Leona Wood was a 20th-century American painter, writer and co-founder of the Aman International Folk Ensemble. Her early paintings were considered a part of the Surrealism school. Leona Wood was born on May 21, 1921 in Seattle, Washington; as a child, she studied ballet with Ivan Novikoff, where she learned Caucasian folk dances. She began drawing and painting at an early age, at sixteen, entered the Annual Exhibition of Northwest Artists show at the Seattle Art Museum, she received a fellowship to study design in San Francisco at the school of Bauhaus artist Rudolph Schaeffer. In her late teens, Wood presented her first one-woman show at the Seattle Art Museum. Wood married Alaskan born physicist Philip Harland in 1939. Shortly after, they moved to New York City, where she worked as a designer and illustrator at Dorland International and Fenton and produced book illustrations for Doubleday. During this period, she was exhibiting at the Julien Levy Gallery, along with artists such as Salvador Dalí and Eugene Berman.
In 1947, Wood moved to California as Art Director of the Pettingell and Fenton Los Angeles office. While based there, she exhibited at Gump’s Gallery in San Francisco, the Oakland Art Museum and Hewitt Gallery in New York. In 1958, her work was included in the first Spoleto International Art Festival in Italy. In 1947, when De Beers launched their "A diamond is forever" advertising campaign, they hired such visionary artists as Picasso, Salvador Dalí … and in 1957, Leona Wood, she received a substantial commission for an ongoing series of paintings for these ads, which appeared in publications around the world. These works received special notice in a 1959 Newsweek article on the "Art: USA: 59" exhibit in New York. In the 1960s, the Harlands were active in the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology, where Philip Harland was teaching drumming; when Harland began playing at Middle Eastern venues, Wood learned Middle Eastern dance in order to accompany him. Before long, the Harlands formed Friends of Arabic Music, a music and dance group, they became a feature in the Westwood folk dance world.
The Harlands' group performed with a recreational group called the Village Dancers, led by Tony Shay. He found her to be a "mesmerizing, spectacular performer" and urged her to join forces. In 1965, they co-founded the Aman International Folk Ensemble. Aman was the first local dance company to be presented at the Los Angeles Music Center. Los Angeles Times music and dance critic Martin Bernheimer called Aman "one of the finest ethnic companies anywhere. Repeat: anywhere."In 1978, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra engaged Aman to dance to their performances of several compositions based on folk themes, in 1979, the company made its debut in New York. Inspired by her involvement with costume design for the company, Wood began painting Middle Eastern dancers and their milieu in the style of 19th century Orientalist painters. In 1980, Wood received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to stage a Kwakiutl winter ceremonial for Aman, she commissioned three ceremonial masks from artist Duane Pasco, designed the mise en scėne, including a dance screen hung upstage, a fire that lighted the stage from the center rather than the wings.
Martin David called the number "a visual masterpiece."Wood taught courses on Middle Eastern dance in a cultural context at UCLA extension, continued to participate in UCLA's Department of Ethnomusicology for many years. She wrote numerous articles on Middle Eastern and other forms of dance; these articles appeared in scholarly publications, magazines and on record and CD covers. Wood's paintings were exhibited in the Lane Galleries in Westwood, California for over a quarter of a century. Although she stopped showing shortly after her husband’s death in 1980, she continued to paint more prolifically. During this time, she produced paintings on a wide range of themes, including Venetian maskers and mythological scenes. Wood died in her home in 2008. "Twilight of the Maharajas", May–June, 1993 "Danse Macabre", November–December, 1990 "Dance Profile: The Odyssey of Ivan Novikoff", January–February, 1988 "Nautchnees and Devadasis", March–April and May–June, 1988 "Tribes of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Two Centuries of Costume", Ornament Magazine, 9, 1986 "An Introduction to the Dance Theatre of the Kwakiutl", November–December, 1981 "Danse du Ventre: a Fresh Appraisal" Part I and Part II, January–February and March–April, 1980 "Danse du Ventre: a Fresh Appraisal" with Tony Shay, Dance Research Journal, Spring/Summer, 1976 www.leonawood.com
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated during the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century and developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has since become a widespread technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on French terminology, it has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques used in many other dance genres and cultures. Ballet has been taught in various schools around the world, which have incorporated their own cultures and as a result, the art has evolved in a number of distinct ways. See glossary of ballet. A ballet, a work, consists of the music for a ballet production. Ballets are performed by trained ballet dancers. Traditional classical ballets are performed with classical music accompaniment and use elaborate costumes and staging, whereas modern ballets, such as the neoclassical works of American choreographer George Balanchine are performed in simple costumes and without the use of elaborate sets or scenery.
