Performance Space New York presents C O M P R E S S I O N, a new work by Niall Jones
PERFORMANCE SPACE NEW YORK PRESENTS NIALL JONES’S
C O M P R E S S I O N, OCTOBER 24 – 30
C O M P R E S S I O N, an Installation and Performance, Continues Jones’s Practice of Dis/assembling Theatrical Space.
Performance: October 24 – 28 (7:30pm)
Installation (Free): October 24 – 30 (12 – 6pm)
A theater composed of scaffolding,
movable and removable parts
A stage below a stage next to a stage over a stage
(oh the t e a r s)
dis/place to dis/place
Networks of pushy asymmetries
in sway, slur, blur, purrrr
Performance Space New York presents C O M P R E S S I O N, a new work by Niall Jones, on view as an installation October 24 – 30 and as a series of performances taking place October 24 – 28.
C O M P R E S S I O N dis/assembles the Neilma Sidney Theatre (150 1st Ave. 4th floor), establishing the theater as a mutable site, subject to continual transformation and disruption. Over the course of five performances (October 24 – 28), Jones serves a choreographic dis/composition.
“I’m working through obsessions and curiosities surrounding the structures and ontologies of concerts, theater, choreography, and nightlife. The leaking, merging, and converging of forms into something else, and how this might relate to memory and the visible and invisible influences carried within the body. How a performer might emerge from, and be part of, a mass. The teetering nature of genre: how forms have limits they reach before they tip into something else, and locating the erotic and transformative potential within that.”
In C O M P R E S S I O N, Jones works with the presence of light, sound, architecture, and crowd — the matter and material of theaters and nightclubs. The theater, imagined as a polymorphous, itinerant space, will be retrofitted with lighting and amplification equipment that respond to visitation — motion and presence. Abstracted personal images of family and past choreographic projects are disarranged and installed throughout the room to evoke a gallery of phantoms that, like memory, appear and disappear into the architectures of the theater.
About Niall Jones
Niall Jones (b. 1984, Richmond, Virginia) is an artist working and living in New York City. Niall constructs, inhabits, and explores the theater as a mode and location of instabilities. Niall received a Bessie Award nomination for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer in 2017, and more recently, a 2021 Grants-To-Artists Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Art.
Recent works include: a n u n r e a l at the Shed (2022), Dark de Luxe at JACK (2022), In the Efforts of Time at the Fine Art Academy of Stuttgart (2022), A Work for Others at The Kitchen OnScreen (2021); Fantasies in Low Fade at The Chocolate Factory, New York (2019); Sis Minor: The Preliminary Studies at Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin, Germany (2018); Sis Minor, in Fall at Abrons Arts Center, New York (2018); Splendor #3 at Gibney Dance, New York (2017).
Niall received a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.F.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He teaches at the University of the Arts School of Danc in Philadelphia, where he is also Producer and Co-Curator of The School for Temporary Liveness (Vol. 1 & 2).
About Performance Space New York
Over the last 40 years Performance Space has been propelling cultural, theoretical, and political discourse forward. Futurity and world-building connect the interdisciplinary works presented here—works that have dissolved the borders of performance art, dance, theater, music, visual art, poetry and prose, ritual, night life, food, film, and technology, shattering artistic and social norms alike.
Founded in 1980, Performance Space New York (formerly Performance Space 122) became a haven for many queer and radical voices shut out by a repressive, monocultural mainstream and conservative government whose neglect exacerbated the emerging AIDS epidemic’s devastation. Carrying forward the multitudinous visions of these artists who wielded the political momentum of self-expression amidst the intensifying American culture wars, Performance Space is one of the birthplaces of contemporary performance as it is known today.
As the New York performing arts world has become increasingly institutionalized, and the shortcomings within our industry were further revealed during the ravages and transformations of 2020, our focus has been not just on presenting boundary-breaking work but on restructuring our own organization towards prioritizing equity and access. We seek to build deeper relationships with our artists and communities by creating new access points. Through community programs, annual town halls, guest-curated programs such as Octopus and First Mondays, we welcome the public to actively shape our future and help us hold ourselves accountable. Programs like the revived Open Movement and the new Open Room invite the community in and reclaim the institution as a rare indoor public space in the ever-more expensive East Village.
Our search for new models is an embrace of the unknown—and an acknowledgement of transformation as a process of continuous inquiry, imagination, response, and accountability. Mirroring the spirit of experimentation artists have brought to our spaces across four decades, we strive towards something which does not yet exist. We believe this focus on changing the conditions in which art is made is just as fundamental as the art itself, and only serves to make it more substantial.
02020, the year-long project during which a cohort of salaried artists were invited together with the staff and board to re-vision Performance Space, initiated this transformation, and itself rapidly reshaped to meet artists’ and community members’ needs amidst the early days of the pandemic and uprising for racial justice. 02020 was a new beginning for us, a sharp and needed turn back towards artists to help rethink the institution for the future.
Performance Space New York is situated in Lenapehoking, the land, waters, and air of the Lenape diaspora, a place which has always been, still is, and always will be a center of intersecting Indigenous movements. We acknowledge that our existence, operating on the island of Manahatta, is a consequence of violent histories of settler colonialism bound up with unchecked exclusions, genocide, and erasures of many Indigenous people -ongoing to this day.
This acknowledgement should not function as acceptance or closure, but as a call to commit to reconfigure our notions about ourselves through our work and working practice, here at Performance Space, as we take responsibility to dismantle the ongoing harm perpetuated by settler colonialism.
Share Your Audience Review. Your Words Are Valuable to Dance.
Are you going to see this show, or have you seen it? Share "your" review here on The Dance Enthusiast. Your words are valuable. They help artists, educate audiences, and support the dance field in general. There is no need to be a professional critic. Just click through to our Audience Review Section and you will have the option to write free-form, or answer our helpful Enthusiast Review Questionnaire, or if you feel creative, even write a haiku review. So join the conversation.