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Solo Women (in White)

A female soloist in white has been a powerful dance idea for well over a century, as evidenced by these excerpts of works created between 1907 and 2017.

14 performances

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Solo Women (in White)

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Dance Theatre of Harlem

Come Sunday, 2018

This classic solo was created by Geoffrey Holder for his wife, Carmen de Lavallade, and it was a special favorite of Pillow founder Ted Shawn’s, who asked that she dance it at his funeral.

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Playing 1 of 14

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Nina Ananiashvili

The Dying Swan, 2010

Surprisingly brief given its legendary status, this great ballet solo is presented here in its entirety.

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Playing 2 of 14

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Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Cry, 2007

While Cry will forever be identified with its original interpreter, Judith Jamison, Linda Celeste Sims demonstrates here why she has been an essential Ailey interpreter since 1996.

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Playing 3 of 14

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Eiko Otake

A Body at the Pillow, 2017

A groundbreaking artist in every way, Eiko created unforgettable images in this site-specific work on the Pillow grounds.

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Playing 4 of 14

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La Otra Orilla

El12 (el doce), 2013

This white costume serves not only as a garment, but also as a moving screen for the projections that are an essential component of the dance.

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Playing 5 of 14

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Maureen Fleming

Dialogue of Self and Soul, 2008

Is it a costume or a set piece? Clearly, it’s both in this visually stunning work.

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Playing 6 of 14

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Pilar Rioja

Guajira, 1997

This singular artist demonstrates how she was able to draw capacity crowds to her solo appearances in New York City for months-long engagements in the 1980s and ’90s.

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Playing 7 of 14

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Dana Reitz / Jennifer Tipton

Necessary Weather, 1997

Although it’s unusual for a lighting designer to be credited as a primary collaborator, even this brief excerpt demonstrates the essential role that light can play in performance.

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Playing 8 of 14

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Zaccho Dance Theatre

Cho-Mu (butterfly dreams), 1993

In this site-specific work that wasn’t created specifically for the Pillow site, positioning a water tank at the edge of a pond places this dancer in a seemingly perfect spot.

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Playing 9 of 14

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Blondell Cummings

Chicken Soup, 1989

Even if the video quality is dated, the performance is stellar—one of the rare recordings anywhere of this work designated by the National Endowment for the Arts as an American Masterpiece.

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Playing 10 of 14

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Liz Lerman

Nine Short Dances about the Defense Budget and Other Military Matters, 1986

Recorded outdoors when the Pillow’s Inside/Out stage was still in its infancy, this video shows the early work of an artist who is still at the top of her game.

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Playing 11 of 14

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Alexandra Danilova

Sugar Plum Fairy variation from The Nutcracker, 1952

Nearly 50 years old at the time of this performance, Danilova demonstrates her unique style and unmistakable charisma in this brief variation.

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Playing 12 of 14

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La Meri

Hamsa-Rani, 1951

While Swan Lake must be included in a playlist devoted to dancers in white, this is an unusual version utilizing East Indian gestures rather than the traditional mime.

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Playing 13 of 14

Maria Tallchief

Sylvia Pas de Deux, 1951

Because this variation is presented in its entirety, it’s possible to savor Tallchief’s incomparable technique in a very challenging role.

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Playing 14 of 14

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