FIAF Announces 2014 Crossing the Line Festival, 9/8-10/20

FIAF Announces 2014 Crossing the Line Festival, 9/8-10/20

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York's premiere French cultural center, today announces the full program for Crossing the Line 2014, the eighth annual edition of its celebrated fall arts festival, presenting interdisciplinary works and performances by artists from around the world. Crossing the Line runs from September 8 through October 20 in venues throughout New York City. Nespresso returns as Presenting Sponsor of Crossing the Line in 2014. Tickets will go on sale in late July.

This year's edition of the festival presents three world premieres: French fashion curator Olivier Saillard's Models never talk; Killer Road, a collaboration between American singer-songwriter Patti Smith, her daughter Jesse Smith, and New York-based Soundwalk Collective; and New York-based Colombian artist Jessica Mitrani's Traveling Lady, featuring Spanish actress Rossy de Palma.

Crossing the Line will also present the U.S. premieres of Argentinean theater maker and visual artist Fernando Rubio's Everything by my side; Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin's QUANTUM, a collaboration with German visual artist Julius von Bismarck; Japanese composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda's superposition and test pattern [times square], along with a special exhibition of Ikeda's work; and Croatian-born, Paris-based choreographer Ivana Müller's Partituur, as well as We Are Still Watching (a New York premiere).

The festival will feature the exhibitions Terracotta Daughters, from New York-based French artist Prune Nourry; Solo Show from French multimedia artist Julie Béna; and Retrospective, from French choreographer Xavier Le Roy, all three presented for the first time in the U.S.; as well as the New York premieres of American singer-songwriter Justin Vivian Bond's Love Is Crazy; New York performance group Nature Theater of Oklahoma's documentary The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is Calling You!; New York theater company 600 HIGHWAYMEN's Employee of the Year (a Crossing the Line 2014 commission); New York choreographer Trajal Harrell's performance series Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church, presented in its entirety for the first time in the U.S.; and New York theater artist Aaron Landsman's Republic of New York: Perfect City discussions.

Inaugurated in 2007, Crossing the Line explores the dialogue between artist and public, and examines how artists help re-imagine the world as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions, Crossing the Line is co-curated by Lili Chopra, FIAF's Artistic Director; Simon Dove, independent curator; and Gideon Lester, Director of Theater Programs at Bard College.

"This year's edition of Crossing the Line brings together fifteen extraordinary international artists and companies, each of them offering unique perspectives on the world we all share. We invite New Yorkers to explore their meticulous and deeply considered work, both the familiar and the unknown, and find inspiration, provocation, and pure pleasure."-Lili Chopra, Simon Dove, Gideon Lester, co-curators of Crossing the Line.

Olivier Saillard, Models never talk (World Premiere)

Co-presented with Milk Studios

Monday, September 8, 4pm & 7pm

Milk Studios, 450 West 15th Street, 8th Floor (between Ninth and Tenth Avenue)

FIAF Members $20; Non-Members $30

In the 1950s, Parisian couturiers arrived in New York with their collections in suitcases, models in tow. In 2014, French fashion curator and director of the Palais Galliera Olivier Saillard will land with only his muses and their memories. Seven former supermodels-Anne Rohart, Charlotte Flossaut, Axelle Doué, Christine Bergstrom, Claudia Huidobro, Amalia Vairelli, and Violeta Sanchez-break their traditional silence in a world-premiere performance that reveals the person behind the image, and the soul beneath the style.

Sponsored by Marvin Traub Associates

Prune Nourry, Terracotta Daughters (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with China Institute

Opening Reception: Wednesday, September 10, 7-9pm

Thursday, September 11 through Saturday, October 4

Gallery hours: Tuesday through Saturday 12-6pm; Wednesday 12-8pm

China Institute, 104 Washington Street (corner of Rector Street)

Free and open to the public

An army of young girls assembles in the first U.S. showing of Terracotta Daughters, a monumental exhibition of 108 life-sized and individually crafted clay sculptures that recall China's famous Terracotta Warriors. Created by New York-based French artist Prune Nourry with expert craftsmen in X'ian, this installation is a powerful investigation of the impact of gender selection in Asia and beyond.

With the support of No Longer Empty

Nature Theater of Oklahoma, The Great Nature Theater of Oklahoma is Calling You! (New York Premiere)

Friday, September 12 at 7:30pm

FIAF, Tinker Auditorium, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

Free for FIAF Members; $10 Non-Members

New York's Nature Theater of Oklahoma spent the summer of 2013 in a wildly creative residency culminating in the Berlin premiere of Life and Times Episodes 1-5 and a work-in-progress showing of Episode 6. In the midst of this artistic frenzy, the company filmed an intimate documentary about their creative process, exposing with humor and heartache the reality of negotiating life, work, collaboration, institutional politics, and the public.