Ballet is a French word which had its origin in Italian balletto, a diminutive of ballo which comes from Latin ballo, meaning "to dance", which in turn comes from the Greek "βαλλίζω", "to dance, to jump about". The word came into English usage from the French around 1630. Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the sixteenth centuries. Under Catherine de' Medici's influence as Queen, it spread to France, where it developed further; the dancers in these early court ballets were noble amateurs. Ornamented costumes were meant to impress viewers, but they restricted performers' freedom of movement; the ballets were performed in large chambers with viewers on three sides. The implementation of the proscenium arch from 1618 on distanced performers from audience members, who could better view and appreciate the technical feats of the professional dancers in the productions. French court ballet reached its height under the reign of King Louis XIV. Louis founded the Académie Royale de Danse in 1661 to establish standards and certify dance instructors.
In 1672, Louis XIV made Jean-Baptiste Lully the director of the Académie Royale de Musique from which the first professional ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet, arose. Pierre Beauchamp served as Lully's ballet-master. Together their partnership would drastically influence the development of ballet, as evidenced by the credit given to them for the creation of the five major positions of the feet. By 1681, the first "ballerinas" took the stage following years of training at the Académie. Ballet started to decline in France after 1830, but it continued to develop in Denmark and Russia; the arrival in Europe of the Ballets Russes led by Sergei Diaghilev on the eve of the First World War revived interest in the ballet and started the modern era. In the twentieth century, ballet had a wide influence on other dance genres, Also in the twentieth century, ballet took a turn dividing it from classical ballet to the introduction of modern dance, leading to modernist movements in several countries. Famous dancers of the twentieth century include Anna Pavlova, Galina Ulanova, Rudolf Nureyev, Maya Plisetskaya, Margot Fonteyn, Rosella Hightower, Maria Tall Chief, Erik Bruhn, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell, Gelsey Kirkland, Natalia Makarova, Arthur Mitchell.
Stylistic variations and subgenres have evolved over time. Early, classical variations are associated with geographic origin. Examples of this are Russian ballet, French ballet, Italian ballet. Variations, such as contemporary ballet and neoclassical ballet, incorporate both classical ballet and non-traditional technique and movement; the most known and performed ballet style is late Romantic ballet. Classical ballet is based on vocabulary. Different styles have emerged in different countries, such as French ballet, Italian ballet, English ballet, Russian ballet. Several of the classical ballet styles are associated with specific training methods named after their creators; the Royal Academy of Dance method is a ballet technique and training system, founded by a diverse group of ballet dancers. They merged their respective dance methods to create a new style of ballet, unique to the organization and is recognized internationally as the English style of ballet; some examples of classical ballet productions are: the Nutcracker.
Romantic ballet was an artistic movement of classical ballet and several productions remain in the classical repertoire today. The Romantic era was marked by the emergence of pointe work, the dominance of female dancers, longer, flowy tutus that attempt to exemplify softness and a delicate aura; this movement occurred during the early to mid-nineteenth century and featured themes that emphasized intense emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. The plots of many romantic ballets revolved around spirit women who enslaved the hearts and senses of mortal men; the 1827 ballet La Sylphide is considered to be the first, the 1870 ballet Coppélia is considered to be the last. Famous ballet dancers of the Romantic era include Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, Jules Perrot. Jules Perrot is known for his choreography that of Giselle considered to be the most celebrated romantic ballet. Neoclassical ballet is abstract, with no clear plot, costumes or scenery. Music choice can be diverse and will include music, neoclassical.
