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About the Ensemble

About the Ensemble | Bios | Reviews

SOKOLOW THEATRE/DANCE  ENSEMBLE

is a company of dancers, presently under the artistic directorship of long-time Sokolow associate, Jim May.  Their aim is to recreate works choreographed by Anna Sokolow, continue her teachings, and develop her artistic vision for the purpose of passing on for posterity. Anna Sokolow’s lifetime efforts to combine the arts of theatre, dance, music and painting.  Ms. Sokolow encouraged artistic growth and the Sokolow Ensemble continues this desire by offering its expertise, knowledge, and experience to new choreographers who are interested in multi-arts projects.  In this manner, the ensemble influences both the past as well as the future, will continue challenging the boundaries of dance by presenting the issues of humanity and strengthening our culture through artistic expression.  The Sokolow Ensemble reaches out into the community through teaching and make available archival material through many sources, including libraries, website, gallery showings, interviews, lectures, as well as performances.

Anna Sokolow’s Frida in San Antonio – Crossing Borders

Anna Sokolow went to Mexico in 1939 and began an intimate lifelong relationship that continues today through Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble. Jim May, artistic director and company members Lauren Naslund and Samantha Geracht Myers will reconstruct Ms. Sokolow’s last work, Frida at the Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas which has been awarded an NEA American Masterpieces grant for the project. This multimedia work about Frida Kahlo will be set on students from the college who are mostly 1st and 2nd generation Mexican-Americans, as well as dancers from the Central National for the Arts (CNA) dance department in Mexico City who will fly to Texas to join the 3 week workshop in May 2008.

This cross border effort will acquaint the students from Texas with their heritage, bring the dance communities together and most important teach each group this great work my Anna Sokolow. Then the dancers from Mexico will perform Frida for their fellow countryman as a gift from Anna. The dancers from Texas will perform the work in the United States.

Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble endeavors to continue to support our long decades long relationship between these two countries, to create hope of a friendly artistic communication with our neighbors and transcend the political turmoil. And perhaps show that art is the great communicator.

Magritte, Magritte on DVD

The Sokolow Theatre Dance Ensemble was awarded an NEA grant in 2007 to help the us create a DVD by Gene Ritchings of Anna Sokolow’s theater dance masterpiece Magritte, Magritte; for distribution to libraries, educational institutions, and the general public. Available on DVD


“Just Keep Going”

Teaching the next generation is essential to keeping Anna Sokolow’s legacy alive. Our recent teaching work includes master classes and lectures by Jim May on Anna Sokolow at the Museum of Dance, Saratoga, NY, Mills College, Stephens College, and the Miami School of the Arts. Jim May teaches ongoing technique classes at Peridance, in New York City, and will
offer a Sokolow technique and repertory workshop this August 18-22 at Peridance, 890 Broadway, 6th Floor, NY, 212-505-0886.

As Anna always said, “Just keep going.” The Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble is dedicated to taking her advice, wisdom, and vision into the future.
- Jim May, artistic director

Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble keeps Anna Sokolow’s legacy, described by Walter Sorell as “theater danced and danced theater,” alive. For this program, artistic director Jim May restaged Sokolow’s quintessential dance-theater piece “Magritte, Magritte” (1970), which hasn’t been performed for more than 20 years; the evening also showcased the U.S. premieres of two 2004 works inspired by Sokolow’s creative process: May’s “Starburst” and David Parker’s “La Nef des fous” (Ship of Fools). “Starburst” fused music and dance in a seamless, magical way. It was easy to get caught up in the dancing and forget that the musician/dancers were creating their own beautiful symphony in “La Nef des fous”…their interactions were delightful to watch.

Emily Macel
Dance Magazine, August 2006
Revue of Sokolow Theatre/Dance Ensemble
at Dance Theater Workshop, July 2006