Company: Final Season


Read statements by:
Jeanne Ruddy, Artistic Director of Jeanne Ruddy Dance
Gregory Gosfield, President of Jeanne Ruddy Dance

Read article by Jim Rutter in responce to JRD final season
Read Dance Magizine article or Download pdf

November 21, 2011

President Greg Gosfield and the Board of Directors of Jeanne Ruddy Dance, together with founder, artistic director/choreographer and former Martha Graham principal dancer, Jeanne Ruddy, today announced that the Company will close following the upcoming twelfth performance season, slated for May 10-12 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

"Consistent with Jeanne Ruddy Dance’s commitment to excellence,” stated Gosfield, “we will close at the top of our form in aesthetic accomplishment, on the strongest financial footing in our history and with an indelible memory of the gifts Jeanne Ruddy has brought to her audiences, supporters and the dance community locally, nationally and even internationally.”

From the performance of one work twelve years ago, featuring 4 female dancers over 40, to an annual concert season, outreach programs, workshops, lecture demonstrations and touring, as well as the renovation and creation of the Company’s studio headquarters, The Performance Garage, Jeanne Ruddy Dance has been on a trajectory of growth—both artistic and institutional—creating works that have continued to expand the vocabulary and genre of contemporary dance as well as the numbers and diversity of its audience.  Since its founding in 1998, the Company has featured the work of such preeminent choreographers as Robert Battle, Ann Reinking, Mark Dendy, Susanne Linke and Martha Clarke, among others, becoming a mainstay of the region’s dance community and forging relationships and collaborations with several of the most innovative choreographers in the world of dance.

“Through her Graham legacy,” said Gosfield, “Jeanne molded a troupe of exceptional dancers, brought to Phila audiences the talents of contemporary dance’s most inventive choreographers and created a legacy of her own by giving voice in movement to some of the most troubling issues of our time: breast cancer survival in Significant Soil; patriotism after 9/11 in Suite Reel; aging and family history in Out of the Mist, Above the Real; domestic violence in Breathless; the environment in Oceans 1: Wetlands; the process of love and intimacy in Lark; the response that art provokes in us in MonTage a Trois.  We—JRD’s board, staff and audiences alike—are lucky to have been able to help bring these creations to life for the delight of our eyes and minds.”

“It is with truly complex emotions that I make this decision,” said Ruddy. “In 1998, with the better part of my performance career behind me and having survived my battle with breast cancer, I dedicated myself to presenting and making dances and founded Jeanne Ruddy Dance as a life-affirming mission. At this point in my life and career, I feel that I’ve fulfilled my goals in creating and presenting dance in Philadelphia and can now turn my focus to the pursuit of individual artistic explorations, guest artist invitations and the opportunity to write and travel. I am both proud of and humbled by what we have accomplished over the past dozen years and am deeply appreciative of JRD’s Board, our staff, our amazing dancers, my husband, Victor Keen and our family and of all the many, many people who have supported us since the very beginning.”

Coming on the heels of last season’s enormously successful mounting of MonTage á Trois, a site-specific work that debuted at the Hamilton Galleries of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in April 2011 as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, as well as this fall’s unique program spotlighting the relationship of costume design to both dance and fashion featuring longtime JRD costume designer Jeffrey Wirsing (member of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire costume design team), who has collaborated since the company’s inception, the decision to fold  marks Ruddy as a pioneer—one of, if not the first, major dance company in the region to choose to terminate operations at the top of its game.

For Ruddy, it was a conscious choice. “It is deeply moving to me to hear Greg [Gosfield] say that he, the Board and staff and audiences are lucky to have had the experience of working with the Company, but I feel as though I’m the fortunate  one. It has been a privilege and a joy to immerse myself in something I adore and to work so closely with the dancers and guest choreographers over these years. As I look around I’m not sure where the twelve years went.  But running a dance company can also be restricting. I’m not disappearing—merely looking at other ways to create—other adventures that I can explore, and that’s what I’d like to focus on as I move ahead.”

For the present, Jeanne Ruddy Dance is preparing to mount the company’s twelfth concert season next May, including a world premiere by Ruddy set to a Jennifer Higdon score and the re-staging of two of her other works—MonTage á Trois for proscenium stage and her 2005 work, Out of the Mist, Above the Real, set to a score by Daniel Brewbaker and based on Hudson River School Painter, Thomas Cole’s four paintings that comprise The Voyage of Life.

Jeanne Ruddy Dance's Spring 2012 Season will be presented May 10-12 at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, Broad & Lombard Streets, Philadelphia.  Performances include the opening gala on Thursday May 10 at 7:30pm and Friday and Saturday May 11 and 12 at 8:00pm.