Dakshina presents Sokolow gems

Saturday, July 16th 7:30 pm

Email rsvp@dakshina.org to reserve your seat.
Suggested donation is $25.

Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Dance Theatre
University of Maryland
8270 Alumni Dr, College Park, MD 20742

An evening of Sokolow gems
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh Dance Company returns with a full evening of Anna Sokolow favorites including “Kafka,” “Dreams,” and “Magritte Magritte”.

HelenMarieDanMagritte2013Reviewing Dakshina’s performance of Magritte, Magritte, Washington Posts‘ Sarah Kaufman lauds Lorry May’s restaging of the Sokolow classics on Dakshina and writes: “Yet Sokolow isn’t so surreal after all. If Magritte’s paintings take us away from reality, Sokolow’s treatment of them returns us to this world. It can’t help but do so. We’re watching human beings. In Sokolow’s hands — as interpreted by May and Singh’s strong cast — they speak to the outsider in all of us.”

From the Diaries of Franz Kafka, is Sokolow’s own dramatization of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Ernestine Stodelle wrote in the Art Times that, “Sokolow’s tribute to the great German writer takes the form of an acted-out replay of Kafka’s suppressed inner life. The effect is searing, audiences are stirred to the depths.”

Both the Kafka and Magritte dances are inspired by the writings and paintings of these larger than life artists who were ahead of their times in both style and commentary. Perhaps Sokolow saw kindred spirits in these fellow artists when she adapted their works and brought them to life.

The evening will close with Sokolow’s signature work Dreams. Dreams is based on images from the concentration camps of the World War Two holocaust and inspired by scenes found in books like “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “The Last of the Just.” Anna Sokolow was a member of the Martha Graham company in the 1930’s. As Sokolow developed her own work she turned her attention to dances about social and historical concerns like industrial justice, juvenile delinquency, the glorification of war. In “Dreams” her choreography weaves a whole picture – in angular, arresting forms – out of a wide variety of scenes from the camps. The work was a searing commentary on the social cost of war, and is particularly timely given the rhetoric against refugees in our world today.

About Anna Sokolow
sokolow272Anna Sokolow (1910-2000) was born in Hartford, Connecticut and began her training at the Neighborhood Playhouse with Martha Graham and Louis Horst. In the 1930’s she was a member of the Graham Dance Company and assisted Mr. Horst in his dance composition classes. During this period, in addition to her association with the WPA dance unit, she formed her own company and began choreographing and performing solo concerts and ensemble works.

Ms. Sokolow’s interest in humanity led her to create works of dramatic contemporary imagery showing both the lyric and stark aspects of the human experience. Her vast range of repertory includes drama, comedy, and lyricism with her commentaries on humanity and social justice threaded into each of her works. In a 1965 Dance Magazine article she wrote that there were no “final solutions to today’s problems,” but that she “could simply provoke an audience into awareness.”

Sokolow was known for her experimentation with combinations of music, dance and theater. In such works as Act Without Words (1969), Magritte, Magritte (1970), and From the Diaries of Franz Kafka (1980), she freely mixed mime, acting, dance and music to create a unique and powerful art form. In 1969, she created a new company – called Lyric Theatre, like her short-lived Israeli group – devoted specifically to compositions of this type. As she said, “I prefer to work with people who can dance and act rather than dancers who act or actors who dance.”