Trajal Harrell, Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church: THE SERIES (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with The Kitchen

Sunday, September 14 (XS) at 4pm, 5pm, 7pm & 8pm

Monday, September 15 (S) at 8pm

Tuesday, September 16 (M)imosa at 8pm

Wednesday, September 17 (jr) Antigone Jr. at 8pm and (Plus) Antigone Jr. ++ at 9:30pm
Friday, September 19 (L) Antigone Sr. at 8pm

Saturday, September 20 (M2M) Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem at 8pm

The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenue)

$20 per event

"What would have happened in 1963 if someone from the voguing ballroom scene in Harlem had come downtown to perform alongside the early postmoderns at Judson Church?"

Five years since posing this provocative question, New York choreographer Trajal Harrell has meshed the parallel traditions of postmodern dance and voguing, revealing sharp perspectives on race, gender, and notions of identity. For the first time in the U.S., experience the whole performance series-from extra small (XS) to made-to-measure (M2M)-in the span of one week.

The eighth and final section of Twenty Looks or Paris is Burning at the Judson Church will emerge in the form of a publication in 2016.

Julie Béna, Solo Show

Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 16, 6-8pm

Wednesday, September 17 through Saturday, October 18

FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

Tuesday through Friday, 11am-6pm; Saturday, 11am-5pm

Free and open to the public

French multimedia artist Julie Béna invites gallery visitors to enter a transitional space at the threshold of science fiction and reality. Utilizing the familiar visual vocabulary of travel, her site-specific installation of sculptures, sound, images, and videos inspires visitors to imagine their own destinations.

Curated by Flora Katz

Sponsored by Air France

Justin Vivian Bond, Love Is Crazy (New York Premiere)

Thursday, September 25 at 7:30pm

FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

FIAF Members $20; Non Members $30

"Cabaret messiah" (Time Out London) Justin Vivian Bond and special guests present a raucous and seductive evening of songs and stories about love. Originally commissioned by the Palais de Chaillot for Valentine's Day, New York's downtown performance scene meets Parisian elegance in this one-night-only event.

Fernando Rubio, Everything by my side (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with Performance Space 122 (PS 122) & Hudson River Park

Friday, September 26, Saturday, September 27 & Sunday, September 28

Hudson River Park


For site locations, times, and tickets visit

Seven actresses in seven pristine white beds in a public space whisper vivid childhood memories to individual audience members in Everything by my side. This dreamlike installation and performance juxtaposing a quiet personal moment with the busyness of the city marks the U.S. debut of celebrated Argentinean theater maker and visual artist Fernando Rubio.

Please note that Everything by my side runs in 15-minute cycles.

Ivana Müller

Co-presented with New York Live Arts

New York Live Arts, 219 West 19th Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenue)

Croatian-born, Paris-based choreographer Ivana Müller presents two works that break down the distinction between "spectator" and "performer" and question the conventional boundaries of dance and theater.

We Are Still Watching (New York Premiere)

Tuesday, September 30, Wednesday, October 1 & Friday, October 3 at 8pm

Tickets start at $20 for adults with select $15 seats available

A deceptively simple work, We Are Still Watching involves no actors or set-just an empty theater, an audience, and a script. A subtle spectacle and instant community are created anew at each performance.

Partituur (U.S. Premiere)

Saturday, October 4 at 11am & 2pm, Sunday, October 5 at 12pm & 3pm

$10 for children and $20 for accompanying adults

Created for children, Partituur invites kids to run, jump, and play as they participate in this inventive performance game. Given headphones, instructions, and a box of props, it's up to them to determine the work's direction and their role in it.

Partituur is suitable for children ages 7 & up.

Soundwalk Collective and Jesse & Patti Smith, Killer Road (World Premiere)

Thursday, October 2 at 7:30pm

FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

FIAF Members $30; Non-Members $40

American legend Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse Smith join forces with Soundwalk Collective to perform the poetry of Nico, the Velvet Underground vocalist and 60s icon, in a hypnotic meditation on the cycle of life and death. Killer Road pairs the artist's final poems, channeled by Patti, with an immersive soundscape and multi-instrumental music that attempts to make sense of her tragic death.

Gilles Jobin Company, Gilles Jobin & Julius von Bismarck, QUANTUM (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with BAM 2014 Next Wave Festival and the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès's

New Settings program
Thursday, October 2 through Saturday, October 4 at 7:30pm

BAM Fisher, Fishman Space, 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn, NYC


Six dancers vibrate, scatter, and whirl beneath a pendulous light installation programmed to swing in response to the slightest movements. In this new collaboration between Swiss choreographer Gilles Jobin and German visual artist Julius von Bismarck, the crackling energy of subatomic particles is magnified to human scale, while Carla Scaletti's soundscape, derived from particle collision data, provides the sonic ether.

