WHYY's ArtWorks draws on performing and visual arts stories from its sister PBS stations to bring viewers a geographically diverse arts experience.

Featured Artists: Ayikodans, Museum of the Dog, and Annie: From Script to Stage

A deeper understanding of man’s best friend; a dance company puts Haitian heritage front-and-center; a painter who doesn’t let his disability get in the way of his art and little orphan Annie returns to Broadway.

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Founded by internationally renowned Haitian born choreographer, dancer, and educator Jeanguy Saintus Riché, Ayikodans is considered to be the premiere professional dance company of Haiti. Saintus has enabled the emergence of a new, contemporary Haitian aesthetic that, while rooted in tradition, reflects a modern Caribbean culture and creativity that would surprise many who associate the country with disaster, poverty and helplessness.

Ayikodans company members have danced on stages in Latin America, Europe, the United States and Asia at such venues Adrienne Arsht Center in Florida, Carnegie Hall in New York, The Netherlands’ Muziegebow and Tropentheater, Teatro Anayanzi in Panama, Centre des Arts and L’Artchipel in Guadeloupe,Teatro Nacional and Palacio de Bellas Artes in the Dominican Republic , L’Atrium in Martinique.The Foundation Tokyo Ballet in Japan…

Below: Ayikodans in performance

Museum of the Dog

The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, located in beautiful Queeny Park in West St. Louis County, Missouri, is home to the world’s finest collection of art devoted to the dog. The 14,000 sq. ft. facility, which includes historic Jarville House (1853), displays over 700 original paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, and porcelain figurines, and a variety of decorative arts objects depicting man’s best friend throughout the ages. On permanent display is Sir Edwin Landseer’s oil on canvas of a Deerhound and Recumbent Foxhound and many Maud Earl portraits of various terrier breeds.

The AKC Museum of the Dog is dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for the purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and in order to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human/canine relationship.

Annie: It’s the Hard Knock Life from Script to Stage

The show-stopping musical Annie, its characters and its songs are timeless and classic. It’s been 35 years since the little orphan Annie first stepped onto a Broadway stage. For Annie’s return to Broadway, this documentary offers a memorable behind-the-scenes look at every step of a single Annie production number, from the earliest phases of discussion among the creative team, rehearsals with actors, to opening night on Broadway. Through the staging of the song “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” viewers are introduced to the work of the actors who play the orphans and the professionals who shape and contribute to the final production of the song.

Artworks interviews the creator of the documentary and goes behind the scenes of Annie: It’s the Hard Knock Life from Script to Stage. Watch the full documentary below.

Left: Casting “Annie” Orphans / Right: Annie: It’s the Hard-Knock Life, From Script to Stage

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