Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BLUEPRINT Summer Intensive
a brand new contemporary ballet intensive 

BLUEPRINT is a brand new contemporary ballet intensive taking place August 20th-September 1st, 2012 at Peridance Capezio Center.  This is Peridance's first-ever intensive that not only offers classical ballet, but immerses dancers in new cutting edge contemporary ballet choreography where dancers learn how to expand and transform their line.  

Additionally, dancers are exposed to some of today's hottest contemporary and classical ballet masters from New York City Ballet to Ballet Next we are pleased to have Igal Perry, Drew Jacoby, Helen Pickett, Kevin Irving, MIchele Wiles, Sidra Bell, Wendy Whelan, Susan Jaffe and Michele Assaf join our faculty for this intensive.

Dancers participating in the intensive can expect daily classical and contemporary ballet classes followed by repertory of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, William Forsythe, Nacho Duato, Jacoby and Pronk, Christopher Wheeldon and Sidra Bell Dance New York.

This intensive has already received amazing press from the highly acclaimed,  a forum for professional dancers.  Check out what they have written about this intensive at

For audition and application information please visit:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dance From The Heart
An Event Organized by Dancer's Responding to AIDS

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is pleased to be performing at Dance From The Heart as the event takes the stage for its seventh year in a row!  This event aims to bring dance artists together to showcase work and support the organization Dancers Responding to AIDS. Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is excited to share the stage with a vast array of artists specializing in various styles from Hip Hop Artist and Choreographer Rennie Harris to the highly acclaimed Paul Taylor Dance Company.

We are delighted to be dancing at this event and would love for you to join us in supporting this wonderful cause!     

Date:January 23rd
Time:6:30PM and 8:30PM
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet Theater
547 W. 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

For Ticket Info please visit:

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company Preview Performance

Peridance Capezio Center's resident dance company, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, is thrilled to take the stage this Saturday, January 21st, with a performance that previews what's to come for the Company's major NYC season in May!  The Preview Performance will include the sumptuous Spanish flavored "El Amor Brujo," an excerpt of "Constructs for 4," and the first showing of a new work by popular NYC-based contemporary jazz choreographer, Kristin Sudeikis. The Company will also be joined by the Peridance Youth Ensemble performing a new work by Gregory Dolbashian. 

"El Amor Brujo" premiered just this past December in Washington, DC, where the Company performed for sold-out houses to live music performed by PostClassical Ensemble under the baton of Angel Gil-Ordonez, and the vocalizations of renown Flamenco cantaora Esperanza Fernandez.  The ballet tells the story of a young gypsy woman's love, torn between the man in her life and the spirit of her dead husband.  The Preview is the first chance for New York audiences to view the dance described as "profoundly memorable" by Paula Durbin of the Washington Post!  "Constructs for 4" was originally choreographed for Complexions Contemporary Ballet.  This technically challenging and delicately beautiful piece premiered at the Joyce for Complexions' 2008 season.  The piece is now set on and expertly performed by Peridance Contemporary Dance Company for this season, with an excerpt slated for the Preview Performance.  

In addition to Artistic Director Igal Perry's choreography, the Preview will be the first glimpse of a new work created on the Company by popular NYC-based contemporary jazz artist Kristen Sudeikis.  Kristin is on faculty at Peridance Capezio Center, teaching five popular classes each week!  You can learn more about Kristin on her faculty page .  The Company has also invited its youth company, the Peridance Youth Ensemble, to perform a brand new work choreographed by Gregory Dolbashian, whose work is becoming more and more recognized through his company, DASH Ensemble.  

Peridance Contemporary Dance Company
Preview Performance
Saturday, January 21 at 8:30pm
Tickets $20

Get tickets to the Preview Performance online  ((LINK:  ))  or at the Peridance Box Office!  The performance is followed by a reception where you can meet the artists.

Get a sneak peak of "El Amor Brujo" and check out our youtube video!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meet the Company: Part 3

The identity of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is shaped by original choreography, versatile dancers of diverse backgrounds, classical and contemporary accompaniment, and collaborations with live musicians. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, Igal has structured the Company to explore and experiment with innovative movement and design. The Company, featuring 8 highly versatile dancers, has been rehearsing at Peridance Capezio Center for a few months now, in preparation for its upcoming debut performances.

Today's Featured dancer is Lauren Jaeger. Stayed tuned to learn about all of the dancers!


Please tell us where you are from and something unique about your hometown!
I am from Poughquag, NY (near Poughkeepsie). My high school had over 4,000 students and has grown since.

What was one of your most memorable onstage or backstage moments?
After Jacquelyn Buglisi set Requiem on some of us at Marymount [Manhattan College] my freshman year, a couple of us were asked to perform the piece with the company at its benefit performance at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. I was thrilled! …It was the first time I was really exposed to such an extent to Jacquelyn Buglisi's and her dancers' beautiful artistry. I was honored… But [as] if that wasn't enough, Mikhail Baryshnikov was at our performance, watching ME perform! And, Desmond Richardson was a guest artist at the event. I was too embarrassed to ask Mr. Baryshnikov for his autograph but, since Desmond Richardson was backstage with us, I somehow worked up the courage to ask him. I will never forget his response, "Of course! Moments like these are like an ‘A+’ for dancers. You realize it really is attainable!"

