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NYU Skirball Center, 2015-16 Dance and Contemporary Circus Performances

by Helene Davis
August 11, 2015
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU
566 LaGuardia Place (at Washington Sq South)
New York, NY 10012
The 2015-16 season at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts features a wide array of acclaimed dance companies and contemporary circus performances, showcasing and supporting diverse and eclectic talent from across the country around the world.

The season's dance programs include the launch of DANCE SPEAKS, a new annual series showcasing dance works that explore current issues that shape our lives and reflect our times. The inaugural DANCE SPEAKS series will open with Spectrum Dance Theater's "The Minstrel Show Revisited," a powerful dance/theater piece that takes a satirical look at the derogatory song and dance tradition of minstrelsy whole commenting on today's race-related events, and continues with a program celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, featuring performances by Heidi Latsky Dance and AXIS Dance Company.

This season, NYU Skirball welcomes the internationally acclaimed Pilobolus with the North American premiere of their groundbreaking multimedia event "Shadowland," running for three weeks beginning November 20.

The season also includes three programs of contemporary circus. Following last season's sold-out festival, Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2016 will feature new critically-acclaimed international and American companies displaying their cutting edge circus artistry. Swedish duo Magmanus presents the N.Y. premiere of "Attached," and the award-winning French performance company l'immédiat ends the circus season with a beautifully-orchestrated circus-theater work by the acclaimed performing artist Camille Boitel.

The Complete Dance and Contemporary Circus Schedule of the 2015-16 Season:

"Attached" (N.Y. Premiere) September 25-26, 2015

Contemporary circus performers Magnus Bjøru and Manu Tiger combine circus, theater, interactive elements and lots of Velcro to explore the idea of attachment in its many forms. Surrounded by stadium lighting with various contraptions dotting the stage, the performers' Velcro-suited bodies make contact and are cleaved apart with the recognizable rip, demonstrating that everything and everyone—including the audience—is attached.

Magmanus is a Swedish circus company founded in 2009 by the Franco-Norwegian duo Manu Tiger (a small acrobat) and Magnus Bjoru (a large juggler) to spread happiness and inspire audiences to follow their dreams, through impressive circus skills, humor and intensive interaction with the audience. The duo has performed in 21 countries and on four continents, in venues ranging from traditional circus tents to festivals and street performances. www.magmanus.com
Dates/Times: September 25 and 26 at 8 pm
Tickets: $32-$49

(DANCE SPEAKS Series) October 29-31, 2015
"The Minstrel Show Revisited"

"The Minstrel Show Revisited" ignites audiences with remarkable, razor-sharp choreography while engaging them in a parody of the infamous minstrel shows of a century ago. This reworking of Donald Byrd's Bessie Award-winning 1991 production uses new elements that reflect current race-related events such as Eric Garner's choke-hold death, the Ferguson shooting of Michael Brown, and other charged events of the day. It takes the 19th -century blackface minstrel show and rips it apart, revealing its persistent legacies of racism, whether in our entertainment genres or in the racial stereotyping and profiling that exists in American society as a whole.

Spectrum Dance Theater (SDT) was founded in Seattle in 1982 to bring dance of the highest merit to a diverse audience composed of people from different social, cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds. SDT's principal objective is to make the art form of dance accessible through contemporary dance performances and high-quality dance training in a variety of dance styles. Under Donald Byrd's visionary artistic leadership since 2002, the organization has embarked on an exhilarating transformation that has attracted world-class dancers, produced some of the most avant-garde works in contemporary dance, and generated local and national praise. www.spectrumdance.org
Dates/Times: October 29 at 7:30 pm; October 30-31 at 8 pm
Tickets: $30 – $55

BALLETCOLLECTIVE (Two World Premieres) November 4 – 5, 2015

BalletCollective presents two world premieres by Troy Schumacher, both inspired by series of commissioned photographs by Paul Maffi and Dafy Hagai respectively, with commissioned scores by music director and resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin) and Mark Dancigers (NOW Ensemble). The new works will be performed alongside "All That We See and Dear and Blackbirds," both of which premiered last fall at NYU Skirball.

Acclaimed New York City Ballet choreographer Troy Schumacher brings artists at the forefront of their genres together to collaborate closely as equals as they create new, ballet-based works. The result is a series of thrilling, inventive pieces certified "mint-fresh" and "seriously experimental" by The New York Times. BalletCollective provides audiences the rare chance to experience NYCB dancers up close in works tailor-made for them featuring live music performed by the ensemble Hotel Elefant. www.balletcollective.com
Dates/Times: November 4-5 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $20 - $75

DANCE SPEAKS Series November 15, 2015

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Heidi Latsky Dance and AXIS Dance Company will present a multimedia dance/art instillation by Heidi Latsky Dance, and three dance pieces: "Somewhere," (Latsky) "Divide" (AXIS), and "to go again" (AXIS).
Heidi Latsky Dance presents "On Display," a deconstructed art gallery/fashion show, which comments on the experience of watching and being watched and society's obsession with the physical body.

Accompanied by a film by Janet Wong, text by Jerron Herman, a score by Stan Harrison and Ximena Borges and outfits designed by Anna Kathleen Little, this exhibit will be "on display" in the Skirball lobby before the main show.

Heidi Latsky Dance's "Somewhere," (2015), set to an original score by Ximena Borges, highlights the luminous appeal of a diverse, unconventional cast. This new version of Somewhere is a poetic interweaving of solos and duets, embracing difference and the inherent isolation of being human with fierceness and frankness.

