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Masters of Modern Dance - FORA.tv

Masters of Modern Dance

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Speakers


  • Mikhail Baryshnikov Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov (born January 27, 1948) is a Soviet-born Russian American dancer, choreographer, and actor, often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974 for more opportunities in western dance. After freelancing with many companies, he joined the New York City Ballet as a principal dancer to learn George Balanchine's style of movement. He then moved to New York to dance with the American Ballet Theatre, where he later became artistic director.

    Baryshnikov has spearheaded many of his own artistic projects and has been associated in particular with promoting modern dance, premiering dozens of new works, including many of his own. His success as a dramatic actor on stage, cinema and television has helped him become probably the most widely recognized contemporary ballet dancer.
  • Bill T. Jones Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer/Dancer Bill T. Jones is the recipient of a 2007 Tony Award, 2007 Obie Award, and 2006 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation CALLAWAY Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening; the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship; the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography for The Seven; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the Harlem Renaissance Award; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur "Genius" Award.

    In 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones "An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure." Mr. Jones began his dance training at the State University of New York at Binghamton (SUNY), studying classical ballet and modern dance. He choreographed and performed worldwide as a soloist and duet company with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1982. www.billtjones.org
  • Trey McIntyre Trey McIntyre is one of the most sought-after choreographers working today. Born in Wichita, KS, McIntyre has created a canon of more than 80 works for companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgart Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, New York City Ballet and Ballet de Santiago (Chile).

    He served as Choreographic Associate for Houston Ballet from 1989-2008 and Resident Choreographer for Oregon Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis and The Washington Ballet before forming his acclaimed Trey McIntyre Project in 2008 based out of Boise, ID.
  • Mark Morris When Mark Morris (born in 1956) was still in his twenties, he leapt into world fame. A loudmouth of exceptional verbal wit, he soon became popular as a highly quotable personality, a dancer of extraordinary power, an intricate craftsman and an unpredictably imaginative theater artist.

    By the end of the 1980s, it was standard practice to speak of Morris as one of the great living choreographers of American modern dance; and to recognize a number of his works as classics. His "Gloria" (1981), "New Love Song Waltzes" (1982), "One Charming Night" (1985), "L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato" (1988), and "Dido and Aeneas" (1989) are works that abound in pure dance and in meanings at the same time.

    His company, the Mark Morris Dance Group purchased a site in Brooklyn, New York, in 1998 that in subsequent years has become the company's home. "The Hard Nut" (1990) -- his 1960s American love-story version of "The Nutcracker", has become another staple of the repertory. Such shorter works as "Grand Duo" (1993), "The Office" (1994), and "All Fours" (2004) have taken aspects of his dance theater further.

    Though he has indubitably made fewer classics in recent years, he remains startlingly prolific. His premieres in 2008 include "Joyride" for the San Francisco Ballet, a new dance for his own company to Samuel Barber's "Excursions," and his take on "Romeo and Juliet," choreographed to the newly-discovered version of Prokoviev's ballet score. And any Mark Morris premiere is news.
  • Paul Taylor Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America's indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists' best work is behind them, Mr. Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances as well as his classics. As prolific as ever, he continues to offer cogent observations on life's complexities while tackling some of society's thorniest issues. He may propel his dancers through space for the sheer beauty of it, or use them to wordlessly illuminate war, spirituality, sexuality, morality and mortality. If, as Balanchine said, there are no mothers-in-law in ballet, there certainly are dysfunctional families, ex-lovers, fallen preachers, rapists, angels and insects in Taylor dance.

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About this series


In the Masters of Modern Dance series, you will experience the very best of the PBS NewsHour’s dynamic arts coverage. Senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown sat down with many of the world’s most renowned modern dance choreographers, from the veteran Paul Taylor to the newest star, Trey McIntyre. In this series, five of them talk in depth about their passion for their craft and how they develop those choreographed performances that have shaped the world of modern dance. You’ll also peer behind the curtain as these choreographers critique and rehearse with their dance companies.

About MacNeil/Lehrer Productions


For thirty years, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions has been synonymous with trustworthiness, depth, creativity, and innovation in broadcast journalism. MacNeil/Lehrer Productions produces the PBS NewsHour, one of the most trusted institutions in news, as well as award-winning documentaries and non-fiction television programming. MLP also produces coverage of national elections, the State of the Union address, national political conventions, and other major events for PBS.

For more information, visit: http://www.macneil-lehrer.com/