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Bard SummerScape 2009 Opens on July 9 With Dance

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – The seventh annual Bard SummerScape festival opens
on Thursday, July 9, at 8 pm with Lucinda Childs’s Dance,a
landmark work by the leading luminary of the postmodern dance movement.  Dating from 1979, during one of the New
York art world’s most vibrant and prolific periods, Dance is Childs’s legendary collaboration with composer
Philip Glass and artist Sol LeWitt. 
Thanks to Bard’s re-commissioning of Dance, LeWitt’s film has been newly restored for the
festival.  Performances will
take placein the Frank Gehry-designed
Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Bard College’s stunning
Hudson River campus.  Three additional
performances are on July 10 and 11, also at 8 pm, and on Sunday, July 12 at 3
pm.  The July 11 performance is a
Gala Benefit for SummerScape.

According to the New York
, “Ms. Childs is revered across
Europe as a grande dame of American dance.  In the United States, though, her work is so rarely seen that
she has assumed almost mythical status.” 
Bard is presenting an overdue heroine’s welcome for Childs this summer.

Philip Glass’s music for Danceis the soundtrack of Sol
LeWitt’s black-and-white film, which is projected onto a translucent scrim in
front of the stage.  “I find the
music of Philip Glass deeply spiritual,” Childs said in Patrick Bensard’s 2006
documentary, Lucinda Childs.  “Afterwards,” Childs added,“you feel as though you’ve been taken on a
voyage.”  For the SummerScape 2009
production of Dance, the negative of LeWitt’s 30-year-old film
has been painstakingly transferred to digital format.  Michael Reisman, the music director of the Philip Glass
Ensemble, remastered the original soundtrack for this restoration of the
film.  Reisman was the sole pianist
on the recording of the soundtrack for the Academy Award-nominated score for
the film The Hours, as well as for many
other film scores composed by Glass.

At Bard, a new company of nine
dancers under Childs’s direction will interact seamlessly on stage with her
filmed 1979 company.  Their
synchronized movements create a multidimensional effect: whirling, twirling
bodies on different planes and spaces. 
Childs is mesmerizing in her filmed solo centerpiece, her austere beauty
frozen in time.  “Together,” wrote
Jennifer Dunning in the New York Times,“the elements of live
theater and film create the kind of instantaneous layering of time that is
usually the magical province of film alone.”

In 1981, Alan M. Kriegsman
reviewed Dancefor the Washington
.  “A few times, at most, in the course of a decade a work of
art comes along that makes a genuine breakthrough, defining for us new modes of
perception and feeling and clearly belonging as much to the future as to the
present.  Such a work is Dance.

Fisher Center commissioned the reconstruction of Dance, with additional support from The Yard, a colony for
performing artists on Martha’s Vineyard. 
Dance is made possible by
the National Endowment for the Arts/American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative,
administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts.  Additional support for Dance has been provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

About Lucinda Childs

Lucinda Childs has been described
as “at once choreographer, storyteller, and dancer – undeniably beautiful,
composed, mesmerizing” (Le Nouvel Observateur).  Writer
Susan Sontag once said, “Childs’s work is about love of dance.  So much of contemporary dance shows
contempt for dance.  Dance for
Childs is the art of euphoria…. 
Childs’s work assumes that dancing is a noble art.”

As one of America’s leading
modern dance choreographers, Lucinda Childs makes work that is often described
as conceptual dance.  Dance critic
Anna Kisselgoff has written that “structure, repetition, permutation, and
patterns” work their cumulative effect in Childs’s choreography.  Kisselgoff has also noted that while
Childs works within a minimalist style, her content is not minimalist. 

Born in New York City in
1940, Lucinda Childs’s dance path was illuminated by a class she took at Sarah
Lawrence College from guest teacher Merce Cunningham.  After graduation in 1962, she continued to study at the
Cunningham Studio, and then became an original member of the influential and
avant-garde Judson Dance Theater. 
Childs has revived Dance
for numerous opera houses and dance companies all over the world, and has also
choreographed for John Adams (The Chairman Dances, Doctor Atomic), Henryk Górecki, Philip Glass (Einstein on the Beach), and other noted composers.  Named a Commander in France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and a recipient of the NEA/NEFA American Masterpiece Award,
Childs received a Guggenheim Fellowship the year she created Dance.


