Nouveau Classical Project and TrioDance Bring POTENTIAL ENERGIES to BAM Tonight
Tonight, May 29 (8 pm), The Nouveau Classical Project and TrioDance Collective present the world premiere of a new modern ballet titled Potential Energies at BAM Fisher's Fishman Space. The 50-minute piece, choreographed by Barbie Diewald to music by rising composer Trevor Gureckis, will be seen in a single performance. Ticket and venue information appears below.
Known for innovation, The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP) has previously collaborated with visual artists and fashion designers; Potential Energies is the group's first dance project. Conceived and directed by NCP's Artistic Director and pianist Sugar Vendil, Potential Energies invents a distinctive physical role for the musicians: each member of the five-piece ensemble is paired onstage with a dancer, representing two aspects of an individual personality. While the musicians' limited movements point to a persistent reality, the dancers are able to move freely, without the restrictions of an instrument.
These pairings embody the ballet's theme: the arduous balancing act of hope and survival experienced by artists of the Millennial Generation. Says Vendil, who is 30, "Famously, we grew up being told we could do anything we put our minds to. Of course, the economic realities led to a rude awakening! So many people around me have had to give up what they love in order to survive, if they can even find a decent job at all. Potential Energies explores the process leading up to point when you have to make a difficult choice, as well as the shock and pain of reality.
In true Millennial fashion, Vendil found her choreographer through Facebook, where two of her friends recommended Barbie Diewald in response to a status update. "This is somewhat ironic, considering that we address the negative aspects of social media in Potential Energies. But in this case, the result was extremely positive - I knew right away she was the one." Diewald, Co-Artistic Director of TrioDance Collective with Emily Jeffries, says she is interested in developing new contexts "in which ballet is turned over, perused and uncomposed alongside everyday gestures and improvisation," making her an ideal partner for the project.
Diewald's choreography has been presented by the Field at The Kitchen, Sarah Maxfield's THROW at the Chocolate Factory Theater, Newsteps at Chen Dance Center, Brooklyn Arts Exchange's Upstart Festival, Underexposed at Dixon Place, Dance Conversations at The Flea Theater, Take Root at Green Space, WAXworks, The CURRENT SESSIONS at The Wild Project, The Wired Arts Festival (live-streamed from The Secret Theater), DUMBO Dance Festival, and Dance New Amsterdam. In addition, she is Curator, Creative Director, and Producer of TrioDance Collective's GREEN LINE, a spring performance for emerging choreographers working with ensembles held at the 92nd Street Y.
Trevor Gureckis, whose music has been premiered by the American Brass Quintet, Minnesota Orchestra, and New York Youth Symphony, has collaborated with Vendil on several earlier projects. For costumes, Vendil - described by The New York Times as "leading [the] unlikely intersection of classical music and new fashion" - tapped Atelier de Geste, a performance-inspired studio and brand. Atelier de Geste has been featured in British Vogue, WWD, and Refinery29.
Says Vendil, "As a director, my role is not to micromanage but to guide the process according to my clear vision for the work. Barbie and Trevor are ideal collaborators, willing to work with an open mind... Ultimately, the three of us know we are in this together, as are the amazing, dedicated performers involved: we're emerging artists pursuing a large undertaking amidst day jobs and a saturated industry. It's not been easy, but it's definitely been worth it so far."
The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP) is a hybrid music ensemble and creative production hub that is putting "a new face on classical music" (NPR Deceptive Cadence). Its members are: flutist Laura Cocks; clarinetist Mara Mayer; violinist Marina Kifferstein; cellist Kivie Cahn-Lipman; and Artistic Director and pianist Sugar Vendil. NCP began by collaborating with fashion designers to create music-inspired looks to be worn by musicians and has since expanded to pursuing imaginative projects that go beyond the traditional concert format.
NCP's mission is to promote the creation and production of new work by creating a collaborative space for composers and musicians to work with visual artists and fashion designers. Their unique fashion partnerships have garnered interest from new and younger listeners for new music as well as exposed emerging composers to new audiences. Through modern and innovative ways of presenting new music, NCP continually reaches unexpected audiences beyond the classical music world.
They have performed at many exciting venues, including (le) poisson rouge, Galapagos Art Space, Korea Gallery, Symphony Space, The Center for Fiction, Issue Project Room as part of MATA's Interval series, as well as the fashion shows of CFDA winner Pamela Love, Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones, Tanya Taylor, and more. Performances for Spring include a concert at SubCulture in New York, a performance at the fashion show of 2014 Ecco Domani award-winning designer Novis, the Kempner Collection launch party, and the premiere of Potential Energies at BAM's Fishman Space on May 29, 2014.