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Avi Scher & Dancers, Jacob's Pillow and NYC

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Some of us might remember Avi Scher from SAB and ballet companies around the country. He's got a program of ballets featuring dancers from NYCB, Boston Ballet and Ballet San Jose:


presents the World Premieres of

Mirrors and No Matter What by Avichai Scher

and Male Portrait #1 by Larry Keigwin

and the New York Premieres of

Aquilarco by Val Caniparoli,

Last Dance and Our Love's Defense by Avichai Scher


Featuring Principal Dancers from

the New York City Ballet, Boston Ballet and Ballet San Jose

Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8pm

at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College

AVI SCHER & DANCERS presents a program of six pieces, including three World Premieres and two New York Premieres, on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8pm at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.ticketcentral.com or by phone at 212-279-4200.

The program begins with the World Premiere of Male Portrait #1 by Larry Keigwin, danced by Avichai Scher. Upon completion of a series of female portraits, Keigwin begins a series of solo pieces exploring the male image and personality with Male Portrait #1, commissioned by Avi Scher & Dancers. Last Dance, which premiered in March 2008 in Providence, RI, is a tribute to Jenn Jansma, a former dancer with Carolina Ballet who passed away from cancer at age 21 in February 2008. The New York Premiere of Last Dance features music by Dustin O'Halloran, Yann Tiersen, and Sara McLachlan and lead dancers Alexsandra Meijer, Abi Stafford, and Christian Tworzyanski. Aquilarco (1999) was originally created for San Francisco Ballet stars Evelyn Cisneros and Stephen Legate. This is the New York premiere of the work by Val Caniparoli, danced by Racheal Prince and Avichai Scher with music by Giovanni Sollima. Our Love's Defense, a New York Premiereby Avichai Scher, danced by Melissa Hough and David Prottas, depicts an angry, passionate couple and their dependence upon one another. No Matter What explores ideas of community and unity by depicting people in various situations and moods - good and bad, scary and peaceful - showing that their commitments to each another take them through anything. This World Premiere by Avichai Scher is danced by Colby Damon, Elysia Dawn, Alexander Dutko, Ja' Malik, Victoria North, Racheal Prince, and Nancy Richer with music by Aphex Twin and Adam Lewis. The World Premiere of Mirrors by Avichai Scher deals with the perception of others and the differences between private and public behaviors, riffing on the vanities and insecurities associated with one's own reflection. Mirrors is danced by Dena Abergel, Jared Angle, Melissa Hough, Alexsandra Meijer, David Prottas, Abi Stafford, and Christian Tworzyanski to music by Elena Kats Chernin and Dustin O'Halloran. Appropriate for ages 7 and up.

On June 26, 2009, Avi Scher & Dancers will dance its first full evening of work at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out. The program includes premieres by Avichai Scher and Larry Keigwin, as well as a work by Val Caniparoli.

AVI SCHER & DANCERS was formed in August of 2008 by emerging choreographer Avichai Scher. The company's mission is to build a young audience for neo classical and contemporary ballet by presenting top quality dancers and new works in small venues. In November 2008, the company performed an excerpt from No Matter What at HATCH in NYC. In May 2009, the company brought Mystery in the Wind to the 92nd Street Y.

Avichai Scher, 25, was born in NYC and raised in Israel. He returned to New York to study on scholarship at the School of American Ballet for eight years. There he had the opportunity to perform Fritz and the Nutcracker Prince with New York City Ballet in The Nutcracker for four seasons. A desire to work with many different companies and choreographers took him on a journey, dancing with ten different companies in six years: Sacramento Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Joffrey Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, European Ballet, Ballet British Columbia, Carolina Ballet and Ballet X. He also appeared as a guest with Ballet Chicago, Chamber Dance Project, Madison Ballet, Pointe of Departure, and the Adam Miller Dance Project. Some standout roles have included: Puck in Ashton's The Dream, working with Sir Anthony Dowell, "Red-Man" in Elemental Brubeck, choreographed and staged by Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris's A Garden, Michael Smuin's Shinju, Matthew Neenan's Steelworks, and Tharp's Nine Sinatra Songs. Scher always had the desire to be a choreographer and his first professional commissions came at age 18, creating Jouons for American Ballet Theater Studio Company and The Perilous Night for Miami City Ballet. Since then he has had works at: Miami City Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School's annual showcases, Usdan Center for the Arts, Washington Ballet Studio Company, Harvard University, Festival Ballet Providence, Manhattan Youth Ballet, West Wave Dance Festival, Ballet Builders, Sacramento Ballet, and Shut Up & Dance: Dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet. In 2008 he choreographed the play Three Movements which ran at NYC's Theatre Row. Dance Magazine recognized his choreography by naming him one of the "Top 25 To Watch," and he is the recipient of the Strassler excellence Award from Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Performance at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College and rehearsals at New York City Center made possible by John Fry, with additional support from Gerald Appelstein.

Last Dance is made possible with generous support from the Jansma family.

Since opening its doors in 1988, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater has been an invaluable cultural resource for John Jay College and the larger New York City community. Under the new direction of Executive Director Shannon R. Mayers, the Theater is dedicated to the creation and presentation of performing arts programming of all disciplines with a special focus on how the artistic imagination can shed light on the many perceptions of justice in our society.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.

AVI SCHER & DANCERS will perform on Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8pm at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College at John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue, NYC. Tickets are $25 and are available at www.ticketcentral.com or by phone at 212-279-4200.

For more information, visit www.avischer.com.

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From the Avi Scher & Dancers Facebook page:

Avi Scher & Dancers is performing it's first full evening concert on June 26 at Jacob's Pillow.

So that people in NYC can see what we did, we're doing a one- hour showcase at NY City Center on June 28

There are two premiers by Avi Scher, as well as one by Larry Keigwin, and Val Caniparoli's "Aquilarco."

The cast features NYCB principal dancers Jared Angle and Abi Stafford, Boston Ballet Principal Melissa Hough and Ballet San Jose principal Alexsandra Meijer.

NYCB Members Dena Abergel, David Prottas, and Christian Tworzynaski; Los Angeles Ballet member Nancy Richer; Ballet British Columbia member Racheal Prince and NYC dancers Ja' Malik, Robert Colby Damon, Alex Dutko, Elysia Dawn, and Victoria North complete the amazing cast of 14!

Tickets are only $15, $10 for students and dancers!

Tickets can be bought with CASH at the door.

I ran into Avi yesterday, purely by chance, and he told me that this supercedes the John Jay event, which has been cancelled.

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