From Many Mouths, From the Horse’s Mouth

photo by Tom Brazil

Over 75 dancers will gather at the 92nd Street Y this weekend to perform in From the Horse’s Mouth, a celebratory dance-theater piece that blends storytelling and exceptional dancing.  The performances and stellar roster of performers kick off the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Festival.  Created by Tina Croll and Jamie Cunningham in 1998, From the Horse’s Mouth will feature 25 different dancers at each performance, all of whom will share personal stories from their lives and movement of their own choosing.  The lineup of performers includes Wendy Perron, Deborah Jowitt, Arthur Aviles, Carmen de Lavallade, Grover Dale, Martine Van Hamel, and Monica Bill Barnes.

Jowitt, who has known Croll and Cunningham since the 1960s and has previously performed in From the Horse’s Mouth, wrote about the creation of the piece in this month’s Dance Magazine.  Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It’s fascinating to watch performers with very different aesthetics and backgrounds share the stage. During those first 1998 performances, choreographer-teacher Viola Farber, who’d been a founding member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, ended up improvising with Carmen de Lavallade, who had danced in Lester Horton’s group in the 1950s and later performed with Alvin Ailey’s company, among many others. Farber was ill with cancer and never knew for sure whether she’d feel strong enough to show up for the performance. To see these two tall, slim, gorgeous women (both born in 1931) quietly mingling their very different artistry could stop your heart.

Tickets to From the Horse’s Mouth are just $15 and can be ordered online.  Performances are this Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, and on Sunday at 3 PM at the 92nd Street Y at Lexington Avenue.

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