Choreographer and dance filmmaker Richard Daniels’ newest project, Dances for an iPhone, uses mobile technology as a medium in order to transmit modern dance to the general public. Mr. Daniels and two of the dance luminaries he invited to perform in this unique app, Deborah Jowitt and Carmen De Lavallade, discuss the experience of performing for someone who holds the dance in the palm of their hand. Moderated by Jacob's Pillow Scholar-in-Residence Philip Szporer.
EXCERPT from PillowTalk: Dances for an iPhone recorded at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival July 23, 2011.
PillowTalks feature world-renowned choreographers, dancers, authors, filmmakers, historians, and critics in live hour-long moderated discussions of the cultural forces shaping the field of dance. Curated by Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen and moderated by Jacob's Pillow Scholars-in-Residence, PillowTalks use dance as a prism to explore the world at large.
Mr. Daniels began his formal dance studies with Valentina Litvinoff at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he received a Fine Arts degree in photography. As an arts manager, consultant and producer during the 1980s, he worked with dance and theater companies all across America.
His experience of living with HIV disease led to a rebirth. These circumstances, which included the loss of his soul mate of 20 years, propelled Mr. Daniels to reconnect with dance as an instrument of his healing. After 15 years offstage, he resumed his dance studies. The Day without Art Remember Project, produced by Dancers Responding to AIDS in December 1995 at Danspace Project at St. Mark's Church, New York City, marked his return to the stage and his debut as a solo dancer. He has since performed in numerous venues in New York, Toronto, and elsewhere.
Mr. Daniels's background in many disparate artistic talents has fueled and informed his vision, a compilation of the techniques and commonality of various esthetic styles. Since his debut, his repertory has grown to include dances created by him, as well as choreography given to and commissioned for him by accomplished and respected dance artists. As a producer, Mr. Daniels created A Party for Max (2000) at New York City’s Joyce Theater, and Homage/Fromage – Honoring Christine Wright (2007) at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York City. His work has received support from the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation, Meet the Composer, Inc., the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and the Jerome Robbins Foundation. www.justonemec.com
Carmen De Lavallade
Carmen De Lavallade first appeared in NYC with the Lester Horton Dance
Theatre and subsequently made her Broadway debut with Alvin Ailey in
House of Flowers. She has appeared in a number of films for Twentieth
Century Fox including Carmen Jones (1954), in which she danced with Ailey and Jack Cole. As a dancer she has had ballets
created for her by Alvin Ailey, Lester Horton, John Butler, Glen Tetley,
Agnes De Mille, Geoffrey Holder, Donald McKayle, Louis Johnson and
Tally Beatty. She was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, a
guest artist with American Ballet Theater and a soloist with the NYC
Opera. At Yale she taught movement classes for actors and eventually
became a member of the Yale Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory
Theatre at Harvard.
She has choreographed for Dance Theatre of Harlem,
Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a number of operas
including the landmark production of Porgy & Bess at the
Metropolitan. She continues to do stage and film projects,
such as Oscar Wilde’s Salome with Al Pacino, and in John Sayles’ film
Lone Star. She received the Dance Magazine Award in 1964 and an honorary
Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music in
1994. In 1998 she founded the NYC-based performance ensemble PARADIGM with Gus Solomons Jr., and Dudley Williams. De Lavallade received a 2000 New York Dance and Performance Award
(a.k.a. "Bessie") for Sustained Achievement in Performance. www.paradigm-nyc.org
As a dance writer, Ms Jowitt has appeared in numerous publications, among them The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Ballet Review, and Dance Research Journal, as well as in catalogues and anthologies. She has published two collections: Dance Beat (1977) and The Dance in Mind (1985). A third book, Time and the Dancing Image
(William Morrow; paperback, University of California Press), won the de
la Torre Bueno Prize for 1988. Ms. Jowitt has contributed essays to Reinventing Dance in the 1960s (ed. Sally Banes) and Of Another World: Dancing Between Dream and Reality (ed. Monna Dithmer). Her most recent book, Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theater, His Dance, was published by Simon and Schuster in August, 2004.
Ms. Jowitt has been teaching in the
Dance Department of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts since
1975. A founding member of the Dance Critics Association, she served
at various times as its treasurer, newsletter editor, and co-chairman.
From 1969 to 1972, she was a member of the Dance Advisory Panel to the
National Council on the Arts, and its co-chair in 1971-72.
Dance Theater Workshop awarded her a "Bessie" in 1985 for her
contributions to dance criticism, and the American Dance Guild honored
her in 1991. In 1998, she received an "Ernie" -- an award reserved for
dance's "unsung heroes" -- from Dance/USA. The Congress on Research
in Dance (CORD) made her its 2001 honoree for her “Outstanding
Contribution to Dance Research.” She was granted a Guggenheim Fellowship
in 2002. www.artsjournal.com/dancebeat/
Montreal-based freelance filmmaker, writer and lecturer, Philip Szporer, has worked extensively for CBC-Radio and Television, Radio-Canada, and served as correspondent for "The World", heard on Public Radio International. Co-founder, with Marlene Millar, of the arts film production company Mouvement Perpetuel in 2001, they have directed and produced a number of media projects, including the documentaries Moments in Motion, Raising the Bar: The Fresh Voices Project, and Byron Chief-Moon: Grey Horse Rider, the dance shorts The Hunt, a soft place to fall, Butte, and The Greater The Weight, 40, Falling, as well as adaptation of the multidisciplinary stage work, Quarantaine 4x4. Currently in development with the National Film Board of Canada and choreographer Crystal Pite is a stereoscopic experimental dance film incorporating animation. Philip was awarded the 2010 Jacqueline Lemieux Prize from the Canada Council of the Arts, a 1999 Pew Fellowship, National Dance/Media Project (University of California, Los Angeles) and teaches in the Contemporary Dance Department at Concordia University. www.mouvementperpetual.net