Dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov Coming To Ringling International Arts Festival
Mark Morris’ newest work, A Wooden Tree, set to music and words by the Scottish artist and humorist Ivor Cutler (1923 – 2006), makes its East Coast debut at the fourth annual Ringling International Arts Festival (RIAF), Oct. 10-13, 2012 in Sarasota. Fla.
The dancers scheduled to perform the new creation, include the Festival’s artistic director and past performer Mikhail Baryshnikov. The Ringling International Arts Festival is co-produced by Sarasota’s The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and New York’s Baryshnikov Arts Center. It is part of the Ringling’s Art of Our Time initiative, which celebrates the performative arts by living artists who are profoundly influencing culture.
The dance, which premieres in Morris’s hometown of Seattle earlier this month, includes Cutler works titled Cockadoodledon’t, Beautiful Cosmos, Rubber Toy, I Got No Common Sense and more. The costume design is by Elizabeth Kurtzman and the lighting design by Michael Chybowski. For RIAF, the Mark Morris Dance Group is also performing, such classics as Canonic ¾ Studies, Silhouettes and Grand Duo during their 85-minute program held in the 500-seat Mertz Theatre on the campus of the FSU/Ringling Center for the Performing Arts.
“Misha is a fabulous dancer and a close friend,” remarked Mark Morris. “Our collaboration goes way back. We haven’t worked on a dance together for quite a while so it is exciting and comfortable to work on this new piece – A Wooden Tree. He fits right in with my wonderful dancers.”
Since 2010, Baryshnikov has been developing and performing in In Paris, a theater work that toured in the U.S. and Europe. Missing performing in more movement based work, he sought an opportunity with decades old friend and deeply respected choreographer Mark Morris.
“After working on theater projects for the past two years, I wanted to have a taste of dance, explained Mikhail Baryshnikov. “I missed being on stage in that way. It is a great comfort to work with Mark Morris, a dear friend and collaborator whose work I love and who has an ensemble I adore. It is humbling to be invited to work amongst a group of such accomplished dancers.”
This appearance marks a return engagement to performing and collaborating at the Festival for Baryshnikov. In 2010, the Festival commissioned and presented three sold-out performances of “Solos with Mikhail Baryshnikov and David Neumann”.
The Mark Morris Dance Group’s performances at the Ringling International Arts Festival are Wed., Oct. 10, 7pm (RIAF Inspires Opening Night, $500 per person includes reception, performance and formal dinner in the Museum of Art Galleries), as well as Thurs., Oct. 11, 5pm; Fri., Oct. 12, 8pm.; and Sat., Oct. 13, 2pm. Tickets for the Dance Group’s performances Oct. 11, 12 and 13 are $30, $40, and $50. To purchase tickets, contact the Historic Asolo Theater Box Office at 941.360.7399 or visit www.ringlingartsfestival.org
The 2012 Festival also features stage performances by Shantala Shivalingappa, Ensemble Basiani, Pig Iron Theatre Company, Adam Tendler, Phyllis Chen, and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. It also includes the Festival’s first film series with screenings of Carmen and Geoffrey directed by Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob; Joseph Brodsky: In the Prison of Latitudes directed by Jan Andrews; and a double bill, Labyrinth Within directed by Pontus Lidberg followed by Park Avenue Armory Event by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. To purchase tickets contact 941.360.7399 or visit www.ringlingartsfestival.org
About the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG)
The Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG), now in its 31st year, continues to perform nationally and internationally. In 2001, MMDG opened its permanent home, the Mark Morris Dance Center, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, housing rehearsal space for the dance community, outreach programs for local children, as well as a school offering affordable dance classes for all. The School at the Mark Morris Dance Center, now home to over 5,000 students of all ages and abilities, offers quality, year round instruction at affordable rates in a variety of disciplines. MMDG maintains its commitment to providing free and low-cost dance and music opportunities for the company’s Brooklyn neighbors.
About the Ringling Museum’s Art of Our Time initiative
The inaugural Ringling International Arts Festival launched the Art of Our Time initiative at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in 2009. The annual Festival celebrates contemporary arts and features dance, film, music and theater by well-known and emerging artists. Art of Our Time showcases contemporary visual and performing art by artists that are profoundly influencing culture. It features the Museum’s on-going presentation of its permanent contemporary art collection, including Joseph’s Coat, the largest Skyspace created by internationally renowned artist James Turrell. It also includes a rotation of special exhibitions, lectures, films, literature and performing arts, such as music, dance and theater.