Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of “Company B”

CPYB Ends Season with First Ever Acquisition of Paul Taylor Masterpiece

 

Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (CPYB) caps off its 2012/13 performance season with the crowd-pleasing Company B, CPYB’s first work ever acquired from modern-dance legend Paul Taylor. Regarded as the “world’s greatest living choreographer” the New York Times says of Taylor, “No living dancemaker takes us so deep or so variously into the alchemical secrets of how movement can marry music.” CPYB will premiere Company B during its June Series mixed repertory program June 19-22.

Taylor’s Company B recalls the turbulent era when the country was drawn into the Second World War in this seminal piece of Americana. The young soldiers and bobby soxers jitterbug and boogie-woogie to the unforgettable songs of the Andrews Sisters, frantically masking the fatal cost of vanquishing evil. Songs include “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B),” “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!” and “Pennsylvania Polka.”

Company Bis made possible through a generous grant from the Lois Lehrman Grass Foundation. The grant furthers CPYB’s mission by supporting the acquisition of modern masterpieces.

“Paul Taylor’s work incorporates an extraordinary sense of humanity in which the dancer must communicate the very essence of the music,” says CEO Alan Hineline. “The addition of Company B into the CPYB repertory supports Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet’s educational philosophy that incorporates performance as an integral component of the training experience. It diversifies our student’s range of experience, expands their imagination, and creates a stronger, more versatile dancer.”

Paul Taylor Dance Company dancer and CPYB alumna Jamie Rae Walker is staging Company B, a work she has performed often. Walker left a position with the Miami City Ballet – “one of the hardest things I ever did,” she says now – to pursue her passion for modern dance and earn a spot with the Paul Taylor Dance Company.

“It is the most rewarding experience to come back home as a teacher and restager, bringing the joy and passion I have for Mr. Taylor’s choreography and be received with such remarkable willingness and enthusiasm,” Walker said.

In CPYB’s Company B the young dancers are nearly the age of their “Greatest Generation” counterparts. “With what our country has been through, these dancers aren’t terribly far away from understanding the depths of war, and heartache and sadness,” says Walker. “I am overwhelmed with pride to share the magnificence of Paul Taylor’s Company B with these extraordinarily bright and beautifully trained young dancers of CPYB.”

In addition to Company B, the four days of CPYB’s June Series includes more than 20 different ballets. The mixed repertory programs range from contemporary to classical, creating five unique programs ballet novices and loyal patrons alike can appreciate.

June Series runs Wednesday-Saturday, June 19-22,at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, where CPYB is Resident Ballet Company. Performance program details are online at CPYB.org. Tickets are $16 for the 7 p.m. weekday performances and $30 for the Saturday 1 & 6 p.m. performances. Tickets are available by calling 717.214.ARTS (2787), online at whitakercenter.org, and in person at the Whitaker Center Box Office. (Schedule attached)

The Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is supported, in part, by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Cultural Enrichment Fund.

About Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Established in 1955 by Founding Artistic Director Marcia Dale Weary, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet is a nationally and internationally recognized school of classical ballet headquartered in Carlisle, Pa. CPYB’s mission is to inspire, educate and enrich the lives of the students and the region through training in and the performance of classical ballet.

About Paul Taylor Dance Company Dancer and CPYB Alumna Jamie Rae Walker Jamie Rae Walker began her ballet and Graham-based modern dance training at age eight in Levittown, Pa., and later she performed with the Princeton Ballet, now American Repertory Ballet. In 1991 she began training at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and in 1992 was awarded a scholarship by Violette Verdy at the Northeast Regional Dance Festival. Ms. Walker joined Miami City Ballet in 1994 and performed principal and soloist roles in Balanchine and Taylor dances until 2000. In 2001 she received a scholarship to attend The Taylor School and was part of the original cast of Twyla Tharp’s Broadway show, Movin’ Out. Ms. Walker joined the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company in Fall 2003, and became a member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company in Summer 2008.

About Choreographer Paul Taylor Paul Taylor is the last living member of the pantheon that created America’s indigenous art of modern dance. At an age when most artists’ best work is behind them, Mr. Taylor continues to win public and critical acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his creations. As he has since his origins as a dance maker in 1954, he offers cogent observations on life’s complexities while tackling some of society’s thorniest issues.

Paul Taylor was born on July 29, 1930 – exactly nine months after the stock market crash that resulted in the Great Depression – and grew up in and around Washington, DC. He attended Syracuse University on a swimming scholarship in the late 1940s until he discovered dance through books at the University library, and then transferred to The Juilliard School. In 1954 he assembled a small company of dancers and began to choreograph. A commanding performer despite his late start in dance, he joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 1955 for the first of seven seasons as soloist while continuing to choreograph on his own troupe. In 1959 he was invited to be a guest artist with New York City Ballet, where Balanchine created the Episodes solo for him.

Mr. Taylor has made 138 dances since 1954, many of which have attained iconic status. He has covered a breathtaking range of topics, but recurring themes include life and death; the natural world and man’s place within it; love and sexuality in all gender combinations; and iconic moments in American history. His poignant looks at soldiers, those who send them into battle, and those they leave behind prompted the New York Times to hail him as “among the great war poets” – high praise indeed for an artist in a wordless medium. While some of his dances have been termed “dark” and others “light,” the majority of his works are dualistic, mixing elements of both extremes. And while his work has largely been iconoclastic, he has also made some of the most purely romantic, most astonishingly athletic, and downright funniest dances ever put on stage.

 

June Seriesperformance schedule at Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

Next Generations Dance 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 19 Tickets: $16

Our celebration of four days of performances starts with an inspiring collection of ballets showcasing the young talent of CPYB’s next generation. CPYB’s special buy-one-get-one-free ticket price makes it an evening your entire family can enjoy!

New Dance Plus 7 p.m. Thursday, June 20 Tickets: $16

Day two features new works from ChoreoPlan 2013 by today’s emerging choreographers set to the music of Handel and Karl Jenkins, plus legendary George Balanchine’s expressive Divertimento No. 15.

 

See the Music Dance 7 p.m. Friday, June 21 Tickets: $16

This evening, the songs of the Andrews Sisters come to life in dance in Paul Taylor’s Company B, including the unforgettable “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!” and “Pennsylvania Polka.” Balanchine’s “Scherzo” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream returns to CPYB for the first time in more than a decade, along with Alan Hineline’s re: Dvorak, set to Antonín Dvorák’s “Slavonic Dances.”

 

Last Dance/Last Chance 1 & 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22 Tickets: $30

A grand finale of encore performances featuring 20th Century masterpieces and modern day classics close the season including Taylor’s Company B, Balanchine’s Scherzo” fromA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Hineline’sre: Dvorak.