MorDance Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Two World Premieres
MorDance celebrates its tenth anniversary performance season with two groundbreaking world premiere ballets centering themes of activism and humanity. Performances are April 28-29, 2023 at 7:30pm at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College (524 W 59th St., NYC) as part of the CUNY Dance Initiative. Tickets are $30 for adults, and $20 for students and seniors. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
The program’s premieres are committed to dancemaking that embodies artistic excellence while promoting civic engagement and social awareness. Choreographer Morgan McEwen joins forces with composer Polina Nazaykinskaya to create a new work inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem They Shut Me Up In Prose, with live music by Konstantin Soukhovetski and Jesus Rodolfo. An additional partnership with composer Josh Knowles is influenced by visual artist Chris Jordan’s film Albatross. The much-anticipated revival of McEwen’s 2018 ballet Stabat Mater will round out this triple bill.
The first ballet will take flight from Chris Jordan’s critically acclaimed documentary, Albatross (World Premiere), which depicts a vulnerable albatross population incurring the impact of mass consumption, global industry, and human unconsciousness. “I look to articulate this challenging narrative through choreography of avian movement and breathtaking wingspans,” said choreographer Morgan McEwen. “I collaborated with composer and experimental violinist Josh Knowles on a spacious arrangement that expresses both soaring heights and the ominous weight of dire circumstances. Josh composed and recorded this piece on a single violin looped and layered through multiple distortion pedals.”
Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s transcendent and radically outspoken poem of the same title, They Shut Me Up In Prose (World Premiere) evokes a young woman overcoming sexism in an overwhelmingly patriarchal society. The choreography will blend a classical ballet vernacular with contemporary movement. Polina Nazaykinskaya will create a contemporary score to be played on classical instruments. Polina’s unique experiences as an internationally renowned female composer will bring extraordinary artistry and meaningful perspective to the themes portrayed.
Stabat Materis a 13th-century Christian hymn to Mary, which portrays her suffering as Jesus Christ’s mother during his crucifixion. This work is set to Arvo Pärts score of the same name and navigates themes of mourning and shared sorrow. With focused lighting and raised structures, the illusion of silhouettes and shadows will create a dramatic vision of dancers while finding moments of rebirth and joy amidst the deep sense of grieving that the music portrays.
Morgan McEwena New York City native, is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer of MorDance, a trailblazing dance company celebrated for creating original collaborative works that push the boundaries of classical ballet. Through her extensive career as a professional ballet dancer at the Richmond Ballet, BalletMet, and the Metropolitan Opera, McEwen discovered she had limited opportunities to pursue her passion as a female choreographer. Driven to create a positive work environment that champions exploration and opportunity for all, Morgan is committed to empowering a strong roster of female creatives to elevate the experience of ballet for the modern age, both from an artist and audience perspective.
MorDance is a trailblazing, women-led ballet company striving to innovate, elevate, and diversify the ballet landscape to convey a true reflection of our contemporary world. Over the past decade, they have embodied their mission to break free of ballet’s historically homogenous structures by creating groundbreaking original works, centering underrepresented voices and narratives, and leading workshops for thousands of students in under-resourced communities across New York City. With a firm belief that world-class ballet should be available to audiences of all backgrounds, they work to break down barriers of social, movement-based, and gender-based inequalities in dance to cultivate empowered environments for artistic expression.
For more information, visit www.mordance.org.