the evening concerts feature dances based on and including poetry. Children of all ages will enjoy "Stuff and Nonsense," a series of dances acted out to familiar Mother Goose rhymes and melodies arranged by composer Jason H. Prost. MOMENTA artistic directors Stephanie Clemens and Larry Ippel have collaborated with Prost and drama coach Jolaine Orlin to help the young dancers bring new life to the well loved words and music.

In addition to "Stuff and Nonsense," the performances will also include a classical ballet "Esmeralda," staged by Ballet Master Valeri Dolgallo and featuring JP Tenuta with Nora Petroliunas and Annika Sheaff in the lead roles. Valeri Dolgallo has also recreated "Le Spectre de la Rose," the famous ballet from 1911 in which Vaslav Nijinsky's incredible leaps astonished the world. Ramon Gaitan dances the title role and will partner Liz Harmon and Megan Kudo. "Portrait," a series of pieces by Hubbard Street's Ron Dejesus, was so well received by MOMENTA audiences ths past fall that it will be repeated in the March concerts.

The words that dance in the evening are by e.e. cummings, William Butler Yeats and Dylan Thomas, whose poems have been choreographed by Stephanie Clemens. Other works in the evening concerts have been created by MOMENTA choreographers Sarah Cullen, Cameron Jarrett, Sandra Kaufmann and Sarita Smith Childs. Sarita will be dancing to the poetry of Toni Morrison.

 

10.01.2001


 


LEDGENDS OF THE PAST, VISIONS OF THE FUTURE

MOMENTA's Fall Concert Series has something for everyone: Classical ballets, historical modern works and contemporary choreography, including premieres of three new works created especially for the company. MOMENTAMOMENTA

MOMENTA's balletmaster, Valeri Dolgallo, staged two very different ballets in the fall: "Flower Festival at Genzano" is a delightful work from 1858 by August Bournonville. It features Sarah Goldberg and Martha Malin, who share the role. They are partnered by former Joffrey dancer, Guillermo Leyva. Dolgallo took a 1934 Soviet ballet, "The Fountains of Bahkshisarai" and re-choreographed this Oriental fantasy to the music of Asafiev. The part of Zarema is shared by Katie Grogan and Annika Sheaff; Amelia Greene and Nora Petroliunas share the role of Maria. JP Tenuta dances Khan Girei.

Dances by Doris Humphrey and her mentor, Ruth St. Denis, bring alive early twentieth century American Modern Dance. In St. Denis' 1915 "Kashmiri Nautch," the fascination with the Orient and the exotic is fully realized by dancers Caroline Deziel, Tess Dworman, April Garcia and Amy Swanson ~ complete with ankle bells and swirling skirts. Ruth St. Denis collaborated with her young protegŽ, Doris Humphrey, in 1920 to create "Soaring" ~ a dance for five girls and an enormous scarf that looks like living Art Deco sculptures. By 1928, Humphrey was preparing to leave the shelter of the Denishawn company. She created "Grieg Concerto," a magnificent music visualization, a dance about power and a strong statement for women of the time. "Grieg Concerto" featured work on the Dance Chicago 2001 Dance Revolution program in November at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago.

MOMENTA has, since its beginnings in 1983, been known as an incubator for new choreography. There will be three world premieres by choreographers with strong roots in MOMENTA's history, and a revival of an award-winning work by a fourth choreographer who also worked with MOMENTA in its earliest days. Triple time Ruth Page winner, Randy Duncan, is reviving "Love Not Me," a solo he choreographed in 1989 for Winifred Haun, who is helping Duncan set the work on MOMENTA dancer, Cameron Jarrett. Jarrett also has a choreographic work of her own on the program. Duncan has been associated with MOMENTA since the early '80's. Hubbard Street principal dancer, Ron De Jesus, is creating a new work to be danced by Katie Grogan, Nora Petroliunas, Annika Sheaff, Jonathan Alsberry and JP Tenuta. The dancers are really enjoying the challenge of the unusual partnering and dynamic style in De Jesus' work. De Jesus danced with MOMENTA during its debut year in 1983.

