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‘Connecticut Dances: A Visual History Exhibition’ To Open January 19

GUNK, The Now Unboxing Project, 2015 Photographer- Cianna Costa. Courtesy photo

Connecticut Dance Alliance and the Connecticut Historical Society’s photographic exhibit celebrates the contribution of dance to the state’s culture.

Alarmel Valli, Wesleyan University, Center for the Arts Navaratri Festival, 2015  Photographer-  Sandy Aldieri , Courtesy of Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts. Courtesy photo

Alarmel Valli, Wesleyan University, Center for the Arts Navaratri Festival, 2015 Photographer- Sandy Aldieri , Courtesy of Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts. Courtesy photo

Submitted

The Connecticut Dance Alliance in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society announces the opening of the Connecticut Dances – A Visual History Exhibition on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at the Connecticut Historical Society, 1 Elizabeth St., Hartford, CT from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (snow date Jan. 26). The exhibition will run through March 4, 2017.

This photographic exhibition brings to life the valuable contribution that dance has played in the cultural vitality of Connecticut.

Connecticut Dances – A Visual History exhibition is the culmination of an unprecedented crowd-sourcing initiative “All About Dance in Connecticut” that documents the many facets of the history of dance in Connecticut through an online gallery collection of over 2,000 photographic images submitted by members of the Connecticut dance community over the past two years. The total collection of images can be viewed at www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]N25/.

Curated from the online gallery, the exhibition, designed and produced by the Connecticut Dance Alliance, represents a thematically and historically organized portrait of Connecticut’s significant dance heritage of a wide variety of dance forms, important historical dance events, the work of individual dancers, choreographers, companies, and the impact of schools and teachers in the field of dance.

Connecticut Dances – A Visual History includes images ranging from the early years of the Shakers, Connecticut’s first ballerinas, historic performances, and the study of dance in colleges and universities to the acclaimed American Dance Festival. The exhibition also features an array of cultural dance, internationally, nationally and regionally recognized dance companies that have performed throughout the decades, and dance schools and academies.

The exhibition also highlights the numerous dance luminaries such as Ernestine Stodelle, Alwin Nikolais, Angela Bowen, José Limón among others.

As a tribute to one of Connecticut’s dance icons Alwin Nikolais, Connecticut Dance Alliance has invited Art of Motion Dance Theatre to be guest artists at the opening. Lynn Needle, former soloist with Nikolais Dance Theatre and Connecticut College graduate will perform Alwin Nikolais’ Noumenon to his original musical score. Additionally Ruth Grauert a member of Nikolais Hartford Company, 1942-43 will share her extraordinary experiences with Nikolais.

Through the process of research and curation of the exhibition, Connecticut’s rich dance heritage and connections to Connecticut were revealed. Did you know that Anna Sokolow was born in Hartford? Alwin Nikolais graduated from Southington High School? and Connecticut’s first ballerina, Serena Plasikowski, who danced with Anna Pavlova, was born in West Hartford?

Connecticut Dances – A Visual History exhibition will travel throughout Connecticut accompanied by a compendium of over 70 scholarly essays, articles, memoirs, and associated photographs. Following two months at the Connecticut Historical Society, the exhibition will move to the Handel Performing Arts Center at the Hartt School, University of Hartford, then to Playhouse on Park and followed by a tour of the state as an educational resource at major dance events, performances, conferences, festivals, schools and various other community sites including libraries and museums. Tour listing as it develops can be found on www.ctdanceall.com.

The exhibition is made possible through generous funding from The Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supporting cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives; the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, NewAlliance Foundation and contributors to Connecticut Dance Alliance.

Angela Bowen and students, 1980 Photographer- Virginia Blaisdell. Courtesy photo

Angela Bowen and students, 1980 Photographer- Virginia Blaisdell. Courtesy photo

Sankofa Kuumba dancer  Photographer- Rich Davis. Courtesy photo

Sankofa Kuumba dancer Photographer- Rich Davis. Courtesy photo

A Bug, performed and choreographed by Sandra Kopell, 1989     Photographer – Bill Burkhart. Courtesy photo

A Bug, performed and choreographed by Sandra Kopell, 1989 Photographer – Bill Burkhart. Courtesy photo

On the Nature of Things, Pilobolus Dance Theater, Photographer- Robert Whitman. Courtesy photo

On the Nature of Things, Pilobolus Dance Theater, Photographer- Robert Whitman. Courtesy photo

GUNK, The Now Unboxing Project, 2015    Photographer- Cianna Costa. Courtesy photo

GUNK, The Now Unboxing Project, 2015 Photographer- Cianna Costa. Courtesy photo

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