6:30pm doors • 7:30pm show
presents “Art of the In-Between” performed by Armitage Gone! Dance
Renowned choreographer and “punk ballerina” Karole Armitage and her company, Armitage Gone! Dance, present Art of the In-Between, a riotous celebration of Mexico’s rich mixture of Indigenous and European cultures. The evening opens with Día de los Muertos, a subversive comedy of screwball surrealism featuring a gang of dancing skeletons. Donkey Jaw Bone follows, taking inspiration from Lucha Libre, Mexico’s theatrical wrestling form that sits between ritual and parody, politics and spectacle.
The music for Día de los Muertos will include selections from Wyclef Jean, Fats Waller, Terry Dame, and New York no–wave punk bands, while Lucha Libre will feature music played on traditional Mexican instruments that predate the arrival of Christopher Columbus, breaking down the divide between present and past in a show that throws restrictive dividing lines to the winds.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
ARMITAGE GONE! DANCE (AG!D) Over the past 30 years, Karole Armitage and her dancers have shaped the evolution of contemporary dance through the creation and performance of new works. The most recent incarnation of the company, Armitage Gone! Dance, was launched in 2004 when Karole Armitage returned to the US after 15 years of working abroad. AG!D is known for its collaborations with innovators in music, science, and the visual arts. Dedicated to redefining the boundaries and perception of contemporary dance, the company extends the mandate of innovation that characterizes both her earlier Armitage Ballet, founded in 1985, and her first full time company, Armitage Gone!, founded in 1979. Having worked as a choreographer for Cirque du Soleil, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and on Broadway, Armitage’s interests are wide ranging, mixing the popular with the esoteric and the traditions of ballet with modern dance. The company regularly performs to live music, and has commissioned numerous scores since its debut. The company creates works on a wide range of subjects from punk to African aesthetics and Commedia dell’Arte, as well as fashion and popular dance forms with a strong commitment to work inspired by science. The core of the company’s work centers on a series of dance “dreamscapes” that take the viewer on a poetic journey to evoke mysterious landscapes of reverie, dream, and altered consciousness. The work is based on ballet from a fractal perspective with daily company class followed by a six-hour rehearsal. Known for their free–spirited panache, the company members of Armitage Gone! Dance bring unique flavors and strong personality to the stage, contributing to the choreographic process in collaboration with Armitage.
KAROLE ARMITAGE (AG!D Artistic Director/Founder) of the New York-based Armitage Gone! Dance Company, was rigorously trained in classical ballet. As a professional dancer she performed in Balanchine’s Grand Théâtre de Genève Company and in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Armitage is renowned for pushing boundaries to create contemporary works to engage in philosophical questions about the search for meaning. She directed the Ballet of Florence, Italy (1995–99); the Biennale of Contemporary Dance in Venice (2004); and served as resident choreographer for the Ballet de Lorraine in France (1999–2004). She has created works for many companies from The Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow and the Ballet de L’Opéra de Paris to the Tasmanian Dance Company in Australia. She has directed opera at important European opera houses indcluding Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and the National Opera in Amsterdam, and she has choreographed two productions for the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center. Armitage’s work is at once both esoteric and popular. She choreographed Broadway productions of Passing Strange and Hair (the latter earning her a Tony nomination), videos for Madonna and Michael Jackson, several films for Merchant Ivory productions, and the Cirque du Soleil production Amaluna (2012). Armitage, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, was awarded Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France’s most prestigious award in 2009, and holds an honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of Kansas (2013). As a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University and a Simons Fellow at The University of Kansas in 2015 and 2016, she studied Native American Plains Culture. Armitage is currently an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, where she is developing costumes and props with Media Lab PhD Students using emerging technology for a new work to premiere in April 2019 at the Japan Society in New York City.
PETER BASIL BOGDANOS (AG!D musician) is a multi-faceted percussionist/drummer who has worked with major figures in flamenco, hip-hop, jazz, salsa, rock acts, and everything in between. Credits include Grammy–winning hip-hop group the Digable Planets, Motown artists Zhane, jazz great Bobby Previte’s Bitches Brew project, salsa legend Orlando Marin, groundbreaking Greek worldbeat act Annabouboula, as well as a stint with rock diva Ronnie Spector. Peter is a first call percussionist in the flamenco music and dance realm in the US, having performed with Noche Flamenca, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, and most recently Tablao Flamenco. A passionate advocate of Mexican culture, Peter founded and directs Mexico Beyond Mariachi, an educational and touring ensemble for youth and family audiences that digs deep into ancient and contemporary music and dance traditions of regional Mexico, exposing the intelligence and beauty of the country that runs contrary to the current polemical narrative in the media and beyond.
AHMAUD CULVER (AG!D Dancer) is a first–generation Egyptian-American raised in Lancaster, California. Ahmaud began his dance studies at California Institute of the Arts where he received his BA. Ahmaud’s first professional dance company position was with the Santa Monica, California–based Helios Dance Theatre at 20 years of age. In 2009, Ahmaud moved to New York City, where opportunities allowed him to work with many dance companies from around the world such as the International touring company NY2Dance, Eglevsky Ballet, Augusto Solada BrazzDance, and the National Company of Colombia Danza Concerto. This is Ahmaud’s seventh season as a member of Armitage Gone! Dance.
