Agnieszka Laska Dancers
Agnieszka Laska’s choreography is first seen on a Portland stage in 2001 when here Mexico-based companyNomadas del sol performed in PCPA’s Winningstad Theatre an evening of dance and music, including the memorable of Autumn with Portland-based composer Tomas Svoboda at the piano. Also on the program is the world premiere ofPassiones to an electroacoustic score commissioned from Portland composer Jack Gable, who later becomes Resident Composer and Technical Director of Agnieszka Laska Dancers.
Agnieszka Laska Dancers comes together in 2003, originating with Laska’s initial choreography of three movements from Svoboda’s Dreams of a Dancer. In April 2003, for composer Jack Gabel’s Dog Star CD release event, the ensemble marks a solid presence on the artistic stage in Portland as the most musical dance company in town and puts Agnieszka Laska at a top-of-mind position with musicians in the Portland area. Since then her company’s performances with live music include:
2003 – Dreams of a Dancer, premiere of Svoboda’s complete score, Trio Spektrum, Stan Stanford and Sobotka, Polish folk dancers
2004 – Songs of Eva by Zygmunt Konieczny, Jack Gabel’s Spring Quartet, performed by fEARnoMUSIC, PSU Percussion Ensemble, chamber choir and guest soloist Diane Syrcle
2005 – Glass Sky Tessa Brinckman’s CD release event at Portland’s First Presbyterian Church – 2 commissions premiered
2005 – Peace is Every Step Suite No. 6 for solo cello of J.S. Bach, Phil Hansen (cello)
2006 – Mozart Now and Then The Dissonant Quartet by W.A. Mozart, The Oregon Symphony String Quartet: Chien Tan – violin, treble violin, Amy Schwartz-Moretti – violin, Joel Belgique – viola, Nancy Ives – cello and guest cellist: Justin Kagan; Mozart Now and Then – Mozart on vintage gramophones, from curator Stan Stanford, sung by divas of the day, with accompanying obligati from quartet members – choreography by ALD core dancers
2006 – THE FALL ’01, original score by Jack Gabel and video montage by Takafumi Uehara premiers in Mexico. A year later it tours to Europe and premiers in the US, while the movie from the Mexico premier wins awards and is screened internationally.
2007 – Bach to Bloch Ernst Bloch’s Cello Suite No. 3 and Gabel’s Elegy, solo cellist Justin Kagan
2008 – The Terror that is named the flight of time Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 and 3 Etudes on Love to music from Svoboda’s Nine Etudes in Fugue Style with pianist Christopher Schindler and the Dickson String Quartet
2009 – LAMENTATIO 50-plus dancers, actors, musicians perform ALD’s monumental multimedia depiction of the horror that is known as The Global War Of Terror – signature event of our epoch
2010 – Letters to Konstancja Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in a version for string quartet, soloist Chie Nagatani; Chopin character miniatures, Christopher Schindler, piano; letters of Fryderyk Chopin read by Jean Sherrard; choreography by Agnieszka Laska, Luis Arreguin and Alejandro Chavez
ALD performs with 3 to 6 dancers. Programs are short and simple, or big and complex. Live music is optional. Fees vary. Agnieszka Laska designs and can execute lighting. Complexity suited to hall’s technical capabilities. Company brings all costumes and props. Professional dance floor is required. Company can provide it at expense. Travel expenses should meet current reasonable standards. Home stays are acceptable. Presenters wanting specially designed shows may consult directly with Agnieszka Laska. The company’s repertory is widely varied and appealing on many levels.
AGNIESZKA LASKA DANCERS is a PUBLIC BENEFIT nonprofit 501 (c)(3) corporation, functioning as a modern dance company. In this era we inhabit rare territory, shared by few others, in that we are dedicated to offering public performances (as often as possible) with live concert hall music in the classical tradition, and in the most artistically polished contexts achievable.
We educate and offer to the public cultural enrichment through modern dance performed with live (as often as possible) concert hall music in the classical tradition and educate individual choreographers, dancers and musicians toward the realization of such collaborations at the highest artistic level. To maintain the development of a vibrant company and network of collaborative artists, we have developed several ongoing programs:
Choreographic Development – focus: develop skill and vision in aspiring choreographic artists while working with performers and composers of music in the classical tradition – in studio and on stage.
Educational Workshops – focus: improve technical skills and raise the level of execution in dancers and collaborating musicians and provide teaching workshops with professional dance teachers in disciplines rare in the local dance scene; and thereby build and develop relationships with the region’s dance community at large.
Repertory Group – focus: develop aspiring dancers while learning the ALD repertory, with the possibility of becoming regular ALD company members, while sharing (in performance) their progress in outreach and audience development contexts to communities both under-served and uninitiated to fine art modern dance and music.