Bard SummerScape 2009 Opens on July 9 with Dance

Lucinda Childs’s Seminal Collaboration with Philip Glass and Sol LeWitt

Seventh Annual Bard SummerScape (July 9 – August 23) Will Present Opera, Music, Theater, Dance, Film, the Spiegeltent, and 20th-Anniversary Season of Bard Music Festival, “Wagner and His World”

The seventh annual Bard SummerScape festival opens on Thursday, July 9, at 8 pm with Lucinda Childs’s Dance, a landmark work by the leading luminary of the postmodern dance movement. Dating from 1979, during one of the New York art world’s most vibrant and prolific periods, Dance is Childs’s legendary collaboration with composer Philip Glass and artist Sol LeWitt. Thanks to Bard’s re-commissioning of Dance, LeWitt’s film has been newly restored for the festival.

Photo credit: copyright 1979, Nathaniel Tileston.

The Performances will take place in the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Bard College ’s stunning Hudson River campus. Three additional performances are on July 10 and 11, also at 8 pm, and on Sunday, July 12 at 3 pm. The July 11 performance is a Gala Benefit for SummerScape.

"Ms. Childs is revered across Europe as a grande dame of American dance. In the United States , though, her work is so rarely seen that she has assumed almost mythical status.” - New York Times

Philip Glass’s music for Dance is the soundtrack of Sol LeWitt’s black-and-white film, which is projected onto a translucent scrim in front of the stage. “I find the music of Philip Glass deeply spiritual,” Childs said in Patrick Bensard’s 2006 documentary, Lucinda Childs. “Afterwards,” Childs added, “you feel as though you’ve been taken on a voyage.” For the SummerScape 2009 production of Dance, the negative of LeWitt’s 30-year-old film has been painstakingly transferred to digital format. Michael Reisman, the music director of the Philip Glass Ensemble, remastered the original soundtrack for this restoration of the film. Reisman was the sole pianist on the recording of the soundtrack for the Academy Award-nominated score for the film The Hours, as well as for many other film scores composed by Glass.

“My dances are an intense experience, of intense looking and listening.” – Lucinda Childs

At Bard, a new company of nine dancers under Childs’s direction will interact seamlessly on stage with her filmed 1979 company. Their synchronized movements create a multidimensional effect: whirling, twirling bodies on different planes and spaces. Childs is mesmerizing in her filmed solo centerpiece, her austere beauty frozen in time. “Together,” wrote Jennifer Dunning in the New York Times, “the elements of live theater and film create the kind of instantaneous layering of time that is usually the magical province of film alone.”

“A few times, at most, in the course of a decade a work of art comes along that makes a genuine breakthrough, defining for us new modes of perception and feeling and clearly belonging as much to the future as to the present. Such a work is Dance.” - Alan M. Kriegsman, Washington Post

The Fisher Center commissioned the reconstruction of Dance, with additional support from The Yard, a colony for performing artists on Martha’s Vineyard . Dance is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts/American Masterpieces: Dance Initiative, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts. Additional support for Dance has been provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation.

Bard SummerScape 2009: Dance
Choreography by Lucinda Childs
Music by Philip Glass
Film by Sol LeWitt
Original costumes by A. Christina Giannini
Lighting by Beverly Emmons
The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts (Sosnoff Theater)

Thursday, July 9, at 8 pm (SummerScape 2009 opening night)
Friday, July 10, at 8 pm*
Saturday, July 11, at 8 pm+ (Gala Benefit)
Sunday, July 12, at 3 pm

Tickets: $25, $40, $55

* Round-trip transportation by coach from Columbus Circle to the Fisher Center will be provided for this performance. Reservations are required.
+ 2009 SummerScape Gala Benefit. Call (845) 758-7926 for tickets or more information.

For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visit


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