The 92nd Street Y, New York Announces The Harkness Dance Center 2023/2024 Season
September 29, 2023 @ 7:00 PM - May 13, 2024 @ 11:30 PM$10 – $30
The 92nd Street Y, New York announces the Harkness Dance Center’s 2023/24 season with an extraordinary line-up celebrating its 150th anniversary and trailblazing place in modern dance history. The stage where Martha Graham got her start and audiences first saw Paul Taylor’s Seven New Dances and Alvin Ailey’s Revelations welcomes the companies founded by those pioneers back, along with Dorrance Dance, The Batsheva Ensemble, Ballet Hispánico, Limón Dance Company, The Bang Group and MeenMoves. The season also includes previews of new dances co-commissioned with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the José Limón Foundation that build on key moments in the development of modern dance at 92NY with the full works to be presented as part of the 2024/25 season.
The story of this season is built around 92NY’s anniversary theme “Inspired by the past, transforming for the future.” During the season, 92NY will host iconic companies creating new works inspired by past 92NY moments, contemporary artists building on their 92NY connections for their future artistic growth, and artists of all vintages pointing the way to the future of the art form.
An example of the web of connections highlighted during 92NY’s upcoming season is provided by Martha Graham, who played an historic role at 92NY as performer and teacher in the 1930s when modern dance was in its infancy. Graham later went on to become artistic advisor of The Batsheva Dance Company whose Batsheva Ensemble makes its 92NY debut this season with Kamuyot, a piece centering on community, education and young people, themes that align with 92NY’s core values.
Other historical connections to modern dance celebrated by 92NY this season include 92NY’s connection to:
Jose Limón, whose The Moor’s Pavane premiered at 92NY in 1949, part of a history at 92NY dating back to the 30s, which includes performances with such contemporaries as Doris Humphrey, Charles Weidman and Martha Graham herself, in 1948.
Paul Taylor, whose 1957 premiere of Seven New Dances at 92NY pushed the boundaries of modern dance.
Alvin Ailey, whose Revelations has become a cultural treasure since its 1960 premiere at 92NY.
Paul Taylor Dance Company will return with a reimagination of Seven New Dances and Ailey II, along with Martha Graham Dance Company and José Limón Dance Company, celebrate a seminal moment in dance history, with guest contemporary artists yet to be announced looking ahead to dance’s future.
This season, 92NY will also mark its longstanding relationship with Ballet Hispánico, the first of four previous 92NY performances by which was in 1983, consistent with 92NY’s historic commitment to presenting varied dance genres on its stages. Choreographer Talley Beatty – whose Recuerdo de Campo Amor the company re-stages this season – was a 92NY Artist in Residence. The Artists in Residence program dates back to the 1970s and has also included such notable choreographers as Pam Tanowitz and Netta Yerushalmy.
Dorrance Dance’s pandemic-era residency during the 2020/21 season cemented its special connection to 92NY and deepened its involvement in education during a pivotal moment in history. As Michelle Dorrance said at the time, “In my generation, to be a tap dancer is to be an ambassador for the unsung history of a Black art form. It is our job to tell the history of tap dance as a celebration of Black culture and a never-ending struggle against racism.”
Also during the season, former 92NY Artist in Residence David Parker of The Bang Group busts out of genre and gender molds to bring his annual holiday performance Nut/Cracked to 92NY for the first time. And Sameena Mitta of MeenMoves, who developed W(h)ine Pairings as an Artist in Residence at 92NY, brings the full piece to New York as a premiere. A work addressing social justice and community issues, it brings 92NY’s historic commitment to addressing those issues through art full circle.
“In this anniversary year we have had many opportunities to reflect on the important contributions to New York City’s culture that have been made at 92NY over the decades,” said Seth Pinsky, Chief Executive Officer of 92NY. “Consistent with this, it gives us great pride to be known as ‘the cradle of modern dance’ and to have provided a home to groundbreaking choreographers, including many not welcome in times past at other institutions. We are so happy that many of their companies will return this season. Every company connects in some way with 92NY’s historic commitment to a multicultural, expansive vision of dance and we are thrilled be marking this milestone year by renewing this commitment with collaborators, both old and new.”
HARKNESS DANCE CENTER 2023/24 SEASON SCHEDULE
In Person – Fri, Sep 29, 7 pm, from $30 / $10 students
Online – from noon Sat, Sep 30 – noon Tue, Oct 3, from $20 / $10 students
The award-winning tap dance company opens our 150th anniversary season with new works by company members Elizabeth Burke, Luke Hickey, and Claudia Rahardjanoto, followed by excerpts of SOUNDspace, the landmark work that brought the company to prominence, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.
MEENMOVES: W(h)ine Pairings
In Person – Fri, Nov 3, & Sun, Nov 5, 7 pm, $30 / $10 students
W(h)ine Pairings is an evening-length interactive dance-theater production for six dancers, one sommelier, one audience facilitator and an audience of any size. Driven by audience engagement, W(h)ine Pairings is a celebration of those present, including the wine or non-alcoholic option, and speaks to the most pressing topics of our time in each of its uniquely crafted evenings. So much more than a dance concert, W(h)ine Pairings promises to spark compassionate conversation – and help you take the edge off! Choreographer Sameena Mitta is a 2022/23 92NY Harkness Dance Center Artist in Residence and the Harkness Dance Center Artistic Advisor.
