Wednesday, March 29
12:00 – 1:30 pm
Main Library Auditorium
Libby Skala interweaves storytelling, music and dance to portray the dazzling hundred years of her great aunt Elizabeth Polk who transcends poverty, artistic repression and the rise of Hitler through the love of dance to become a renowned dance therapy pioneer. “Funny. Captivating. Charming.” – The NY Times
In A Time to Dance, Skala offers glimpses into the rich life and inexhaustible spirit of her great
aunt Elizabeth “Lisl” Polk, who transcends poverty, artistic repression and the rise of Hitler
through the power of dance to become a renowned dance therapy pioneer. Born in 1902 Vienna,
Polk survives a premature birth, withholding parents, tuberculosis, two world wars, a more famous sister (Oscar-nominated actress Lilia Skala), and unexpectedly steals the show. In 1995, at the age of 93, she was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the American Dance Therapy Association.
“The show was sparked by an interview I did with my great aunt while researching Lilia!, a play
about her actress sister, my grandmother. I discovered this modern dancer’s stories stood on their
own, proving her to be the riotous and controversial star of her own life,” says Libby Skala
Skala has performed A Time to Dance at FringeNYC, Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, Theater im Greenhouse in Berlin and at the London Fringe Theatre Festival where she won “Best Solo Performer” Award. The show received an award from The Pandella Cultural Fund in Switzerland.
Skala charmed audiences with her internationally acclaimed solo play Lilia! about her relationship with her Oscar-nominated grandmother Lilia Skala. It was produced Off-Broadway by Mirror Repertory Company and ran for three weeks in London and at the Edinburgh Fringe. Non-solo work includes Viola in St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night. Film work includes appearing with Nicole Kidman in Birth.
Elizabeth Polk’s broad professional background marked her as one of the country’s authorities in teaching the joy of movement to emotionally, physically and mentally handicapped children. She had a long and rich career, teaching dance at every age level from preschoolers to adult education classes and in settings ranging from housing projects to college campuses. Born and educated in Vienna, Austria, her early music and dance studies included not only ballet, but Dalcroze eurhythmics, modern dance and gymnastics. She performed as a concert dancer and later acquired a physical education license enabling her to launch her own dance studio in Austria. In the United States, she pioneered creative dance and worked with children at the Children’s Center for Creative Arts at Adelphi University, as well as in her own studio. She was a charter member of the American Dance Therapy Association, co-founded the National Dance Teachers Guild and taught methodology in teaching dance to children in Adelphi’s dance
department. In 1995, at the age of 93, she was honored with a lifetime achievement award as a
chief pioneer in dance/movement therapy at the American Dance Therapy Association’s 30th
|Watch Trailer for a time to dance