Robert Joffrey was an American dancer, producer, co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet, known for his imaginative modern ballets. He was born Anver Bey Abdullah Jaffa Khan in Seattle, Washington to a Pashtun father from Afghanistan and a mother from Italy. Joffrey began his dance training at nine years old in Seattle as a remedy for asthma under instructor Mary Anne Wells, he studied ballet and modern dance in New York City and made his debut in 1949 with the French choreographer Roland Petit and his Ballet de l'Opéra National de Paris. From 1950 to 1955, he taught at the New York High School for the Performing Arts, where he staged his earliest ballets, he founded the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City in 1953, where it remains as a separate organization from The Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago, the official school of the Joffrey Ballet Company. As one of the first prolific choreographers to have studied both modern dance and ballet, his choreography began to create the hybrid between modern and ballet, common today.
His choreography seamlessly blends the precise footwork and grace of classical ballet with the floorwork, upper body dexterity, raw emotion of modern dance. In 1954, he formed his own company, which premiered Pierrot Lunaire. Joffrey's other works include Gamelan and Astarte, set to rock music with special lighting and motion-picture effects; the pas de deux features a man who leaves his seat in the audience to climb on stage for an erotic dance with the "tattooed love goddess". In 1956, six dancers drove around the country in a station wagon, performing twenty-three shows in eleven states; this was the first tour of the Robert Joffrey Studio Dancers, they soon performed in India, the Middle East, the Soviet Union, at the White House. The Robert Joffrey Ballet took up residence at New York City Center in 1966 replacing New York City Ballet and changing its name to the City Center Joffrey Ballet. In 1982, it moved its principal activities in 1995 to Chicago. Noted for its experimental repertoire, the company was called the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago after its move but has since returned to being called the Joffrey Ballet.
Besides Joffrey's works its repertoire includes many works by Gerald Arpino, Joffrey's long-time co-director, romantic partner, artistic director emeritus until his 2008 death, ballets commissioned by Joffrey from new choreographers as well as works by such established choreographers as George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey and Twyla Tharp. He prided himself on creating a dynamic and diverse repertory, bringing modern dance choreographers such as Tharp and Ailey to ballet audiences for the first time, the restaging of classic Ballet Russes ballets, The Joffrey Ballet was the first American company to perform the work of Danish choreographer August Bournonville. Robert Joffrey departed from the traditional ranking system seen in most ballet companies where most dancers know the caliber of roles they will receive based on ranking, he opted instead for an ensemble group that could change in and out of leading roles, leading to a stronger sense of unity. He was co-president of the International Dance Committee with Bolshoi Ballet Director Yuri Grigorovich, a member of the National Council of the Arts, a juror for Denmark's Hans Christian Andersen Dance Awards, has won the Dance Magazine Award, the Capezio Award, New York City's Handel Medallion.
Joffrey died in New York City of HIV/AIDS on March 25, 1988, at age 57. He is interred at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. To protect the reputation of his company, obituaries listed the cause of death as organ failure. Joffrey was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Mr. & Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame in 2000; the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation Joffrey Ballet Official Website Robert Joffrey at Find a Grave Joffrey Ballet School in New York City
Harbin is the capital of Heilongjiang province, largest city in the northeastern region of the People's Republic of China. Holding sub-provincial administrative status, Harbin has direct jurisdiction over nine metropolitan districts, two county-level cities and seven counties. Harbin is the eighth most populous Chinese city according to the 2010 census, the built-up area had 5,282,093 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city was up to 10,635,971. Harbin serves as a key political, scientific and communications hub in Northeast China, as well as an important industrial base of the nation. Harbin, whose name was a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets", grew from a small rural settlement on the Songhua River to become one of the largest cities in Northeast China. Founded in 1898 with the coming of the Chinese Eastern Railway, the city first prospered as a region inhabited by an overwhelming majority of the immigrants from the Russian Empire. Having the most bitterly cold winters among major Chinese cities, Harbin is heralded as the Ice City for its well-known winter tourism and recreations.
Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculpture festival in the winter. Besides being well known for its historical Russian legacy, the city serves as an important gateway in Sino-Russian trade today. In the 1920s, the city was considered China's fashion capital since new designs from Paris and Moscow reached here first before arriving in Shanghai; the city was voted "China Top Tourist City" by the China National Tourism Administration in 2004. Human settlement in the Harbin area dates from at least 2200 BC during the late Stone Age. Wanyan Aguda, the founder and first emperor of the Jin dynasty, was born in the Jurchen Wanyan tribes who resided near the Ashi River in this region. In AD 1115 Aguda established Jin's capital Shangjing Huining Prefecture in today's Acheng District of Harbin. After Aguda's death, the new emperor Wanyan Sheng ordered the construction of a new city on a uniform plan; the planning and construction emulated major Chinese cities, in particular Bianjing, although the Jin capital was smaller than its Northern Song prototype.
