With Music & Movement in Mind
You’re invited!! Join with DVP and the Calliope Brass for an afternoon of Music and Dancing on
Sunday April 30 at 2:00 PM
Register now by calling 646-744-2900 or click this LINK.
Washington Houses Gardens Earth Day Celebration
Naomi and DVP will be leading an intergenerational dance workshop
Saturday, April 29th, 2023
Washington Houses Garden Earth Day Celebration!
(Event information listed with flyer above!)
11:00 AM – Land Acknowledgement & Earth Day Dance Meditation w/ Sandra Rivera
11:15 AM Intergenerational Dance Workshop w/ DVP
Come help clean up and celebrate this earth and dance together! Hope to see you!
This performance and workshop is made possible by Creative Rebuild New York.
DANCES FOR A VARIABLE POPULATION PRESENTS REVIVAL 7 REVELRIES
WITH FREE PUBLIC PERFORMANCES IN JUNE 2023
Performances will honor lives lost during the time of COVID, transforming grief into
a celebration of life through the lens of twentieth-century dance.
NEW YORK, June 2022 – REVIVAL 7 Revelries will honor the beloved individuals who have been lost during the time of COVID through new dances that focus on joy: a transformation of grief into a celebration of life. This project is conceived in the context of a series of works that create opportunities for legendary older dancer artists, linking multigenerational communities in a celebration of movement. By devoting each dance to an individual person and their impact on the community, REVIVAL 7 Revelries will highlight the power of legacy, further extending the reach, impact, and artistic vision of this important project. The performances are envisioned as shared moments of celebration, remembrance, and catharsis emerging from the COVID pandemic as a period of significant loss.
Now, as part of DVP’s 13th year of free performances in iconic spaces, the world premiere of REVIVAL 7: Revelries will take place Saturday, June 10, at Queensbridge Park at 4 PM, and Saturday, June 17, at Grant’s Memorial Tomb at 5 PM and 7 PM. All events will include All Together Dance workshops that are open to the public.
The work is series of individual dances, with choreographers devoting each piece to one person, drawing on the memories of those who knew them but didn’t have the chance to publicly remember them. Individuals honored through these dances will range from community organizers to grandmothers to friends and neighbors.
For REVIVAL 7 Revelries, Dances For A Variable Population welcomes choreographers Ellen Graff (Martha Graham Company), Audrey Madison (Charles Moore Dance Theatre), Myna Majors (The WNBA N.Y. Liberty Timeless Torches), Sandra Rivera (founding member of Ballet Hispanico), Marnie Thomas Wood (Martha Graham Company) and Alfred Gallman (Pepsi Bethel, Talley Beatty and Alvin Ailey) along with DVP artistic director Naomi Goldberg Haas and the multi-generational DVP dance company. We also welcome back Daniel Carlton (NYC playwright) as dramaturg. REVIVAL 7 Revelries will also feature 50 seniors from DVP’s free MOVEMENT SPEAKS® zoom classes and phone conferencing classes, which take place in homes across the city.
REVIVAL 7 Revelries is a series of individual dances, with choreographers devoting each piece to one person, drawing on the memories of those who knew them. Individuals honored through these dances will range from community organizers to grandmothers to friends and neighbors.
The REVIVAL series begun in 2017 is a project of historical, social, and artistic innovation highlighting six choreographers, extraordinary artists who trained in dance traditions of the 20th century. They transmit and interpret the essence of Martha Graham, Charles Moore, and Alvin Ailey, celebrating the past performing careers of these artists and the impact these techniques have had on dance history and their lives in a completely new way. Through exploration in rehearsals, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens, REVIVAL 7 Revelries will bring audiences the unique expression of older adults mixed with the power of older trained professionals.
This one-of-a-kind event will be free to the public. Reservations are recommended. The event will provide diverse audiences an opportunity to see movement distilled from the seminal techniques of legendary geniuses, to see the eloquence of the older brain/older body, and witness the intergenerational connection in the spirit of creation and collaboration. Performances will also include daily interactive, free, open-access workshops for adults of all
ages and abilities. Through these workshops, audiences, including adults of all ages and abilities, will dance in ways that are new to them, be stretched physically and intellectually, and gain new experiences of personal mastery. To learn more about the choreographers, please visit our website dvpnyc.orgorrevival7.org.
