Today's date: March 9, 2012
The U.S. Premiere of Last Touch First presented by Pittsburgh Dance Council
Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Avenue
|Credit: Robert Benschop|
Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, proudly presents the U.S. premiere of “Last Touch First”, created by famed Dutch choreographer Jiří Kylián and expat Michael Schumacher, at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. “...an intimate and moving performance, in which desperation, madness and loneliness touch the depths of the six characters. The dancers move almost an hour in super slow motion, situated in the atmosphere of 19th century, which reminds of the grotesque plays by Russian author Anton Chekhov” (NRC Handelsblad).
Tickets ($35) may be purchased at the Box Office at Theater Square, online at www.trustarts.org, or by calling (412) 456-6666. First Commonwealth is the proud season sponsor of Pittsburgh Dance Council, and 90.5 Essential Public Radio is the media sponsor. This performance of “Last Touch First” is also part of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Distinctively Dutch Festival*.
“Last Touch First” originated from a small idea from the Holland Dance Festival. Dance improviser Michael Schumacher and dancer Sabine Kupferberg were to make a duet based on improvisation systems that were developed while working together on “The Moment,” a piece created for Nederlands Dans Theater III (2001). However, this idea grew into a project of respectable size, based on Jiří Kylián’s “Last Touch,” created for Nederlands Dance Theater III (2003). Therefore, with the combined minds of Jiří Kylián and Sabine Kupferberg, Michael Schumacher created the ensemble piece “Last Touch First,” which premiered in February 2008 at Korzo Theater in The Hague.
Artistic direction for “Last Touch First” stems from the ingenious minds of Michael Schumacher and Jiří Kylián. Schumacher began his career as a dancer at various ballets including: Frankfurt Ballet, Twyla Tharp Dance, the Feld Ballet and the Pretty Ugly Dance Company. Schumacher continued his career with guest appearances for Peter Sellars, as well as productions with several artists such as Sylvie Guillem, Dana Caspersen, and Anouk van Dijk. He currently performs with an Amsterdam-based collective of improvisation artists at the Magpie Music Dance Company and also teaches workshops in improvisation techniques and movement analysis.
Prague native Jiří Kylián became increasingly interested in the performing arts by studying at the Ballet School of Prague National Theatre, Prague Conservatory, and the Royal Ballet School in London. He became the artistic director of Nederlands Dans Theatre in 1975 after creating his first choreography for the company two years prior. Kylián’s numerous works can be seen throughout the world, and his choreographies are to be found on the repertoire of numerous dance companies all over the world. In 1991, the Holland Dance Festival opened with Jiří Kylián’s first piece for Nederlands Dans Theater III, and in 2005 he celebrated his 30th anniversary at Nederlands Dans Theater by opening the Holland Dance Festival with a production for Nederlands Dans Theater II.
Jiří Kylián has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including three Nijinsky Awards, Honorary Medal from the president of the Czech Republic, Benois de la Danse in Moscow and Berlin, The Golden Lion at Venice Biennale (2008), and the Medal for Art and Science of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix (2008).
Each year the Pittsburgh Dance Council, a division of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, showcases a world-class season of dance. As the largest presenter of international performances in the city, the Pittsburgh Dance Council continues to help make our Cultural District one of the country’s leading arts and entertainment centers.
*The Distinctively Dutch Festival is presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in collaboration with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. From February through May, 2012, throughout downtown Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, the Festival will feature a range of contemporary work that is reflective of today’s Dutch culture, including dance, jazz, visual art, film, theater, children’s theater and literature. The Festival is part of the Cultural Trust’s mission to present a wide variety of art forms, as well as companies and artists who represent our world’s rich cultural heritages. The Cultural Trust seeks to present artists of the highest quality and caliber in each discipline, particularly artists who would not normally have an opportunity to be seen in Pittsburgh or the United States. For more information visit www.trustarts.org/dutchfestival.
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