Periapsis Music and Dance presents UNBEKNOWNST: 5 World Premieres
Periapsis Music and Dance
Periapsis Music and Dance presents
Five world premieres, with choreography by:
Rohan Bhargava, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Da' Von Doane, Gabrielle Lamb, and Evita Zacharioglou
and music by:
Annie Nikunen and Jonathan Howard Katz
Saturday May 21 at 7 PM; Sunday May 22 at 3 PM
Mark Morris Dance Center
James and Martha Duffy Performance Space
3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
Tickets: $30 general admission; $18 student/artist
Available at https://periapsismusicanddance.org/calendar/
*There is no box office at the theater, so tickets must be purchased in advance
**Proof of vaccination is required for entry and the audience must remain masked
Periapsis Music and Dance's tenth season culminates in UNBEKNOWNST, a program of five new works by our resident and guest choreographers, in collaboration with our resident composers. All works are performed by our ensemble of dancers and musicians, with two prestigious guest musicians joining the program. Two performances, May 21 at 7 PM and May 22 at 3 PM at the Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
Resident choreographer Rohan Bhargava and guest choreographer Da' Von Doane are both collaborating with composer Annie Nikunen. Resident choreographer Evita Zacharioglou and guest choreographers PeiJu Chien-Pott and Gabrielle Lamb are collaborating with composer and artistic director Jonathan Howard Katz. Cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and pianist Eleonor Sandresky will appear as guest performers.
Artistic director Jonathan Howard Katz, who co-founded the organization and is also currently a guest pianist with New York City Ballet, says of this program, "This is a culmination of the past decade of our work, but it also represents new beginnings. We have five new dancers this season, which is basically half the company, so we're rediscovering and redefining our ensemble's voice and direction. And Rohan and Evita, our resident choreographers, are also fairly new to the company, so we're just beginning to explore together how they'll shape our work over the long term. And our guest choreographers, all outstanding artists, come from very different movement backgrounds and aesthetics, which allows us to broaden our influences and grow substantially as a versatile repertoire company."
Unbeknownst, the program's title work, will be Gabrielle Lamb's second commissioned work for Periapsis Music and Dance, the first being last year's Equipoise, also a collaboration with Katz. This one will be a larger work, for four dancers, viola, and piano, and is based on a short story by Ben Loory.
Da' Von Doane's choreography appeared on a Periapsis program in 2014, but this is his first commissioned work on the company. It will be a duet for two male dancers, setting an existing piece for piano 4-hands by composer Annie Nikunen, which was inspired in part by the Cage-Cunningham love letters.
This will be PeiJu Chien-Pott's first commissioned work for Periapsis Music and Dance.
The key component of Periapsis Music and Dance's output since the beginning has been the composer / choreographer collaboration, which has resulted in unique creation processes and works that sometimes blur the line between genres, and between dancers and musicians. Until last year, Katz had been the only composer in the company, though other composers were commissioned. In 2021, Annie Nikunen joined as a second composer-in-residence (as well as flutist, dancer, and choreographer), introducing a new dynamic in the relationship of music to dance. Says Katz, "Annie's artistic voice is incredibly distinct and imaginative, growing naturally out of her unusual interdisciplinary background and confluence of interests. Her music is entirely different from mine, so it's exciting and refreshing to have such a vibrant, new musical presence in the ensemble. Not to mention somebody who so effortlessly straddles the music-dance divide within her own practice."
Unbeknownst and the new work by Rohan Bhargava and Annie Nikunen are supported, in part, by a commissioning grant from the O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation.
Unbeknownst was supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual support and/or endowment gifts from Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
The new work by PeiJu Chien-Pott and Jonathan Howard Katz is supported, in part, by a generous gift from Deborah and Charles Adelman.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
ROHAN BHARGAVA was born and raised in New Delhi, India, where he trained at the Danceworx Academy of Performing Arts before relocating to New York City in 2012 to earn his BFA degree in dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Through his choreographic work as founder and artistic director of Rovaco Dance, Rohan has received residencies and commissions from CUNY Dance Initiative, The Dance Gallery Festival, Sam Houston State University, Mare Nostrum Elements, The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation, Dancewave, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, Mannes School of Music, and Rhythmically Speaking. Recently, Rohan was awarded the Jadin Wong Fellowship by the Asian American Arts Alliance and he is featured as one of DANCE Magazine’s “25 to Watch” for 2021.
PEIJU CHIEN-POTT is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance artist from Taiwan, described as “one of the greatest living modern dancers,” celebrated particularly for her work as Principal Dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company and her performances in the iconic roles of the Graham repertory. On the theater stage, PeiJu was a Principal Actress in the Kung Fu musical Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise commissioned by The Shed and choreographed by Akram Khan. She holds a BFA in dance from Taipei National University of the Arts where she was honored with an “Outstanding Alumni Award.” Her many awards include a Bessie for “Outstanding Performance,” Positano Premia La Danza Leonide Massine for “Best Female Contemporary Dancer,” Capri International Dance Awards, included in “Best Performers” in the 2014 and 2017 Dance Magazine and numerous awards in her native Taiwan. She was recently recognized by the New York Times as one of the “Best Dance of 2021” in Richard Move’s Herstory of the Universe. PeiJu currently serves as a faculty member at The Ailey School and her commercial work is represented by MMG New York. Besides her on-stage performances, her most recent choreography includes REBIRTH in collaboration with renowned sculptor Kang Mu-Xiang for Taipei 101, ISLAND created during the pandemic commissioned by the Iron Rose Festival of Taiwan and UNITY completed for the late choreographer Nai-Ni Chen premiered at New York Live Arts in March, 2022.