Artistic director, Larry Ippel, is setting a new work on Jonathan Alsberry, Mary Kelly and Cora D. Mitchell to the music of Ramsey Lewis, arranged by James Mack, a well-known composer who resides in Oak Park.

Concluding the concerts is another new work by Sarita Smith Childs, the 2000 winner of a Ruth Page Award for Dance Achievement. Smith Childs has created a number of works for MOMENTA and has danced with the company since the mid 1980's. She recently received an award from the Black Theatre Alliance for the best dance performance in 2000.

 


FALL FAMILY DANCE CONCERTS

MOMENTA's Fall Family Dance Concerts feature a number of talented young performers in two ballets ~ "Flower Festival at Genzano" and "La Boutique Fantasque." These versatile young dancers will also be seen in five short historic works by Oak Park native, Doris Humphrey. The concerts are scheduled in November at the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music. "Flower Festival at Genzano" is the oldest work on the program. It was first choreographed by the Danish balletmaster, August Bournonville, in 1858 and is restaged for MOMENTA by Valeri Dolgallo. It will feature Sarah Goldberg and Martha Malin who will alternate the leading role. They will be partnered by former Joffrey Ballet dancer, Guillermo Leyva.

"La Boutique Fantasque" or "The Fantastic Toy Shop" is a ballet choreographed by MOMENTA artistic director, Stephanie Clemens, based on the original 1919 Diaghilev libretto. Filled with dancing dolls of many kinds and some delicious little poodles, "La Boutique Fantasque" tells the story of two Can Can Dolls who love each other dearly and are to be sold to separate families. True love is saved by the clever Queen Dolls and a sentimental Toymaker. Jonathan Alsberry as the Can Can Boy partners Katherine Burns and Megan Kudo, who share the role of the Can Can Girl. Larry Ippel is the Toymaker; Liz Harmon plays his assistant.

As a young student herself, Doris Humphrey choreographed the four short works prior to 1914 under the direction of her teacher, Mary Wood Hinman. The works are charming examples of the kind of aesthetic dancing ‡ la Isadora that young girls did in the early years of the twentieth century. "Soaring" is a later work from 1920 that Doris Humphrey co-choreographed with Ruth St. Denis during Doris' Denishawn years from 1918-1928. The dance is for four girls and an enormous scarf and looks like Art Deco come to life. Katie Burns and Katelyn White are featured as the center figure in "Soaring."

 


LIFETIME SERVICE AWARD

MOMENTAThe Chicago Dance and Music Alliance is the sponsor of the annual Ruth Page awards ~ awards given to members of Chicago's dance community for special achievements and contributions. Both 2000 and 2001 have been good years for an Oak Park arts organization ~MOMENTA, the resident dance company of the Academy of Movement and Music. Last year, dancer Sarita Smith Childs won a Dance Achievement award for her perfor- mances with MOMENTA and with Melissa Thodos. This year, a Lifetime Service award goes to Stephanie Clemens, founder of the Academy of Movement and Music and one of the artistic directors of MOMENTA. Cited for her role as a mentor and for her efforts to preserve the work of famous Oak Parker, Doris Humphrey. Clemens has taught in Oak Park for thirty years. Her granddaughter is now attending the school she started in her living room in 1971. Many Academy/MOMENTA graduates have gone on to professional careers as dance educators, choreographers and performers.

One of the highlights of this year's awards ceremony, held October 21 at the Columbia College Dance Center, is the presence of another MOMENTA artistic director. Larry Ippel, who has been Clemens' co-worker and dancing partner for more than a quarter century, will be the emcee for the awards ceremony. Ippel has been on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Dance and Music Alliance for the past three years. 


BLACK THEATER ALLIANCE AWARD

Independent dancer and choreographer, Sarita Smith Childs, is a recipient of the 2001 Black Theater Alliance Award for Best Performance in a Music/Dance Performance for Randy Duncan's Shanequa's World. Sarita is on the faculty of the Academy of Movement and Music and performs with MOMENTA Performing Arts Company. Sarita performed Shanequa's World for MOMENTA's Fall Concerts (November, 1998).

