Stephen Petronio, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton & Anna Halprin Set for BLOODLINES at The Joyce
In 2015, Stephen Petronio Company culminated its 30th anniversary 2014-15 season with a transformation: the launch of Bloodlines, which began with Merce Cunningham's iconic RainForest (1968) and Trisha Brown's proscenium masterpiece Glacial Decoy (1979).
This five-year autobiographical project not only honors the lineage of American postmodern dance, but also traces the influences and impulses that have shaped choreographer Stephen Petronio, an artist uniquely positioned to preserve this postmodern tradition.
The third season of Bloodlines features a rare opportunity for audiences to see significant works by postmodern instigators who have not only informed Petronio's creative path, but also defined contemporary dance.
The program includes three chamber works by seminal, avant-garde choreographer Yvonne Rainer including Trio A with Flags (1966/1970), Chair-Pillow (1969) and Diagonal (1963); an excerpt from master improviser Steve Paxton's sinewy Goldberg Variations (1986), danced to Glenn Gould's recording of J. S. Bach's iconic work; and Anna Halprin's 1999 solo of seduction, gender and aging, The Courtesan and the Crone, performed by Petronio himself and first danced by Halprin at age 79.
Completing the program is the world premiere of Petronio's full-company work Untitled Touch, with an original score by longtime collaborator Son Lux. Untitled Touch is driven by the immediacy of physical contact, the emotional repercussions of skin-to-skin communication and the codes that shape this action.
"Bloodlines has been a gift and a deeply emotional process," says Petronio. "I am incredibly lucky to revisit the work of choreographers who shaped me as a young dance artist. Decades later, I feel I can approach these masterpieces with a level of intellectual and physical rigor that finally matches my personal awe and emotional connection. With my new work, Untitled Touch, Bloodlines has given me and my current dancers a shared history and vocabulary that has enriched our creative process in an unimaginable and unique way."
The Stephen Petronio Company dancers are Ernesto Breton, Davalois Fearon, Kyle Filley, Jaqlin Medlock, Tess Montoya, Nicholas Sciscione, Joshua Tuason and Megan Wright. Lighting design for the evening is by Ken Tabachnick.
Performances by Stephen Petronio Company will take place March 28 - April 2 at The Joyce Theater (75 Eight Avenue, Manhattan). Tickets, priced from $10-$66, can be purchased at joyce.org or by calling 212-242-0800.
Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, Stephen Petronio is widely regarded as one of the leading dance-makers of his generation. New music, visual art and fashion collide in his dances, producing powerfully modern landscapes for the senses. He has built a body of work with some of the most talented and provocative artists in the world, including composers Atticus Ross, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Nico Muhly, Fischerspooner, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Son Lux, Nick Cave, James Lavelle, Michael Nyman, Sheila Chandra, Diamanda Galás, Andy Teirstein, Wire, Peter Gordon, Lenny Pickett and David Linton; visual artists Janine Antoni, Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Donald Baechler, Stephen Hannock, Tal Yarden, Arnaldo Ferrara and Justin Terzi III; fashion designers Narciso Rodriguez, John Bartlett, Jillian Lewis, Adam Kimmel, Benjamin Cho, Michael Angel, Tony Cohen, Rachel Roy, Tara Subkoff, Tanya Sarne/Ghost, Leigh Bowery, Paul Compitus, Manolo, Yonson Pak and H. Petal; and Resident Lighting Designer Ken Tabachnick.
Founded in 1984, Stephen Petronio Company has performed in 26 countries throughout the world, including over 35 New York City engagements with 22 seasons at The Joyce Theater. The Company has been commissioned by Dance Umbrella Festival/London, Hebbel Theater/Berlin, Scène National de Sceaux, Festival d'Automne à Paris, CNDC Angers/ France, The Holland Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse, Danceworks UK Ltd and Festival de Danse-Cannes, and in the U.S. by San Francisco Performances, The Joyce Theater, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center and White Bird, among others.
