Press Releases

Purchase Dance Corps Spring Concert Apr. 24-May 2, Performing Arts Center

Date Released: 3/23/2010

Presents "Serenade" by George Balanchine, "Company B" by Paul Taylor, original works by Luca Veggetti and Pam Tanowitz, excerpts of "Gelem, gelem" by Nelly van Bommel.

The Purchase Dance Corps presents its Spring Concert 2010 at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center, PepsiCo Theatre, April 23- May 2.


Enjoy classics by George Balanchine “Serenade,” and Paul Taylor, “Company B,” and premieres of two original works created for the Purchase Dance Corps by Luca Veggetti and Pam Tanowitz, plus excerpts of “Gelem, gelem” by Nelly van Bommel.  Artistic directors for this concert are faculty members Bettijane Sills and Megan Williams.


Performances will take place: April 23, 24, 30 and May 1 at 8 PM; with matinees April 25 and May 2 at 3 PM.  Tickets are $20, discounts for seniors and students with Purchase College ID. Box Office is 914-251-6200 or online at   


George Balanchine’s “Serenade” is named after Tchaikovsky’s score “Serenade for Strings in C, Op.48”. This powerful and haunting work by the Russian born choreographer was Balanchine’s first ballet choreographed in the United States and has become a signature work for the School of American Ballet. The first performance of “Serenade” was on June 10, 1934, by students of the School of American Ballet at Felix Warburg’s estate in Greenburgh, NY. Audiences often give subjective interpretations to various “incidents” within the work.  Bettijane Sills former soloist with the New York City Ballet is the repetiteur, or rehearsal director for the work.


Paul Taylor’s “Company B” is being performed in honor of the choreographer’s 80th birthday.  The score of Andrews Sisters songs such  as “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” expresses the exuberant rhythms of the 40’s during World War II. The work was first performed in 1961 and depicts a nation surging with high spirits. Young lovers lindy, jitterbug and polka in a near manic grasp for happiness while in the background shadowy figures—soldiers—fall dead.  By the end of the dance it is clear the world has changed. “Company B” was reconstructed by Patrick Corbin, former lead dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company.  The costumes by Santo Loquasto, and the lighting by Jennifer Tipton was re-created by David Grill.  


Luca Veggetti’s premier of “Hibiki Hana Ma” is an interpretative work set to the electronic music of renowned Greek composer Iannis Xenakis.  Inspired by the Orient, the music incorporates recordings of an orchestra, a biwa, (a Japanese lute) and a snare drum. Mr. Veggetti, an acclaimed choreographer and production designer from Italy created the work for the Purchase Dance Corps while in residence at the Conservatory of Dance this past semester. After a career as a dancer at the London Festival Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet Chicago, Mr. Veggetti started an on-going collaboration with stage director and designer Pier Luigi Pizzi.  His works have appeared around the world including the Kirov Ballet and FontanaMix in Italy.  Costumes were designed by Mr. Veggetti and lighting is by Roderick Murray of the Conservatory of Dance.


The world premiere of “The Wanderer Fantasy” choreographed by expressive modern choreographer Pam Tanowitz, is specially created for the Purchase Dance Corps. Ms. Tanowitz incorporates the disciplines of ballet and classic modern dance, in her choreography, to create abstract movement that challenges expectations and has audiences witness a new paradigm.  A graduate of Ohio State with a BFA in Dance, she earned an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College. She was a member of the Steffi Nosen Dance Company in Westchester and in 2005 was artist in residence at Greenwich Academy.  Ms. Tanowitz has taught composition at Hunter College and master classes at American Dance Festival.  Her work has been performed at Central Park Summerstage, Dance Theatre  Workshop, Joyce SoHo, and the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process program.


The program also showcases excerpts from “Gelem, gelem” choreographed by Nelly van Bommel, improvisation teacher at the Conservatory of Dance.  Ms. Van Bommel was featured in Dance Magazine as one of  2010’s 25 To Watch. “Gelem, gelem,” which won the Genesis Award in 2008 from the Milwaukee Ballet is a wholly original take on East European Roma dancing and music with riotous Romanian gypsy music.   Dancers spar in rituals of mating and power and stomp competitively with a fierce energy and effervescent good humor.


The Purchase Dance Corps, the performing company of the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, presents a diversity of work ranging from reconstructions to contemporary modern and classical ballet repertory to new works created especially for the Purchase Dance Corps.