New Jersey Stage

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cape May Stage Presents Jeanne Ruddy Dance

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage is thrilled to announce an original offering to Cape May audiences!  For the first time, Cape May Stage is opening its doors to a world-renown dance company: Jeanne Ruddy Dance.  Performing pieces entitled No Fear of Flying (excerpts), Enfold, Four Screaming Women, and The System, this stellar performance will take place Sunday, November 7th at 3pm at the Robert Shackletonlayhouse at the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.

Now it its tenth year, Jeanne Ruddy Dance began with a grant from the Pew Charitable Trust Foundation for a project called Dans Project 4 Philadelphia, featuring choreography by Igal Perry with Ms. Ruddy and three other Philadelphia dancers.  Since then, the company has been renamed "Jeanne Ruddy Dance" and has founded Philadelphia's first "studio theatre" dedicated exclusively to modern dance. The Performance Garage at 1515 Brandywine St. serves as both a showcase for emerging and established artists and as a critical springboard for the growth and vitality of smaller dance companies and artists throughout the community.

The concert at Cape May Stage features selections from No Fear of Flying, Enfold, Four Screaming Women, and The System.  The works touch on love and romance, the Equal Rights Amendment, and strong female characterizations, ranging from 1960s-era "diva" to modern-day "really desperate housewives." Grammy award winning composer, arranger, producing pianist, Barry Miles, will accompany the performance. Miles has recorded as keyboardist on hundreds of albums with artists including: Roberta Flack, Gladys Knight, Al Di Meola, Mongo Santamaria, Esther Phillips, Patti Austin, Martha Reeves, Gato Barbieri, Glen Campbell, Englebert Humperdinck, Joe Simon, Esther Satterfield, Mel Torme, Michel LeGrand, Richie Havens, Luther Vandross, Eddie Kendricks, Peabo Bryson, Phil Woods, and more. The Philadelphia City Paper has called Jeanne Ruddy Dance "a first-rate contemporary dance company" with "the city's best independent dancers."

Jeanne Ruddy (Founder, Artistic Director, Jeanne Ruddy Dance) is a former Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Company where she performed throughout the world and was featured in the PBS Great Performances series in Graham's Cave of the Heart. She also performed leading roles in such Graham works as Andromache's Lament, Diversion of Angels, Deaths and Entrances, Seraphic Dialogue, Clytemnestra, Cortege of Eagles, Embattled Garden, Herodiade, and Appalachian Spring. She has also danced on Broadway in The King and I, starring Yul Brynner and was an original member of Agnes de Mille's Heritage Dance Theatre. She received her early dance training in Miami, earning her B.F.A. from North Carolina School of the Arts and her Masters of Arts degree from New York University. She directed the Graham-based modern department at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center from 1986 to1995 and was a faculty member of The Juilliard School from 1988 to 1998 under the direction of Martha Hill, Murial Topaz and Benjamin Harkarvey.

In addition, she directed, choreographed and danced in her own company, Jeanne Ruddy and Dancers, in New York City. Ms. Ruddy has been invited to numerous international symposiums: The Congress of the Dance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; The International Sommerakadamie des Tanzes, Cologne, Germany; and The American Dance Festival in Moscow, Russia, where she was the first to teach the Martha Graham Technique to an advanced group of young Russian artists after Russia opened in 1993. She has been a guest artist where she has taught and choreographed in many of the United States' leading colleges and universities of dance such as Sarah Lawrence College, Connecticut College and Florida State University. Local teaching appointments have included Temple University, The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, and as company teacher at Philadanco. Ms. Ruddy served as Co-chair of the Executive Council of The Rock School from 1994 to 2001 and served for six years on the board of Dance Affiliates. In August 2008, Ms. Ruddy was selected to represent Philadelphia artists in the American delegation that attended the Tanzmesse conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by Dance/USA.

Part of Cape May Stage's acclaimed Second Stage Series, Jeanne Ruddy Dance will perform for one day only on November 7th at 3pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.  Tickets are $20.  Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre's website, www.capemaystage.com.

Cape May Stage's Second Stage Series is presented through the gracious support of Chris and Dave Clemans.