 

01.15.2001


LEGACY OF THE MASTERS

Two legendary geniuses of Modern Dance, Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham, are able to vividly inspire the next generation of dancers through the work of two dedicated artists of today

Sandra Kaufmann and Deborah Goodman provide a wealth of expertise in the magnificent movement techniques created during the twentieth century by Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey.

The principles of movement developed by Graham and Humphrey have shaped a legacy of dancers, choreographers and artists today. It is vital for artists of the twenty-first century and beyond to be exposed to their works and philosophy.

Participation in the revolutionary movement forged by Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey not only serves to orient students physically to a universal knowledge of modern dance, but dramatically reinforces the spirit of creation and discovery for the next generation.

Description: LEGACY OF THE MASTERS explores both the principles of Doris Humphrey's fall and recovery and Martha Graham's contraction and release in one residency.

Sandra Kaufmann instructs Humphrey class in the morning (9:30-11:30 AM) and Deborah Goodman conducts Graham class in the afternoon (1:00-3:00 PM).

Both teachers trained extensively in each technique and provide comparison and contrast as a method of instruction. Course work also explores historical context, related artworks and collaborators as well as other influences on the work of Doris Humphrey and Martha Graham. Examples of repertory movement are used to illustrate learning concepts.

In addition to daily classes, Sandra Kaufmann and Deborah Goodman will present two performances on August 23 and 24. The concert will include Two Ecstatic Themes by Doris Humphrey (1931) and Incense by Ruth St. Denis (1906); the latter will be performed by MOMENTA artistic director, Stephanie Clemens. Kaufmann has also created two new works, one inspired by Isadora Duncan and one by Martha Graham. The second half of the program features contemporary works by Kaufmann and by Heidi Latzky, who was formerly with Bill T. Jones.

Tuition, payable to MOMENTA for the Five Day Intensive is $150.00 and includes admission to one performance. For further information, contact Stephanie Clemens at (708) 848-2329.  To Register send email to: sclemens@momenta-dance.org

Deborah Goodman dances as a soloist with Richard Move and Sandra Kaufmann DANCE in New York City and in May, 2000 Deborah toured with Goldhuber and Latsky. She trained in dance at Northern Illinois University, Peridance and the Martha Graham School. She has performed with Richard Move, Pearl Lang, Goldhuber/Latsky, Sandra Kaufmann, Lacy James, Cailin Heffernan and Michael Freeman. Deborah performed in the Martha Graham Dance Company's 1993 City Center season in Charleston, S.C. and also in Spoleto, Italy. Deborah conducts dance/science workshops to foster learning excellence through movement. She serves on faculty at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and as an assistant and demonstrator for Yuriko.

Sandra Kaufmann trained with Ernestine Stodelle and MOMENTA Performing Arts Company for many years participating in the original reconstruction of Doris Humphrey's Grieg Concerto with Eleanor King and numerous other Humphrey works. She teaches Humphrey/Lim—n technique at Barnard College in New York City. Sandra danced for several years with the Martha Graham Dance Company and served as Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Ensemble. She also serves on the faculty of the Martha Graham School and New York University. Sandra Kaufmann DANCE has performed in The Theatre of The Riverside Church, Ensemble Studio Theater, The OHIO Theatre and the Cunningham Studio among others in New York City. Sandra has choreographed for dance video as well as for several regional dance companies. Her work has been supported by Sloan Science and Technology Fund, Harkness Foundation for Dance, Tidmarsh Arts Foundation and Dance Magazine Foundation.


Summer Dance Festival 2001

The MOMENTA Alumni Association presents Summer Dance Festival 2001.  The evening will showcase contemporary dance works choreographed and performed by MOMENTA Alumni.  Choreographers are Anita Fillmore, Lisa Green, Mary Kelly, Cora D. Mitchell, Brenna Monroe-Cook, Sarah E. Najera, Julie Sanfillipo, Regina Sigismondi and Sarita Smith Childs. 