REVIVAL 7 REVELRIES PROGRAM & VENUE INFORMATION
Saturday, June 10, 2023, Queensbridge Park
Live, In-Person Performance: 4 PM
Post-Performance All Together Dance workshop: 5 PM
41st Avenue and Vernon Blvd, Long Island City, NY 11101
Reservations are recommended at revival7.org.
Saturday, June 17, 2023, Grant’s Memorial Tomb
Live, In-Person Performance: 5 PM and 7 PM
Pre-Performance All Together Dance workshop: 4 PM
122 and Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10027
Reservations are recommended at revival7.org.
ABOUT DANCES FOR A VARIABLE POPULATION
Founded in 2009 by Naomi Goldberg Haas, Dances for a Variable Population (DVP)’s mission is to promote strong and creative movement among older adults of all abilities, enabling them to build creativity, improve their mental and physical health, strengthen social connections, and enhance quality of life. Our artistic vision is to bring participatory dance experiences and performances to older adults throughout NYC, and to train teaching artists to expand our impact across NY and beyond. DVP’s free workshops and public performances promote a democratic, interactive, and inclusive vision of dance that highlights the power and beauty of older bodies.
During Covid 19, the company served more than 500 older adults with free daily movement classes. Through classes held at citywide senior centers, outdoor parks, and remote classes, DVP monthly currently serves over 1,100 NYC older adults.
THANK YOU TO OUR SUPPORTERS
The development and performance of REVIVAL 7 Revelries has been made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York City Department for the Aging, in partnership with the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. Special support is provided by Council Members Shaun Abreu, Erik Bottcher, Shahana Hanif, Christopher Marte, Althea Stevens, and Julie Won. Support is also provided by the Alpern Foundation, the Jody and John Arnhold, Columbia Community Service, Morningside Heights Community Fund, the Pasculano Foundation, Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation administered by LMCC, and the West Harlem Development Corporation. This program was also made possible through support from CRNY’s Artist Employment Program, a three-year, $125 million investment in the financial stability of New York State artists and the organizations that employ them.
Read Karen Hildebrand from Fjord’s review of the documentary “Revival: A Meditation on Aging, Dance, & Community” in its entirety below. (Thank you to Fjord for allowing us to share!)
In spring of 2017, Ellen Graff, Stuart Hodes, and Marnie Thomas Wood, all former members of the Martha Graham Dance Company, and Tony award-winning Broadway choreographer George Faison, set out to make dances for a group of older adults, many of whom had never performed onstage. Josefina Rotman Lyons, an older dancer herself, volunteered to film the project. The resulting documentary, “Revival,” is an honest and engaging take on what it’s like to dance in later life. Now available for streaming at Revivaldocumentary.com, the film won jury and audience awards when it made the rounds of film festivals. At a screening hosted by MGDC last week at its Westbeth studio theater in New York City, artistic director Janet Eilber framed the film’s topic as “longevity, aging, and beauty in the world of dance” when athleticism and youth are now so highly valued. “We celebrate that dance isn’t just for those under 40,” said Thomas Wood during the question and answer session that followed.
The dancers in the film are part of Naomi Goldberg Haas’ Dances for a Variable Population classes that take place at various senior centers in NYC. Most are well over 40. “Naomi is enlarging the definition of dance,” says Stuart Hodes. “As did Martha Graham [in her time].” Hodes, who partnered Graham herself when he was a company member, is an especially articulate and physically vibrant presence. He acknowledges that at 92 he doesn’t have the mobility or balance do what he used to—this project focuses on the opposite. “I wondered if I could make a dance of things they can do,” he says.
Graff speaks very candidly in the film, “I’m very aware of the ways in which I don’t like looking at people who aren’t much older than I am—struggling. And at the same time knowing if only I could see this more lovingly, then it wouldn’t seem so fearsome to me. Because that is afterall, what inevitably happens when we age.” She and Thomas Wood, both veteran dance educators, used Graham’s “Appalachian Spring” as a model for their group of dancers because of its folk dance foundation. “It’s well designed for our age group,” says Thomas Wood. We hear strains of the familiar Aaron Copeland music and watch Thomas Wood marking a series of 8-counts around her dining room table while Ellen makes notes on the computer. “Keeping the mind alert is another aspect of this,” says Graff.
