Press Releases


Date Released: 5/22/2006

Doug Varone and Dancers present Lecture/Demonstrations and Showings
 Guest Artist Peggy Baker & the Purchase Dance Corps Perform
in the Dance Theatre Lab

Doug Varone and Dancers in Concert June 17 at 8 PM at The Performing Arts Center

Doug Varone, celebrated for his ability to meld daring physicality and telling gesture into powerful human landscapes, leads his company, Doug Varone and Dancers, in residency at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, June 4-24. While in residence, Doug Varone and Dancers will offer numerous free-to-the-public events in the Dance Theater Lab at the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance and in White Plains.

These activities are presented in conjunction with the Purchase College School of the Arts, Conservatory of Dance, under the direction of Dean Carol K. Walker.  Doug Varone received his bachelor of fine arts degree in dance from Purchase College.

The residency’s highlight includes a Repertory Concert by Doug Varone and Dancers at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center on Saturday, June 17 at 8 PM. Tickets are $40 general public; $36 seniors; $20 students, and are available by calling the Box Office at 914-251-6200.

The Company’s free community events will include two Lecture/Demonstrations, a high energy introduction to the company’s work. Excerpts from the company’s repertory illustrate Varone’s discussion about how work is created, how ideas are translated into dance steps, and the interplay of music and dance. During two different Exploring Repertory Showings, Varone and the dancers will perform, dissect and discuss a single work in the company’s repertory. They will also present A Work-in-Progress Showing of a new dance created while in-residence at the Conservatory of Dance.

Free community events also include: the Purchase Dance Corps performing works to be presented on its upcoming tour of Hong Kong; and guest workshop faculty member and frequent Varone collaborator Peggy Baker performing choreographer Sarah Chase’s The Disappearance of Right and Left, created especially for her.

At their June 17 concert, Doug Varone and Dancers will perform the Westchester premiere of The Thing of the World, Rise, Of the Earth Far Below, and a dance to be announced.

Set to a propulsive score by John Mackey, The Thing of the World, a duet, performed by Doug Varone and John Beasant III, is a potent exploration of clashing emotions—with movement that shifts from expressions of struggle to comfort, conflict to affection—sometimes within the same gesture or phrase. The work features lighting by Tricia Toliver.
Rise, a company signature work for eight dancers, is set to John Adams’ “Fearful Symmetries.” Of the Earth Far Below matches the sonic push and pull of Steve Reich’s “Triple Quartet” with tidal waves of movement—dancers hurtle across the stage, plunging at each other and the floor in rapid-fire fashion. This full company dance features costumes by Liz Prince and lighting design by Roma Flowers.

In preparation for its tour to China, the Purchase Dance Corps, the performing ensemble of the Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, will reprise works from its spring season on June 8 including: Gerald Arpino’s Valentine; an excerpt from Mark Morris’ Gloria; and Lauri Stallings’ The Great Quiet.

Peggy Baker’s June 20 showing will feature an informal performance of a single work, The Disappearance of Right and Left. Created for Baker in 2004 by Canadian choreographer Sarah Chase, the dance is a unique autobiographical work, incorporating text and movement. Chase is a Canadian independent dancer and choreographer who has created works for several esteemed Canadian dance companies including Toronto Dance Theatre and Kate Alton’s Overall Dance Company. Baker, a former dancer with the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Company, is the recipient of The Order of Canada.

In addition to the free showings and performance of Doug Varone and Dancers at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College, the company and the Conservatory of Dance will also play host to some 70 professional and pre-professional dance artists who will study with Doug Varone and Dancers in a three-week workshop.

Doug Varone has created more than 60 dances for his own company, which he founded in 1986. He is the recipient of numerous honors including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1996), a Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography (1998), and a 1998 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Sustained Achievement in Choreography. Most recently, he received a 2006 Special Citation Obie Award along with Ricky Ian Gordon (composer and librettist), Jane Moss and Jon Nakagawa (producers) for his role as director and choreographer of Ricky Ian Gordon’s song cycle Orpheus and Euridice, produced by Lincoln Center’s Great Performers series.

Varone has been commissioned by dozens of fellow dance companies including the Limón Company, Dancemakers (Canada), Batsheva Dance Company (Israel), Uppercut Danse (Denmark), AnCreative (Japan) the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, and the Colorado Ballet. Varone is also known as a choreographer for opera. He choreographed a new production of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, for New York’s Metropolitan Opera and returned to the Met in the spring of 2004 for a new production of Strauss’ Salome. In the fall of 2005 he choreographed the Met's production of Tobias Picker's An American Tragedy.

Honored with eight New York Dance and Performance Awards, Doug Varone and Dancers has been singled out for dances of extraordinary physical daring, vivid musicality and genius for capturing through movement the nuances of true human interaction.

Doug Varone and Dancers has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe  and Asia, performing regularly at preeminent venues and festivals such as: The Joyce Theater; The Kennedy Center;  Lincoln Center; London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall;  Moscow’s Stanislavsky Theater; La Biennale di Venezia; and the Tokyo, Jacob’s Pillow and American Dance Festivals. The company’s ability to move and excite audiences and energize communities has led to scores of return engagements in the U.S. and abroad.

The Doug Varone and Dancers residency in Purchase, N.Y., has been made possible with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

For detailed information about the residency and Doug Varone and Dancers, please contact Diane Rosenblatt at 212-279-3344.


Lecture/                                                 Dance Theatre Lab                Mon., June 5 at 7:30 pm             Demonstrations:                                 The Dance Building 
Reservations 914-251-6800             Purchase College

                                                                 White Plains Public Library   Mon., June 12 at 7:30 pm
                                                                100 Martine Ave
Reservations 914-422-1480             2nd floor - Auditorium 

Exploring Repertory
Showings:                                            Dance Theatre Lab              Wed., June 7 at 7:30 pm
                                                               Dance Theatre Lab              Tues., June 13 at 7:30 pm

Purchase Dance                                Dance Theatre Lab               Thurs., June 8 at 7:30 pm

Peggy Baker Showing                       Dance Theatre Lab               Tues., June 20, at 7:30 pm

Showing:                                              Dance Theatre Lab              Thurs., June 22 at 7:30 pm