NAME: York, Lila

BIRTH DATE/LOCATION:
Syracuse, New York

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Houston Ballet principal dancers Dawn Scannell and Dominic Walsh in Rapture, choreographed by Lila York.
Photo: Drew Donovan, courtesy of Houston Ballet.

click to enlarge   

  • identification & bio
  • key contact
  • human repositories
  • video documentation
  • photographic documentation
  • movement notation
  • production materials
  • oral history
  • personal papers
  • immediate needs
  • other relevant information
  • overview of works
  • bibliography
  • back to introduction
  • back to index of choreographers


  • IDENTIFICATION AND BIO:
    After dancing with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1973 to 1985, Lila York began to choreograph independently in 1989. Since that date, she has completed works for Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Altlanta Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Connecticut Ballet Theatre, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Juillard Dance Ensemble, and the Eisenhower Dance Ensemble. Her 1995 Rapture, premiered by dance students at the Juilliard School, was created in honor of Clark Tippett and Christopher Gillis, both of whom died of AIDS. According to York's press materials, "Rapture is about 'the struggle to achieve grace' in the moments before one dies."

    KEY CONTACT PERSON(S)/EXECUTOR OF ESTATE:
    Lila York
    280 Riverside Drive, #1K
    New York, NY 10025
    212-662-3583 (home and fax)
    lila101@earthlink.com

    HUMAN REPOSITORIES OF THE WORK
    (name and contact info, relationship to the artist and the work, assessment):

    Rapture is in the repertory of Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet West, and Cincinnati Ballet.

    VIDEO DOCUMENTATION
    (location, format, condition, assessment):

    The Dance Collection of the New York Public Library holds this single videotape:

    Rapture (1996)—first movement presented by Pacific Northwest Ballet; choreography by Lila York; music by Sergei Prokofiev; one VHS (12 min.); call number MGZIA 4-2938.

    PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION
    (location, format, condition, assessment):

    Each of the companies that has performed Rapture holds publicity photographs of the piece.

    MOVEMENT NOTATION
    (location, type [including notes taken by dancers], assessment):

    None identified.

    PRODUCTION MATERIALS
    (scores, sound recordings, set/costume designs):

    In the possession of each of the companies that performs the piece.

    ORAL HISTORY:
    None identified.

    PERSONAL PAPERS
    (location of newspaper clippings, printed programs, press releases, notes, files, diaries; assessment):

    Personal papers remain in the possession of Lila York. The Dance Collection of the New York Public Library maintains a clippings file for "York, Lila," call number MGZR.

    IMMEDIATE NEEDS
    (archival assistance? storage? other?):

    None identified.

    OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION:
    In a brief phone interview (20 October 2000), York described Rapture as "the only happy AIDS dance," on account of its ecstatic image of heaven.

    LIST OR OVERVIEW OF WORKS
    (title, premiere date, music, production notes, performers):

    Rapture (1995)—premiered at Juilliard School 2 February; music by Prokofiev (Third and Fifth concertos); danced by ten men and ten women, including lead dancers Toshiko Oiwa, Jeremy Raia, Takehiro Ueyama, and Bahiya Sayyed.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY:

    • Anderson, Zoe. 1999. "Night Life and La Sylphide." Dancing Times (June): 803, 805, illus.
    • Dunning, Jennifer. 1995. "Dance Review: Eagerly Soaring, Plunging and Hurtling." New York Times (23 February).
    • Garafola, Lynn. 1995. "Juilliard Dance Ensemble." Dance Magazine (June): 64.
    • Stowe, Dorothy. 1998. "Reviews, National: Ballet West." Dance Magazine (September): 97-98, illus.
    • Tobias, Tobi. 1999. "The King and He." New York Magazine (15 March).
    • West, Martha Ullman. 1996. "Reviews, National: Pacific Northwest Ballet." Dance Magazine (September): 102-103, illus.
    • Zimmer, Elizabeth. 1996. "Lila York: Barnstorming America for Dance." Dance Magazine (July): 56-58, illus.
     
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