A Legend Exposed!


Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble is collaborating with From the Horse’s Mouth on the new work Anna Sokolow Way premiering at the Theater at the 14th Street Y, December 4-8, 2013. The in depth piece will use rare video, live performance, and narrative script to explore Anna Sokolow’s personal struggles and the creation of Theater Dance.

Anna Sokolow has taught and influenced some of the most influential and recognizable individuals in the creative communities of theater, dance, and film/television. Some of these greats will be performing in Anna Sokolow Way. Kevin Conroy (of Batman fame), Ze’eva Cohen, Mark Haim, Danny Lewis, and Paul Bloom are just a few of the well known names performing in the premier.Image

Tickets:  800-838-3006 ext. #1 or  http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/474331 

General Admission: $30; Student/Senior: $18

Dance is back at the 14th Street Y! The Dance Series brings Free Lectures, Master Classes, and Performances.

Do you love Dance?  This year, the 14th Street Y is bringing an exciting series of dance to our Theater in partnership with several Downtown Dance Companies. Each company will present dance performances in the Theater, as well as host special events and master classes for all to attend. These classes and events range from lectures about prolific dance icons to fitness classes for the whole family.


Kicking off the Dance Series is Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble. Jim May, current artistic director, is giving a free lecture about the life, work, and overall influence of founder Anna Sokolow. When asked about his lecture, Jim says, “See through rare videos how Anna Sokolow’s choreography influenced Jerome Robbins, Pina Bausch, Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, and dozens of actors, dancers, and musicians of the 20th Century.” The lecture is taking place for free on Friday, November 8, 2013 from 7-9pm in the 14th Street Y Studio A for all ages. The company is presenting Anna Sokolow Way with From the Horse’s Mouth December 4-8, 2013 at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. For tickets click here.

Undertoe Dance Project, presenting their New York Season at the Theater at the 14th Street Y November 18-24, 2013, click here for tickets, is teaching a great evening of master classes in tap and jazz dance styles. The master classes are taking place on November 16, 2013. The jazz dance class is from 4-6pm and the tap class is from 6-8pm at the 14th Street Y Fitness Studio. Click here for class information and tickets for the classes. The company is also presenting their infamous Tappy Hour on November 18, 2013 from 7-8:30pm in the Theater at the 14th Street Y. Enjoy a glass of wine and learn a few tap dances from the company while getting a preview of the New York Season. Click here for tickets for Tappy Hour.

The Dance Series is off to a great start in November. Here is a list of all of the performance dates of the Downtown Dance Companies partnering with the Theater:

November 18-24, 2013: Undertoe Dance Project presents New York Season

December 4-8, 2013: Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble and From the Horse’s Mouth presents Anna Sokolow Way

December 12-15, 2013: Jacobs Campbell Dance presents FIVE

April 8-13, 2014: American Tap Dance Foundation presents Rhythm in Motion

June 19-22, 2014: The 14th Street Y presents YouMake ReMake LABA Edition by Renana Raz

Master classes and special events will be held by each company in the Dance Series. All information about performances and these events or classes can be found here. Also make sure you follow the Dance Series on Twitter for up to date information and fun facts about the dance community.

Aye Aye What’s Coming to the Y and PBS?!?

It’s less than a week away from our LABA Kids concert, Songs for Unusual Creatures and we checked with Michael Hearst again to get you some more exciting info and updates for this amazing show for the whole family!Aye aye FINAL

In last week’s post, we showed you a video that features the Aye Aye, or Daubentonia madagascariensis, a lemur native to Madagascar. The furry and unusual nocturnal creature uses echolocation to find its food and get around the forest. It also has extra special long middle fingers that it uses to tap on trees to see if they are hollow.

Songs for Unusual Creatures does a great job of uniting music, science, and learning. So much so that the show has been picked up by PBS Kids! The pilot episode will be premiering online on October 14th, and those of you who are joining us this Sunday will get to see the live version of the show. “Being able to make a show that ties in music with science is awesome!” says Hearst, who admires the work of Leonard Bernstein in his young people’s concerts, as it is “a great idea to be able to provide education through music. It is unusual that TV is willing to take a chance on something that is so art-y and yet educational at the same time.”

After the show, kids will be able to try out some of the unusual instruments that accompany these creatures, including the theremin (a crowd favorite!) and the stylofone.  Then, families can watch the series on PBS Kids and remember the great time they had with the instruments, animals, and band live!

The show is almost sold out! So get your tickets here, with a special discount for Y members.

Songs for Unusual Creatures

Sunday, September 29th

11:00am in the Theater at the 14th Street Y

From Jacob’s Pillow to the 14th Street Y Theater

This upcoming week we are excited to have with us The Men Dancers: From the Horses Mouth. After a sold-out run last summer at Jacob’s Pillow, 30 male dancers will perform for us here at the Theater at the 14th Street Y. One of the directors and creators, Jamie Cunningham, has shared with us some interesting information about this remarkable program.


Tell us a little about From the Horse’s Mouth, specifically what motivated you to start the company?

We wanted to do a piece that celebrates the whole dance field and that includes dancers, choreographers designers and critics of all ages sexes races and cultures.

At the heart of the piece are the stories that each performer tells about their work, life or conflicts that they have encountered. We see them dancing in their own style as well as interacting with dancers in quite different styles. For example, a ballet dancer collaborating with a hip hop dancer or a spanish Flamenco dancer working with an Indian classical dancer.

The Men Dancers was developed at Jacobs Pillow. Why did you want to bring it to NYC?

This was the first time we have done an all male version of the piece. It was so well received that we wanted to bring it to NYC where it could also include some notable dancers such as Frederic Franklin, Don Redlich, and Jock Soto who were unavailable to do the Pillow performances.

The Theater at the 14th Street Y just started presenting dance shows like this one.  What brought you to our space?

We think the renovation is excellent and appreciate all the help we have received from the staff here.

What is your favorite moment of the show?

The parade at the very end when we see all the dancers from different cultures and epochs as though in the long river of time.

How can Y members learn more?

Go to our website www.horsesmouth.org for more information.

Click Here for tickets or call 800-838-3006 ext. #1

Now Dancing in the 14th Street Y Theater

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



Intersection: Babel

LABA Artist Karen Loew made this film which premiered at the 14th Street Y’s LABA Festival about the intersection of 14th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan.

Karen writes, “I got interested in this crossroads because I live nearby. As you’ll see, others have plenty to say about the place too. And it’s an inspiring place to dance.”