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Holly Wallace
Press Releases
UCLA Live's Royce Hall
United States
Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Stephen Petronio Dance Company Returns to UCLA Live with Two L.A. Premieres Set to Music Recorded by Rufus Wainwright, Feb. 2-3

by Holly Wallace
February 2, 2007
UCLA Live's Royce Hall
340 Royce Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Stephen Petronio Dance Company Returns to UCLA Live with Two L.A. Premieres Set to Music Recorded by Rufus Wainwright, Feb. 2-3

"An experimental choreographer of whiplash force and extreme dynamics."—The New York Times
LOS ANGELES—UCLA live presents the adrenaline-powered dance of the Stephen Petronio Company returning to Los Angeles with its powerful and provocative mixture of movement, new music, visual art and fashion. The esteemed Company will perform three Petronio-choreographed works including the L.A. premiere of two new pieces, "BLOOM" and "Bud Suite," set to music written and recorded by the popular singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. "BLOOM" layers Wainwright's original music with the live sounds of the Paulist Choristers of California youth choir. The Petronio Company performs in L.A. for two nights only at 8 p.m., Friday–Saturday, Feb. 2–3, at Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. The program runs approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes with one intermission. For tickets visit www.UCLALive.org, call 310-825-2101 or contact Ticketmaster.

Petronio calls his choreography "powerfully modern landscapes for the senses." "Bud Suite" begins with a male dance duet set to such Wainwright hits as "Oh What a World" and "Vibrate." Following is "BLOOM," Petronio's most recent piece, which celebrates the vitality and promise of youth and explores the bittersweet poignancy of transformation. Petronio describes it as "a time of vigor, freshness and flourish; an awesomely energized and beautiful moment." Wainwright's lush, theatrical score draws from the Latin Mass, "Lux aeterna,"and poetry by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. Special guests, the Paulist Choristers youth choir led by artistic director Luke McEndarfer, will perform live. The third piece, "The Rite Part," is an excerpt from Petronio's striking "Full Half Wrong" set to Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring."

The Stephen Petronio Company dancers are: Michael Badger, Elena Demianenko, Davalois Fearon, Gino Grenek, Jonathan Jaffe, Shila Tirabassi and Amanda Wells. Please note, Jye-Hwei Lin is replacing Mandy Kirschner, announced in previous materials, who is injured.

Petronio often collaborates with visionary musicians, artists and couture designers. For "BLOOM," when asked why he was drawn to Wainwright, he explained, "I love his music—that's always the way it starts for me. And it's quite instinctual—I'll hear two bars of something and know instantly that I want to work with it." He has also called on the talents of costume designers including Manolo, a native of Cuba who directs Manolo Ready Couture in SoHo; and Rachel Roy, whose hip, beautiful clothing is worn by celebrities such as Jessica Simpson, Lindsay Lohan and Halle Berry. Tara Subkoff, who has worked with Petronio since 2000, spearheads Imitation of Christ (IOC), a creative collective of social engineers that includes fashion design, art and film. Ken Tabachnick is the resident lighting designer.

Wildly acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the Stephen Petronio Company was founded in 1984 and has performed in 25 countries throughout the world as well as presenting over 30 New York City engagements. Petronio has built a body of more than 30 works collaborating with some of the world's most talented and provocative artists including composers Wainwright, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, James Lavelle, Michael Nyman, Sheila Chandra, Diamanda Galás, Andy Teirstein, Wire, Peter Gordon, Lenny Pickett and David Linton. He has also worked with visual artists Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Donald Baechler, Stephen Hannock, Tal Yarden, Arnaldo Ferrara, Justin Terzi III; and fashion designers Tanya Sarne/Ghost, Leigh Bowery, Paul Compitus, Yonson Pak and H. Petal in addition to Manolo, Roy and Subkoff.

The New York-based Petronio has emerged in the last decade as a major force in American dance, and is "gleaming hot on the international dance scene…a movement genius" (New York Press). His explosive, intrepid choreography weds exhilarating speed and raw energy with fluid movement, masterfully expressed emotion and sensual freedom. Petronio's works are "pure extravagance" (Associated Press). Born in Newark, N.J., Petronio received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., where he began dancing in 1974. Initially inspired by the dancing of Steven Paxton and Rudolf Nureyev, he was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Company (1979–1986). Since forming his company, Petronio has received international acclaim for the development of his unique movement language and groundbreaking choreography. Petronio has received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship as well as awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award and a New York Dance and Performance Award/Bessie.

His works have been commissioned by William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet (1987), Tulsa Opera (1990), Deutsche Opera Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Ricochet Dance Company of London (1998 and 2001), Axis Dance Company in San Francisco (2001), and A Quo Danza Contemporanea in Mexico (2002), Sydney Dance Company (2003, full evening), CanDoCo (2003), and Norrdans (2004, 2006). In 2006, repertory works were set on Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet Lorraine and London Contemporary and new works were created for Norrdans and Washington Ballet.

Stephen Petronio Company has been commissioned by Dance Umbrella Festival/London, Hebbel Theater/Berlin, Internationales TanzFestival NRW/Germany, Theater Scene National de Sceaux/France, Festival d'Automne a Paris, CNDC Angers/France, Het Muziektheater/Amsterdam, The Holland Festival, Festival International Montpellier-Danse, Danceworks UK Ltd, International Cannes Danse Festival, and in the United States by San Francisco Performances, The Joyce Theater, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Spirit Square Center for the Arts, Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, White Bird and Carver Community Cultural Center.

The New York-based composer and performer Rufus Wainwright was born in Montreal and has released a variety of praised albums. A classically trained pianist, Wainwright is the son of folk artists Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. His music has garnered much critical acclaim including comments from critic Keith Phipps, "Wainwright has continually expanded the borders of his previously unclaimed musical turf, drawing on pre-rock 'n' roll pop songs and classical music to create a sound all his own."

Tickets to the Stephen Petronio Company are available for $45, $32 and $22 at the UCLA Central Ticket Office at the southwest corner of the James West Alumni Center, online at www.UCLALive.org and at all Ticketmaster outlets. For more information or to charge by phone, call 310-825-2101. UCLA students may purchase tickets in advance for $15. Student rush tickets at the same price, subject to availability, are offered to all students with a valid i.d. one hour prior to show time.

The Stephen Petronio Company is part of UCLA Live's 06/07 dance events which also include Ballet Flamenco Sara Baras on Feb. 21–22 and Sylvie Guillem with Akram Khan on May 2–3.

Press images: http://files.performingarts.ucla.edu/0607images/stephenpetronio/

"BLOOM" was made possible, in part, by the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, a program administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

UCLA Live is an internationally acclaimed producer and presenter of music, dance, theater and spoken word, bringing hundreds of outstanding and provocative artists to Los Angeles each year. From the ancient to the modern, the local to the global, and the underground to the world-renowned, UCLA Live is committed to supporting the development of new and existing work by both major and emerging artists. Lectures, residencies, and extensive outreach programs expand the impact of its unparalleled performances.
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