Huining Prefecture served as the first superior capital of the Jin empire until Wanyan Liang moved the capital to Yanjing in 1153. Liang went so far as to destroy all palaces in his former capital in 1157. Wanyan Liang's successor Wanyan Yong restored the city and established it as a secondary capital in 1173. Ruins of the Shangjing Huining Prefecture were discovered and excavated about 2 km from present-day Acheng's central urban area; the site of the old Jin capital ruins is a national historic reserve, includes the Jin Dynasty History Museum. The museum, open to the public, was renovated in late 2005. Mounted statues of Aguda and of his chief commander Wanyan Zonghan stand in the grounds of the museum. Many of the artifacts found. After the Mongol conquest of the Jin Empire, Huining Prefecture was abandoned. In the 17th century, the Manchus used building materials from Huining Prefecture to construct their new stronghold in Alchuka; the region of Harbin remained rural until the 1800s, with over ten villages and about 30,000 people in the city's present-day urban districts by the end of the 19th century.
A small village in 1898 grew into the modern city of Harbin. Polish engineer Adam Szydłowski drew plans for the city following the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway, which the Russian Empire had financed; the Russians selected Harbin as the base of their administration over this railway and the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone. The railways were constructed by Russian engineers and indentured workers; the Chinese Eastern Railway extended the Trans-Siberian Railway: reducing the distance from Chita to Vladivostok and linking the new port city of Dalny and the Russian Naval Base Port Arthur. The settlement founded by the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railway turned into a "boomtown" displaying the same characteristics shown by San Francisco during the California gold rush and Johannesburg during the Witwatersrand Gold Rush, growing into a city within five years; the majority of the Russians who settled in Harbin came from southern Russia, the dialect of Russian spoken in Harbin was derivative of the dialect of Russian spoken in Odessa.
The city was intended as a showcase for Russian imperialism in Asia and the American scholar Simon Karlinsky, born in Harbin in 1924 into a Russian Jewish family wrote that in Harbin: "the buildings and parks were planned—well before the October Revolution—by distinguished Russian architects and by Swiss and Italian town planners", giving the city a European appearance. Starting in the late 19th century, a mass influx of Han Chinese arrived in Manchuria, taking advantage of the rich soils, founded farms which soon turned Manchuria into the "breadbasket of China" while others went to work in the mines and factories of Manchuria, which become one of the first regions of China to industrialize. Harbin became one of the main points through which food and industrial products were shipped out of Manchuria. A sign of Harbin's wealth was that a theater had established during its first decade and in 1907 the play K zvezdam by Leonid Andreyev had its premiere there. During the Russo-Japanese War, Russia used Harbin as its base for military operations in Manchuria.
Following Russia's defeat, its influence declined. Several thousand
Mark Morris (choreographer)
Mark William Morris is an American dancer and director whose work is acclaimed for its craftsmanship, humor, at times eclectic musical accompaniments. Morris is popular among the music world, as well as mainstream audiences. Morris grew up in Seattle, Washington, in a family that appreciated music and dance and nurtured his budding talents, he studied as a young boy with Perry Brunson. At the age of 16, after graduating early from high school, he traveled to Spain where, at the time, he felt he was destined to be a Flamenco dancer; because of the Franco regime, among other things, he returned to the United States and by 19 moved to New York City and lived in a loft in Hoboken, New Jersey, with other artists who worked or performed in the city. In the early years of his career, he performed with the companies of Hannah Kahn, Laura Dean, Eliot Feld. On November 28, 1980, he got together a group of his friends and put on a concert of his own choreography and called them the Mark Morris Dance Group.
