Savion Glover In Albany

Oct 14, 2016
Savion Glover
Lois Greenfield

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes” (Gregory Hines). At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.  He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed.

Glover will premiere his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg on October 15 at 8:00 p.m. and earlier that day, he will be in conversation with Joe Donahue at Page Hall on UAlbany's Downtown Campus as a The Creative Life event -- an exciting new initiative presented by the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum.

The entrance sign at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Massachusetts
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is internationally known for its summer performance season, but the organization is looking to expand its influence year-round.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox presents contemporary Top 40 hits slipped through a time machine – rearranged and performed in styles like swing, do-wop, ragtime, Motown, jazz, torch ballads, bluegrass, and more.

From Bradlee’s living-room via YouTube videos to world tours and (soon) Radio City Music Hall in just a few years – the rotating collective of musicians and vocalists present a very fun show.

Postmodern Jukebox is playing at The Palace Theatre in Albany, NY tonight and Scott Bradlee joins us.

Parsons Dance
Krista Bonura

  Parsons Dance returns to PS21's Chatham Dance Festival with its stunning ensemble work and virtuosic technique.

Last summer PS21’s audiences saw Almah, Kate Skarpetowksa’s new work, in development during open rehearsals. This year they will now have an opportunity to see the completed work, which has an original score by Ljova and premiered at the Joyce Theater in January 2016.

It explores the connection of an eastern European childhood juxtaposed with the urban folklore of adolescence in NYC. Also on the program will be David Parsons Union and his stroboscopic masterwork Caught.

Artistic Director David Parsons founded Parsons Dance in 1985 and the company returns for its eleventh season performing at PS21 in Chatham for performances of September 2nd and 3rd. David Parsons joins us along with Judy Grunberg from PS 21.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Florence Foster Jenkins, War Dogs, Pete’s Dragon


The Addams Family - Mac-Haydn Theatre, Chatham, opens 8/25 Thu at 2 & 8 PM, through Sept. 4

A Night at the Movies, 1916 featuring Charlie Chaplin, an adventure serial, and Dorothy Gish as Gretchen the Greenhorn, live music by Avery Tunningley - Capitol Theater, Rome, 8/25 Thu at 7 PM (10 cents admission)

Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally - Palace Theatre, Albany 8/25 Thu

Troy Night Out (Theme: Troy History & Bicentennial) Music, art, comedy all around Troy - Downtown Troy, 8/26 Fri, 5 to 9 PM

Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Egg, Albany, 8/26 Fri at 8 PM

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, 8/26 Fri

Dance Heginbotham . . . performing Waltz Ending (music of Scott Joplin), Diamond (music of Darius Milhaud), Twin (music of music of Aphex Twin), Rockefellers (music of Raymond Scott) - PS/21, Chatham, 8/26-27, Fri-Sat at 8 PM

St. Lawrence String Quartet (music of Haydn, Golijov, John Adams) - Tannery Pond Concerts, New Lebanon, 8/27 Saturday, 8 PM

Rubblebucket - MASS MoCA (Courtyard C or Hunter Center), North Adams, Mass., 8/27 Sat at 8 PM

New movies: Mechanic: Resurrection, Equity, Southside With You, Don’t Think Twice, Don’t Breathe, Hands of Stone

Chase Brock’s "The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty" - lighting by Kevin Adams
Rosalie O'Connor

  The Chase Brock Experience is the Brooklyn-based contemporary dance company led by choreographer Chase Brock. They will perform at PS21 as part of the Chatham Dance Festival at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.


Chase Brock is an acclaimed choreographer working in theater, modern dance, ballet, opera, television and video games. He joins us now along with Obie and 4-time Tony Award winning lighting designer, Kevin Adams. Adams has worked extensively on Broadway winning his Tony Awards for The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, American Idiot, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Kevin Adams has designed the lighting for Chase Brock’s The Song That I Sing; or, Meow So Pretty -- one of 4 pieces being performed at PS21 this week.

