Click Here for More Articles on NEW YORK CITY

Rioult Presents World Premiere Work In 2008

 Rioult* will present a world premiere work, along with two acclaimed repertory pieces during its 2008 New York season, June 3 - 7, at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.  The new piece has been commissioned by the Harriet and Gordon Greenfield Foundation, and is set to Bach's Art of Fugue. The company will also present Prelude to Night (2000) and Bolero (2002).  The season will open with a Gala performance on Tuesday, June 3 at 7:30pm.*(formerly The Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre)

Mr. Rioult's newest work is inspired by the purity and strength of Bach's magnificent Art of Fugue. He is choreographing a dance celebrating "Beauty" and "Humanity" in art, as in life; the piece is dedicated to the memory of two exceptional people, Harriet and Gordon Greenfield, and their belief in the transforming power of the performing arts. In speaking about the new piece, Mr. Rioult said, "What fascinates me in Bach's piece and what I aspire to emulate in my choreography, is the deeply sensitive character of his music, which transcends the work's formality.  There is a wonderful humanity that emanates from his purest pages of music, as in the Art of Fugue, and it touches us deeply."

Prelude To Night (2002) is a triptych danced to three short Ravel orchestral works, "Alborada del Gracioso," "Prelude a la nuit" and "Feria" from "Rapsodie Espagnole." The piece is linked by the physical presence of the central female character who goes through a journey of time and space - that of imagination, dream and nightmares. 'Prelude to Night' is a transitory journey from one state to another.  

Bolero (2002) is a bold and unexpected interpretation of the classic Ravel score. Its perpetual motion and ever-changing patterns follow the composer's lead, building to an inevitable climax. The unrelenting crescendo of energy creates a riveting tour de force that speaks to the essence of the music. 

In 1992, The New York Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning wrote "If Pascal Rioult keeps on creating the kinds of dances he has been choreographing with such authority for a mere three years, he may have to leave his job as a soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company and become a full-time choreographer."  Rioult's career as a choreographer began when, as a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, he held an informal showing of his first works at New York's 92nd Street Y.  In 1989, while still a member of the Graham troupe Rioult choreographed Narayama and Harvest, which were danced by the Graham Company during its New York City seasons at City Center. He produced his first concerts at The Theatre at Riverside Church in 1991 and 1992, and founded Rioult in 1994. Mr. Rioult's work has been commissioned from American Dance Festival, Durham, NC, Cal Performances, Berkley, CA and Theatre de Saint Quentin en Yvelines, France, among others. A former track and field star in France, Rioult came to the United States on a fellowship from the French Ministry of Culture to study modern dance and performed with the companies of May O'Donnell and Paul Sanasardo before joining the Martha Graham Dance Company.  As a principal dancer, he interpreted many of the most prestigious roles in the Graham repertory and in 1990 Ms. Graham created the central role (Death Figure) in her ballet The Eye of the Goddess for Mr. Rioult.  He performed opposite Mikhail Baryshnikov and Joyce Herring in El Penitente and was featured in two television specials: Martha Graham in Japan and Five Dances by Martha Graham at the Paris Opera.

The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, located at 566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square South, provides a large-scale, professional performance space for university productions and events and live professional performances from around the world.  The 860-seat theater opened in October 2003 and hosts the only major university-based professional multi-arts presenting program in Manhattan.  The Skirball Center's mission is to serve the NYU community while building young audiences for live performance by reaching out to them with a broad range of world-class, forward-thinking work at low ticket prices. For a complete listing of events happening at the Skirball Center, go to

Rioult builds on tradition, expanding the definition of contemporary dance.  Known for his daring and imaginative explorations of classical scores, Pascal Rioult creates new work that brings fresh perspective to timeless themes, flawlessly blending his European sensibilities with a strong background in American modern dance. The company offers diverse audiences an experience that speaks to both the mind and heart. Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre was founded in 1994 and fast became an established name in modern dance. With a repertoire of over twenty dances, the company presents an annual New York season and tours nationally and internationally.  Among others, the company has been presented by Cal Performances in Berkeley, CA, The Annenberg Center in Philadelphia, PA, and The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, FL.  Rioult has participated in numerous dance festivals including: New York City Center Fall for Dance Festival, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, American Dance Festival, The Bermuda Festival, Cannes International Festival, Danse a Aix, Festival du Val du Marne, and the Temps le Danse Festival where The Ravel Project premiered. Extensive international touring has brought the company to more than twenty-five European cities in Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and Luxemburg, including venues such as the Paris Bastille Opera and La Maison de la Danse in Lyon.  Rioult has developed his company of dancers to demonstrate the highest level of artistry and commitment.   

      The schedule is as follows:  Tuesday, June 3 at 7:30pm (Gala Performance), Thursday, June 5 - Saturday, June 7 at 8:00pm, [note: no performance Wednesday, June 4]. Tickets are $38 (NYU Students: $12, NYU faculty & staff: $30) and are available at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, 566 LaGuardia Place (Washington Square South), Tues-Sat noon - 6:00pm; by phone at 212-279-4200, daily, between noon and 8PM; or online at  For further Company information, visit

Related Articles

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...