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Performance  |  Elaine Gardner: Buffalo’s Ambassador of Contemporary Dance

Gallery Dances - Four days of professional dance at The Center

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 2 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

Buffalo’s Elaine Gardner has devoted her career to sharing the inspirations of contemporary dance as a performing artist, choreographer, educator, collaborator, and curator. She came to Buffalo in 1981 from professional dance company stints in Phoenix and Los Angeles. For the next twenty-five years, she cultivated her own repertory company, Pick of the Crop Dance. During that time, Gardner pursued original collaborations with musicians and visual artists; brought emerging and established guest artists from the United States, Europe, and Israel to create new works for the company; established ground-breaking arts in education programs in the schools; and stabilized a roster of salaried company dancers. Her cycle of three evening-length original fairy tale-based ballets, using young dancers from many different WNY dance studios, was a high point in the company’s history.

In this program, Gardner explains her own development as an artist and thinker through photos and video excerpts from throughout her career. For this occasion, she has invited her dear friend, the noted Roman dancer-choreographer Benedetta Capanna, who will perform a solo she has created that includes choreographic contributions by Gardner and herself. This new work is a memoir of Capanna’s grandmother, the ballerina Mirdza Kalnins, who starred at the Opera of Riga and at the Teatro dell’ Opera in Rome.

Benedetta Capanna is a choreographer and performer from Rome Italy. Her choreographic research draws energy and inspiration from her Mediterranean and Baltic roots and from over twenty years of Yoga studies. Through the exploration of the body in its infinite dynamic possibilities inside the small space created by its own limitations, she wants to embrace the poetry of human fragility, its sacredness and the urgency of its passions. She has been an active choreographer and freelance performer since 1998, alternating stays between Rome and New York. Since 2009, as an associated choreographer of CORE (Coordinamento Regionale della Danza e della Arti performative del Lazio), she has received grants and residencies to work on her choreographic projects. Since 2013, she has received the support of MIBACT collaborating with the Cultural Association Excursus Onlus. She has been a guest artist in important festivals and events in Italy, Europe, USA and Japan. She collaborates with Teatro Potlach in Fara in Sabina, the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Teatro Diana in Naples, and the Kairos Italy Theatre in New York. She works with many musicians and composers including the bass player Matthew Garrison, the percussionist Vittorino Naso, and the composers Concetta Cucchiarelli. She collaborates with Mauro Raponi in many productions, and is co-author with Richard Sphuntoff and performer of the film “Epiphany of Returning”, winner of Pool 15 International Dance Film Festival of Berlin and of Videodance DMJ International Festival 2015 at SAITAMA ARTS THEATER and now touring in International Festivals. In 1991 she was awarded a silver medal at the International Dance Competition of Positano. The American Guild of Musical Artists has recognized her extraordinary ability in the arts as a dancer. More information:

This event is free with gallery admission.