Event Details

This event finished on 24 August 2021

With deep gratitude for the life and generosity of Nancy Lassalle the Woods Hole Public Library announces that the seventh season of the Lassalle Dance Program will take place in July and August. It is entirely due to Ms. Lassalle’s knowledge and close contacts with the dance world that the program has been so vibrant and successful, bringing dancers, speakers, and films to the Woods Hole audience. Despite her death this Spring, Ms. Lassalle’s generosity has continued, allowing the program to extend through this summer.

All events will start at 7:30 and take place in the Library’s Courtyard unless weather indicates otherwise. For this reason, we ask all attendees to register in advance by calling 508-548-8961 or emailing whpl_mail@clamsnet.org. If the event is moved inside, only the first 25 people will be able to attend. Masks are strongly recommended outside and required if the program moves indoors.

On July 20 Mar Parrilla, Artistic Director of Boston’s Danza Orgánica, will speak about her dance theater company and their focus on counteracting the effects of historical colonization by creating antiracist and anti-patriarchal work. In particular, Parrilla is interested in expressing the experience of the Black Indigenous, and  People of Color in a joyful way that sheds light on an untold side of history. Currently, she and her company are working with members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe on Martha’s Vineyard. Parrilla will discuss how the two groups have been collaborating at Martha’s Vineyard’s The Yard to create âs nupumukâunean (We Still Dance), which highlights traditional and contemporary stories of the Aquinnah Wampanoag People through dance, song, installation, and storytelling.

The second program in the WHPL’s Dance Lecture Series will take place Tuesday, July 27 at 7:30 pm. The Library Staff, Trustees and friends will honor the late Nancy Norman Lassalle, our benefactor. With her help, we began this dance series seven years ago. Nancy was a life-long summer resident of Woods Hole with deep family ties to the area. She grew up in New York and was introduced to ballet and dance at a  young age. Nancy had the good fortune to take classes with teacher and choreographer George Balanchine and later become friends with Lincoln Kirstein, both iconic figures in the development of American ballet. Nancy devoted her life to nurturing the Arts, specifically ballet and dance and was a founding member of the boards of both the New York City Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Please join us in paying tribute to Nancy when long-time friends and colleagues will share memories and stories of her life. All people who wish to attend must register in advance.

The series continues in August with three film screenings. Two will be accompanied by people directly involved with the creation of the films.

On August 10 there will be a presentation of the award-winning film Petit Rat, followed by discussion with the filmmaker, Vera Wegman and her sister, both featured in the documentary. A true story, the film follows a French Jewish girl’s dream of becoming a ballerina in Paris in the 1940s. Her dream is cut short by World War II, which forces her family to go into hiding. However, she vows that if someday she has daughters, they will become dancers. Nearly 80 years later, she and her two daughters confront the impact of that pledge. Petit Rat is a portrait of three women, bonded by the intergenerational trauma of war and uplifted by the resilience of familial love.

On August 17 the dynamic film The Barre Project will be shown. This film was created virtually during the pandemic by internationally renowned ballet choreographer William Forsythe. It features four virtuoso dancers, including New York City Ballet principal ballerina, Tiler Peck. Also shown will be video conversation with Forsythe about his process creating new work for the Boston Ballet. While Forsythe’s choreography is based on classical ballet, he is much more interested in bending and eventually breaking the guidelines of this art form. Many of his pieces are danced on pointe, but he has used all kinds of footwear, including work-boots, socks, and slippers, in order to explore different choreographic results. His choreographic style in which he plays with unexpected moments of improvisation is both postmodern and deconstructivist, with an emphasis on extreme positions requiring great flexibility, athleticism, and very fast footwork, all of which provide dancers with enormous challenges. Chyrstyn Fentroy, soloist at the Boston Ballet and featured in the Forsythe interview, will join us and be available for a question and answer session following the film.

On August 24  Unconquered, the most recent dance film by Founder and Director of Diversity of Dance Earl Mosley, will be shown. It is a riveting, emotional journey that illuminates the injustice and racism of our time while providing hope that by joining together, racial justice and harmony can be achieved. Inspired by William Ernest Henley’s poem “Invictus”, Unconquered expresses the pain, frustration and anger of the present day. It is a call for change and a reminder to us all that a more equitable future is possible. At its heart, Unconquered speaks to perseverance, strength, spirit, and the ability to continue to dream and to celebrate pride and self-identity in the most tragic of times. For over 25 years, Mosley’s focus has been on giving dancers opportunities to develop with confidence and strength and to strive for their dreams not only in dance, but in life by celebrating, not hiding, their color, socio-economic background and sexual orientation. His mission is achieved through a diverse array of programs including a summer intensive known as EMIA (Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts), Dancing Beyond (an annual benefit for Dance Against Cancer) and Hearts of Men, an intensive designed to use dance to empower and cultivate a safe space where men of all ages can create, dance and bond in a supportive environment that celebrates their similarities and their differences. During the Covid 19 epidemic, Mr. Mosley and the Diversity of Dance community produced a dance film festival called Dance is Activism, virtually showcasing the works of many members of the dance and activism community during a time of isolation and loneliness for so many artists and those who crave the human connection.

To register for these events, call the Woods Hole Public Library at 508-548-8961 or email whpl_mail@clamsnet.org.