How did you get into dance?
When I was 4, my mom asked if I wanted to dance and I said "ok." My first class took place the same day that we moved into our new house and the movers mistakenly packed the sneakers I was supposed to wear that day. The teacher told my mom I wasn't allowed to wear my ballet shoes outside. So my feet wouldn't touch the ground, my mom carried me from the car to the studio!

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not dancing?
I love science, especially astronomy and physics. So, I read a lot of science fiction. I also love to play Twister and ultimate Frisbee, and boogie boarding at the beach.

What are your go-to foods/drinks to get through a tough day of rehearsals and classes?
Water! Bananas, cereal bars, nuts, tea, and sometimes a sandwich.

Did your family play a strong role in guiding and supporting your career?
Yes. My mom always took jobs at the studio where I was enrolled, so that my sister and I could take as many classes as we wanted. Our brother was constantly dragged to our classes and performances. My grandmother never missed a performance until she passed away. I always think of her right before a performance.

What advice would you give to pre-professionals who are about to enter the professional world or to young dancers deciding if they want to make dance their future?
You need to REALLY want it. It's not easy; the work is hard and the financial compensation is not always equal to the amount of work you put in. I have six jobs right now: three company (dancing/performing) jobs and three teaching jobs. Juggling everything to make rent is challenging. However, if dancing is what you are passionate about and what you really want to do, than it's worth all the hard work and more. We are lucky that we get to do what we love for a living. Very few people can say that.

Who has been your most influential teacher or choreographer thus far? Please tell us a little about why!
Gina Chiavelli (my first ballet teacher) stressed the importance of focus and work ethic. She would always insist on … adhering to a strict dress code and complete attention in class. To this day, I still have a bun and wear tights and a leotard in every ballet class.

Around the age of 16, I had started thinking of alternate careers and college majors, but James Robey helped remind me that dance was something I was truly passionate about, not just an after-school activity.

While majoring in Dance at Marymount Manhattan College, there were periods when I would become so focused on perfecting an aspect of my technique that I would forget to dance and begin doubting myself. Luckily, Jean Emile, one of my ballet teachers, was there to remind me that technique, while important, wasn't everything. Jacquelyn Buglisi, Denise Vale, and Terese Capucilli have pushed me further than I thought possible. There's always more to give. Dance, for me, is not superficial. In Ms. Buglisi's work I am constantly challenged to make every moment truthful and real.

Adjusting to life after college can take a bit of time. Finding dance classes in which I felt comfortable and challenged, and that I could afford, took a while. I found exactly what I was looking for at Peridance Capezio Center. Igal Perry is a fantastic teacher and director who not only pushes you further, but also creates an atmosphere in which every student is encouraged to improve his own technique and experiment with new movement.

What are one or two things you must have in your dance bag?
A full water bottle.

Is there a place in the city you would recommend as a must see or must do (restaurant, café, park, gallery…)?
Ice skating in Central Park!!

Interview with Graciela Kozak

Interview with Graciela Kozak

Graciela Kozak was born in Argentina, and trained at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires. She danced with the Bat-Dor and Bat- Sheva companies in Israel, and the Peridance Ensemble in NY. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Igal Perry, Lar Lubovich, Donald McKayle and many other choreographers. Graciela joined the Peridance Faculty in 1985, and the faculty of the Ailey School in 2002. She has taught classes for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Ballet Tech, Complexions, Donald Byrd, Pascal Rioult, the School of Ballet Hispanico and Ballett Akademien in Sweden. 

When did you start teaching? 

I began at the age of 15 in Argentina. I later moved to Israel, where I performed and taught for twelve years. I always knew that's what I wanted to do. I find   the process of learning and teaching fascinating. It is wonderful to see how dance has evolved in the 21st century, physically and artistically. Dancers have physically raised the bar to new standards, and there are new forms of dance emerging.

How long have you been at Peridance?

Almost 25 years. I have taught ballet classes, pointe workshops, and choreography workshops. I have also been teaching ballet classes at Alvin Ailey for the past seven years.

Can you expand on your dance background a little more? 

I have worked with some of the best choreographers of the 20th century, including our very own Igal Perry. Back in Israel I danced in Igal's first ballet, "Episode", which I thought was a masterpiece. I also worked with Alvin Ailey, Jiri Kylian, and Mark Morris, to name a few.

What types of students come to Peridance? 

The student body consists of dancers of all backgrounds. Dancers are both professionals, and aspiring professionals. Others, such as actors, journalists, lawyers and singers to name a few take dance class to complement their professional careers.

Anything else you would like people to know about Peridance? 

I have taught for the The School at Peridance and choreographed for the Peridance Youth Ensemble. I am proud that Peridance has grown to the proportions it is today and proud of the great teachers we have here. Some of our "babies" are now getting accepted to college dance programs and companies, a fact that serves as its own testament to the quality of our program.