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Kennedy Center's 2003-2004 modern dance series announced

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I wish they'd change the name from America Dancing, since, more and more, there are more foreign companies than American ones, but here it is. No Paul Taylor. I can't remember when we didn't have a season of Paul Taylor. BUT we're getting Ballett Frankfurt for the first time, and it's about time (the company has been here, but not at the Kennedy Center). And we're getting Merce.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

announces its 2003-2004 AMERICA DANCING SERIES

featuring Kennedy Center favorites and cutting-edge contemporary companies from around the world


Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Batsheva Dance Company,

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker,

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Lyon Opera Ballet

and the Kennedy Center debut of Ballett Frankfurt

America Dancing is sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The 2003-2004 America Dancing series, the Kennedy Center’s retrospective of modern dance, will bridge a full range of artistic perspectives, from the foremost masters of the genre to the art form’s most brilliant voices from around the world. America Dancing will feature return engagements by perennial Kennedy Center favorites Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Merce Cunningham Dance Company plus encore performances by Batsheva Dance Company, Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker, and Lyon Opera Ballet. The 2003-2004 season will also bring the Kennedy Center debut of Ballett Frankfurt in Artistic Director William Forsythe’s final American engagement.

The 2003-2004 America Dancing series will include:

Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker

October 9-11, 2003 in the Eisenhower Theater

Marrying physically daring feats with visually striking designs, Deborah Colker's work is the result of intense aesthetic questioning. The first Brazilian to win London’s prestigious Olivier Award, the internationally acclaimed choreographer uses modern dance to challenge notions of space and gravity and redefine the rules for what can and can’t be done. Her company was first seen at the Kennedy Center as part of the 2001 AmericArtes festival; now Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker returns with 4 Por 4 (Four by Four), a vibrant and sensual evening-length production that transforms imagery from the works of four Brazilian artists into kinetic dance concoctions. “Just when you think you’ve seen every move the dancers have in them, they surprise you” (The Washington Post).

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

January 27-February 1, 2004 in the Opera House

Alvin Ailey once said, “Dance is for everybody. It came from the people. It should always be given back to the people.” Indeed, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater delivers on its promise—offering a generous feast for the senses with everything it dances. From jazz-inspired works and intimate portraits, to explosive epics teeming with passion. “One cannot deny the genius behind Ailey’s…stirring eloquence,” (The Washington Post). For its annual engagement at the Kennedy Center, this internationally renowned company, helmed by Kennedy Center Honoree Judith Jamison, celebrates its founder’s vision with a compilation of his classic dances, plus electrifying new works by some of America’s freshest modern choreographers. This is a co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts Society.

Batsheva Dance Company

February 24 & 25, 2004 in the Eisenhower Theater

One of Israel’s leading modern dance troupes, Batsheva has its roots in the technique of Martha Graham, but has built on that tradition through the artistic genius of its artistic director, the brilliant Israeli dancer-choreographer Ohad Naharin. His works blend beauty with anger, serenity with sarcasm, as he uses dance to reflect life in his homeland. The company returns to the America Dancing series following their hugely successful 1998 appearance as part of the Kennedy Center Festival Art of the State: Israel at 50 – “terrifying in it’s force…a world where madness waltzes with grace” (The Washington Post).

Merce Cunningham Dance Company

March 26-27, 2004 in the Eisenhower Theater

Merce Cunningham, the Kennedy Center Honoree and legendary choreographer, will return with his company to the Kennedy Center for the first time in nearly four years. Cunningham’s style is best expressed by long-time collaborator John Cage: “Merce Cunningham developed his own school of dancing and choreography, the continuity of which no longer relies on linear elements, be they narrative or psychological, nor does it rely on a movement towards and away from climax.” The engagement will feature classic Cunningham repertory spanning his five decades of work.

Lyon Opera Ballet

April 8-10, 2004 in the Eisenhower Theater

Under the artistic direction of Yorgos Loukos they shocked and thrilled Kennedy Center audiences with performances of resident choreographer Maguy Martin’s Cendrillon during the 2001-2002 America Dancing season. Now the Lyon Opera Ballet, France’s great repertory company, known for its witty and often surprising choreography, returns to the Eisenhower Theater as part of the Kennedy Center French Festival with a new work by Philippe Decouflé. Lyon Opera Ballet is “highly sophisticated, highly imaginative” (The New York Times).

Ballett Frankfurt

June 17-19, 2004 in the Opera House

Appointed in 1984, Artistic Director William Forsythe has developed a new repertory with his own unique style. That repertory and style has helped to establish Ballett Frankfurt as a force in contemporary dance not only in Germany but far beyond the borders of the European continent with performances all over the world. These performances at the Kennedy Center will mark Forsythe’s final American engagement as artistic director of the company. In his own words, Forsythe has said “The practice of introducing methods which delineate perceptual rules and boundaries is central to the domain of artistic practice.” That ideology will permeate the company’s debut engagement at the Kennedy Center, and will continue to define the style of the company for years to come. The company’s program will include the works N.N.N.N., Quintett, and Enemy In the Figure.

All programs and artists are subject to change.

To receive subscription information by mail, call the Subscription Office: (202) 416-8500. Subscriptions may be purchased in advance. Groups of 20 or more may contact Kennedy Center Group Sales: (202) 416-8400. Dates for sales of individual tickets will be announced at a later date.

For more information about the Kennedy Center, please visit www.kennedy-center.org

2003-2004 season schedule – America Dancing

Performance Dates Theater Company

October 9-11, 2003 Eisenhower Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker

January 27-February 1, 2004 Opera House Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

February 24-25, 2004 Eisenhower Batsheva Dance Company

March 26-27, 2004 Eisenhower Merce Cunningham Dance Company

April 8-10, 2004 Eisenhower Lyon Opera Ballet

June 17-19, 2004 Opera House Ballett Frankfurt

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