Jonathan Stafford
Henry Leutwyler

  Our final guest today is Jonathan Stafford. Jonathan is a ballet master at New York City Ballet and a member of the faculty at the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school.

Born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stafford began his dance training at the age of eight. He was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in October 1998 and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in February 1999. He was promoted to the rank of soloist in March of 2006 and became a principal dancer in May 2007. After retiring from the Company in May 2014, he was appointed an NYCB ballet master.

At the School of American Ballet, Mr. Stafford served as a member of SAB’s guest faculty during the 2006-07 school year and joined the School’s permanent faculty in September 2007. Mr. Stafford received the Martin E. Segal Award from the School of American Ballet in 1999.

NYCB performs Balanchine's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Paul Kolnik

  Marquerite Mehler is the Director of Production of New York City Ballet and has been stage managing for more than 20 years, primarily in dance. Since joining the Production Department of New York City Ballet in 1995, she has stage managed more than 2000 performances of more than 150 ballets in the New York City Ballet repertory, including world premieres by Peter Martins, Justin Peck, Alexei Ratmansky, Jerome Robbins, and Christopher Wheeldon.

With the production staff, Ms. Mehler supervises scenery, lighting, and all other production elements of the NYCB repertory both at home and on tour. She also coordinates with the other NYCB departments and supervises the NYCB and State Theatre stagehands.

Maria Kowroski
Paul Kolnik

  Maria Kowroski is a principal dancer with New York City Ballet. She began her training in Grand Rapids, where she was born.

Ms. Kowroski entered the School of American Ballet in the fall of 1992. She became an apprentice with New York City Ballet in the summer of 1994 and was invited to join the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in January of 1995. In the spring of 1997, Ms. Kowroski was promoted to the rank of soloist and in the spring of 1999, she was promoted to principal dancer.

Ms. Kowroski was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 1994. She will perform the principal role in Balanchine’s Agon while at SPAC.

  Troy Schumacher is a choreographer and member of New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet.

In 2010, Schumacher founded BalletCollective, and as the company’s director and resident choreographer, he collaborates closely with composers, artists, and designers on original works. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, began his ballet training with Atlanta Ballet and the Chautauqua School of Dance before entering the School of American Ballet in 2002.

He became a New York City Ballet apprentice in 2005 and a member of the corps de ballet in December of that year. His second work for New York City Ballet, Common Ground, will have its SPAC premiere at the sold-out Gala performance. He will also perform the role of “Puck” in Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Lauren Lovette
Luis Pons

  Lauren Lovette is a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet. She was born in Thousand Oaks, California and began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina

Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. She was promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal in June 2015. She was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Janice Levin Award.

Ms. Lovette will choreograph her first-ever work for New York City Ballet, which will premiere in the fall of 2016. She will perform a principal role in Balanchine’s “Rubies” from Jewels and will have her debut in Christopher Wheeldon’s most recent work for NYCB, American Rhapsody, set to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” when it has its second SPAC performance on 7/30.

  Peter Martins first joined the New York City Ballet in 1970, having already achieved international fame with the Royal Danish Ballet. His career in New York saw him move from Principal Dancer to his current position as Ballet Master-in-Chief.

Martins most popular performances as a dancer include Apollo and as the Cavalier in mentor George Balanchine’s Nutcracker. His contributions as a world renowned choreographer include Calcium Light Night, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet.

Martins has accompanied the Ballet on their annual summer journey up to Saratoga, and has taken the time to speak with us this morning.

  Andrews Sill is the Associate Music Director of New York City Ballet. He joined New York City Ballet in the spring of 2009 and served as Interim Music Director from 2012 to 2015. He also serves as Music Director of Milwaukee Ballet.

Andrews was just fifteen years old when he was accepted as a conducting and piano student at Yale University, where received his bachelor’s degree with honors. He continued his education under scholarship and fellowship awards from the Manhattan School of Music, earning his doctorate in 1987.

