The Martha Graham Dance Company will honor Paul Szilard at their Gala on Thursday, May 14th, 2009 at 7:00 pm during their special engagement week at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU, 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South. Jacques d'Amboise will be introducing Mr. Szilard.
There will be special programming for the evening including a new "Lamentation Variation" for Fang Yi and other dancers. Full program to be later announced.
Paul Szilard was born in Budapest, Hungary and became a United States citizen in the 1950's. A former leading dancer, He has performed throughout the world with such famous dancers as Nora Kaye, Colette March and, Sonia Arova and others. As a world-renowned impresario, he has presented such prestigious dance companies as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (exclusive international representative for over 40 years), New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Dancers of Bali, Madrid's Ballet Víctor Ullate, Universal Ballet and the American premiere engagement of the Bunraku Japanese Doll Theater.
The list of internationally-acclaimed artists presented by him included such legendary stars as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Eric Bruhn, Patrick Dupond, Judith Jamison, John Taras, Violette Verdy, Donna Wood and many others. Mr. Szilard produced and presented the New York City Ballet in the early 60's on a two-month tour in Japan, followed by a four-month tour in Australia and the Philippines. Also, American Ballet Theater toured under him in Japan and in Europe several times. He produced the first Japanese tour of West Side Story with an American cast, and has been responsible for countless celebrated cultural events throughout Asia, Australia and Europe.
The Ailey company the 1990's was a buy period with producing and presenting the Bavarian National Ballet of the Munich State Opera at the New York State Theater; The Royal Swedish Ballet's first tour of Japan and he presented American Ballet Theater at the Nouveau Festival International de Danse de Paris.
He presented Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the same festival in 2001 and also presented the Company at the Athens Festival at the Herod Atticus Theatre and at the Opera House in Thessaloniki, Greece. In November 2007, West Side Story, performed by an American company, was co-produced and presented in Paris at the Theatre du Chatelet. On December 16, 2007, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave a special birthday gala for Paul Szilard at New York City Center. His much-awaited autobiography, Under My Wings: My Life as an Impresario, was published in 2002. The Martha Graham Dance Company is under the exclusive international management, of Paul Szilard Productions. In 2007, they had a several-week season in Germany, produced by Mr. Michael Brenner of BB-Promotion. It was followed by a tour in Greece where they performed at the Herod Atticus open-air theater. This week, they are performing to sold out audiences at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris.