This week we are thrilled to welcome Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble to the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Anna Sokolow was a revolutionary dancer and choreographer, and she performed here with her ensemble 50 years ago. Now, Sokolow returns to the Y with a celebration of her work.
Tell us a little about Sokolow. What makes you unique?
Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble, under the artistic direction of Jim May, is the professional company who serve as guardians of the choreographic masterpieces of Anna Sokolow. Ms. Sokolow is considered the mother of theatre/dance and the range of her work is truly formidable. Each piece of choreography is bound only to her commitment to her idea, so her repertory is vast and varied. Famous for intense choreography that tackles both important social and personal issues, the one common theme in all of Ms. Sokolow’s work is her belief in the triumph of the human spirit.
We understand that years ago, Sokolow performed at the 14th Street Y, and now you are returning after a long absence. Tell us a little of our shared history, and what brought you back here?
The 14th Street Y was certainly part of the whole dance scene on the lower east side, where Ms. Sokolow lived, and she did present various work here during the course of her early career. Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble is thrilled to be back. Ms. Sokolow grew up on Saint Marks place, and her attachment to the neighborhood never wavered. Even after she moved to the West Village, Anna would constantly walk the streets of the Lower East Side, because she felt at home. Ms. Sokolow’s Jewish upbringing, and her devotion to Israel, make performing her work at a Jewish community center especially important.
What can you tell us about this week’s performances?
This week we are presenting two Sokolow pieces from the mid 1950’s. A Short Lecture and Demonstration on the Evolution of Ragtime, a tongue in cheek jaunt through the evolution of social dance during the rag era set to narration written by Mr. Jelly Roll Morton. And for the first time in 20 years, the company presents Lyric Suite danced to the music of Alban Berg. Lyric Suite marks what Ms. Sokolow herself deemed the beginning of major works in her career. The dancers perform by seamlessly interweaving drama, movement and musicality to present Ms. Sokolow’s first seminal work. Also on the program is Jim May’s striking duet: Empty Nest.
Wednesday evening at 7:30, Jim May will present a lecture on Ms. Sokolow’s career and works. Rarely seen footage of her work will be shown.
How can Y members learn more?
Go to www.sokolowtheatredance.org for more information
Click Here for tickets or call 1-800-838-3006