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Choreographer Peter Kyle Curates “What for? Why not?” a New Series at Triskelion Arts

Choreographer Peter Kyle Curates “What for? Why not?” a New Series at Triskelion Arts
Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter

By Trina Mannino/Follow @Trinamannino on Twitter
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Published on March 28, 2017

Muriel Schulman Theater at Triskelion Arts

March 30-April 1 and April 6-8

More info at

Tickets are $18 in advance or $22 at the door. Ticket packages (2-Day Pass for $30 or 3-Day Pass for $40) may be purchased online and in advance only. All tickets are available at

April 7 artists pictured above l to r: Valerie Striar in Patty Bradshaw's work (dance), photo: Cory Antiel; Vienna Carroll & Keith Johnston (music)

March 31 artists pictured l to r: Martin Dockery (spoken word) and JJ Sulin's (visual art) "South Dakota Car In Alley”

To expand its already diverse programming, Greenpoint-based Triskelion Arts unveils a new series. Over two weeks, choreographer Peter Kyle, whose work has been presented by the organization and who also serves on its board, curates What for? Why not?, six programs that juxtapose dance, music, spoken word, and visual art. 

“The title of this series isn’t meant to be flippant,” says Kyle at a nearby Greenpoint cafe. “It came out of a genuine and deep desire to — as a friend put it — bring cool people together in one room and encourage us to think outside the box about how we experience dance and other forms. How do the places where we experience art influence or inform what we can expect? Do those expectations make us passive in what we think we know about one type or another?”

April 1 artists pictured l to r: Holley Farmer (dance); Pepper Fajans, photo by Andrew Oppeneer (dance); and Scott Giguere (spoken word)

The premise of What for? Why not? is no surprise to those familiar with Kyle’s aesthetic. Prior to making his own work, which features art renderings plus theatrical and sound influences, he danced for Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis. “One thing that I carry with me from that experience is [the idea that] the stage is an environment, and all aspects of production for him [Nikolais] were equal and in relation,” Kyle says.

Kyle continues to be enthusiastically engaged with the wider artistic community. “I am deeply curious about the kinds of questions that other people ask in their creative process,” he says. 

March 30 artists pictured l to r: Ryan Keberle (music) and Caleb Nussear's (visual art) installation

Kyle’s roster of participants runs the gamut to include long-time friend, collaborator, and former Cunningham dancer Holley Farmer; his neighbor, photographer JJ Sulin; and his Sarah Lawrence College-colleague dance-and-puppet artist Patti Bradshaw. All were asked to weave an aspect of their work with another’s or to present a multifaceted project in a shared evening. 

An element of six degrees of separation pervades the series. Visual artist Caleb Nussear and musician Ryan Keberle, whom Kyle met through another musician, embark on a singular endeavor. Nussear will share his intricately folded paper screens with slide projections while Keberle will play live trombone, analog synthesizer, and pre-recorded music, directly inspired by his counterpart’s paper sculptures. 

April 6 artists pictured l to r: Christine Sciulli, photo: Paul Warchol; Jaanika Peerna, photo: Marco Berardi; and Qian Yi (visual art-movement-music) and Jason Walker (music), photo: Bob Gore

In another interdisciplinary project, Christine Sciulli, a light installation artist whom Kyle met in 2010, invited Jaanika Peerna, an Estonian visual artist, and Qian Yi, a leading performer of the Kunju style of Chinese opera, to create a new work. 

While Kyle hopes these partnerships will begin fruitful collaborations, he also aims to expand the space and dance’s audience. He says, “I hope in some small way that this series will allow people to mingle with something that they may have once considered ‘other’ and to find inspiration where they may not have expected.”

April 8 artists pictured l to r: Michael Bellar (music), photo: Mike Depasquale; and Marielis Garcia (dance), photo: Nir Arieli

Peter Kyle’s Top Five-ish Art Experiences:

1. Visiting and walking beneath the Parthenon in Athens, Greece

2. Watching Waterzooi performed by Compagnie Maguy Marin in Seattle, WA

3. Soaking up light and color in an immersive James Turrell exhibit in the Henry Art Gallery also in Seattle, WA

4. Standing at the edge of the stage in the groundling area of the Old Globe Theater in London to watch/hear Mark Rylance and company perform Hamlet

5. And: at 16 joining the public sing-along of Handel’s Messiah at Lincoln Center; performing Murray Louis’ Four Brubeck Pieces at Central Park Summerstage under a full moon or outdoors at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Patras, Greece; watching Ann Carlson perform in an astroturf suit in front of a blue, blue sky at The Joyce in the early ‘90s; visiting the Rothko room at the Tate Modern in London; watching Streb's Ringside in the Anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge; watching David Roussève/Reality in Urban Scenes/Creole Dreams at BAM’s Harvey Theater; I could go on…

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