Peak Performances Continues Season with Liz Gerring World Premiere

Peak Performances Continues Season with Liz Gerring World PremierePeak Performances continues its galvanizing 2018-19 season with Liz Gerring Dance Company's field (October 18-21), the final installment in a trilogy of works Peak Performances has commissioned from the acclaimed choreographer.

This work of movement, sound, and light marks the third collaboration between Liz Gerring, composer Michael J. Schumacher, and designer Robert Wierzel, following 2013's glacier and 2015's horizon. The New York Times has described Gerring's work as "warmly modernist: scientific but also passionately and infectiously in love with movement." Exploring the foundational idea of "installation," field conceives and creates an atmosphere in which the elements-movement, sound, and light-combine to envelope and engage the audience within the unique space and dimensions of the Alexander Kasser Theater.

As in previous work, Gerring tests the physical limitations of her dancers; field begins with an extended quartet for the company's four males, during which each dancer remains fixed to a single point, surveying and testing the boundaries and possibilities of his relation to his colleagues. This structure breaks down as new configurations emerge, with the continuous spatial shifting of restless bodies remaining the one constant. Composer Michael J. Schumacher creates a sonic stagescape wherein the sounds of radios,

TVs, and megaphones seem to to emerge from invisible sources while Wierzel's kinetic lighting design enhances the immersive experience. field includes performers Brandon Collwes, Joseph Giordano, Forrest Hersey, Thomas Welsh-Huggins, Julia Jurgilewicz, Jamie Scott, and Claire Westby. The creative team includes production manager Amith A. Chandrashaker and company manager Elizabeth Dement. Peak Performances Executive Director Jedediah Wheeler says, "In my experience, few artists in any field make work as rigorous or luminous as Liz Gerring's. Such artists need uncommon resources to discover and maintain their artistic vision and it's our privilege to support her and her collaborators as they time and again open our eyes to new performance possibilities."

Performances of field will take place Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19, at 7:30pm; Saturday, October 20 at 8pm and Sunday, October 21 at 3pm at the Alexander Kasser Theater at Montclair State University (1 Normal Ave, Montclair, NJ) Tickets are affordably priced at $30. Individual tickets and packages can be purchased at www.peakperfs.org or 973.655.5112.

Tickets are always free for Montclair State students. About the Artists Liz Gerring was born in San Francisco in 1965. She grew up in the Los Angeles area and began studying dance when she was thirteen. In high school she studied at the Cornish Institute in Seattle. In 1987, she was awarded a BFA from the Juilliard School. With Merce Cunningham and Trisha Brown having an ever evolving and profound influence on her own frank aesthetic, she formed the Liz Gerring Dance Company in 1998, after a brief career detour in bicycle racing. Gerring was awarded the Jacob's Pillow Prize in June 2015, and a Joyce Theater Residency and Creation award in the same year. In 2016/17 she was awarded a New York City Center Choreographic Fellowship.

Of her work, Gerring says: "For most of my life I have been engaged in the pursuit of movement for its own sake. Developing an early interest in abstraction as the primary means to expression, I have focused my work on the body and its presentation through space and time."

Michael J. Schumacher is a composer, performer, and installation artist based in Brooklyn. In addition to his long-term collaboration with Liz Gerring, he has worked with choreographer Sally Silvers, poet Bruce Andrews, musicians Oren Ambarchi, Kaffe Matthews, Donald Miller of Borbetomagus, Phill Niblock. and Ed Tomney of the indie band Necessaries; conceptual artists Luke Dubois and Elana Herzog; architect Victoria Meyers, video artist Ursula Scherrer, filmmaker Ken Jacobs, and many others. His 2004 album Room Pieces (XI) was named best in composition by The Wire. His most recent project is the rock band diNMachine.

Robert Wierzel has worked as a lighting designer with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theater, dance, contemporary music, visual arts, and opera on stages throughout the country and abroad. Wierzel has had a thirty-year collaboration with choreographer and director Bill T. Jones and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and has collaborated with choreographers Seán Curran, Doug Varone, Andrea Miller, Molissa Fenley, and Donna Uchizono, among many others. Wierzel has also worked on numerous international opera productions and his theater work has includes Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grill starring Audra McDonald and the musical Fela!, for which he received a Tony Award nomination.

Peak Performances is a program of the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming at Montclair State University and has been honored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts with an Arts Citation of Excellence and Designation of Major Impact. Programs in this season are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

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