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Jazz for Curious Listeners
Rhythm, Rhythm: A discussion with Lar Lubovitch, Dr. Billy Taylor, and other guests
January 19, 2010

Witness a discussion with Lar Lubovitch, Dr. Billy Taylor, and other guests as they pursue jazz culture and history as it intersects with choreography across jazz and ballet dance communities. Mr. Lubovitch will present excerpts of his work on film. One of America's most versatile, popular and highly acclaimed choreographers, Lar Lubovitch founded the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company over 40 years ago. In the years since, he has choreographed more than 100 dances for his New York-based company, which has performed in nearly all 50 American states as well as in more than 30 foreign countries. Lar's dances are renowned for their musicality, rhapsodic style and sophisticated formal structures. His radiant, highly technical choreography and deeply humanistic voice have been acclaimed throughout the world. Lar Lubovitch has been hailed by The New York Times as "one of the ten best choreographers in the world," and the company has been called a "national treasure" by Variety. Born in Chicago, Lar Lubovitch was educated at the University of Iowa and the Juilliard School in New York. His teachers at Juilliard included Antony Tudor, Jose Limon, Anna Sokolow and Martha Graham. He danced in numerous modern, ballet, jazz and ethnic companies before forming the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company in 1968. Lubovitch made his Broadway debut in 1987 with the musical staging for the Stephen Sondheim/ James Lapine musical, Into the Woods, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. In 1993 he choreographed the highly-praised dance sequences for the Broadway show The Red Shoes. The final ballet from that show joined the repertories of American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada. For his work on that show, he received the 1993-94 Astaire Award from the Theater Development Fund. In 1996 he created the musical staging (and two new dances) for the Tony-Award-winning Broadway revival of The King and I. Most recently he devised the musical staging for Walt Disney's stage version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame in Berlin. In 2004 he was honored with the Elan Award for his outstanding choreography. In 2007, to supplement the activities (creating, performing and teaching) of the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, he founded the Chicago Dancing Company, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to present a wide variety of excellent dance and build dance audiences in his native Chicago. Initiated by Chicago-born Lubovitch (and Chicago-based dancer Jay Franke), the Chicago Dancing Festival (CDF) was launched in cooperation with Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the City of Chicago. The official premiere of the festival was a free one-night-only dance concert at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. More than 8,000 people attended the performance, which featured dancers from seven leading American companies. For 2008, CDF will be expanded to include three days of programming. For his visionary risk-taking in establishing the Festival, Lubovitch was named a "2007 Chicagoan of the Year" by the Chicago Tribune.

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