Infinity will present the world premiere of a unique and inspiring theater work that includes dance, music, and the spoken word that grew out of a relationship between the company and The Creative Center (Arts in Healthcare). Conceived and created by Kitty Lunn, The Women's Stories Project features five amazing women, with courage and resourcefulness to spare, who tell their stories of love, loss, illness, and aging. Depressing? Not at all. The 75-minute work is just the opposite - it's funny, sad, ironic, and unexpected. It will play today, November 17th and the 18th.
It begins with wheelchair-bound Kitty Lunn's performance of In Time Like Air, a solo created for her by Peter Pucci and set to a haunting saxophone solo by Don Cherry. She "slipped on and off the chair, tilting it, tipping it over and responding to its presence as if it had a personality all its own" (Jack Anderson, New York Times, 2001). The women's solos were choreographed by Kitty Lunn, who also narrates.
Lunn is followed by longtime dancer Lynn Barr, dealing with the loss of her husband of 50 years; Sister Margaret, an outspoken Catholic nun for nearly 60 years, who speaks about the trials of her life, vocation, and mission; and the adorable Lucy, who lost her mother to breast cancer, and after burying her mother in Puerto Rico, discovers she has developed the same cancer. She undergoes horrific treatment and discovers her own strength through art, music, and dance. Lucy takes up belly dancing and Puerto Rican Bomba dancing, which she will demonstrate on the program. The company's scholar is Alice, a native of England, a professor of Medieval Literature, and proficient in 14 medieval languages. She became a wheelchair user as a result of an acquired spinal disease. Alice later began studying dance with Lunn and has now become a member of Infinity. Marcia Bernstein adds a haunting vocal as the women weave The Common threads of their lives. Though these endearing women represent different ages, races, and walks of life, they represent all of us, connected through common threads of humanity, with one another and with the audience in this celebration of the triumph of the human spirit. Performances of The Women's Stories Project will be sign language interpreted.
A New Orleans native, Kitty Lunn started dance classes as a child and performed with several companies, including the Washington Ballet, where she danced in Swan Lake, Giselle, Les Sylphides, The Nutcracker, and the full company repertory. Lunn moved to New York in 1967, and in 1987 while preparing for her first Broadway show, she was injured in an accident which left her paraplegic. Determined to show that dancers can move in a multitude of ways, Lunn founded Infinity in 1995 to expand the boundaries of dance and change the world's perceptions of what a dancer is. In addition to regular New York seasons, the company's schedule has included appearing at festivals in Italy, two seasons at the Kennedy Center in D.C., and the 1996 Cultural Paralympiad in Atlanta. Lunn is also active as an actress on stage and TV (including a long stint on "As The World Turns"), a dance educator, and an advocate for people with disabilities.
Unlike the theater piece "The Women's Stories Project," the programs of November 15-17 at 7 PM focus more on dance, and feature Lunn's Infinity and Toni Taylor's Pi Dance Theatre in works for disabled and non-disabled dancers. Choreography is by Lunn, Taylor and Roxana Lewis, with new music composed and performed live by William Catanzaro, and poetry by Andrew Macmillan.