Lecture/Video: The Life of Anna Sokolow
Using rare footage, personal stories, and historic archives, artistic director Jim May chronicles the life of Anna Sokolow, world famous dancer, choreographer, and teacher. Beginning in 1910 with her birth and youth on the lower East Side of New York City, Mr. May follows Ms. Sokolow’s life through the turmoils of the 20th century and her seminal contributions to Modern Dance in the United States and round the world.
Jim May worked with Ms. Sokolow for 35 years before her death and now continues her legacy. This lecture was first given at the Dance Museum in Saratoga, NY and since has received wide interest in the academic world with many presentations, including Mills College, Stephens College, and the Miami Schools of the Arts.
Anna Sokolow’s extraordinary full-length dance theater work inspired by the works of Belgian surrealist painter, Rene Magritte.
La Nef des fous
The French wind quintet, le concert impromptu, joins the Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble in this unique melding of musicians and dancers, the result of over two years of trans-Atlantic collaboration and two extensive tours of France.
The Soul of Jazz
This program celebrates Anna Sokolow’s innovative and ground-breaking interest in Jazz music as inspiration for serious choreographic efforts by presenting her jazz works from the 1950′s; The Evolution of Ragtime (‘52), Session For Six (‘58), and the masterwork Rooms (‘55).
Company Performance of Sokolow Repertory
Performance of works from the Sokolow repertory. The program may be tailored to suit your needs.
Dancing in Time
“Anna proved that social dance forms have an inherent dramatic power when they are artfully used as an expression of the society that created them.”
Clive Barnes, New York Times, 1968
This program is designed with young audiences in mind, and is appropriate for all grammar-high school students. The 45 minute program traces the development of social dance through the last century and how Anna Sokolow used it in her choreography. The ever-changing moods, styles and expression of jazz music (by Jelly Roll Morton, George Gershwin, Kenyon Hopkins, Teo Macero, and William Catanzaro), set the stage for choreographic art that mirrors society. Through dialogue and audience participation, the students will learn the classic steps of the times while developing an awareness of the major social events of the past century. They will discover those dance movements in the context of modern dance, and realize that art is an expression of everyday life. This program is entertaining as well as educational, fun for students and teachers alike.
50 Years of Sokolow: A Historical Retrospective
“A warm celebration of the life and work of one of American modern dance’s most significant choreographers and dancers. The evening had an illuminating retrospective tone, yet Sokolow’s continuing creativity was also highlighted by live performances of her choreography.”
Anna Kisselgoff, New York Times, 1995
Performances by the company of Sokolow repertory plus rare video footage, including Anna Sokolow discussing her life, excerpts from Bullfight (1945), the only existing record of Sokolow as a dancer, and testimonials from Gerald Arpino, Sophie Maslow, Uta Hagan, Jerome Robbins, and The Honorable Ruth W. Messinger.
Jewish Heritage Through Dance
“Then there are her tributes to the spirit of the Jewish people, their customs, their literature, their plight.”
Ernestine Stodelle, Ballet Review, 1995
Performances by the company of Kaddish, Ritual Suite, and Dreams, plus rare video footage.
Reconstruction of Sokolow Choreography
“Anna Sokolow is a wonderfully special kind of choreographer. No one is attuned to the anguish in the human condition quite the way she is, or can present it in dance forms of such startling and loving clarity.”
Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, 1970
Anna Sokolow’s choreography is and has been in the repertories of many companies in the United States and internationally. See Current Repertory for available work.
Residencies and Master Classes
Teaching is central to the mission of the Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble. Artistic director Jim May and company members teach ongoing classes in classic modern dance in New York City, and workshops based in the repertory of Anna Sokolow, in New York City and worldwide.
- Sokolow and Limon-based Technique Classes
- Movement for Actors
- Sokolow Repertory
- Dance History