Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) was founded in 1984 by Canadian ice dancer Moira North and is dedicated to developing ice skating as a theatrical art form through performances and educational programs. ITNY is also the nation's first not-for-profit ice dancing ensemble to be awarded grants as a dance company by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Each year at Rockefeller Rink, they put together a Lunchtime Ice Concert Series where they showcase new works to the public. They also provide skating clinics for public school students as part of their educational outreach programs.
Recently, I attended their first concert for 2008 at Rockefeller Rink and as usual, the pieces were great to watch. I always come away with a different appreciation of skating as an art form after attending an ITNY performance.
The piece was called Mi Andalucia, a three-part work that joins elements of Andalusian dance, flamenco and bull fighting. The choreography is by acclaimed ballroom dance choreographer Peter diFalco. Below is the first section called Jaleo (which means merry-making in Spanish), and it radiates with the joy of dancing. It is performed by Elisa Angeli, Jamie Coffey Reynolds, Valerie Levine and Suzanne McDonald, wearing their gorgeous black and red dresses. This piece was commissioned by ITNY and the Gertrude Vanderbilt Endowment.
ITNY's next (and final) performance at Rockefeller Rink for the Lunchtime Ice Concert Series is at 1 p.m. on April 2, 2008, so if you're around the area, come on by!