Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet

Black and gold graphic bar
 February 16, 2004

Adele Field
Luckman Complex
(323) 343-6616



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:

Critically Acclaimed Luckman 2003-04 Dance Season to Conclude with First Los Angeles Engagement of the Revival of Rogers’ 1985 “Wishes and Turns”

Los Angeles, CA – The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., will present a program by Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet on Saturday, June 19, at 8:00 p.m., featuring the revival of Rogers’ 1985 signature ballet, Wishes and Turns, set to Martinu’s Piano Quartet No. 1. The Luckman presentation will be the first Los Angeles performance of a program which will be presented at New York’s new DTW Schonberg Theatre, June 7-10, 2004.

The Program
Wishes and Turns (1985, revised 2004)
Music: Martinu Piano Quartet No. 1
What the critics wrote about the original:

“Wishes and Turns is a dance of refreshing verve and provocative intent. This most literary choreographer took his tone and title from a Delmore Schwartz poem, creating a wonderfully oblique episode of ambivalence and letting the finale of Martinu’s Piano Quartet determine its upbeat denouement.” – Donna Perlmutter, Dance Magazine

“The intimacy and refined interplay of chamber performance emerged quietly triumphant. In particular, the sensitive mood-painting in Raiford Rogers’ septet Wishes and Turns and especially its close relationship to Martinu’s Piano Quartet gave familiar dancers a new maturity...artful corps patterning and expressive ingenuity.” – Lewis Segal, L.A. Times

“Wishes and Turns provides a refreshing musicality. The abstracted images of swirling and leaping groups entered the rhythmic structure of the music without copying it. There is always a contrasting accent in the walks or crawls or jumps Rogers layered together – always enough surprises to keep the vision fresh.” – Martin A. David, Drama-Logue

“Raiford Rogers’ Wishes and Turns reminds us of his ensemble’s ineffable power. Rogers’ ballet is complex and dense, to which the dancers bring their special brand of dramatic concentration. Their skill is staunch and their passion hungry. It is exultant.” – Sasha Anawalt, L.A. Herald Examiner

In C (2002)
Music: Terry Riley
In 1964, Terry Riley kicked off a revolution with his minimalist masterpiece, “In C,” inspiring such young composers as Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and rock musicians such as John Cale and Brian Eno. Rogers’ ballet has garnered enthusiastic reviews from U.S. and British press:

“In C heated up to Terry Riley’s compelling score and had stunning moments with Lisa Gillespie, one of those dancers who takes you with her when she moves into Zen-like moments of stillness, propulsion and grace...
“Rogers’ ballet minimalism meant that bodies became radiant instruments…carefully unfolding, balancing, rising and sinking with a wonderfully calm, studied air. Duets and trios create a myriad of visual pleasures.” – Jennifer Fisher, L.A. Times

“Ambitious and rewarding.” – Donald Hutera, The Times of London

About the Company
RAIFORD ROGERS (director-choreographer) is a native of Bad Axe, Michigan. His works have been performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. Rogers was awarded two National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer Fellowships. He has created a strong body of work including many collaborative projects with renowned artists. His most recent works include Cabin Fever with author and NPR radio commentator Sandra Tsing Loh; Cocktails With Joey and Knockaround with lounge icon Joey Altruda and his 18-piece Mambo Orchestra; Where Are You My Love? with jazz legend Charlie Haden’s Quartet West; and Ex Machina with composer Carlos Rodriquez. Other unique projects include: Dmitri, set to a synopsis by Woody Allen; Orpheus: a Ballet-Opera and Antoine de St. Exupery’s The Little Prince with composer Lloyd Rodgers and artist Mark Stock; Question of Balance with artist John Nava; and Dream Baby with music by Roy Orbison. Additional pieces include So Nice, a 1950s satire set to bossa nova tunes, Wishes and Turns (Martinu), Autumn Trilogy (Bach), Concertino (Berio), and J. Alfred Prufrock (Ginastera).

In 1982, Rogers co-founded the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet with Victoria Koenig. The company name changed in 2002 to the Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet. Rogers serves on numerous government-peer panels and is a selector for the Alberto Vilar Global Fellowships. He danced professionally with the Constanza Hool Ballet of Mexico, the Albuquerque Dance Theatre, and with Gene Marinaccio in Los Angeles. He attended the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico, and the University of New Mexico (BFA).

Last year, Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet performed in London at Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre.

Luckman Fine Arts Complex Dance Season
This performance of Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet completes the Luckman’s critically acclaimed 2003-04 dance season which has included BalletFest 2003 with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Ballet Pacifica, and State Street Ballet, and performances by Avaz International Dance, Danza Floricanto/USA, Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. The Luckman’s fifth annual festival celebrating ballet in Los Angeles, BalletFest 2004, will be presented in August, with details to be announced shortly.

WHAT: Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet
WHEN: Saturday, June 19, 2004, 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: The Harriet & Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A.
TICKETS: $35, $30, $25. Discounts are available for: students, seniors, DRC, groups.
Box Office: (323) 343-6600 / Ticketmaster: (213) 365-3500 or www.ticketmaster.com
INFO: www.luckmanfineartscomplex.org

WORKING FOR CALIFORNIA – California State University, Los Angeles: A comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 21,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Cal State L.A. is one of 23 campuses in the CSU system.

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