THE BATSHEVA ENSEMBLE: KAMUYOT
In Person – Sat, Nov 18, 7:30 pm, $30 / $10 students
Sun, Nov 19, 3:30 pm & 7:30 pm, $30 / $10 students
“Both moving and memorable” – New York Times
“In Kamuyot drama is mixed with humor, through the unique, full of emotion, language of Naharin” – Ha’aretz
Israel’s acclaimed Batsheva Ensemble brings house choreographer Ohad Naharin’s signature community-building piece Kamuyot to 92NY for the first time, in honor of the organization’s 150th anniversary. The piece will be presented in the round and the performances include audience engagement.
Kamuyot touches on the mischievous, free, and playful places in all kids – whether they are 5 or 80 years old. At the heart of the show stands a simple invitation – to dance. Breaking away from the traditional theatre hall, the show also liberates the audience. A hand’s reach from the dancers, over 50 minutes with no clear boundaries, connections are weaved between the dancers and the audience, formulating a language that seems like it has always been there.
THE BANG GROUP: NUT/CRACKED
In Person – Sat, Dec 16, 2 pm and 7 pm, from $30 / $10 students
Online – from noon Sun, Dec 17 – Wed, Dec 19. From $20 / $10 students
The Bang Group’s Nut/Cracked provides a destination for those seeking shelter from the usual holiday dance fare. Choreographer David Parker, has gleefully cracked the old chestnut open, roasted it with tap riffs, vaudeville turns, ballet steps, disco, contemporary dance, toe-tapping and rebuilt it into a seasonal fixture for 21st century New York City–a tonic for cheerful grinches and latter-day snow angels. With genre-nonconforming glee, Parker and The Bang Group purge the show of the saccharine and shake loose its tinsel. In fact, the only traditional thread is Tchaikovsky’s music but that too takes a turn off center as portions of the original score are juxtaposed with arrangements by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians.
Bearing the mantle of the 92nd Street Y’s historic embrace of the passionately non-traditional, Nut/Cracked is as ardent and virtuosic as it is disruptive. Its rhythmic component is vigorous with a stomp-off on bubble wrap, tap dances on pointe, barefoot hoofing, and a “Waltz of the Snowflakes” featuring precision body slams in 3/4 time. Yet the show retains a sense of beauty even in the ridiculous and has an absurd romanticism that soars far beyond satire. Once liberated from both its narrative tethers and its conventional trappings, Nut/Cracked shows us innocence regained.
In Person – Wed, Feb 21, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 students
Celebrate the 150th-anniversary season of the 92nd Street Y, New York with a night of historic and new works from Ballet Hispánico. Witness the vibrancy and diversity of Latinx culture as one of our nation’s Cultural Treasures takes the stage! Ballet Hispánico pays homage to the catalyst that is 92NY for modern dance choreographers with classic pieces like a re-staging of Talley Beatty’s electrifying Recuerdo de Campo Amor, the flamenco-immersed Linea Recta by Annabelle Lopez Ocha, and the Latin social dance extravaganza Club Havana by Pedro Ruiz. Talley Beatty, a historical figure in the Black dance canon, was instrumental in the development of Ballet Hispanico’s rich repertory in the 1970s and was an artist in residence at 92NY. This performance promises to transport you on an extraordinary journey through time and culture. Experience the fusion of traditional and contemporary Latinx dance, honoring the rich heritage and artistic expression of NYC’s Black and Brown artists. Don’t miss this unique collaboration between two iconic institutions, Ballet Hispánico and the 92nd Street Y, New York, as we join forces to create an unforgettable evening of culture, passion, and the celebration of dance.
150th Anniversary Celebration
AILEY II, LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY, MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY AND GUEST CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS
In Person – Mar 12, 7:30 pm, from $30 / $10 students
A landmark 150th anniversary performance welcoming the companies whose founders made these halls their home — Ailey II, Martha Graham Dance Company, José Limón Dance Company — paired with three exciting contemporary artists to be announced for a one-night-only celebration of the legendary choreographers and performers who shaped modern dance. Inspired by the past, transforming for the future, join us for this once-in-a-lifetime, only-at-92NY event.
PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY
In Person – May 13, 8 pm, from $30 / $10 students
Online – from noon Tue, May 14 – noon Fri, May 17, from $20 / $10 students
In 92NY’s 150th anniversary year, the Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to the stage where their groundbreaking Seven New Dances premiered. A reimagining of this history-making work, hailed by many as the underpinning for the later creation of Taylor’s 1975 masterpiece, Esplanade, is performed here by a cast of special guests. That celebration of the past is followed by an eye on the future with an exclusive preview of Resident Choreographer Lauren Lovette’s newest creation. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will close with Esplanade, which, for the first time, finds its way home to 92NY.
Paul Taylor and 92NY’s history dates back to 1957. That year 92NY – an organization that has always supported and celebrated the culture of New York City – created a space for young choreographer Paul Taylor to present his first full evening of choreography at its Kaufman Concert Hall. That performance saw the premiere of Seven New Dances, which posed provocative and radical questions about what modern dance was and could become. It also inspired one of the most famous published reviews in dance history – four inches of blank space – that catapulted the young Taylor toward fame and infamy for his avant-garde take on human movement. 92NY continues to extend and reframe its cultural leadership of our city and commemorates this lasting impact with the return of Paul Taylor Dance Company to the stage where it all began with an evening bringing together the past, present, and future of modern dance.