We are writing you from a new e-mail address, to further establish the Artistic Estate of our wonderful mentor, friend, and innovator Elaine.
What a year 2020 has been! So much has happened.
Fortunately, with all the hardships, challenges, tensions, and grief, there were also moments of light and positivity:
As the organisers for the Elaine Summers Legacy Project kept meeting on Zoom, these meetings also had many moments of personal and professional support for each other. Elaine's long cherished ideals at Judson Dance Theater, which lead to the Elaine Summers Experimental Intermedia Foundation and later the Kinetic Awareness® Center, were continued by this group of former associates, who keep working to preserve the memories and presences of people who were substantially touched and influenced by Elaine and her work. (Who do you think they should absolutely feature in this series? Please write us back with your suggestion ... )
Our ongoing collaboration with the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts continued to bring joy and delight, thanks to curators Linda Murray and Tanisha Jones and the friendly staff. Special congratulations to Linda Murray and her team for securing a grant of 10,000 dollars for preserving Elaine's many films in their archives!
left to right: Jon Gibson, Douglas Dunn, and Matt Turney in Windows in the Kitchen; Elaine with Richard Jochum and many Secret Dancers in Invitation to Secret Dancers. photos ©2012 by Paula Court. Used with kind permission. All rights reserved.
As we wrote earlier, Elaine was featured in this year's online-festival 10 Years Over 10 Weeks by the American Dance Guild, tirelessly produced by Gloria McLean and her wonderful team, including Kaoru Maeda and Adria Rolnik. Their joined efforts brought Elaine's name to a wide variety of national online-press such as DanceNYC. The week before people could revisit Elaine's Windows in the Kitchen, the New York Times published this photo of the work, danced by Douglas Dunn with music by the late Jon Gibson at the ADG Festival of 2012, as part of Jon's obituary in the New York Times.
Roberta Escamilla Garrison, one of Elaine's principal dancers of the company, re-created a dazzling new interpretation of Elaine's Theater Piece for Chairs and Ladders from 1965, with students of the National Italian Academy of Dance in Rome. The young students met the challenges of this work about (too much) information. Under Roberta's guidance they spoke or sung English non-sequitur texts, performed the daring balancing-solo, and each did their dance improvisation with chairs and/or ladders. Because of Covid19 they all had to do this in each their own square, wearing face-masks, yet the energy and drive were palpable.
On the side of Kinetic Awareness®, Dr. Jill Green and Nina D'Abbracci went to teaching online classes of Elaine's revolutionary dance technique, maybe more relevant today than ever, when the virtual world ever more challenges us to become even more physically mindful and rooted in our bodies. With Jill's leadership, the Kinetic Awareness® Center has begun the process of joining ISMETA, a large organisation for mutual support in the field of somatic dance and movement education.
... and finally Thomas Körtvélyessy taught an introductory class of Kinetic Awareness® to what was likely the largest online-group of people doing this work at any one time: 59 students + teachers did the classic Neck Exercise. Another event that lead to what Elaine loved to call kinesthetic delight! The week was organised by Eva Karczag and Eva Tremel, at ArtEZ University of Arts, Arnhem in The Netherlands. Working with Shelley Senter -who was teaching rehearsals online from New York- the students re-visited Trisha Brown's work Locus from 1975 and then went on to create their own interpretations in a 1 hour dance concert, all online and via Zoom.
Elaine's Mourning Walls at the Statue of Liberty from the same year, dedicated to Trisha Brown and featuring a very young Michelle Berne, and its equally political implication for our times today came up in the conversations and was shared with the students, ... as was a digital copy with a temporary license for viewing Elaine's original Windows in the Kitchen in recognition of their successful efforts at embodying the equally subtle quality of Trisha Browns' movement vocabulary while working on Locus.
What about 2021?The Artistic Estate of Elaine Summers will continue to help where possible towards guarding Elaine's artist interests, with any projects that are brought to its attention.
How can you help?Help can come in many ways. Please feel free to contact the Artistic Estate at any time if you have ideas or suggestions. Any amount that you are able to spare for a donation in these difficult times, will be used towards helping to make these dreams possible. You can donate via Paypal or send a cheque made out to Kinetic Awareness® Center, Inc.; 484 West 43rd Street #42-A, New York NY 10036.
All projects are facilitated and coordinated by the Kinetic Awareness® Center, Inc. with special thanks to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and your donation is 501(c)3 tax-deductable.
If you want to specifically fund either of the above projects, please say so in your statement or on the cheque, or send us a brief e-mail about it. Depending on the size of your donation, you can also ask for a letter of receipt for your next tax-declaration.
Thank you so much!
Elaine Summers during an Invitation to Secret Dancers, Solar House 1, New York, 2005
photo: Jeff Fox
As the year closes, the Artistic Estate of Elaine Summers sends you and your loved ones many good wishes. Please stay safe and in good health. Quoting Elaine we wish you
~ Merry Dancing ~
Charles Rosenberg, Meg Chang, Nina D'Abbracci, Frances Becker,
Michelle Berne, Pearl Bowser, Jill Green, Thomas Körtvélyessy (thanks to Elie Nassar),
Ann Law, Alexandra Ogsbury, Robin Powell, Leeny Sack
Artistic Estate of Elaine Summers
Board of Directors Kinetic Awareness® Center, Inc. a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to research and development of the Kinetic Arts & Sciences. Special thanks to the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Elaine Summers Dance+Film: http://www.elainesummersdance.com
History of Skydance/Skytime: http://www.skytime.org/skytime_history.html
Kinetic Awareness Center: http://www.kineticawarenesscenter.org
Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/elainesummersdance
Fales Library: http://dlib.nyu.edu/findingaids/html/fales/judson.html
Lincoln Center Jerome Robbins Dance Collection: http://bit.ly/hGFZ3C
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