As I Remember
A glimpse of the kinds of solos that helped Anna Sokolow win her extraordinary reputation as a dancer and choreographer in the 1930′s and 1940′s.
Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (1945)
Music: Silvestre Revueltas
female solo, 5 minutes
“The soloist doesn’t move from her spot…her formal salutations define a danger zone, her tightly coiling maneuvers wind the bull around her.”
Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice, 1986
Ballad in a Popular Style (1936)
Music: Chick Corea
female solo, 3 minutes
“…a wistful, lyrical excursion into jazz, at once subtle and exuberant, pure dance with no reason for being other than its rhythm and beauty of motion.”
Larry Warren, The Rebellious Spirit, 1986, Princeton Book Company
Music: Maurice Ravel
Reconstructed by Deborah Zall
female solo, 7 minutes
“Ms. Sokolow’s gift for summing up loss and loneliness is captured in ‘Kaddish’ with a searing simplicity and intensity.”
Jennifer Dunning, New York Times, 1986
A Short Lecture and Demonstration on the Evolution of Ragtime (1952)
Music: Ferdinand (Jelly Roll) Morton
2 dancers, 1 narrator, 1 pianist, 20 minutes
A tongue-in-cheek demonstration of the development of early jazz dance, using Jelly Roll Morton’s own words and music.
” ‘Ragtime’ shows Sokolow’s cutting sense of humor – it’s a laugh-out-loud send-up of two artistes demonstrating dance steps to Jelly Roll Morton’s thumping piano score with bombastic seriousness.”
Sarah Kaufman, The Washington Post, 1997
Lyric Suite (1953)
Music: Alban Berg
6-8 dancers, 30 minutes
The dramatic merging of dance with Berg’s exquisite, atonal musc makes them seem inseparable. Yet the innovative choreography is free from a close correlation with either meter or melodic line.
“…it speaks in abstract and stark simplicity, translating the qualitative moods of the music into penetrating and evocative movement designs. Superbly choreographed and thoroughly integrated, its lyric beauty has a direct appeal to kinesthetic response.”
Louis Horst, Dance Observer, 1954
Music: Kenyon Hopkins
6-8 dancers, 50 minutes
“Rooms” deals with the psychic isolation and unfulfilled desires of people living in the big city. The jazz score by Kenyon Hopkins catches the pulse and beat of modern society. An enduring masterpiece of twentieth-century art.
“Rooms is a powerful, deeply penetrating exploration of man’s aloneness…Miss Sokolow has given her subject stunning theatrical treatment through movements which are striking as pure dance action but also revelatory of the individual dreams of each of the participants.”
Walter Terry, Herald-Tribune, 1956
Session for Six (1958)
Music: William Catanzaro
6 dancers, 8 minutes
Set to the music of Argentinian composer, William Catanzaro, the stage comes alive with handshakes, the Twist, Walk The Dog, and the Microwave–Anna’s tribute to the spirit of youth.
“…depicts at once the gaiety and swagger of youth, with the dancers spinning self-absorbed in solitary circles.”
Sarah Kaufman, Washington Post, 1997