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Peter McBride/Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

Four of the country’s most innovative choreographers combine the grandeur of America’s national parks with the art of the camera in Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America, an on-location spectacular, Monday, April 21 at 10 p.m. (ET) on Thirteen/WNET New York’s GREAT PERFORMANCES on PBS (check local listings or watch the complete program online). Donald Byrd, Amelia Rudolph, Elizabeth Streb, Doug Varone, and their respective companies are joined by the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team and Hawai’i’s Halau O Kekuhi in an evening of breathtaking works from Wolf Trap’s acclaimed Face of America artistic adventure series.

The 90-minute compendium showcases aerial dancers off the cliffs of Yosemite National Park, synchronized swimmers underwater at Coral Reef National Monument, and follows some of the country’s most exciting young dancers to Mammoth Cave, Wright Brothers National Memorial, the remains of a sugar cane plantation at Virgin Islands National Park, and the sacred terrain of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

Launched in 2000, Wolf Trap’s Face of America commissions dance makers, musicians and performing artists from across the nation to explore the relationship between the natural stage and the creative process; and celebrate fellow National Parks and their cultural heritage using the language of the performing arts. The multi-year initiative of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts has resulted in a series of world premiere, multimedia programs at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center combining live performance with high-definition films of the performers on site at the parks.

“I think dance works well to tell the story,” says Terrence Jones, president and CEO of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. “It’s a medium that has incredible flexibility and with each choreographer a different sense of imagination and spirit.”

Featured are Amelia Rudolph and Project Bandaloop at Yosemite with the music of Native American flutist Robert Mirabal; Donald Byrd and members of his troupe with jazz composer/musician Steve Turre at Virgin Islands National Park; Doug Varone interpreting the songs of country music singer Patti Loveless at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park; and Elizabeth Streb celebrating the centennial of flight at Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk. Halau O Kekuhi chants and dances at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, while the Olympic Synchronized Swim Team salutes the aquatic life of Coral Reef National Monument.

Dance in America: Wolf Trap’s Face of America is a production of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in association with Thirteen/WNET New York. It is produced, directed and edited by Joe Bruncsak and Walter Rissmeyer at Blue Land Media. Vincent Gancie is responsible for the stunning photography.

GREAT PERFORMANCES is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers, and PBS. Special funding for this telecast was provided by the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust.

DANCE IN AMERICA: WOLF TRAP’S FACE OF AMERICA premiered on April 21, 2008.

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