AXIS Dance Company will present two pieces: "Divide" (2014), an abstract work exploring the divide in human interaction in movement, space and time, choreographed by Marc Brew; and "to go again" (2015), a dance/theater work that brings to light issues facing our nation's veterans and addresses their resilience following severe life changes, created by choreographer Joe Goode.

Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is a New York-based modern dance company dedicated to creating provocative, highly technical and physically adventurous dance under the artistic direction of Heidi Latsky, a longtime principal member of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Since its inception, the company has received numerous awards, commissions and residencies. Heidi Latsky Dance premiered in 2001 with a Joyce Theater Residency and its first sold-out run of JUST WATCH!, presented by Danspace Project in NYC. A variety of work followed, at venues around the world. Latsky's training in psychology and her desire to explore the human condition through movement have resulted in the company collaborating with various social service and humanitarian organizations. www.heidilatskydance.com

AXIS Dance Company, based in Oakland, California, exists to change the face of dance and disability. AXIS has become one of the world's most acclaimed and innovative ensembles of performers with and without disabilities. Founded in 1987, AXIS has paved the way for a powerful contemporary dance form called physically integrated dance. Under the artistic direction of Judith Smith since 1997, the company's performances have won numerous awards, toured extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, and were seen on "So You Think You Can Dance?" Through various outreach programs, AXIS brings physically integrated dance nto schools, community centers, independent living centers, and to countless organizations seeking to learn more about dance, disability, and collaboration. www.axisdance.org
Dates/Times: November 15 at 7 pm
Tickets: $32 - $49

"Shadowland" (North American Premiere) November 20 – December 6, 2016

Pilobolus and NYU Skirball presents the North American premiere of their groundbreaking "Shadowland" (2009), a mix of shadow theater, dance, circus and concert. "Shadowland" features multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes to create a performance that merges projected images with front-of-screen choreography. The show incorporates Pilobolus's legendary approach to modern dance with high energy and fast-paced multimedia innovation as it shares the surreal experience of a young girl's coming of age in a sensational world. "Shadowland," currently touring Europe, the Middle East and Asia, has been seen by more than a half-million people in the three years since it was created.

Pilobolus was founded in 1971 by a group of Dartmouth College students who had no prior dance training. Without a single lead choreographer, they worked collaboratively to create dances with a fresh, unbounded physical vocabulary and a narrative-driven, electrically witty style. Today, the founders' use of rigorous collaboration and their playful approach to movement remain at the heart of Pilobolus's creation of new work through the International Collaborators Project as well as educational programs that strive to build connections between individuals and communities through physical movement and the collective creative process. Pilobolus has created and toured over 120 pieces of repertory to more than 65 countries and has been recognized with such honors as a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Programming, the Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement in Choreography, a 2010 Grammy® Award nomination, and several Cannes Lion Awards. www.pilobolus.org
November 20 at 7 pm (Gala)
November 21, 27-28 at 8 pm
November 21-22, 27-29 at 2 pm
November 22-25 at 7 pm
December 1-3, 6 at 7 pm
December 4-5 at 8 pm
December 5-6 at 2:00 pm
Tickets: $30 – $70

CIRCUS NOW: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2016
January 14 – 16, 2016

Circus Now returns to NYU Skirball following last season's sold-out performances with three evenings of boundary pushing contemporary circus, featuring the world's most innovative and inspired companies.

Circus Now, a volunteer-powered circus advocacy organization, works to support and spread circus in a variety of ways: professional development workshops, social media advocacy, and community-building events. The company encourages and promotes circus as an art and a practice and helps circus companies survive, thrive and connect with theaters and presenters from around the world. www.circusnow.org
Dates/Times: January 14-16 at 8 pm
Tickets: $35 - $59

L'IMMÉDIAT (N.Y. Premiere)
"L'Immédiate" March 9 – 13, 2016

On a stage crammed with machinery, objects, junk and bric-a-brac of every kind, "L'Immédiat" (2012) is a tumultuous visual commentary on the uncertainty and mayhem of modern times. In sixty minutes of beautifully orchestrated circus-theater chaos, seven young acrobat-adventurers defy a tsunami of unstable forces with optimism, dark humor and breathtaking physical skills.

Created by the award-winning performing artist Camille Boitel, an original member of the renowned mime and physical theater artist James Thierrée's Junebug Symphony Company, "L'Immédiat" has toured successfully throughout Europe and was awarded the Prix Mimos Prize at the 2010 Mimos international festival of mime and physical theater. www.siparhasard.com/index.php?/les-spectacles/limmediat
Dates/Times: March 9 – 12 at 8 pm; March 13 at 3 pm
Tickets: $35 – $65


Tickets for the 2015-2016 season may be purchased online at www.nyuskirball.org or in person at the NYU Skirball Center Box Office: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00–6:00 P.M. The NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.


NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by Executive Director Michael Harrington, the NYU Skirball mission is to showcase and support diverse and eclectic talent from around the world, while cultivating audiences for live performance through deeper engagement opportunities.

For more information visit: www.nyuskirball.org.
PILOBOLUS in 'Shadowland' - (North American Premiere) November 20 – December 6, 2016

PILOBOLUS in "Shadowland" - (North American Premiere) November 20 – December 6, 2016

Photo © & courtesy of Emmanuel Donny

PILOBOLUS in 'Shadowland' - (North American Premiere) November 20 – December 6, 2016

PILOBOLUS in "Shadowland" - (North American Premiere) November 20 – December 6, 2016

Photo © & courtesy of Emmanuel Donny

SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER in 'The Minstrel Show Revisited' - October 29-31, 2015

SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER in "The Minstrel Show Revisited" - October 29-31, 2015

Photo © & courtesy of Emmanuel Donny

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