Film documentary and post-screening Q&A with
Lucinda Childs:
Friday, June 19, at 7:30
pm at Time & Space Limited in Hudson, NY.  Screening of Patrick Bensard’s 2006 documentary, Lucinda
screenings will take place on June 18, 20, and 21.  For
information, visit

Film documentary and post-screening Q&A with
Lucinda Childs:
Saturday, June 13 at
Tinker Street Cinema in Woodstock, NY. 
Screening of Patrick Bensard’s 2006 documentary, Lucinda Childs.  For information, visit

Sol LeWitt retrospective at MASS MoCA: Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective
comprises 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s
career from 1969 to 2007. This ongoing retrospective is a
collaboration between Yale University Art Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams
College Museum of Art, and is scheduled to run for 25 years.  For information, visit

Whitney Museum of American Art: A Dance, an exhibition featuring Sol
LeWitt’s drawings and diagrams from his collaboration with Lucinda Childs,
prints by Lucinda Childs, and other related material from Dance, will be at the Whitney Museum from June 15 until
September, alongside the Whitney’s retrospective exhibition of the influential
contemporary artist Dan Graham.  In 1973 the Lucinda Childs Dance Company premiered at
the Whitney Museum of American Art.

at Bard SummerScape since 2005

the last four seasons, SummerScape has opened with a dance newly commissioned
by Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts.  In 2008 Mark Morris choreographed the
world premiere of the original version of Sergey Prokofiev’s Romeo &
Juliet, on Motifs of Shakespeare. 
In 2007 the companies of Doug Varone and Susan
Marshall were commissioned with separate works to open the festival, and in
2006 the Donna Uchizono Company performed.  The Martha Graham Company had the opening honors in 2005
(the first SummerScape season to include dance in its wide range of
presentations), performing three of the great Graham’s timeless creations.

Bard SummerScape 2009

July 9 – August
23:    Seven weeks of
dance, opera, drama, music, film, cabaret, and other events on Bard College’s
stunning Hudson River Valley campus

July 9                          SummerScape
opens with Lucinda Childs’s Dance, to
music by Philip Glass (through July 12)

July 11                        Gala
Benefit before and after performance of Lucinda Childs’s Dance

July 15 –
August 2     Seven
complete performances of Aeschylus’s Oresteia trilogy, translated by Ted Hughes.

July 16 –
August 20   Film Festival:
“Politics, Theater, and Wagner” (ten films)

July 31                        First
of four performances of Meyerbeer’s opera Les Huguenots

August 7)

August 9                     Special
single performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio St. Paul

August 14                   Annual
Bard Music Festival Opening Night Dinner in the Spiegeltent

August 14-16              Bard
Music Festival, Weekend One: “Wagner and His World”

August 21-23              Bard
Music Festival, Weekend Two: “Wagner and His World”


Critical Acclaim for
Bard SummerScape

London’s Times Literary
lauded SummerScape as
“The most intellectually ambitious of America’s summer music festivals.”  The New Yorker called it “one of the major upstate festivals”; Travel
and Leisure
reported, “[At] Bard
SummerScape … Gehry’s acclaimed concert hall provides a spectacular venue for
innovative fare”; Newsday called
SummerScape “brave and brainy”; and the New York Sun observed, “Bard’s [SummerScape] … offers one of the best lineups of the summer for fans of any
arts discipline


Bard SummerScape 2009:


Choreography by Lucinda Childs

Music by Philip Glass

Film by Sol LeWitt

Original costumes by A. Christina Giannini

Lighting by Beverly Emmons

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts
(Sosnoff Theater)

Thursday, July 9, at 8 pm (SummerScape 2009 opening night)

Friday, July 10, at 8 pm*

Saturday, July 11, at 8 pm+ (Gala Benefit)

Sunday, July 12, at 3 pm

Tickets:  $25, $40, $55

* Round-trip transportation by coach from Columbus Circle to
the Fisher Center will be provided for this performance.  Reservations are required.

2009 SummerScape Gala Benefit. 
Call (845) 758-7926 for tickets or more information. 

For tickets and further information on all SummerScape
events, call the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visit

Updates: Bard’s “e-members” get all the
news in regular updates.  Click
here to sign up

All program
information is subject to change.

The Bard
SummerScape Festival is made possible through the generous support of the
Advisory Boards of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the
Bard Music Festival, and the Friends of the Fisher Center

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