For the first several years, the company gave just two annual performances – at On the Boards in Seattle, at Dance Theater Workshop in New York. In 1986, the company was featured on the nationally televised Great Performances – Dance in America series on PBS. In 1988, he was approached by Gerard Mortier the head of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Mortier needed a replacement when Maurice Béjart, who had held the position of Director of Dance for over 20 years left and took his company with him. After seeing the Mark Morris Dance Group give one performance, Mortier offered Morris the position, his company, from 1988 to 1991, became the Monnaie Dance Group Mark Morris, the resident company at la Monnaie where Morris was given well-equipped offices and studios. In 1990, Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov established the White Oak Dance Project, he continued to create works for this company until 1995. Morris is an acclaimed ballet choreographer, most notably with San Francisco Ballet, for which he has created eight works.
He has received commissions from such companies as American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet. He has worked extensively in opera and choreographing productions for the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, English National Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, among others, he directed and choreographed King Arthur for English National Opera in June 2006, in May 2007 he directed and choreographed Orfeo ed Euridice for the Metropolitan Opera. He is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates. Notable works by Morris include Gloria, set to Vivaldi. In 2006, he premiered his Mozart Dances, commissioned by the New Crowned Hope Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival in conjunction with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart. In 2011, he premiered the 150th work of his professional career, Festival Dance, to critical acclaim during sold out performances at his dance center in Brooklyn, NY. Morris and his Dance Group collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in Falling Down Stairs, a film by Barbara Willis Sweete available on volume 2 of Ma's Emmy winning Inspired by Bach series.
There, Morris choreographed a dance based on Bach's Third Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, which Ma performs. Sweete's film depicts the performance as well as the evolution of the dance. Morris has collaborated with visual artists such as Isaac Mizrahi, Howard Hodgkin, Charles Burns and Stephen Hendee. In 2001 his company moved into its first permanent headquarters in the United States, the Mark Morris Dance Center, in Brooklyn, located at 3 Lafayette Avenue in the Fort Greene neighborhood. 2001 marked the establishment of the School at the Mark Morris Dance Center. In addition to being the home of the Mark Morris Dance Group, the center houses rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children and persons with Parkinson's disease, a school offering dance classes to students of all ages. Morris is the subject of Mark Morris, by dance critic Joan Acocella. In 2001, Morris published L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato: A Celebration, a volume of photographs and critical essays.
In 2013, Morris was the first choreogropher and dancer to be the Music Director of the Ojai Music Festival. Though now retired from performing, Morris was long noted for the musicality and power of his dancing as well as his amazing delicacy of movement, his body was heavier than the typical dancer, more like that of an average person, yet his technical and expressive abilities outstripped those of most of his contemporaries. 11 Honorary Doctorates (Cornish School of the Arts, 2011.
Gerald Arpino was an American dancer and choreographer. He was co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet and succeeded Robert Joffrey as its artistic director in 1988. Born on Staten Island, New York, Gerald Arpino studied ballet with Mary Ann Wells, while stationed with the Coast Guard in Seattle, Washington. Arpino first met Robert Joffrey at Wells's school, he studied modern dance with May O'Donnell in. In 1956, Arpino was a founding member of the Robert Joffrey Theatre Ballet with Robert Joffrey, he served as co-director of the company's school, the American Ballet Center, was the leading dancer until an injury forced him to stop in 1963. By 1965 he had choreographed five works for the company, became the Joffrey's co-director and resident choreographer. In the first twenty-five years of the company's existence, Arpino had created more than a third of all its commissioned ballets. After the death of Robert Joffrey in 1988, Arpino became the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet and in 1995 moved the company to Chicago.
In July 2007, he was named "Artistic Director Emeritus" as a search. Arpino suffered from prostate cancer for seven months and died on October 29, 2008. Malcolm McDowell plays a character loosely based on Arpino in the Robert Altman film The Company, which had the participation of the Joffrey Ballet. In 2014 Arpino was inducted into the Chicago Lesbian Hall of Fame. Chujoy, Anatole; the Dance Encyclopedia. ISBN 0-671-24027-7 Doeser, Linda. Ballet and Dance: The World's Major Companies, 1977. ISBN 0-312-06599-X Whitney, Mary. Joffrey Ballet XXV: Celebrating 25 Years of the Joffrey Ballet from A to Z. 64 pages. Anawalt, Sasha; the Joffrey Ballet: Robert Joffrey and the Making of an American Dance Company. New York, NY: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-19724-3; the Gerald Arpino and Robert Joffrey Foundation Joffrey Ballet Website Associated Press obituary in the NY Times, October 29, 2008