He will be conducting A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Gala program of Contemporary works on Saturday night.

Justin Peck
New York Times

  Justin Peck is a Soloist and the Resident Choreographer of New York City Ballet. He has created more than 25 works for a range of companies including New York City Ballet, the Paris Opéra Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and Miami City Ballet.

In 2011, NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins designated Justin to receive New York Choreographic Institute’s first year-long choreographic residency. Peck was named New York City Ballet’s Resident Choreographer, the second in the Company’s history, in July of 2014.

His latest work Scherzo Fantastique will premiere here at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Saturday Night for SPAC’s 50th. It will be his 11th work for the Company.

  Taylor Stanley has danced at SPAC before. But, this summer marks his first performances in Saratoga as a Principal dancer.

In September 2009, Taylor became an apprentice with NYCB, and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet a year later. He was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in May of this year.

He will be performing a principal role in Justin Peck’s SPAC World Premiere Scherzo Fantastique which will be performed this Saturday Night as part of the Anniversary Gala. Taylor will also perform in Balanchine’s Jewels presented twice next week.

Marcia White

  Marcia White, in a former life was a nurse and political aide, but for the past 12 seasons – she has been SPAC’s president and executive director.

In February of this year – she announced that this 50th Anniversary season – would be her last and she will retire at its conclusion. Marcia was appointed the president of SPAC in 2005 and is credited for leading major renovations, bringing the facility out of the red and maintaining SPAC’s classical offerings.

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates


Paul Kolnik

  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Led by Alvin Ailey and a group of young African-American modern dancers, that performance changed forever the perception of American dance.

In 2008, a U.S. Congressional resolution designated the Company as "a vital American cultural ambassador to the world" that celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of the American modern dance heritage.

Before his untimely death in 1989, Alvin Ailey named Judith Jamison as his successor, and over the next 21 years, she brought the Company to unprecedented success. Ms. Jamison, in turn, personally selected Robert Battle to succeed her in 2011, and The New York Times declared he "has injected the company with new life."

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform at SPAC in Saratoga Springs on July 8th and 9th.

MOMIX At The Mahaiwe

Jun 30, 2016

  Illusionist dance company MOMIX, under the direction of Moses Pendleton, will make their third appearance at the The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA this Saturday and Sunday.

Based in Washington, Conn., this innovative dance company seemingly defies categorization as easily as its dancer-illusionists defy gravity. Their show, VIVA MOMIX, features a collection of company and audience favorites.

Artistic Director Moses Pendleton has been one of America’s most innovative choreographers and directors for over 40 years.

City of Saratoga Springs

The third-floor Music Hall at Saratoga Springs City Hall is a place where visitors from miles around still gather for a night on the dance floor.

What was originally built as a theatre in the 19th Century was remodeled in the 1930s into the space recognizable today. The space was reopened in 1993 and dubbed Saratoga Music Hall. 

  Nationwide statistics have proven in-prison educational and rehabilitation programs to be extremely successful, yet many states across the country have cut large portions of the funding for these programs.

The film, The Game Changer, the winner of multiple festival awards, follows New Paltz’s renowned choreographer Susan Slotnick in her work rehabilitating prisoners through dance at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility.

The film will screen at Unison Arts Center in New Paltz, NY this Saturday, May 14th at 8pm in a special event that will also feature dance performances and discussion.

Susan Slotnick joins us.

Pete Seeger

The music of Pete Seeger will be transformed into dance this Saturday afternoon at the Pete and Toshi Seeger Auditorium at Beacon High School in Beacon, New York. Livia Vanaver and her husband Bill are the organizers of the event, which is a fundraiser for their life’s work of the past 45 years, the Vanaver Project. 

  Critics have called Garth Fagan “a true original,” “a genuine leader,” and “one of the great reformers of modern dance.” Fagan is the founder and artistic director of the award-winning and internationally acclaimed Garth Fagan Dance.