Meanwhile Faison sets to work on a jazzy piece evoking the Harlem Renaissance period. There’s a wonderful scene where he’s sitting with a lap full of sequined and feathered headresses, scarves, and gloves for his cast as they put together their costumes. “I have a long history of making a way for everyone,” he says, recalling how he helped non-movers like actors and singers look good on Broadway.
Hodes’ contribution is a touching duet about older love for Graff and Chet Walker, the choreographer who originally conceived the musical, “Fosse.” Walker’s presence in the film is especially poignant as he died at 68 this past October.
“Revival” is Rotman Lyons’ first film. A lawyer, she had been studying filmmaking and had assisted others with their projects. She learned about Goldberg Haas’ ambitious plans when she happened to be taking a Dances for a Variable Population class at 92nd Street Y. Rotman Lyons handles her topic with patience and obvious appreciation, circulating between the four choreographers and following the progress of their rehearsals. When it comes to the much anticipated final performance that takes place outdoors at Grant’s Tomb in Morningside Heights, she samples judiciously from the show itself and lets the camera pan out to the crowd so we see firsthand the reactions of passersby. Completely absorbed in their activity, the pure joy on the dancers’ faces is contagious. We felt it too in the screening room. “I learned not to fear aging,” said Rotman Lyons about the process of making the film. “You change,” said Goldberg Haas. “But you can always do something.”
Dance for Seniors is part performance and part interactive workshop. This city-wide tour visits nine separate NYC senior centers from October through December, and invites older adults of all abilities to join in on individual expression and community empowerment!
Check out this video of our recent Nov. 9th Dances for Seniors 2022 performance/workshop at the Queensbridge Riis Senior Center in Long Island City!
Don’t miss out on our last few performances! Join us:
Nov. 30th at 1:00 PM- Central Harlem Senior Center at the Kennedy Center Site @ 34 W 134th St. New York, NY 10037
Dec. 7th at 1:00 PM- Penn South Social Services @ 290 9th Avenue Suite 21K New York, NY 10001
Dec. 14th at 2:00 PM – Hudson Guild Fulton Senior Center @ 119 9th Avenue New York, NY 10001
Hope to see you dancing soon!
We invite you to join us as we look back at our September production of Revival 6: Home / Body / Care! Dances for a Variable Population’s Fall 2022 Revival 6 performances featured six seasoned dance artists and 50 non-professional senior dancers, who use dance to reflect on the innovation and beauty of aging. This was DVP’s 12th year of free public performances in iconic spaces like Washington Square Park and Yolanda Garcia Park. Every performance included a pre-show workshop with an interactive and inclusive “All Together Dance”. With each performance we bring our dancers and the public together to learn and enjoy to the power of movement and dance. Please enjoy this beautiful highlight video as we reflect back on what we are thankful for this week! We are so thankful to be able to share the power of dance with our communities and see the joy it brings!
Special thanks to all our choreographers Ellen Graff (Martha Graham Company), Audrey Madison (Charles Moore Dance Theatre), Myna Majors (The WNBA N.Y. Liberty Timeless Torches), Sandra Rivera (founding member of Ballet Hispanico), Marnie Thomas Wood (Martha Graham Company) and Anthony Howell (Dances of the African Diaspora) along with artistic director of DVP Naomi Goldberg Haas and the multi-generational DVP dance company. We have also engaged Daniel Carlton (NYC playwright) as dramaturg. REVIVAL 6 Home/Body/Care will also feature 50 seniors from DVP’s free MOVEMENT SPEAKS® and zoom classes as well as phone conferencing classes which take place at numerous senior centers and in homes across the city.
Video by: Will Kitchings
“When the actual show started, the performances ranged from invigorating clap-along quick foot movements to soulful sways, African drum beats leading dancers clad in white, and various mixes of modern dance – a lot of smiling, moving, energized seniors in motion – a few seated on chairs set up on the stage, but still participating.”
– Karen Camela Watson
Read more HERE!