ELEMENTAL MOVEMENT

October 14-16, 2022, at Peter Martin Wege Theatre

Elemental Movement features three ballets, exploring movement in different spaces in which our dancers draw energy from the music and one another. Elemental Brubeck, choreographed by modern dance master Lar Lubovitch, set to an orchestral score from iconic jazz composer Dave Brubeck, features the dancers in movement that recalls popular dances of the 1950s. Elemental Movement also features a world premiere from in-demand choreographer Danielle Rowe, in partnership with New York City-based Satellite Collective, entitled Liar Lear King, which loosely tells the story of Shakespeare’s King Lear through contemporary movement and music, set in New York City in the 1970s. The performance also will include a reprise of Katarzyna Skarpetowska’s Off the Canvas from the 2021-22 season, with music by Adrian Lim-Klumpes and Vivaldi, bringing to life Cy Twombly’s “Bacchus” paintings. 

Liar Lear King is underwritten by the Grand Rapids Ballet New Works Fund.

ELEMENTAL MOVEMENT | DATES & TIMES

Friday, October 14, 2022

Evening performance at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Evening performance at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Matinee performance at 2 p.m.

ELEMENTAL MOVEMENT | CREATORS

Lar Lubovitch

Lar Lubovitch

Choreographer | Photo by NYC Dance Project, courtesy of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company.

Biography

Lar Lubovitch is one of America’s most versatile and widely seen choreographers.  He founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968.  Over the course of 54 years, it has gained an international reputation as one of America’s top dance companies, produced more than 120 dances and performed before millions across the U.S. and over 40 countries.  Many other major companies throughout the world have performed the company’s dances, including American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Joffrey Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, and more.  Lubovitch has created ice-dancing works for Olympians John Curry, Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Brian Orser, JoJo Starbuck, and Paul Wylie, and he has created feature-length ice-dance specials for TV: “The Planets” for A&E (nominated for an International Emmy Award, a Cable AceAward, and a Grammy Award) and “The Sleeping Beauty” for PBS and Anglia TV, Great Britain.  His theater and film work includes Sondheim/ Lapine’s Into the Woods (Tony Award nomination), The Red Shoes (Astaire Award), the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I (on Broadway and in London’s West End), Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin, and Robert Altman’s movie The Company (American Choreography Award).  In 2016, he premiered “The Bronze Horseman,” based on the Pushkin poem, for the Mikhailovsky Ballet in Russia.  In 1987, he conceived Dancing for Life, which took place at Lincoln Center.  It was the first response by the dance community to the AIDS crisis, raising over one million dollars.  Together with Jay Franke, in 2007 Lubovitch created the Chicago Dancing Festival, in collaboration with the City of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art.  It presented 10 seasons entirely free to the public.  Recent awards: 2007 named Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune; 2008 named similarly by Chicago Magazine; 2011 designated a Ford Fellow by United States Artists and received the Dance/USA Honors Award; 2012 his dance “Crisis Variations” awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse for outstanding choreography at the Bolshoi Theatre; 2013 honored for lifetime achievement by the American Dance Guild; 2014 awarded an honorary doctorate by The Juilliard School; 2016 received the Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for lifetime achievement and the Dance Magazine Award, named one of America’s Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition and appointed a Distinguished Professor at UC/Irvine.  In honor of his company’s 50th anniversary, in 2018 he was presented with the Martha Graham Award for lifetime achievement.

 Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck

Composer

Biography

Dave Brubeck (1920-2012), designated a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, was one of the most active and popular musicians in both the jazz and classical worlds. With a career that spanned over six decades, his experiments in odd time signatures, improvised counterpoint, polyrhythm and polytonality remain hallmarks of innovation.

Born in Concord, California, he began piano lessons with his mother at age four.  In 1946, he enrolled at Mills College in Oakland, California to study composition with French composer, Darius Milhaud who encouraged him to incorporate jazz elements into his compositions. In 1949, Brubeck with Cal Tjader and Ron Crotty, cut their first award-winning Dave Brubeck Trio recordings.  In 1951, Dave formed the Dave Brubeck Quartet with alto saxophonist Paul Desmond, and the legendary Brubeck-Desmond collaboration lasted seventeen years and beyond.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s recordings and concert appearances on college campuses in the ‘50s and early ‘60s introduced jazz to thousands of young people. The group also played in jazz clubs in every major city and toured with such artists as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Getz. In 1954 Dave Brubeck’s portrait appeared on the cover of Time Magazine with a story about the jazz renaissance and Brubeck’s phenomenal ascendancy.

The 1959 recording “Time Out” experimented in time signatures beyond the usual jazz 4/4.  “Time Out” became the first jazz album to sell over a million copies and “Blue Rondo a la Turk” and “Take Five” (now in the Grammy Hall of Fame) began to appear on jukeboxes throughout the world.

His first orchestral composition, “Elementals“, written for an improvising jazz combo and symphony orchestra was premiered and recorded in 1962. Choreographed by Lar Lubovitch, “Elemental Brubeck” is currently in the repertoire of the San Francisco Ballet and several other dance companies.

Throughout his career Brubeck experimented with integrating jazz into classical forms. In 1959 his Quartet premiered and recorded his brother Howard’s “Dialogues for Jazz Combo and Orchestra” with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein conducting. In 1960 he composed “Points on Jazz” for the American Ballet Theatre, and in later decades composed for and toured with the Murray Louis Dance Company. His musical theater piece “The Real Ambassadors” starring Louis Armstrong and Carmen McRae was recorded and performed to great acclaim at the 1962 Monterey Jazz Festival.

