May 29, 2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of ‘The Rite of Spring’, featuring a revolutionary musical score by lgor Stravinsky and equally innovative choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky. In celebration, Agnieszka Laska Dancers (also celebrating it's 10th Anniversary Season) premiered a new version of THE RITE... by Agnieszka Laska with Portland State University Orchestra, June 7 and June 29th at the Astoria Music Festival.
After playing to enthusiastic sold-out crowds in Portland and Astoria, to critical acclaim (reviews below) ALD are looking forward to treating dance and music lovers in Chicago, on stage with the Chicago Philharmonic "One of the nation's finest symphonic orchestras" (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune) at the opening concert of their 2013-14 Subscription Season: Sunday, September 29, 2013, 7:00 pm at Pick-Staiger Hall in Evanston.
On the same trip ALD will perform The Chopin Project with up-and-coming Polish pianist Igor Lipinski at Copernicus Center.
The full budget for this trip is over $10,000. We're taking 10 dancers and our choreographer, staying in Chicago 3 nights, upgrading our costumes, creating more choreography for The Chopin Project performance, renting a studio for extra rehearsal time and paying dancers for their work. Chicago Philharmonic and Copernicus Center are picking up most of the tab - but to get back home in the black we need $2000 - that's why we need your help!
Details were confirmed just a few weeks ago: Chicago Philharmonic is the resident orchestra for Joffrey Ballet, known for reconstructing Nijinsky's original choreography. Joffrey was unavailable for that date, so we were asked instead -- a great honor for a small independent company, and another door opening for ALD, on our way to bigger and better stages down the road. With only a short time and previously scheduled performances every weekend in September - kickstarter is our only chance to pick up the slack. Thanks for for sticking with this shaggy dog story. If so moved, please help us make our goal!
YOUR CONTRIBUTION is Tax Deductible
Agnieszka Laska Dancers is a public benefit 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Our next step: touring this new work around our home state -- bringing communities around Oregon into the Centenary Celebration.
“…Portland choreographer Agnieszka Laska, who like Diaghilev has never been afraid of controversy, has leapt to a new stage in her artistic development, creating a show which inventively combines distinctive elements of her choreographic repertoire with moves inspired by classic ballet and the landmark 1987 Joffrey Ballet “Rite” reconstruction (Vaslav Nijinsky’s original choreography has been largely lost). And then, just when you think you’ve seen it all, she tops it off with an unflinching gaze at the work’s barbaric denouement…”
Jeff Winslow, Oregon Arts Watch
“…Laska’s own choreography was dramatic and emotional, balanced between narrative and abstract, deeply engaging and captivating. At times I lost track of the story and lost myself completely in the swirling movement and energy onstage. The dancing was heartfelt and attacked the choreography with commitment and passion…”
Jamuna Chiarini, Oregon Arts Watch
“…Overall, the evening was simply brilliant. Everything worked, including the scanty costumes created by Rebecca Price. Add to that the piano music, the clever choreography and the enthusiasm of the dancers, the poise of the lead dancer, the eerie lighting and the bare staging. Complexity produced simplicity. It was raw, visceral. Memorable [...] And when the instigator of this riot was coaxed on stage to receive her traditional bouquet, the adulation would have made Nijinsky proud…”
Patrick Webb, The Daily Astorian
“…Terrific dancing by Lauren Michelle Richmond as The Chosen One helped give this “Rite” a lasting impression…”
James Bash, Northwest Reverb
The Rite of Spring Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
sacrificial dance - excerpt
PSU Symphony Orchestra, Ken Selden conducting
Agnieszka Laska Dancers, choreography by Agnieszka Laska
costumes by Rebecca Price; lighting by Agnieszka Laska
The Chosen One - Lauren Michelle Richmond
Opening solo - Sissy Dawson
The Sage - Heidi Nelson
The Women - Karissa Dean, Allie Fahsholz
The Young Maidens - Kelsey Adams, Sissy Dawson, Sharon Lane, Nikki Leopold, Amelia Unsicker
The Young Men - Niqi Cavanaugh, Gentry Fielder, Jonathan Garza, Jorge Ronzon*
The Girls - Natalie Cheechov, Sophie Marcus
* guest dancer by the courtesy of Contemporary Dance Production Center (CEPRODAC), Mexico.
premiered June 7, 2013
The Rite of Spring creation was made possible by an RACC Special Opportunity Grant and several generous donors.
© Agnieszka Laska Dancers
STILL IMAGES: Chris Leck Photography
Risks and challenges
This project is quite a challenging. But, we are excited to take it on.
We have to adjust The Rite of Spring choreography to a small 5-dancer cast, and tougher yet, a 13' x19' stage; and, with a 100-piece orchestra right behind us. We have to revise old choreography for the Chopin Project, prepare some new dances and upgrade costumes.
While in Chicago we're giving 3 performances in 2 days, plus a press conference, rehearsals with the orchestra and pianist and an appearance on a Saturday morning prime-time TV show... we'll be VERY busy. We booked plane tickets with enough flexibility to allow for some flight delays.
This month prior to our Sept. 27 trip to Chicago, we perform every weekend. Please check http://aldancers.org/upcoming/ and join us if you can! Each show is with different repertory. So, we have to dedicate lots of extra rehearsal time to fulfill all commitments.
If we don’t meet our kickstarter goal? Well, all this extra work by dancers and myself (choreographer/director/manager) goes unpaid... :( ...or instead of rehearsals, we all focus on garage sales – we've done it before – that would certainly compromise the artistic quality of the shows (we could even get a bad review, yikes!) -- we know you won't let this happen to Oregon's Sept. 2013 Cultural Ambassadors to The Windy City!
Hey, what happens if we exceed our goal? That’s a problem we would love to face! All extra monies will be used to secure our Rite of Spring Centennial Tour – performances and outreach activities in rural communities across the country. We want to celebrate 100 years of THE RITE... with you, wherever you are. Just help us get there!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)