CUNY Dance Initiative and John Jay College, in collaboration with Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre, present the World Premiere of Anna at the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 W. 59th Street, NYC on February 16 & 17, 2018 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $30 ($20 for students and seniors) and are available at https://dusantynek.eventbrite.com.
Anna is an evening-length contemporary dance-theater performance by choreographer Dušan Týnek inspired by Tolstoy’s classic Russian novel, Anna Karenina. An exploration of love and infidelity within the structures of stifling social mores, Anna side steps a conventional re-telling of the novel, focusing instead on the essence of its characters and their situations.
“Structurally, dealing with such a well¬-known work of literature gives me freedom to leave out parts of the story without losing the general narrative,” said Dušan Týnek. “Each segment will oscillate between abstraction and literal representation as a way of exploring and being in conversation with the plot, characters, moods, and psychological themes that appear in the novel. Anna will not only investigate the romantic image of Anna Karenina but also other female archetypes as victims of gender inequality and social pressures. I want the experience to be less like seeing a play or a ballet of one of the great novels of western civilization, but of falling asleep with the book on your chest and dreaming of it.”
Anna features an original composition by frequent collaborator Aleksandra Vrebalov, known for her recent commission by the Kronos Quartet, and lighting design by Roderick Murray. The premiere of Anna is the culmination of the company’s two-week residency via the CUNY Dance Initiative at John Jay College’s Gerald Lynch Theater.
“Intelligent and inventive dancemaking” – Dance Magazine
"The work is marvelous ... Mr. Týnek is an undoubted talent, a choreographer who seems fascinated by movement itself and the strange, subtle ways in which it communicates strange, subtle things." – The New York Times
Dušan Týnek is known internationally for his striking blend of theatricality, musicality, and humanism in formally structured modern dance and has been called “an undoubted talent” by The New York Times. Since founding his own company Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre in 2003, Týnek has created over 25 major dances, choreographed an opera, and held nine critically- acclaimed seasons in major dance venues in NYC (e.g. New York Live Arts, BAM Fisher, The Joyce Theater). Two NYC seasons have been named as the highlights of the year by The New York Times and the Huffington Post. In addition to stage work, he has created a large number of site-specific works at museums (The Met), Skyspaces by James Turrell (The Ringling Museum, FL; Rice University, TX) and flooded quarries on Cape Ann, MA. Týnek has received commissioning grants from the NEA and from the Harkness, Greenwall, and O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundations. He has taught and/or set work on students at schools across the U.S. and abroad. He is the recipient of the prestigious Bogliasco Fellowship, Djerassi Artist Residency, The Hermitage Fellowship, the CUNY Dance Initiative residency and a winner of the Choreographic Fellowship at the University of Kansas. The company has received ongoing support from the Ford Foundation, NYCDCA, Czech Center NY, Trust for Mutual Understanding, and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation among others. www.dusantynek.org
Aleksandra Vrebalov (composer) has written works ranging from concert music, to opera, dance (Rambert Dance UK, Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre, Take Dance, Scottish National Ballet, Augsburg Theater), to sound installations in collaboration with architect Ronit Eisenbach. Her most recent works have been commissioned by Carnegie Hall for Kronos Quartet, Belgrade Philharmonic, and Limon Dance Company. Vrebalov, who has been a fellow of MacDowell Colony, Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Djerassi, The Hermitage, and Tanglewood, is the recipient of The Harvard Fromm Commission, The American Academy of Arts and Letters Charles Ives Fellowship, and two Golden Badges from her homeland: one for her opera Mileva, and the other for a lifelong contribution to Serbian culture. Vrebalov's works have been recorded for Nonesuch, Cantaloupe, Innova, Centaur Records, and VMM. Her two works for Kronos Quartet, Beyond Zero: 1914 – 1918 and The Sea Ranch Songs, are available as DVDs with films by Bill Morrison and Andrew Lyndon. Apart from her new opera, Abraham in Flames, Vrebalov's work this season centers on Asian music with two new pieces: one with shakuhachi, commissioned by Kyo-Shin-An Arts, premiered by New York's shakuhachi Grand Master, James Nyoraku Schlefer; and the other with ancient Chinese instruments for The Forbidden City Orchestra in Beijing. Her children's ballet, The Widow's Broom (2004), based on Chris Van Allsburg's story, was done again this season at the Festival Ballet Providence as the company's Halloween favorite. Vrebalov lives in New York City. www.aleksandravrebalov.com
Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre's residency at the John Jay College is part of the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies. CDI receives major support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. CDI is spearheaded and administered by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York, an international leader in educating for justice, offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. www.jjay.cuny.edu