Retrospective by Xavier Le Roy

Presented by MoMA PS1 as part of Crossing the Line 2014

Thursday, October 2 through Monday, December 1, 12-6pm

MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NYC

Tickets: museum admission

A landmark exhibition of gesture and speech highlights the canonical career of French choreographer Xavier Le Roy in the MoMA PS1 galleries. Over the course of two months, more than a decade's worth of solo work is continuously recycled and transformed by a team of local performers, while visitors are invited to experience the varying ways we use, consume, or produce time.

Aaron Landsman, Republic of New York: Perfect City discussions

Co-presented with Abrons Arts Center and A Blade of Grass

Monday, October 6 at 7:30pm

Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street (between Pitt Street and Willett Street)

Free with RSVP at

How can we make a place to live that reflects our values? Who are we as a group, anyway?

Forward-thinking, New York-based theater artist Aaron Landsman invites us to reimagine urban life outside of commerce in a performed public meeting. Considering the role of the creative class in gentrification alongside international examples of community alternatives, the conversation will lay the foundation for Landsman's next work, Perfect City.

Jessica Mitrani & Rossy de Palma, Traveling Lady (World Premiere)

Friday, October 10 & Saturday, October 11 at 7:30pm

Co-presented with the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès's New Settings program
FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

FIAF Members $10; Non-Members $20

Colombian-born, New York-based visual artist Jessica Mitrani conjures the daring spirit of Nellie Bly, the 19th-century American journalist who circled the globe in 72 days carrying little more than the clothes on her back. Spanish actress Rossy de Palma-best known as Pedro Almod?var's muse-plays many roles in this multimedia adventure that explores and explodes feminine archetypes and stereotypes.

600 HIGHWAYMEN, Employee of the Year (New York Premiere, A CTL 2014 Commission)

Wednesday, October 15 & Thursday, October 16 at 7:30pm

FIAF, Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenue)

FIAF Members $10; Non-Members $20

A child's house burns down, leaving everyone and everything she has behind. From this moment, a singular journey begins. Combining 600 HIGHWAYMEN's arresting theatrical style with original songs by David Cale, this New York premiere--performed by five young girls-intimately investigates the process of transformation over a lifetime.

Co-commissioned with Mount Tremper Arts

Ryoji Ikeda superposition (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Friday, October 17 & Saturday, October 18 at 7pm

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Avenue

(at 82nd Street)


A music, visual, and theater work at the intersection of art and science, superposition, from the restless and vital mind of composer and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda, is an immersive experience: an orchestrated journey through sound, language, physical phenomena, mathematical concepts, human behavior, and randomness, all simultaneously arranged and rearranged in a theatrical arc that obliterates the boundaries between music, visual arts, and performance.

test pattern [times square] (U.S. Premiere)

Co-presented with Times Square Arts and Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC)

Wednesday October 1 through Friday, October 31, 11:57pm-midnight

Times Square

Free and open to the public

Ikeda's test pattern, first experienced as an installation in New York at the Park Avenue Armory, is brought outdoors and reimagined for Times Square as the October Midnight Moment. From 11:57pm to midnight each night, 47 digital screens over five blocks will be taken over by tightly synchronized, flickering black and white imagery-mining data for mathematical beauty.

In addition to Ikeda's Midnight Moment and performance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Salon 94 will present a special exhibition of his work October 20-31. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

About Crossing the Line 2014

Crossing the Line is the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s annual fall festival, presenting interdisciplinary works and performances in New York. The festival explores the dialogue between artist and public, and examines how artists help re-imagine the world as critical thinkers and catalysts for social evolution. Crossing the Line is initiated and produced by FIAF in partnership with leading cultural institutions. The festival's eighth edition takes place this year from September 8-October 20, 2014. Tickets will go on sale in late July.

Since its inauguration in 2007, Crossing the Line has cultivated an increasingly large and diverse following, and received numerous accolades in the press. The festival has been voted "Best of 2009," "Best of 2010," "Best of 2012," and "Best of 2013" by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, Artforum, and Frieze, with performances earning an Obie and several Bessie awards. The New York Times states, "For terrifically unusual, unpredictable, unnameable performance, we've come to expect a lot from ... the curators of the French Institute Alliance Française's interdisciplinary festival," and The New Yorker says, "This interdisciplinary festival, focused but not exclusively devoted to contemporary French culture, goes from strength to strength." For more information, visit

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