 

 

Young Choreographers Showcase

MOMENTA presents its annual Young Choreographers' Showcase on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 at 8:30 PM in the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake Street in Oak Park. This year's showcase features works by six MOMENTA alumna, three student choreographers and MOMENTA's three artistic directors ~ Stephanie Clemens, Larry Ippel and James C. Tenuta. The six alumna include: Sarah Cullen (BFA in Dance from University of Illinois/Champaign), now performing with 58 Group in Chicago; Brenna Monroe-Cook, who will be a senior at Juilliard this next year; Deb Monson, well-known in Oak Park for her work with CAST and a dancer/singer/actress in many Chicago theatrical productions; and Mary Kelly (BFA in Dance from Columbia College) who is a current MOMENTA senior company dancer. Anita Fillmore and Iris Jastram are pursuing other academic work at universities but have returned "home" to work with MOMENTA each summer for the past three years. Student choreographers include Sarah Goldberg, (a sophomore at Oak Park and River Forest High School) who is an Illinois Arts Council Youth Intern with MOMENTA this summer. Sarah is also spending part of her summer at an American Ballet Theatre Workshop in Alabama and with the Civic Ballet in San Diego. Madelyne Greene and Gretchen Platt-Koch are junior company members creating their first choreographic works this summer. MOMENTA's summer workshops have been incubators for many choreographers including Samantha Fitschen, a Jeff Award winning choreographer and Sarita Smith Childs, a Ruth Page Award winner for Outstanding Achievement.

 

07.02.2001


Collaborations in Concert

 

MOMENTA's March concerts celebrate the collaborative process between musicians and dancers in three works that demonstrate MOMENTA's diversity.

 

The Oak Park and River Forest Children's Chorus Pro Musica group, under the direction of Carolyn Paulin, will perform Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols." This lovely work for children's voices is choreographed by MOMENTA's artistic director, Stephanie Clemens, for young dancers the same age as the singers. MOMENTA enjoyed last year's collaboration with the OPRF Children's Chorus and looks forward to the continued association.

 

A second collaboration between music and dance is the premiere of a new dance work by MOMENTA artistic director, Larry Ippel. Working in collaboration with Ippel is composer Avo Randruut, an ethnomusicologist and world percussionist who is a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Funds for his studies of Brazilian percussion. The new work, set to a score of live and electronic music, is about a young woman who is a victim of individual and societal aggression.

 

The third collaboration is by exciting guest artists Cynthia Oliver and her husband, Jason Finkelman. Oliver's performance collages move from dance to word to sound, creating an exciting form of dance-theatre. Bronx born and Virgin Island reared, Oliver draws on Caribbean, African and American dance and traditions. In 1995-96, Cynthia won a New York Dance and Performance Award (a Bessie) for her evening length work "Death's Door." She has performed with numerous choreographers and companies including the David Gordan Pick Up Company and Ronald Kevin Brown/Evidence. In 2000, she was called "outstanding young choreographer" by the German magazine Ballet Tanz."

 

Cynthia is a PhD candidate at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and is currently Assistant Professor of Dance at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Prior to her concerts with MOMENTA on March 4 and 11, Cynthia will be performing in New York at the Kitchen in a festival of "Talking Dance." For the MOMENTA concerts, she has chosen to do a solo excerpt "because she was . . . " from her full length work SHEMAD, a piece that explores the limits of sanity, sexual power and Caribbean mythology in the body of woman.

 

Cynthia's collaborator is her husband, Jason Finkelman, a percussionist who specializes in the Afro-Brazilian bow instrument, berimbau. He is a founder and member of the improvisational trio, Straylight, which received a Bessie award for the composition SHEMAD (2000). Jason will perform live with Cynthia for the MOMENTA concerts.

 

The MOMENTA concerts are scheduled Saturdays, March 3 and 10 at 8:00 PM and Sundays, March 4 and 11 at 7:00 PM. Cynthia Oliver will appear only in the Sunday concerts. All performances are in the Doris Humphrey Theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake Street, Oak Park, Illinois 60302. Tickets, available at the door are $10.00/Adults, $8.00/Seniors and $5.00/Students. For further information, call (708) 848-2329.

