Stephen Petronio Company Announces Details for Fourth Season of BLOODLINES
In 2015, Stephen Petronio Company culminated its 30th anniversary 2014-15 season with a transformation: the launch of Bloodlines. 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.
For the fourth season of Bloodlines, running March 20-25 at The Joyce Theater in Chelsea, Stephen Petronio Company will present the world premiere of Petronio's Hardness 10, the third collaboration between Petronio and composer Nico Muhly. Set to a previously unreleased score by Muhly titled Long Phrases for the Wilton Diptych, the new work features costumes by Patricia Field ARTFASHION, curated by one of fashion's greatest visionaries, in her first collaboration with the Company.
Petronio's departure point for Hardness 10 is the nature of the diamond-a dense stone, forged under pressure into an object of brilliance and clarity. Muhly's score was originally created in response to the "fractal images and gestures" of the Wilton Diptych, a medieval painting, circa 1393, by an unknown English or French painter. Both the dance work and the score explore "multifacetedness," tracking a progression of roughness to preciousness, simplicity to complexity.
Another highlight of the program will be Merce Cunningham's playful and indeterminate Signals (1970). This 20-minute work for six dancers has been performed by only three professional companies other than the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, whose last performance of it was in 1988. Signals features a constantly changing live score created in performance by composers/musicians from Composers Inside Electronics, a contemporary ensemble led by John Driscoll and Phil Edelstein, who rotate with each presentation. Signals was titled after Cunningham's choreography for the piece, which consisted of various cues from dancer to dancer, indicating the next series of movements.
Completing the program is an excerpt from Petronio's darkly abstractUnderland (2003) titled Wild Wild World. Underland was originally created for the Sydney Dance Company in 2003 and was inspired by the music of post-punk, Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave.
"Bloodlines has been a gift and an unusually emotional experience," says Petronio. "With Signals, we deepen our commitment to Merce Cunningham as the essential game changer in the evolution of modern dance and the Judson movement that followed. In my newest work, Hardness 10, my experience through Bloodlines, particularly in staging Yvonne Rainer's work, has offered the possibility of a new kind of space to explore simple walking patterns alongside the virtuosic athleticism I'm best known for."
Bloodlines began with Merce Cunningham's iconicRainForest (1968), continued with Trisha Brown's proscenium masterpiece Glacial Decoy (1979) and, for its third, Bessie Award nominated season, included a collection of works by postmodern instigators Yvonne Rainer, Steve Paxton and Anna Halprin.
The Stephen Petronio Company dancers areBria Bacon, Ernesto Breton, Elijah Laurant, Jaqlin Medlock, Tess Montoya, Nicholas Sciscione (Assistant to the Artistic Director),Megan Wright, and apprentices Ryan Pliss and Mac Twining. Lighting design for Signals is by Richard Nelson, and for Petronio's works, by longtime collaborator Ken Tabachnick.
Performances by Stephen Petronio Company will take place March 20-25 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.
About Stephen Petronio Company
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 40 countries throughout the world, including numerous New York City engagements and 23 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, 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. Distinguished for creating original languages that embody the highest level of artistic excellence displayed through extreme physical and conceptual rigor, these artists have had a profound impact on Petronio's own artistic path. To date, the Company has restaged seven works, by Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, and Steve Paxton, with plans to incorporate others in the coming seasons. The juxtapositions of Bloodlines repertory alongside Petronio's works offers audiences an experiential insight into the evolution of this strand of creativity in American choreography.
In 2016, Stephen Petronio Company expanded its focus on American postmodern dance to explore the meaning of legacy and its impact on the future and sustainability of this most ephemeral art form. With an eye toward securing artists' consistent ability to create and explore, the Petronio Residency Center (PRC) has been established as a retreat center where research and the creative process will be paramount. After launching the Campaign for PRC, $1M was raised within 12 months to facilitate the purchase of Crow's Nest, a 175-acre property in Cairo, New York, 20 minutes from the burgeoning Catskill and Hudson, New York art scenes. Paid artist residencies will begin in the summer of 2018, providing dedicated rehearsal space and resources to choreographers and their collaborators to develop new work in an environment unfettered by market constraints and away from the daily pressures of urban life. The program will become part of a growing ecosystem in the U.S. dedicated to fostering a new model for the future of contemporary dance.
The Company recently performed its 23rd season at The Joyce Theater in NYC, after a five-week residency teaching and performing in Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam as a part of the sixth season of DanceMotionUSA supported by the U.S. Department of State and Brooklyn Academy of Music. The 2017 Bloodlines season received two New York Dance and Performance "Bessie" Award nominations.
For more information about the company, visit www.petron.io.
About Stephen Petronio
Stephen Petronio is a choreographer, dancer, and the Artistic Director of the Stephen Petronio Company. Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, 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 a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Petronio has created over 80 original works and has been commissioned by some of the world's most prestigious modern and ballet companies, including William Forsythe's Ballet 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). Petronio collaborates regularly with visual artists, musicians, and fashion designers, including Cindy Sherman, Janine Antoni, Antony and the Johnsons, Nico Muhly, Imitation of Christ, and Narciso Rodriguez.
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 Dance 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 to 2014. He has been entangled with visual artist Janine Antoni in a number of discipline-blurring projects, including the video installation Honey Baby (2013), created in collaboration with composer Tom Laurie and filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, and most recently Ally, in collaboration with Anna Halprin and Adrian Heathfield, which premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in summer of 2016. Petronio and Antoni were the 2017 McCormack Artists in Residence at Skidmore college, where their series of installations, Entangle, was shown through July of 2017. Petronio's memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict, is available at Amazon.com.
Bloodlinesreceives cornerstone support from the SHS Foundation and American Express.
Stephen Petronio Company's current season is made possible in part with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and with additional support from the The Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, Howard Gilman Foundation, James E. Robison Foundation, Joseph & Joan Cullman Foundation for the Arts, and The Shubert Foundation.
Photo by Julie Lemberger of Nicholas Sciscione and Joshua Tuason in Untitled Touch 2