A Tony and Olivier award winner, Fagan continually renews his own distinctive dance vocabulary, which draws on many sources: sense of weight in modern dance, torso-centered movement and energy of Afro-Caribbean, speed and precision of ballet, and the rule breaking experimentation of the post-moderns.

  Legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp is in our region for the next 6-weeks for the Capital District/Hudson Valley Pathways To Dance Initiative. The project, supported by a $90,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council, is designed to support dance programs and performance at ten venues in eight upstate counties.

A work-in-progress showcase will occur April 16 at the Catskill Mountain Foundation's Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannserville, with a premiere set for June 30th at SPAC.

Joe Donahue interviewed Twyla Tharp about her legendary career and upcoming projects in a conversation before a LIVE audience at Page Hall in Albany.

Joe Donahue / WAMC

On Tuesday, legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp joined representatives from the Catskill Mountain Foundation, Proctors, and Saratoga Performing Arts Center to announce Pathways To Dance. The initiative, supported by a $90,000 grant from the NYS Regional Economic Development Council,  is designed to support dance programs and performance at ten venues in eight upstate counties.

As part of the program, Tharp will revisit two repertory dances and create a new work at a six-week Catskills residency. Tharp says she wants to create an evening that's easy to understand.

  Girl Through Glass is the literary debut of Sari Wilson. It tells the story of a young girl's coming-of-age in the cut-throat world of New York City ballet - a story of obsession and perfection, trust and betrayal, beauty and lost innocence.

In the roiling summer of 1977, eleven-year-old Mira is an aspiring ballerina in the romantic, highly competitive world of New York City ballet. Enduring the mess of her parents divorce, she finds escape in dance the rigorous hours of practice, the exquisite beauty, the precision of movement, the obsessive perfectionism. Ballet offers her control, power, and the promise of glory. In the present day, Kate, a professor of dance at a midwestern college, embarks on a risky affair with a student that threatens to obliterate her career and capsize the new life she has painstakingly created for her reinvented self.

Sari Wilson will be in conversation with Darlene Myers of Northeast Ballet at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs on Thursday, February 25th at 6 p.m.

  Shawn Stone, formerly the Arts Editor of the late Metroland, returns to our show after a brief absence to tell us about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region. 

Early 2016 At MASS MoCA

Jan 13, 2016

  We feel very lucky to have MASS MoCA in our region and to have such a good relationship with the incredible visual and live arts presentation venue. 

MASS MoCA's Managing Director of Performing Arts,  Sue Killam, and Director of Communications, Jodi Joseph join us with a preview of upcoming exhibitions, concerts, residencies, and more.

  In MJ: The Genius of Michael Jackson, Rolling Stone contributing editor Steve Knopper delves deeply into Michael Jackson’s music and talent.

From the moment in 1965 when he first stepped on stage with his brothers at a local talent show in Gary, Indiana, Michael Jackson was destined to become the undisputed King of Pop.

In a career spanning four decades, Jackson became a global icon, selling over 400 million albums, earning thirteen Grammy awards, and spinning dance moves that captivated the world. Songs like “Billie Jean” and “Black and White” altered our national discussion of race and equality, and Jackson’s signature aesthetic, from the single white glove to the moonwalk, defined a generation.

Despite years of scandal and controversy, Jackson’s ultimate legacy will always be his music.

Photograph of Robert Battle
Andrew Eccles

  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized as a vital “American Cultural Ambassador” to the world and New York City Center’s Principal Dance Company, returns to the New York City Center stage for the 45th consecutive year from December 2 (that’s today) through January 3rd. Led by Robert Battle in his fifth season, Ailey’s renowned artists will bring to life an expansive repertory of two dozen works by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers during this annual season.

Dancer and choreographer Robert Battle became Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater after being personally selected by Judith Jamison, making him only the third person to head the Company since it was founded in 1958.

My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey is a children’s picture book about Robert’s life. It is published by Simon & Schuster.