Russian Children's Folktale Comes To Life For MOMENTA

A beloved Russian folktale takes the stage for MOMENTA's March family matinees. For two Saturdays, March 3 and 10 at 3:00 PM, and two Sundays, March 4 and 11 at 2:00 PM, MOMENTA dancers will become Firebirds, Sea Creatures and Magic Horses as they tell the tale of how Ivan, a hapless youngest brother, ends up winning a fairy princess and a kingdom. Originally titled "The Humpbacked Horse," MOMENTA's version is "The Clever Little Horse," a magical creature who helps Ivan in his quest. MOMENTA's ballet master, Valeri Dolgallo, has created new choreography to the ballet score by Rodion Shchedrin.

The title role will be danced by Anne Merrick, age 18, who is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School. The Tsar-Maiden will be danced by Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Allison Anich. Both girls are hoping to make dance a career choice and, in addition to school, dance classes and MOMENTA rehearsals, are busy with college dance department auditions ~ an exciting and somewhat daunting process. The cast of more than forty dancers includes professional adults and students as young as ten. The role of the Tsar, a terrible, but tiny tyrant, will be danced by Hogan McLaughlin, age twelve.

The performances will be in the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre at the Academy of Movement and Music, 605 Lake Street in Oak Park. General admission at the door is $5.00. Call 708-848-2329 for group rates or check out MOMENTA on the web at www.momenta-dance.org.

 

10.08.2000


RUTH PAGE WINNERS COLLABORATE

Ruth Page award winners, Randy Duncan (Choreography 1990, 1992, 1994) and Sarita Smith Childs (Dance Achievement 2000), have been brought together by MOMENTA Performing Arts Company to present the Chicago premiere of "Shanequa's World." Duncan first choreographed the work in 1998 for Smith Childs; it was performed then in Oak Park, MOMENTA's hometown. This fall, "Shanequa's World" is a featured solo in Dance Chicago's Dance R/evolution series on November 9, 15 and 17 at the Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago. Duncan created this powerful portrait of a young girl's coming of age based on impressions he had from viewing Oprah Winfrey's "Beloved."

For Duncan and Smith Childs, working together was a continuation of an artistic relationship dating back to the early 80's. Duncan was then a member of the Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre in a weekend residency which for three years was at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park. Sarita Smith Childs was an Academy dance student lucky enough to perform with the Joseph Holmes Dance Theatre. Over the years, Sarita completed her education, first at Whitney Young High School then at Sarah Lawrence College. She then worked in the corporate world as a bond trader for La Salle-Talman and ABN AMRO, but continued to dance part-time with MOMENTA and with Duncan in "Dance for Life." Randy Duncan went on to become a well-known choreographer creating works for the Joffrey Ballet and other national companies. This past year, he won an artistic achievement award from the Chicago Association of Dance Masters.

Two years ago, Sarita Smith Childs left the corporate world and began to dance full-time. She is currently performing with Melissa Thodos and MOMENTA, and it is her performance with MOMENTA in Doris Humphrey's 1931 solo "Two Ecstatic Themes" that has won her this year's Ruth Page award. In addition to her performances in "Shanequa's World" and with Melissa Thodos, Sarita is currently teaching at Lou Conte's, at Barat College and at the Academy in Oak Park. Two of her choreographic works will be in MOMENTA's fall concert series (November 4, 5, 11, 12) in Oak Park and will be in Dance Chicago's Dance for Kids, Too! (November 25 and December 2) at the Athenaeum, (773) 935-6860.

MOMENTA's HOMETOWN MEMORIES

MOMENTA's fall evening dance series explores a number of hometown memories ~ dances from 1928 and 1947 by native Oak Parker, Doris Humphrey, one of the great pioneers of American Modern Dance, dances from Chicago's past and dances from MOMENTA's own history since it began in 1982-83.

Doris Humphrey's 1928 "Air for the G String" is a serene and elegant dance for five women to Johann Sebastian Bach's famous music. It was one of Humphrey's first works as an independent choreographer. "Day on Earth," a work from 1947, was created after Humphrey had retired from performing and had become the artistic director of the JosŽ Lim—n Company. The work is a celebration of family and will be danced by a MOMENTA cast with an age range of almost fifty years!

