2:00 pm | $12/$10 members/$6 kids 12 under | The Local Connections Festival has been organized to focus attention on local performing and creative artists and it is sponsored by Ulster County office of Economic Development, 1850 House, NY State Council on the Arts, and the Hudson Valley Film Commission.

Did you know two Ruth St. Denis artist/scholars reside amongst us? Livia Drapkin Vanaver and Linda Diamond. Come join us on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, at 2:00 pm to celebrate America’s grandmother of modern dance in a one of a kind program at Rosendale Theatre. Ms. Vanaver and Ms. Diamond will join forces in a talk with video footage on the life and work of American dance pioneer “The Divine Miss Ruth”—whose dance studio was dubbed “the cradle of modern dance,” with additional material provided by Ms. Uttara Asha Coorlawala.

Livia Vanaver in Denishawn

Known for the oriental-inspired choreography that straddled two seemingly contradictory worlds—spirituality and entertainment—Ruth St. Denis toured the globe in the early 20th Century as a solo artist and as co-founder of Denishawn, the pioneering American dance company. Later she founded the dance department of Adelphi University, one of the first dance departments at an American University, now on the cusp of its 80th anniversary.

This Dance Film Sunday presentation will include video footage Linda Diamond

Linda Diamond

captured of the exhibit, interviews of Adelphi faculty, and choreography in the spirit of Miss Ruth by Dalia Carella for Adelphi student dancers. The documentary is in the archives of Jacob’s Pillow, USC, NYU Avery Fisher Library, Yale University and several major University of California libraries. Rosendale resident Livia Drapkin Vanaver, who is beloved throughout the Hudson Valley as an artist, teacher, and choreographer as well as co-founder of The Vanaver Caravan, will bring footage of her performances of St. Denis solos like The Peacock Dance. Also, the afternoon’s presentation will include some video excerpts of East Indian dance by Utta Asha, a modern dancer and dance historian, who will share some of her research on the importance of East Indian dance and its influence on the Ruth St. Denis repertoire.

A nationally recognized choreographer and the artistic director of the Woodstock Diamond Sokolow Dance Theatre and Linda Diamond & Company, TV producer and Dance writer, Woodstock resident Linda Diamond became interested in Ruth St. Denis during her graduate studies in Dance at UCLA in California, decades ago. In 2008 she picked-up the thread of her research when Adelphi University, in a 70th-year anniversary tribute to Ruth St. Denis, mounted an exhibit called “In Search of a Goddess.”
Livia Vanaver portrayed Ruth St. Denis in Muses of Modern Dance, a recent dance production at Kaatsbaan Dance Center in Tivoli, about the founders of modern dance, Isadora Duncan, Loie Fuller, and Ruth St. Denis (which also featured High Falls resident Jeanne Bresciani). Livia will share her reflections and screen footage of the St. Denis solo works recreated under the guidance of the late Jane Sherman, a Denishawn artist, that magnificently illustrate the mystical and otherworldly dances of the Divine Miss Ruth.

Ruth St Denis

Uttara Asha Coorlawala was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest award from the Indian Government in the Performing Arts in 2010. It was the first time an American has received this award. As a dancer-choreographer Coorlawala initiated in India what has since become a movement towards intercultural innovation. Her choreography is based on modern dance, (Graham-based & Cunningham techniques) Bharata Natyam and yoga (Siddha Yoga and Iyengar).

Dance Film Sundays, a series which started in June 2010 under the auspices of the Rosendale Theatre Collective, are held on the 2nd Sunday of every month at Rosendale Theatre.


This screening is part of our week-long LOCAL CONNECTIONS FESTIVAL  – Rosendale Theatre has initiated the Local Connections Festival as way to highlight the work of filmmakers best in the Hudson Valley or films about our region as well as find a stage for local performing artists. It’s our way of making sure that we are serving our local connections!