Magazine article Dance Magazine

Linked Up: Jeanne Ruddy Brings a Master to Philly

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Linked Up: Jeanne Ruddy Brings a Master to Philly

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When Jeanne Ruddy was a member of the Martha Graham Dance Company in the 1980s, she encountered the work of German choreographer Susanne Linke. "I don't even remember the name of the piece," she says. What she saw later, Le Coq Est Mort for the African all-male Jant-Bi Company at Jacob's Pillow in 2000, and Extreme Beauty for the women of the Limon Dance Company in 2004, increased her determination to learn more. "Her pieces are so accessible and you can get into her thought," says Ruddy. "I wanted to work with her."

In summer 2006, Ruddy took Linke's workshop at the hnpulstanz festival in Vienna and invited her to Philadelphia to meet the 10 dancers of Jeanne Ruddy Dance. In October the choreographer spent two weeks working with the ensemble and giving class open to other dancers. April 10-13 and 17-19 Ruddy will present a Linke world premiere at the Performance Garage.

Born in 1944 in Luneburg, Germany, Linke is one of the last students of German Expressionist choreographer Mary Wigman still working. "Technique I learned somewhere else," Linke has said. "Mary gave me life." As a choreographer directing the Folkwang Dance Studio (founded by Kurt Jooss), Linke became known for her expressionistic solos and works based on the lives of ordinary people.

Last October, Linke put a dozen or so dancers, primarily from the Ruddy company, through a set of exercises that emphasized stillness and simplicity. "It looks easy, but it is not," she said to the class. …

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