MEGUMI EDA (AG!D Dancer) was born in Nagano, Japan. Leaving Japan at 16, she was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet School. For the next 15 years she was a member of the Hamburg Ballet, the Dutch National Ballet, and the Rambert Dance Company. In 2004, she moved to NY as a founding member of Armitage Gone! Dance, and has continued a close collaboration with Karole Armitage to this day. In addition to her work with Armitage, she has begun to incorporate other art forms including sculpture and video into her own installations and performances. She has been collaborating with Yoshiko Chuma since 2014 as a performer and filmmaker. She won a Bessie Award in 2004.
SIERRA FRENCH (AG!D Dancer) is from San Diego, California, where she began her dance training at the Performing Arts Workshop. She then went on to train with Ballet West, LINES Ballet and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. Currently in New York, she has performed a wide variety of repertoire while working with various choreographers. These works include choreography by Dwight Rhoden with Complexions Contemporary Ballet and principal roles in both George Balanchine and Gerald Arpino works. As well, while a member of Joffrey Concert Group, she performed works by Robert Battle, Gabrielle Lamb, Africa Guzman, and Andrea Schermoly. She is very excited to start her second season with AG!D while continuing to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree with Saint Mary’s LEAP Program for professional dancers.
ALONSO GUZMAN (AG!D Dancer) is a native Puerto Rican. As a child, Guzman dedicated 8 years to martial arts study, and at age 14 began dance training. At 17, thanks to scholarships from the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship and the Olive Tree Foundation, he moved to NYC to study at The Ailey School. Alonso later worked as dance demonstrator for Milton Myers at The Juilliard School, The Ailey School, and at Steps Dance Studio. He has performed for internationally acclaimed organizations such as Ballet Hispanico I and II, the Metropolitan Opera and at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Naturally, Alonso showed profound interest in Latin Dance, specifically in Argentine tango. He trains and teaches tango with tango master and, later on, his partner-in-life, Dardo Galletto. He joined Armitage Gone! Dance in 2017.
YUSAKU KOMORI (AG!D Dancer) began his dance training at Take Two Dance Academy. He continued his training at DanceMOVE and The Ailey School, where he was a fellowship student. Komori was first prize winner in three prestigious Japanese competitions: Jazz Dance Association of Japan, Dance Stage Project, and Nextream. He performed in many productions in Japan, and since coming to New York he has performed with the Ailey II, Bad Boys of Dance with Rasta Thomas, Francesca Harper Project, Cecilia Marta Dance Company, Nai Ni Chen Dance Company, Ballet Verite, Armitage Gone! Dance, and Cartier Williams Dance Theater. Yusaku recently worked with Hugh Jackman on 20th Century Fox production of the movie “The Greatest Showman”. This is his third season with AG!D.
CRISTIAN LAVERDE-KÖNIG (AG!D Dancer) was born in Cali, Colombia and received his professional training at The Instituto Colombiano de Ballet (Incolballet) and The Escuela Nacional de Ballet de Cuba under a full scholarship. He has been a soloist for The Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Ballet de Cali, Hartford Ballet, and Ballet Internationale, and he has been a principal dancer for the Maximum Dance Company, the Milwaukee Ballet, and the Slovak National Ballet. König’s repertoire includes principal roles in classical and contemporary ballets ranging from Petipa to Balanchine, Tharp to Graham, creating principal roles in works by contemporary choreographers such as Maurice Causey and Karole Armitage. König has been the recipient of prestigious national and international awards and is a freelance artist in his sixth season with AG!D.
JUAN LUCERO (AGD Musician), also known by his native name, Chicomecoatl Tlahuilzcalpantecutli, is originally from Puebla, Mexico. From a very early age, he was exposed to his native music and dance. As a teen, he started playing string instruments such as guitar, vihuela, jaranas and bajo quinto in styles including conjunto norteño, cumbia, son huasteco, son de tarima (from Guerrero), son jarocho, and mariachi. As a dancer, he has worked with several dance companies in the New York City and New Jersey area, such as Mexico Beyond Mariachi, Ballet Nepantla and Calpulli Mexican Dance Company. He is a Mexica chichimeca dancer from the concheros tradición.
CLIFTON TAYLOR (AG!D Lighting Designer) has created lighting, projection and scenic designs for theater, dance and opera around the world. His designs for dance have been commissioned for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Rambert Dance Company (London), American Ballet Theatre (NY), San Francisco Ballet, Scottish National Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet de Lorraine (Nancy, France), Ballet Jazz de Montreal, San Francisco Ballet, Maggio Danza (Florence, Italy), Sardono Dance Theatre (Indonesia), and the Ballet Company of Rio de Janeiro, among others. He is currently the resident designer for Armitage Gone! Dance, Philadanco, and Elisa Monte Dance, and has designed for Lar Lubovitch, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Ron K Brown, and Larry Keigwin. Other recent collaborators include: Benoit Swan Pouffer for Cedar Lake, Pascal Rioult, and Septime Webre for the Washington Ballet, among others.