DA' VON DOANE is a former leading dance artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem. He was named one of DANCE Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2014 and a Pointe Magazine "Standout" in 2017. While at DTH, he performed in works by Donald Byrd, Tanya Wideman and Thadeus Davis, Helen Picket, Francesca Harper, Arthur Mitchell, Darrell Moultrie, Claudia Schreier, Robert Garland, George Balanchine, Royston Maldoom, Nacho Duato and Ulysses Dove. He has appeared in numerous galas and festivals, as well as Guggenheim Works & Process, E- Moves at Harlem Stage, and the Virginia Arts Festival. His choreography has been presented by Periapsis Music and Dance, Bryant Park Presents, the Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center, and the 92nd St Y. In 2017 Da' Von formed The Shift – Dark Light Productions, which serves as a conduit for personal and collective growth and transformation.
GABRIELLE LAMB is a Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer based in NYC, where she directs Pigeonwing Dance. Her work has also been presented by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Whim W’him (Seattle), Ballet Collective (NYC), Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, and the Sacramento, Milwaukee, and Kansas City Ballets. Ms. Lamb, a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, has won choreographic competitions at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Milwaukee Ballet, as well as the Banff Centre’s Lee Award and a NY City Center Choreography Fellowship. In 2018 she was Grand Prize Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award. In 2018 and 2019 she was selected to create for the American Ballet Theatre Choreographic Incubator.
EVITA ZACHRIOGLOU is a Greek-Cypriot dancer, choreographer, and literary critic. She is a third culture kid (TCK) who has traveled and trained all over the globe. Formally trained in Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet, various types of contemporary dance forms, as well as traditional Greek dance, Evita is also a “comparatist,” with a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature. Evita currently performs with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, Cross Move Lab, and Periapsis Music and Dance. She performed and toured—nationally and internationally—with Russian choreographer Vladimir Varnava, under Ardani Artists Management. Evita has also choreographed and presented work, both for film and stage, with Second Avenue Dance Company, the JCC Manhattan, S.P.A.C. Productions, GMC Precision Machine, Dixon Place, Nimbus Dance Works, Path New Music Theater, and La MaMa.
JONATHAN HOWARD KATZ is a Brooklyn-based composer and pianist. As co-founder and artistic director of Periapsis Music and Dance, he has collaborated with dozens of choreographers, including Seán Curran, Kate Skarpetowska, Alia Kache, Manuel Vignoulle, Ask la Cour, and Gabrielle Lamb. His music has been performed by the Mivos Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Ensemble Pi, Ursula Oppens, Jerome Lowenthal, and many others, and at venues such as Symphony Space, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall, and Jacob's Pillow. He is a recipient of the Robert Helps Prize and a Javits Fellowship and has received commissions and other support from New Music USA, Concert Artists Guild, the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation, the O'Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, and others. He has served as music faculty at Peridance Center and the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and is currently a guest pianist with New York City Ballet.
ANNIE NIKUNEN is a NYC-based composer, flutist, dancer, choreographer, sound artist and radio broadcaster, whose work ranges from concert music and field recordings to dance and film. Her work explores connections between composition and choreography, always considering the physicality of sound in relation to movement and space. Her works have been featured nationally and internationally, performed by ensembles and performers including ZOFO, International Contemporary Ensemble, Fonema Consort, Earth Ears Ensemble, Apply Triangle, Hint of Lime Brass, Jamie Clark, Camilla Caldwell, Arcangelo Pignatelli, and more. The only company member of Periapsis Music and Dance to serve as a creative and performing artist in both music and dance,, she is also a founding member of NYC-based new music group Blackbox Ensemble, for which she is the flutist and Social Media/Marketing Manager.
JEFFREY ZEIGLER is one of the most innovative and versatile cellists of our time. He has been described as “fiery”, and a player who performs “with unforced simplicity and beauty of tone” by the New York Times. Acclaimed for his independent streak, Zeigler has commissioned dozens of works, and is admired as a potent collaborator and unique improviser. As a member of the Kronos Quartet, he is the recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, the Polar Music Prize, the President’s Merit Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts (Grammy’s), the Chamber Music America National Service Award and The Asia Society's Cultural Achievement Award.
Dubbed a “piano goddess,” ELEONOR SANDRESKY is a composer, inventor of the Wonder Suit, producer of film with live orchestra concerts, co-founder of the MATA Festival, and performing member of the Philip Glass Ensemble family since 1991. Eleonor’s music has been featured in film and on radio, and is available on Koch International, Sony, Orange Mountain Music, One Soul Records, ERM Media, and Albany Record labels. Her music is performed internationally, from London's Cafe Oto to the Totally Huge New Music Festival in Perth, Australia. Much of her recent works, both with and without electronics, are for choreographed musicians, a genre that she has created to enlarge the musical and emotional meaning through a hybrid form that merges and expands the choreography of playing with the actual music-making. To further that goal, she invented the Wonder Suit, a wearable wireless sensor system that triggers electronic events and processes in her choreographed pieces. A founding member of the improvising composer-driven Ensemble50, she is at the same time one of New York’s pre-eminent new music pianists, with performances and premieres of new works by a wide range of composers from Egberto Gismonti to Philip Glass. Deeply involved in the genre of live music and film, she composes, conducts and produces concerts of her own scores, as well as those of Leonard Bernstein and Philip Glass.
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