Nurturing Living Connections, Early Childhood through Grade 12


May 23, 2009 at Triform Community’s Falcon Hall in Churchtown, NY

Ceremony review provided by George Riley

ahna_1_2009Hawthorne Valley School senior Ahne Kane was this year’s recipient of the 17th-annual Henriette Reiss Award for Artistic Endeavor. She received a $1,000 check at the arts celebration held on Saturday May 23rd at Triform Community’s Falcon Hall in Churchtown, NY. The event also featured a unique interaction of the arts of music, eurythmy and modern dance.

The annual Henriette Reiss arts festivals have taken the artistic process itself as their theme, and this year’s attendees were given a unique opportunity to experience this process. With Ted Pugh as emcee, we listened to Between Spaces, an original piano composition by Gregor Simon-MacDonald. We then heard and saw it expressed in eurythmy by Jeanne Simon-MacDonald, and once again in modern dance by Ashley Hartka.

hra_2009_jeanneThe artists shared a conversation about their collaboration and the challenges presented by their distinctly different art forms. This was an unprecedented event for the audience, and a revelation for many. The eurythmist could be seen as a kind of artistic translator, somewhat as a poet would try to translate a poem in another language, who strives to be faithful in revealing the meaning, the inner nature and the gesture of the music. In the modern dance piece we saw more of a conversation, a commentary on and reaction to the music in the artistic soul of the dancer. This unusual opportunity to compare and contrast these art forms was much appreciated by those who attended, and the audience expressed its deep gratitude to the three performers.

hra_2009_ashleyAhna Kane has been interested in the theater for several years. For her school Senior Project she wrote, acted in, directed and produced A Different Mindset, a theater piece of several monologues which was performed on March 19, 2009 at Space 360 in Hudson. She has been accepted at Drew University in New Jersey, where she will study Theater Arts, with a focus on the program in Playwriting.

The award was presented to Ms. Kane by David Anderson of Walking the Dog Theater, who had worked with her on her project as well as several school class plays. With the award she was given a limited edition of a book of poetry by Henriette Reiss. As an unexpected bonus, Ahna performed for us one of her monologues, Answering Machine, revealing an exceptionally mature, witty and promising young playwright. A reception followed with delicious food and lively and stimulating conversation.