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Ariel Rivka Dance showcases the female experience in 2024 spring season

Ariel Rivka Dance. Photo by Whitney Browne.
Ariel Rivka Dance. Photo by Whitney Browne.

Ariel Rivka Dance, known for its emotive and vulnerable choreography, announces its Annual Spring Season at New York Live Arts, March 7-9. A dynamic showcase of five repertory pieces, including one world premiere, the season unfolds an emotional arc through the female experience, exploring themes of love, loss, identity, motherhood, postpartum depression, and hope.

The season takes center stage with the highly anticipated world premiere of (Un)Coupled, an emotionally charged exploration of separation. This piece delves into the intricate layers of parting ways, navigating the emotional distance between two individuals throughout a relationship, from the shadows of dissociation, to the fear, slow self-discovery, and eventual empowerment. Created during a residency at both Vineyard Arts Project and in the picturesque Mareuil en Périgord region of France last July, (Un)Coupled promises a raw and poignant journey that transcends the aftermath of separation.

If I Forget You, a brief duet accompanied by a soul-stirring solo piano improvisation, provides an intimate and nuanced exploration of the ebbs and flows within relationships. It skillfully weaves through the cycles of affection and discord, offering a profound narrative that seeks resolution and clarity even amidst the most challenging circumstances. In a unique approach, She explores the emotional waves of motherhood, encapsulating the spectrum of anguish and joy. The piece uses a distinctive soundscape featuring layered breast pump sounds, expertly composed by Composer-in-Residence Stefania de Kenessey, to enhance the evocative storytelling.

Unorthodox, inspired by the book of the same title, fearlessly challenges societal norms. This piece juxtaposes raw authenticity with the polished facades often projected to the world. Drawing inspiration from the narrative of a young Jewish woman’s escape from a religious sect, Unorthodox is set to an original score influenced by the energy and tradition of Klezmer music. In a time where individuals grapple with constraints on their choices and face penalties for their identities, Unorthodox stands as a powerful reminder to wholeheartedly embrace one’s inner self and express authenticity freely.

Lastly, Variations on a Box showcases the entire company of dancers embarking on a captivating journey that explores the constraints of shape and sound. This dynamic piece forms a living puzzle, captivating audiences with intriguing patterning, athletic group interactions, and a harmoniously connected ensemble of dancers. 

“In curating this Annual Spring Season, Ariel Rivka Dance becomes a canvas for the authentic expression of my personal journey and challenges,” notes founder and choreographer Ariel Grossman. “Through the choreography, I aim to illuminate the myriad of emotions that women experience — love, loss, identity, the profound journey of motherhood and the unspoken struggles, including postpartum depression. Each piece in this collection is a deeply personal exploration and a reflection of my own vulnerabilities. By sharing these stories through dance, my hope is to normalize and bring awareness to the diverse spectrum of female emotions where the stage becomes a platform for connection, understanding and a celebration of the resilience inherent in every woman’s narrative.”

An abbreviated family matinee will be offered on March 9, to include an interactive movement workshop to teach the themes and motifs present in the program’s works while fostering discussions on dance as a means of communication and storytelling.

Ariel Rivka Dance’s Spring Season will take place March 7-9, at New York Live Arts. For tickets and more information, visit www.arielrivkadance.com/2024-annual-spring-season.

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