Visiting Russian Dance Choreographers Showcase Work, Attend American Dance Festival

A Studio Showcase on July 10th at 6:30 pm
Baryshnikov Arts Center
450 West 37th Street, Suite 501
New York City 

Free with RSVP to

“Modern dance has developed slowly in Russia since a tour there by the immensely popular Isadora Duncan in the early 1920's. By the 1980's and 90's Western modern dance had begun to be performed in the Soviet Union.” 

So wrote Jennifer Dunning for the New York Times in 2006. 

Just what does contemporary dance, one of the few art forms to originate in the United States, look like in Russia today? While the choreography of Russian classical ballet is widely performed in the US, Russian contemporary dance is largely unfamiliar to American audiences. This summer, contemporary dance lovers—as well as those who treasure the Russian classics—will be in for a treat with the studio showcase “New Russian Choreography,” presented by CEC ArtsLink at the Baryshnikov Art Center, 450 West 37th Street Suite 501, on July 10th at 6:30pm. New Yorkers will have a rare opportunity to see a genre of Russian dance informed by collaboration, contact improvisation, and the integration of technology with dance performance. 

The showcase will survey new choreography in solo performances by three artists, Olga Sorokina (Lesnoy Dom Company, Saint Petersburg), Maria Kozeva (Yekaterinburg Dance Theater, Yekaterinburg), and Andrey Zakharov (The Leg Reaction Dance Group, Yekaterinburg). Joining them for a Q&A after the showing will be award-winning Siberian choreographer and dance teacher Diana Shults (Dance Mission, Chita). 

The group of choreographers, selected by a panel of Russian leaders in the field, will be in New York following a two week residency in Durham, North Carolina, where they will attend the American Dance Festival (ADF). Their trip is part of the Open World Cultural Leaders Program, made possible by The National Endowment for the Arts and the Open World Leadership Center at the Library of Congress. 

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A creative laboratory dedicated to nurturing and sustaining modern dance, the American Dance Festival is an international magnet for choreographers, dancers, teachers, critics, musicians and scholars, drawing them together to experiment, explore, learn, collaborate and create in a supportive environment. Students and community members interact directly with luminaries in the field, learning first-hand from those who define modern dance. “The world’s greatest dance festival,” (New York Post) 

CEC ArtsLink, through a multi-faceted program of cultural exchange, serves to create and sustain constructive, mutually beneficial relationships in the arts between the United States and Central Europe, Russia and Eurasia. Working with contemporary artists, arts organizations and community-based groups, CEC ArtsLink provides an essential structure for ongoing dialogue, contributing to a culture of openness and trust between nations. In addition to contemporary dance choreographers, CEC ArtsLink hosts Open World Cultural Leaders residencies for Russian independent filmmakers, folk musicians, poets, and prose writers. 

Open World is a unique, nonpartisan initiative of the U.S. Congress. Over 13,000 Open World participants have been hosted in all 50 U.S. states since the program's inception in 1999. Open World’s Cultural Leaders Program aims to forge better understanding between the United States and Russia by enabling emerging Russian leaders in the arts to experience America’s cultural and community life, and to work with their American counterparts. Support for the cultural program is provided through partnership and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts; the Open World Leadership Center funds the administrative portion of the program. 

For more information, please contact Cassandra Hartblay, Program Coordinator, CEC ArtsLink, at (212) 643-1985 x17 or To learn more about the artists mentioned here, and opportunities for artists and arts organizations administered by CEC ArtsLink, please visit