Nouveau Classical Project and TrioDance to Bring POTENTIAL ENERGIES to BAM, 5/29

On Thursday, 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.

Sugar Vendil, founder of The Nouveau Classical Project, is a director and classical pianist who thrives on making things happen. She holds a Master of Music degree from New York University. Her performance experience includes chamber and solo concerts in New York and Europe, in venues such as Symphony Space, Issue Project Room, Galapagos Art Space, the Composer's Forum (St. Petersburg, Russia), Laboral (Gijon, Spain), and others. Sugar's name is a combination of her mother and father's names (SUsan and EdGAR).

Trevor Gureckis is a composer and producer who has written music for a wide range of styles and mediums. He has collaborated with some of today's most influential artists and co-owns a music production company called Found Objects, based in New York City. A native of Texas, Trevor studied composition and piano at the Yale School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. He has received numerous awards for his music including a Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Young Composer Awards from both BMI and ASCAP Foundations, and a JFund grant. Along with his compositional work, Trevor has recently ventured into the producer role. His electropop duo My Great Ghost is featured on the recent Philip Glass remix album along with Beck, Cornelius, and Tyondai Braxton among others.

Originally from Chicago, Barbie Diewald is a New York-based choreographer and Co-Artistic Director of TrioDance Collective. Through her choreographic practice, she continues to find ways to engage with (and get lost in) the classical idiom, through teaching, research and practice. She began dancing at the School of the Chicago Festival Ballet, and continued her training with Midwest Ballet Theatre and Lou Conte Dance Center (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago). She holds a BFA in Theatre and Minor in Dance from Millikin University. Additionally, she has studied Viewpoints and the Suzuki Method extensively on scholarship with Anne Bogart's SITI Company. Her first foray into making dances in New York led to a site-specific project in an empty fountain basin, and introduced her to many artists who remain central to her work. She develops her projects within the framework of TrioDance Collective, which she co-founded with Emily Jeffries in 2010. TrioDance Collective has produced six seasons of new work by Barbie and Emily at Triskelion Arts, Mark Morris Dance Group, The Cunningham Studios, the 92nd Street Y, Gibney Dance Center and CPR - Center for Performance Research.

Barbie has developed new work through two Dance NOW[NYC] SILO Residencies, a week-long residency at the Putney School in Vermont, The Mellon Choreographr's subsidy at Triskelion Arts, The Field's Fieldwork Intensive, and The Field's Emerging Artist Residency. She was a selected choreographer for Dance Theater Workshop's 2011 and 2013 Bessie Schonberg Labs in Composition with. She also was a selected choreographer for SUMAC- Systems for Understanding Movement and Choreography, headed by Susan Marshall & Company in 2012. Barbie was recently awarded a Manhattan Community Arts Fund (MCAF) grant administrated by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

TrioDance Collective was founded in 2010 by Barbie Diewald and Emily Jeffries. Now in its seventh season, the Company sets forth to champion the individual artist within the structure of a supportive group. In addition to the company's annual season, TrioDance presents a studio series Open Dialogue, and curates Green Line at 92Y, a festival for choreographers who elect to work with ensembles. Aside from presenting their work, Barbie Diewald and Emily Jeffries have taught technique and composition in New York at Dance New Amsterdam, the Center for Performance Research, and The Field's FAR Space, as well as teaching masterclasses at Millikin University and The Putney School. TrioDance has created new work through residencies at The Field, CORA Dance, The Bessie Lab at New York Live Arts, and Silo at Kirkland Farm. The Company is Allison Beler, Colleen Hoelscher, Cara McGaughey, Susan Philipp, and Christina Soto.

The BAM Fisher Fishman Space is located at 321 Ashland Place, Brooklyn. General admission tickets for Potential Energies are $28, $20 for students. VIP tickets are $50, and include special seating plus admission to the post-show party, sponsored by Southwind Vineyard and Winery. Tickets will be available starting March 20 at

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