The 2014-15 season marked the first incarnation of Bloodlines, a project of Stephen Petronio Company to honor and curate a lineage of American postmodern dance masters. Over a period of five years, the Company plans to bring works by Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton and others into its repertory. These artists are distinguished for creating original languages that embody the highest level of artistic excellence displayed through extreme physical and conceptual rigor, and have had a profound impact on Petronio's own artistic path.
In a natural extension of this impulse, Stephen Petronio Company has this year launched a campaign to establish a choreographic residency program in the Hudson Valley, New York. This new undertaking expands the Company's mission, reaffirming its new approach to history, and laying the groundwork for a creative and secure future. The residency program will focus on research and the creative process, providing dedicated rehearsal space and resources to choreographers and their collaborators to explore ideas and develop new work away from the daily pressures of urban life.
The Company was recently selected by the US Department of State and Brooklyn Academy Of Music as one of three American dance companies to participate in the sixth season of DanceMotion USA.
For over 30 years, Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body informed by its shifting cultural context. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists in many disciplines over his career and holds the integration of multiple forms as fundamental to his creative drive and vision. He continues to create a haven for dancers with a keen interest in the history of contemporary movement and an appetite for the unknown. Petronio was born in Newark, NJ, and received a BA from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979 to 1986). He has gone on to build a unique career, receiving numerous accolades, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award, a New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award and, most recently, a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Petronio has created over 35 works for his company and has been commissioned by some of the world's most prestigious modern and ballet companies, including William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt (1987), Deutsche Oper Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Sydney Dance Company (2003, full evening), Norrdans (2006), the Washington Ballet (2007), The Scottish Ballet (2007) and two works for National Dance Company Wales (2010 and 2013).
His company repertory works have been set on The Scottish Ballet, Norrdans in Sweden, Dance Works Rotterdam, National Dance Company Wales, X Factor Dance Company in Edinburgh, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet de Lorraine and London Contemporary Dance Theater, as well as universities and colleges throughout the U.S. In 2009, Petronio completed an evening-length work for 30 dancers, Tragic/Love, in collaboration with composer Son Lux, for Ballet de Lorraine. He completed several additional new works with Son Lux: By Singing Light, for National Dance Company Wales (2010), The Social Band, a commission for OtherShore Dance Company in New York (2011), and numerous unique editions of Like Lazarus Did (2013) for Stephen Petronio Company. Other recent projects include Prometheus Bound (2011), a musical for the American Repertory Theater, in collaboration with director Diane Paulus (HAIR), writer and lyricist Steven Sater (Spring Awakening), and composer Serj Tankian (Grammy award, lead vocalist, System of a Down). In 2013, Petronio created a new work, Water Stories, for National Dance Company Wales, in collaboration with composer Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails) and photographer Matthew Brandt with visual designer Ken Tabachnick.
Petronio, whose training originated with leading figures of the Judson era, performed Man Walking Down the Side of a Building in 2010 for Trisha Brown Company at the Whitney Museum, and performed his 2012 rendition of Steve Paxton's Intravenous Lecture (1970) in New York, Portland and at the TEDMED-2012 conference at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC. Petronio received the distinction of being named the first Artist-in-Residence at The Joyce Theater from 2012-2014. He has been entangled with visual artist Janine Antoni in a number of discipline-blurring projects, one of which is the video installation Honey Baby (2013), created in collaboration with composer Tom Laurie and filmmaker Kirsten Johnson. Petronio and Antoni exhibited installations at testsite Austin (May 3-June 28, 2015) and SITE Santa Fe (July 18-October 4, 2015), and are now collaborating on a new work, Ally, in collaboration with Anna Halprin and Adrian Heathfield, which premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia from April 22-July 31, 2016. Petronio's memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict, is available at Amazon.com.
For more information about the company, visit www.petron.io.