BREAKING NEW GROUND FOR HIMSELF
WORLD PREMIERE OF DOUGLAS DUNN’S ‘AUBADE’
AT PEAK PERFORMANCES, JANUARY 24-FEBRUARY 1
Traditionally regarded as an abstract minimalist, 71 year old choreographer Douglas Dunn treads into unexpected territory with the world premiere of “Aubade,” at the Alexander Kasser Theater, January 24-February 1. The dance was commissioned by Peak Performances.
Featuring pre-recorded and real-time video, lighting and costumes by Dunn’s frequent collaborator, the avant-garde filmmaker Charles Atlas, poetry by Anne Waldman, and an original score by Steve Taylor, the hour-long work marks one of Dunn’s most complex dances to date. Taylor and his three musicians will share the Kasser stage with Dunn’s own nine-member company, which includes Dunn himself, as well as six dance students from Montclair State University, whom Dunn is incorporating into the work.
“Aubade” is traditionally a song of morning; of awakening to the day with a quiet sense of the inexorableness of death. The dance, which could be considered abstractly autobiographical, is also an homage to, and exploration of the more vivid and rich perceptions we develop as we age and begin to confront our own mortality.
The dance comments on the life of an artist, and the stages of consciousness that evolve as an artist ages. Central to the work is the role of Christopher Williams who plays a trickster- an unbridled sensualist whose imagination and animal energy is essential to the creation of art.
Where To Go
The Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University is located at 1 Normal Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey 07043. Tickets are $20, and are available at the box office, www.peakperfs.org, or by calling 973-655-5112.
The performances will take place at 7:30PM on Friday, January 24; 8:00PM on Saturday, January 25; 3:00PM on Sunday, January 26; 7:30PM on Thursday, January 30 and Friday, January 31; and 7:00PM on Saturday, February 1.
Charter bus service is provided from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal – arcade on 41st Street between 8th and 9th Avenues – to the Alexander Kasser Theater ($10 per person, roundtrip) for all Saturday and Sunday performances. Bus reservations may be made by calling 973-655-5112 or by visiting www.peakperfs.org. For train service, available only on weekdays, go online towww.njtransit.com or call 973-275-5555.
For restaurants close to the Alexander Kasser Theater, visit www.destinationmontclair.com.
Though athletic all his life, Douglas Dunn’s dance training began at the Princeton Ballet Society when he was studying at Princeton University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Art History in 1964. He performed with Yvonne Rainer & Group from 1968 to 1970. He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from 1969 to 1973, and the Grand Union from 1970 to 1976. Dunn began making his own work in 1971. His collaborators have included Mimi Gross, Charles Atlas, Kenneth Noland, Anne Waldman, and Amy Greenfield. Douglas Dunn & Dancers has performed throughout the United States and Europe, most especially France, where Dunn created a full length “Pucinella” for the Paris Opera Ballet as part of its homage to Igor Stravinsky. His honors, fellowships, and awards include recognition from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund, and Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. In 2008 Dunn was honored with a Chevalier by the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contributions to French cultural and artistic life.
“Aubade” is commissioned by Peak Performances at Montclair State University (NJ). Programs in this season are made possible in part by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New Jersey State Council for the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts; Discover Jersey Arts; the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation; and the National Dance Project (NDP) of the New England Foundation for the Arts.
photo credit: Laurie Lambrecht