SCHIMMEL CENTER AT PACE UNIVERSITY
THE THEATRICAL DANCE EXPERIENCE
BY RUPERT HOLMES
BASED ON A CONCEPT BY MARIELLA FRANGANILLO
AND ROBERT ROYSTON
REVIVAL OF 2005 OFF-BROADWAY PRODUCTION
REVAMPED BOOK AND CHOREOGRAPHY
FOLLOWING IN THE TRADITION OF ROMEO AND JULIET AND WEST SIDE STORY
TONY AWARD® WINNING BOOK WRITER RUPERT HOLMES
FOUR-TIME INTERNATIONAL SWING DANCE CHAMPION ROBERT ROYSTON COLLABORATES WITH ACCLAIMED TANGO CHOREOGRAPHER MARIELA FRANGANILLO.
A PART OF SCHIMMEL CENTER’S THEATRE SERIES
CURATED BY ISABEL SOFFER OF LIVE SOUNDS
PERFORMANCES ON THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15- 17 AT 7:30PM
Thursday through Saturday, October 15 – 17, the Schimmel Center at Pace University presents a revival and newly choreographed version of SWANGO: The Theatrical Dance Experience. Originally premiering off-Broadway in 2005, SWANGO: The Theatrical Dance Experience features a book by Tony Award® winning playwright, Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), and is based on a concept by choreographers Mariela Franganillo (Forever Tango) and four-time International Swing Dance Champion Robert Royston (Swing!). Following in the tradition of West Side Story, this contemporary, Romeo and Juliet story depicts a unique fusion of dance, romance, revelry and rivalry within and between two different worlds. In one evening we see the tale of two lovers; the girl from the sultry world of Argentine Tango, the boy from the lively arena of West Coast Swing. When the lovers conquer their differences, they create the harmonic fusion of Swing and Tango.
Tickets prices for SWANGO: The Theatrical Dance Experience range from $39-$65. Students with a valid student id to any institution of learning can purchase tickets for $10.
RUPERT HOLMES (Book) Called “an American treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, “brilliant” by the London Times, “a comic genius” by Kirkus Reviews and “a true Renaissance man” by Newsweek (echoed by CBS News, Playbill and scores of publications and websites), mystery novelist-playwright-composer-arranger-screenwriter-conductor-singer-songwriter Rupert Holmes is the first person in theatrical history to solely win Tony® awards as an author, a composer and a lyricist.
He solely authored and composed the Broadway musical-comedy The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which won the Tony® award for Best Musical and last year received a critically-acclaimed Broadway revival by the Roundabout Theater. His comedy-drama about the life of comedian George Burns, Say Goodnight, Gracie, earned him a Tony® nomination for Best Play and won the National Broadway Theatre Award for Best Play. His stage comedy-thrillers Accomplice and Solitary Confinement broke box office records for the Kennedy Center and the Pasadena Playhouse, both enjoying runs on Broadway, while Curtains starring David Hyde Pierce (and written with the legendary songwriting team of Kander and Ebb) won Holmes the Drama Desk award for Best Book of a Musical as well as two further Tony nominations. In 2012, Holmes collaborated as author and lyricist with musical giant Marvin Hamlisch for the award-winning premiere of The Nutty Professor Musical. “Hamlisch-Holmes” also contributed songs to the score of Steven Soderburg’s 2013 Liberace biopic, Behind the Candelabra. His script for Secondhand Lions premiered at Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theatre and is slated for the east coast in 2015. He recently adapted John Grisham’s classic A Time to Kill for Broadway and is completing the first book in a series for Simon and Schuster: The McMasters Guide to Homicide: Murder Your Employer. For TV, Holmes created, wrote and scored the critically hailed AMC series Remember WENN.
He has arranged, conducted and written platinum recordings for Barbra Streisand, including her classic Lazy Afternoon album and his songs for the Golden Globe-winning, quadruple Platinum Billboard #1 LP score of A Star is Born. As a pop tunesmith, his work has been recorded by the leading vocalists of our time, from opera star Renée Fleming to pop star Britney Spears, from balladeer Barry Manilow to rapper Wyclef. Yet despite all the above, Holmes is still best known to the public as the singer-songwriter of several Billboard Top Ten hits, including his #1 multi-platinum smash “Escape” aka “The Pina Colada Song”…
…most recently prominently featured in 2014’s blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy and on its Billboard #1 sound track CD, and heard in such recent films as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Grownups, Bewitched, Wanted with Angelina Jolie (who personally chose the song for the movie), Shrek, the TV shows “Las Vegas,” “True Blood,” and performed by Jimmy Fallon and Blake Shelton on The Tonight Show with The Legendary Roots.
MARIELA FRANGANILLO (Choreographer) is a renowned dancer, choreographer, and producer in both New York City and her native Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a producer and choreographer, she has created numerous original productions including Swango (2005), Tango Connection (2007), and Tango Noir (2008). Mariela also served as founder and producer for the NY Tango Marathon and the New York Tango Festival. As a dancer, Mariela was a featured artist in the Broadway production Forever Tango. Other NYC performing credits include Lincoln Center, Town Hall, and Carnegie Hall with companies such as NY Tango, Piazzolla & Beyond, Avantango, X Tango, and Eternal Tango. Notable collaborations include Carnegie Hall’s tribute to Paquito D’Rivera with Pablo Ziegler, and Julio Iglesias’ US Tour. Mariela began her career under the instruction of Master Gustavo Naveira, the founder of Tango Nuevo, a major contemporary branch of tango. Early performance highlights include Los Tangueros at Teatro Cervantes (1992) and at Casa Blanca in Buenos Aires (1993). She has taught domestically at Stanford University, Barnard College, and NYU; and internationally in Germany, Canada, Italy, and Japan.
ROBERT ROYSTON (Choreographer) Robert Royston’s professional career began on the competitive couples dance circuit in 1989. Quickly ascending the ranks, Robert successfully secured eight (8) “U.S. Open Swing Dance Championship titles,” six (6) different “World Country Dance Championship titles,” and two (2) “USA Grand National Championships Titles.” In addition, he holds national titles in Hustle, Salsa, and Cabaret. Inducted into the “California Swing Dance Hall of Fame” in 1999, Robert continued his rise as a dance legend becoming the youngest person inducted to the “UCWDC Country Dance Hall of Fame” in 2007. His inductions into the “World Swing Dance Hall of Fame” and the “Living Legends of Dance Society” in 2011 make him the only dancer ever inducted into every organization. Robert’s exciting, high energy original work gained the attention of producers of the Broadway musical, Swing! This led to his appearance for 1-1/2 years in the 7 time Tony nominated musical as a principle dancer performing his own choreography. He later became the assistant choreographer for the first National Tour of the production. Royston’s work was highlighted in the production of Gypsy of the Year on Broadway at New York’s Palace Theatre, as well as Destination Groove, a Choreographer’s Showcase. His choreography again drew attention in the New York workshop production of Urban Cowboy, a production in which he also performed. He performs 11 different styles of swing dancing; among them, the Carolina and the St. Louis Shags, the Dallas and the Houston Whips, and the East Coast and West Coast Swing.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit http://schimmelcenter.org or call toll-free (866) 811-4111.
Performances take place at the Schimmel Center at Pace University located at
3 Spruce Street between Park Row and Gold Street in downtown Manhattan. All photos by Corine Cohen