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Peter Sellars, Sarah Michelson & More Set for FIAF's CROSSING THE LINE Festival Lectures, 9/17-10/6

Dancer and choreographer, Faustin Linyekula lives in Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire, former Belgian Congo, and former independent state of Congo. In his work, he regularly addresses the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear, and the continued efforts of the nation to rebuild itself, physically, psychologically, and materially. In 2001, he created Studios Kabako in Kinshasa, a space dedicated to dance, theatre, music, film, and video. Studios Kabako supports training programs, research, and the production and touring of new work by young Congolese artists. With Vienna-based architect Bärbel Müller, Linyekula is working on a series of three cultural centresmeant to stimulate new ideas and creativity among residents of Kisangani, which will open in 2015. Among his recent creations are more more more… future (2009) (presented as part of Crossing the Line 2011), his first solo work Le Cargo (2011), (presented as part of Crossing the Line 2012), and La création du monde (1923-2012), a collaboration with the Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy (France). He is the recipient of the Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development and is associate artist to the KVS Theater, Brussels.

Sarah Michelson’s work has been presented and commissioned by BAM, Performance Space 122, The Kitchen, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Danspace Project, Movement Research in NYC; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; On the Boards, Seattle; ODC Theater, San Francisco; Chapter Arts, Cardiff, Wales; and has toured to Cutting Edge Festival, Frankfurt; Venice Biennale; SommerSzene, Salzburg; Tanz im August Festival, Berlin; and Zuercher Theater Spektakel, Zurich. She has created several evening-length works and modular works including Devotion Study #1: The American Dancer (2012); Devotion (2011); Dover Beach (2008); DOGS (2006); Daylight, Daylight (for Seattle) and Daylight (for Minneapolis) (2005). Michelson has been awarded two Bessies for choreography and one for Visual Design; a Doris Duke Artist Award, the 2012 Bucksbaum Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, the 2006 Alpert Award in Dance; support from Creative Capital, Jerome Foundation, NYFA Fellowship, BUILD, Mid-Atlantic’s USAI, AMC Live Music for Dance, the MAP Fund, NDP, NPN, the Sophie and Leonard Davis Fund, and the Yellow House Fund.

Opera, theater, and festival director Peter Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts in America and abroad. A visionary artist, Sellars is known for groundbreaking interpretations of classic works. Recent Sellars projects have included a concert staging of Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, stagings of Nixon in China for the Metropolitan Opera and George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny for the Ojai Music Festival and Cal Performances, and new productions of Handel’s Hercules in Chicago, Vivaldi’s Griselda in Santa Fe, and a double bill of Tchaikovsky’s IOLANTA and Stravinsky’s PERSEPHONE in Madrid. Desdemona, a collaboration with novelist Toni Morrison and Malian composer and singer Rokia Traore, was performed in Vienna, Brussels, Paris, Berkeley, New York, and Berlin.

Sellars has led several major arts festivals. In 2006 he was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a festival in Vienna for which he invited International Artists, including Faustin Linyekula, from diverse cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music, theater, dance, film, the visual arts, and architecture for the city’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.

Sellars is a professor in the Department of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and Resident Curator of the Telluride Film Festival. He is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize, The Sundance Institute Risk-Takers Award, and the Gish Prize, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s annual fall festival presenting interdisciplinary works and performances created by artists from around the world in New York. The festival provides opportunities for New Yorkers to explore the dialogue between artist and participant, examine how artists help re-imagine the world, and engage in the vital role artists play as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Curated by Lili Chopra, Artistic Director of FIAF, Simon Dove, Director of the Herberger Institute School of Dance at Arizona State University, and Gideon Lester, Director of Theater Programs at Bard College, Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions and takes place this year from September 14–October 14, 2012.

Inaugurated in 2007, Crossing the Line has enjoyed increasingly strong audience response from diverse segments of the New York City area, as well as critical acclaim. The festival was voted “Best of 2009” and “Best of 2010” by Time Out New York, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

The Museum for African Art is dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of the arts and cultures of Africa and the African Diaspora. Founded in 1984, the Museum is internationally acknowledged as a preeminent organizer of exhibitions and publications related to historical and contemporary African art, with programs that are as diverse as the continent itself. Throughout the Museum’s history it has been heralded as a leader in the field, pioneering the way African art is presented and interpreted. Find out about upcoming programs and exhibitions at

FIAF's mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression.





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