Peridance Center's Artistic Director, Igal Perry, was invited to present his choreography for the Dance Library of Israel's annual award ceremony this past October of 2008. Mr. Perry is a previous honoree of the Dance Library of Israel Hall of Fame. Other former honorees include Anna Sokolow and longtime board member, Pearl Lang, who recently passed away (see article). Blogger, Amber Connors, sat down with Mr. Perry for an interview about this exciting event. Photo from left: Igal Perry, Mary Kantor, Shen-Wei, Jose Manuel Carreno, Melanie Hamrick. Photo Credit: International Committee for the Dance Library of Israel photography-Alex Erikson
Can you tell us what is the Dance Library of Israel? What was celebrated and who attended?
The Dance Library of Israel in Tel Aviv, houses books, magazines, videos and archival materials covering all aspects of dance from around the world. It is the 2nd largest dance library in the world, with Lincoln Center's library being the first.
This year the Dance Library of Israel bestowed its Documents of Dance Award at the Penn Club to dance supporter Mary Yung Kantor. The Gala dinner dance event included Jose Manuel Carreno, principal dancer of ABT, Shen Wei, choreographer who recently choreographed the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Beijing, Paul Trezili, CEO of Capezio Balletmakers Inc., and Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic of The New York Times. Past recipients of the Documents of Dance Award include Paul Taylor, Eliot Feld, Ann Reinking, and Martha Graham.
Why did you decide to choose these specific pieces of choreography?
The contribution to dance is important and personally I’m happy to participate in their cause. It’s a mutual relationship. It is my choreography, but this time I also wanted to perform something with a common denominator. So I presented choreography that had received success in galas and competitions for my students.
Two of the dancers are trained at my colleague Valentina Kozlova's school of dance. Whitney Jensen, presented "Prey" with which she has won many competitions, including recently the Grand Prix at Varna, (the renowned competition that made Baryshnikov famous). Jensen is the first American ever to win the Grand Prix in the youth category in which she competed. 11 year old Maggie Horowitz performed "Tender Love" which I choreographed for her for competition in New Jersey. Also performing was Kuei Hsien Chu, who presented the piece with which he won silver medal in Orlando, Florida.
What is it like to be asked to choreograph for such a prestigious ceremony?