Chicago's dance past is represented by "Naja," a work from the 1970's Chicago company, The Arve Connection. MOMENTA artistic director, Larry Ippel, was an original cast member in the 1976 premiere of "Naja" and will dance in the recreation of the work along with former Arve Connection dancer, Victor Baurauskas and a young MOMENTA dancer, Ramon Gaitan. Ramon is currently completing his degree in dance at Northern Illinois University. "Naja" is a forceful, driving trio for three men as snakes ~ the convoluted, twisted sculptures they create are breathtaking!

MOMENTA's own history is represented by works from the 1980's by artistic director, Stephanie Clemens. "Andante," first performed in 1982 before MOMENTA's official incorporation in 1983, has become a sort of coming of age piece for young MOMENTA dancers. "On Your Own" from 1986, is a duet for a mother and daughter. MOMENTA's recent past is represented by two works by Sarita Smith Childs, this year's Ruth Page Award winner for Dance Achievement.

The long past is glimpsed in "Pas de Quatre," the famous 1845 divertissement, created by Jules Perrot, of the four greatest ballerinas of the romantic era. Ballet master Valeri Dolgallo's meticulous restaging allows today's audiences to see this delicately beautiful masterpiece.

Concerts are Saturday evenings November 4 and 11 at 8:00 PM and Sunday evenings, November 5 and 12 at 7:00 PM at the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre, 605 Lake Street in Oak Park. Tickets are $10.00/adults, $8.00/seniors and $5.00/students. Call 708-848-2329 for information.

MOMENTA at Dance Chicago

MOMENTA will have a strong presence at Dance Chicago at the Athenaeum Theatre this fall. As a company that has commitments to historical dance and to new choreography, MOMENTA will be featured in two different programs in one of Chicago's most prestigious dance venues. When Dance Chicago's John Schmitz began to organize the Fall 2000 programs, he wanted to create a concert, Dance R/evolution, that would present some hallmarks of Chicago dance history. Schmitz contacted a number of Chicago dance professionals, including MOMENTA artistic directors Larry Ippel and Stephanie Clemens. Ippel had been a dancer with the Arve Connection in the  1970's; Schmitz was eager to have a Richard Arve work for his proposed concert. After extensive research and the renewal of many former friendships, Ippel was able to commit to recreating "Naja," an Arve work from 1976. "Naja" is a dynamic trio for three men as snakes; the snarled and convoluted lifts are breathtaking. "Naja" 2000 features Ippel and another former Arve connection dancer, Victor Baurauskas, known for his long associations with the Lyric Opera Ballet as well as with a number of Chicago area companies. Ippel and Baurauskas are joined by MOMENTA dancer Ramon Gaitan, who is currently completing his degree in Dance at Northern Illinois University. Rehearsals began in August and have been a collaboration of Arve Connection dancers in Hawaii, Florida and Chicago ~ relationships spanning time and distance to bring "Naja" back to life.

Another historical dance, the oldest on the program, is Doris Humphrey's masterpiece from 1928, "Air for the G String." This serene dance for five women has been in MOMENTA's repertoire since 1988 and is kept vibrantly alive thanks to the coaching efforts of Ernestine Stodelle, a former Humphrey-Weidman dancer, featured in the 1934 film of the work. Humphrey, an Oak Park native, went on to become an internationally known choreographer and one of the great pioneers of American Modern Dance. The Dance R/evolution program will be performed the evenings of November 9, 15 and 17.

MOMENTA's commitment to new choreography contributes three works to Dance Chicago this fall: "Shanequa's World," choreographed by Randy Duncan for MOMENTA's Sarita Smith Childs. Sarita is a winner of this year's Ruth Page Award for Dance Achievement for performing Doris Humphrey's "Two Ecstatic Themes." Although Sarita also dances with Melissa Thodos, she has found time to choreograph two works for MOMENTA dancers: "Sweet in the Mornin'" will be in Dance Chicago's Dance for Kids, Too! on November 25 and "Bound" in Dance For Kids, Too! on December 2. These works will also be featured in MOMENTA's fall concert series in Oak Park in early November (4, 5, 11, 12).

For concert tickets at the Athenaeum, call 773-935-6860. Tickets for MOMENTA's performances at the Doris Humphrey Memorial Theatre, 605 Lake Street, Oak Park will be available at the door. For further information, call 708-848-2329.

 

 

 


 

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