Ridgefield Conservatory's Amy Piantaggini to perform historic dance work at WWI Family Day at Keeler Tavern

 Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance Executive Director Amy Piantaggini will perform a historic dance work by American dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis during Ridgefield Remembers WWI Family Day at Keeler Tavern Museum this Sunday, June 17.  The free event takes place from noon to 4:00 pm at 132 Main Street in Ridgefield.

Amy, who received a Masters in Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts from the Goddard School, concentrating in early American modern Dance and embodiment studies, was honored to carry the torch of the legacy of St. Denis’ pivotal piece which was taught to her by Stephanie Clemens.

Clemens received the lineage from Karoun Tootikian whom she had known since childhood in Los Angeles in the 1940's and reconnected in 1989.  This beautiful reunion resulted in a plethora of dance ensembles and concerts including MOMENTA, the St. Denis 1906 debut concert at Hudson Theatre in New York City, The Spirit of Incense, The Cobras and Radha, and the Delirium of the Senses.

Clemens and Tootikian collaborated on a 1993 Chicago concert and traveled to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to stage these works as a solo concert, along with Brahms Waltz-Liebestraum, Kashmiri Nautch and White Jade.  

Tootikian also staged a full length Ishtar of the Seven Gates, Sonata Pathetique, Under the Leaves, Minute Waltz, Lazy Nautch, Doris Humphrey's solo from A Burmese Yen Pwe, Balinese Bird of Heaven, and Valse a la Loie on Clemens' MOMENTA Dance Company - many of the works are kept current in the company's repertory.

Piantaggini explains “This work, while created before the years of WWI in 1906, was performed and celebrated throughout the early years of the war. It is a rich moving document that defines the sentiment of some Americans throughout the early period of the war. St. Denis had a deep respect for the way in which she saw eastern cultures embrace a mindful, meditative connection to a higher power, and during the piece, I embody such a state, encircled in smoking frankincense .”  

Ridgefield Remembers WWI is a town-wide series of programs commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The series is co-sponsored by KTM&HC, the Ridgefield Library, Ridgefield Historical Society, American Legion, Graveyard Restoration Committee, Marine Corps League, Daughters of the American Revolution Drum Hill Chapter, and Ridgefield Playhouse.

Learn more on the Keeler Tavern Museum and History Center website here.

Learn more about the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance here.


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