premier dance company of Oak Park
Fall Dance Concert Series
Dances of Passion, Tragedy and Drama
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.
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
Tickets: Adults/$15.00 – Seniors/$10.00 –
Students/$5.00 (Evening Concerts)
FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
premier dance company of Oak Park
A Combustible Cultural Journey of Dance
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
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
premier dance company of Oak Park
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
other works, one by Cora D. Mitchell, the other by Jennifer Sprowl, are
dedicated to the victims of the tsunami.
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!
White and the Seven Dwarfs
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
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
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.
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
of Movement and
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.
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
is pleased to present “The Story of Babar – the little elephant” as a
ballet to family audiences in the Oak
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
Story of Babar – the little elephant” will also be performed at the Oak
Park and River Forest Symphony Youth Concert in
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
BLACK THEATER ALLIANCE
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).
LEGACY OF THE
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
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
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.
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: email@example.com
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
Peridance and the Martha
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,
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
and New York
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.
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
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
MOMENTA's March concerts celebrate the
collaborative process between musicians and dancers in three works that
demonstrate MOMENTA's diversity.
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.
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.
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."
is a PhD candidate at New York University's
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.
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.
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
at the Academy
of Movement and
Music, 605 Lake Street,
Oak Park, Illinois
available at the door are $10.00/Adults, $8.00/Seniors and
$5.00/Students. For further information, call (708) 848-2329.
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
The title role will be
danced by Anne Merrick, age 18, who is a senior at Oak
Park and River
School. The Tsar-Maiden will be danced by Oak
Park and River
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
RUTH PAGE WINNERS
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.
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
School then at Sarah
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!
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
"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
Rehearsals began in August and have been a collaboration of Arve Connection
dancers in Hawaii, Florida
~ relationships spanning time and distance to bring "Naja" back
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.