Alarmel Valli

Opening Reception: Connecticut Dances—A Visual History

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 5:30pm
Connecticut Historical Society Museum, 1 Elizabeth Street, Hartford


The exhibition Connecticut Dances—A Visual History features photographs that celebrate the Connecticut Dance Alliance’s Dance History Project, curated from 2,000 images submitted by the statewide dance community to flickr over the past two years.

Art of Motion Dance Theatre will perform at the opening reception at 6:15pm. Lynn Needle, former soloist with Nikolais Dance Theatre and Connecticut College graduate, will perform Alwin Nikolais’ “Noumenon” to his original musical score. And Ruth Grauert, a member of Nikolais Hartford Company (1942-43), will share her extraordinary experiences with Nikolais.

The photos bring to life the valuable contribution that dance has played in the cultural vitality of state. The exhibition is a thematically and historically organized portrait of Connecticut’s significant dance heritage and includes a wide variety of dance forms, historical dance events, the work of individual dancers, choreographers, and companies, and the impact of schools and teachers in the field of dance. The images range from the early years of the Shakers, Connecticut’s first ballerinas, and the study of dance in colleges and universities, to the acclaimed American Dance Festival. The exhibition also features an array of cultural dance, internationally, nationally, and regionally recognized dance companies that have performed throughout the decades, and dance schools and academies.

The exhibition highlights dance luminaries such as Ernestine Stodelle, Alwin Nikolais (a graduate of Southington High School), Angela Bowen, José Limón, Anna Sokolow (a native of Hartford), Serena Plasikowski (West Hartford native and Connecticut’s first ballerina, who danced with Anna Pavlova).

The snow date for the opening reception is Thursday, January 26, 2017 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

This exhibition will be on display through Saturday, March 4, 2017.

After the Connecticut Historical Society Museum, the exhibition will travel throughout Connecticut accompanied by a compendium of over 70 scholarly essays, articles, memoirs, and associated photographs. Future displays will include the Handel Performing Arts Center at The Hartt School, University of Hartford; and Playhouse on Park. Listings of upcoming exhibitions can be found here.

Presented by the Connecticut Dance Alliance in partnership with the Connecticut Historical Society.

Made possible through generous funding from The Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supporting cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives; the Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, the Greater Hartford Arts Council, NewAlliance Foundation, and contributors to Connecticut Dance Alliance.

Image: Alarmel Valli performs in Crowell Concert Hall at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts as part of the 2015 Navaratri Festival. Photo by Sandy Aldieri of Perceptions Photography.