Yale Bulletin
and Calendar

May 3-17, 1999Volume 27, Number 31

Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project
to perform on campus

When Mikhail Baryshnikov came to New Haven 20 years ago, it was to receive an honorary degree from the University.

This time, he's coming to dance.

Baryshnikov Productions and the Yale Repertory Theatre will present the White Oak Dance Project performing never-before-seen works Thursday-Saturday, May 13-15, at the University Theatre, 222 York St.

"It is an important part of the Yale Rep's mission to explore the boundaries of interdisciplinary enterprise and to foster cooperation among the various traditions in the performing arts," says Stan Wojewodski Jr., artistic director of the Rep and dean of the School of Drama. "Such partnerships enrich our work and our discourse with the Rep audience."

The Yale Rep engagement will mark the first time that Baryshnikov has danced in New Haven. Joining him for this performance will be five female dancers -- Raquel Aedo, Emily Coates, Emmanuèle Phuon, Ruthlyn Salomons and Susan Shields.

The program will consist of four world premieres as well as three White Oak Dance Project premieres. The featured works are:

* "Dance with Three Drums and Flute," a world premiere by Kabuki dancer/actor Tamasaburo Bando. The solo dance, which is based on traditional Japanese dance forms, was created for Baryshnikov while Bando and he were performing in Japan last summer.

* "MacGuffin or How Meanings Get Lost (Revisited)," a world premiere by Neil Greenberg. This piece, another solo performance for Baryshnikov, is set to sections of the music that Bernard Hermann composed for the film classic "Psycho." Alfred Hitchcock coined the cinematic term "MacGuffin" to describe the central device that drives a plot. A leading dancer with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company 1980-86, Greenberg has created over 20 dances since beginning his choreographic career in 1979.

* An as-yet-untitled world premiere and the company premiere of "Two Lies" by Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin. The former will be a dance duet with Baryshnikov; the latter is a trio set to music. "Two Lies" won a 1997 New York Dance and Performance Award for choreography.

* "Vessel," a world premiere by former Twyla Tharp dancer Amy O'Brien. The dance, which is set to music composed by Frédéric Chopin, will be performed by Aedo, Coates and Phuon. O'Brien, whose choreography has been performed widely, has also danced with White Oak.

* "Glacial Decoy," a company premiere by Trisha Brown, who first performed with Baryshnikov in her work "You Can See Us" at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's 1996 Next Wave Festival. "Glacial Decoy," which was created in 1979, will be performed by Aedo, Coates, Phuon and Salomons.

* "The Argument," a company premiere by choreographer Mark Morris. The work, a suite of five duets performed to Robert Schumann's "Fünf Stücke im Volkston" was given its world premiere earlier this year in Boston by the Mark Morris Dance Group.

The White Oak Dance Project was created in 1990 by Baryshnikov and Morris to serve as the touring company of The Baryshnikov Dance Foundation. The two men first began collaborating when Baryshnikov, as artistic director of the American Ballet Theater, commissioned Morris' "Drink to Me With Thine Eyes." The White Oak Project, which features alumni of major dance companies, has also commissioned new works from Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp and Jerome Robbins, among many others. In the past 10 years, the company has made close to 30 national and international tours.

The Yale Rep engagement, in fact, will launch White Oak's international spring tour, and is the only East Coast residency scheduled on the tour.

Performances of the White Oak Dance Project will be at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $45 to $75, with discounts available to students and Yale Rep subscribers. For information, contact the Yale Rep box office at 432-1234, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. until show time on performance days.


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Mikhail Baryshnikov will perform with the White Oak Dance Company at the University Theatre May 13-15. The event is sponsored by the Yale Repertory Theatre.