Kitty Lunn will present her Infinity Dance Theater, a non-traditional company for dancers with and without disabilities, in new works by Peter Pucci, Heidi Latsky, Carla Vannucchi, and Ms. Lunn, along with an Infinity favorite by Robert Koval from the company's first season in 1995. Performances will be held May 28-31 at Joyce SoHo.
For Kitty Lunn, the season will be a celebration of 50 years in dance. The New Orleans native started dance classes as a child and performed with several companies, including the Washington Ballet, where she danced in Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker, and the full company repertory. Lunn moved to New York in 1967, and in 1987 while preparing for her first Broadway show, she was injured in an accident which left her paraplegic. Determined to show that dancers can move in a multitude of ways, Lunn founded Infinity in 1995 to expand the boundaries of dance and change the world's perceptions of what a dancer is. In addition to regular New York seasons, the company's schedule has included appearing at festivals in Italy, two seasons at the Kennedy Center in D.C., and the 1996 Cultural Paralympiad in Atlanta. Lunn is also active as an actress on stage and TV (including a long stint on "As The World Turns"), a dance educator and an advocate for people with disabilities.
For its Joyce SoHo season, Infinity has commissioned a work from brilliant Italian choreographer Carla Vannucchi, who has worked with the companies of William Forsythe and Pina Bausch, and is a master teacher of Horton and Graham techniques. For Ms. Lunn, she has created Portrait of Frida, which explores the relationship of Frida Kahlo to her paintings. Set to music by Carlos Chavez, the solo adds paint and canvas to the dance.
Acclaimed choreographer Peter Pucci returns to Infinity with Lead Me Home, featuring Kitty Lunn and her husband, actor Andrew Macmillan. The concept of this new work began as a tribute to Ms. Lunn's father, who passed away just prior to the company's 2006 season. As the piece developed, it began to encompass the 50 years of her love affair with dance, as well as her relationship with her husband and with her chair. The piece will feature live Celtic harp and Gaelic vocal as a tribute to her father's Scottish roots.
The program's third premiere is The Empty Tomb by Heidi Latsky in collaboration with Kitty Lunn. Ms. Latsky, a former principal dancer with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, was called a "choreographer and dancer of uncommon intelligence and fluidity" by Jennifer Dunning (The New York Times). Set to the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi and ancient Aramaic chant, the piece focuses on Mary Magdalene's journey on Easter morning, depicting a woman of great personal strength who mourns the incredible loss of a beloved one and discovers faith, peace, and hope in the wake of extreme brutality.
A fourth premiere entitled Water/Fire, choreographed by Ms. Lunn, features an original score composed and performed live by the acclaimed percussionist William Catanzaro, with additional percussion by Jerome Morris. Water/Fire reflects the ways in which human bodies, some with and some without disabilities, work with and amongst one another in and out of harmony and balance.
To convey Infinity's diverse spectrum of dance, the company will revive After All, founding member Robert Koval's stirring work about love, loss and loyalty in relationships. After All was commissioned by and premiered at the 1996 Cultural Paralympiad in Atlanta.
Infinity Dance Theater is supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; The Shubert Foundation; the Fund for Creative Communities/NYSCA, administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; The Harkness Foundation for Dance; and other generous contributors.
Tickets cost $25, $15 (students/seniors/people with disabilities). The event is free for personal care attendants.