Since the Dave Brubeck Quartet’s first appearance at a State Dinner for King Hussein of Jordan during the Johnson administration, Brubeck performed at The White House on several occasions and for many different Presidents.

Throughout his career Brubeck continued to experiment with interweaving jazz and classical music. He performed as composer-performer with most of the major orchestras in the United States and with prestigious choral groups and orchestras in Europe and America. 

Brubeck has received many national and international honors, including the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Medal, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Brubeck received the Distinguished Arts Award from the Ford Honors program of the University of Michigan and in 2006 received from Notre Dame their highest honor, the Laetare Medal. He was a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University, and was presented with the Sanford Medal by the Yale School of Music.

In the year 2000 the National Endowment for the Arts declared Dave Brubeck a Jazz Master. He was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2009, Dave was honored to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center Award, which President Barack Obama bestowed on him on his 89th birthday.

Danielle Rowe

Danielle Rowe

Choreographer

Biography

Danielle Rowe was born in Shepparton, Australia and trained at the Australian Ballet School.

Rowe has created works for San Francisco Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater’s SWITCH program, Royal New Zealand Ballet, Co.Lab Dance (featuring dancers from American Ballet Theater), Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Grand Rapids Ballet, SFDanceworks, Dance Aspen, Barak Ballet, Diablo Ballet, Oakland Ballet and Berkeley Ballet Theater.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rowe pivoted to film making. Her creations include Wooden Dimes for San Francisco Ballet, The Animals for Ballet Idaho and The Misfits for Louisville Ballet. She also collaborated with film makers Garen Scribner and Alexander Reneff-Olson on Shelter, I Am Spartacus and Wilis in Corps-en-tine for The Australian Ballet, which was voted “one of the best things to come out of quarantine” by Vogue.

Rowe has been dubbed a “choreographic storyteller” (Toba Singer, Culture Vulture) and her work “merits much praise” (Allan Ulrich, SF Chronicle). Her choreographic style has been described as “using a myriad of intricate hand and arm gestures that built on each other like the blocks in a Jenga game, along with a rich, flowing, contemporary ballet movement aesthetic” (Steve Sucato, culturedGR) and “impressing with the clarity of it’s intentions and the easy use of a multi-lingual vocabulary” (Rita Felciano, Danceview Times).

From 2001-2015 Rowe was a Principal Dancer with the Australian Ballet and Houston Ballet, and also danced with the prestigious Nederlands Dans Theater. She originated roles in creations by Paul Lightfoot/Sol Leon, Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor, Alexander Ekman, Crystal Pite, Marco Goecke and Medhi Walerski and worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Jiri Kylián, Hans van Manen, Alexei Ratmansky and Christopher Bruce. Rowe has also performed in works by Kenneth McMillan, Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Mark Morris and Nacho Duato as well as the title roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Kitri in Don Quixote and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. She is the former Associate Artistic Director of SFDanceworks.

Rowe lives in San Francisco, California with her two daughters and husband.

Katarzyna Skarpetowska

Katarzyna Skarpetowska

Choreographer

Biography

Skarpetowska is a native of Warsaw, Poland. She is an alumna of the NYC High School of Performing Arts and received a BFA from The Juilliard School in 1999 under Artistic Director Benjamin Harkarvy.  In 1992, at age 15, she was the youngest cast member of the Broadway show, METRO, directed and choreographed by Janusz Jozefowicz.  Kate was a member of Parsons Dance from 1999 until 2006 where she performed lead roles in the company’s repertory including the iconic CAUGHT.  From 2007 until 2014, she danced for The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company performing at many reputable venues such as New York City’s City Center, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, and Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater.  Over the years, she repeatedly appeared as a guest artist first with The Battleworks Dance Company and then The Buglisi Dance Theater and in 2007, she was one of two featured dancers during the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.  In 2008 she toured Italy with WHY BE EXTRAORDINARY IF YOU CAN BE YOURSELF, a show by Daniel Ezralow.  Skarpetowska has worked as a repetiteur and assistant choreographer to Lar Lubovitch, David Parsons, and Robert Battle setting works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Introdans, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater, Ballet Austin, Atlanta Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Repertory Dance Theatre, and Mikhailovsky Theater in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  As a choreographer, she has been commissioned by BalletX, Richmond Ballet, Rochester City Ballet, Grand Rapids Ballet, Parsons Dance, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater II, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Buglisi Dance Theater, Big Muddy Dance Company, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Bruce Wood Dance, The Juilliard School, and National Choreographers Initiative.  For her choreographic achievements, Kate was named Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2016 and was nominated for a NY Dance and Performance Award, The Bessie, in the emerging choreographer category in 2017.  In 2018, Kate choreographed an Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of Orfeo and Eurydice, in collaboration with director Ron Daniels and maestro Pierre Vallet.  Skarpetowska is also a freelance teacher holding workshops throughout the world.  Kate has been on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, American Ballet Theater summer program, School of American Ballet, Boston Conservatory summer program, Key West Modern Dance, Peridance, Washington Ballet @THEARC, and UC Irvine.  She resides in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and New York City. Learn more.

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