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Arts Watch: Dancer/Choreographer Lance Gries’ FIFTY Project @ La MaMa

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K.J. Holmes, Lance Gries, Jonathan Kinzel, Jimena Paz, Jodi Melnick.
K.J. Holmes, Lance Gries, Jonathan Kinzel, Jimena Paz, Jodi Melnick.

Pivotal marks in life are always worth noting.  Former Trisha Brown dancer and Bessie-nominated choreographer Lance Gries has found an exceptional way to celebrate his 50th birthday. He invited fifty New York and European colleagues from his 25 year career to “meet him in a studio” and dance with him—for fifty minutes of course. Luckily, he recorded these encounters — and worked in collaboration with Mike Taylor on the design and editing of the video. The results? The FIFTY Project – a series of beautifully intimate dances on film; duets between Lance and some of the world’s most interesting and creative dance makers.

This week, all fifty videos from The FIFTY Project will be shown at La MaMa’s La Galleria in a multi-dimensional installation replete with images, personal stories and dancing bodies. Two full length FIFTY dance sessions in a “double duet image” will also be projected, side by side, hourly, each day. The program includes K. J. Holmes and Paul Langland
 on Wednesday March 27, Diane Madden and John Jasperse
 on Thursday March 28, Jodi Melnick and Jimena Paz on Friday March 29 and Jeanine Durning and Ralph Lemon on Saturday March 30.

In addition, thirty New York dancers will perform live in a series of  special presentations of the installation. Admission is free, but reservations are required. The installation also includes a supplementary booklet with a map, designed by Tony Carlson, of some of the various educational and dance-related projects of the dancers.

The FIFTY Project / La MaMa La Galleria / 6 East First Street / Gallery hours: Wed-Sat: 1-4:30pm / Special presentations: Wed – Sat: 5pm & 8pm, Sun: 2pm.


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