Pennsylvania Ballet acquired and presented Artifact Suite, its third work in three years by William Forsythe, a choreographer noted for propelling ballet from a strictly classical dance form to a dynamic, 21st-century art. Featuring 29 dancers in a 45-minute ballet, Forsythe’s signature choreography in Artifact Suite pushes dancers beyond their perceived physical limits, demanding sharp timing, precise syncopation, and coordination. Forsythe keeps the work fresh by making changes to the choreography every time a new company performs it. “There is always something to improve, some craftsmanship to carry out, and new solutions to discover,” he says.
Three of the choreographer’s former dancers—Jodie Gates, Noah Gelber, and Laura Graham—staged Artifact Suite over four weeks of rehearsal. Forsythe visited Philadelphia to work with the dancers in advance of the final performances in June 2013. A public symposium was held, prior to the performances, moderated by Linda Caruso Haviland, director of dance at Bryn Mawr College, and featured Forsythe; Freya Vass-Rhee, dramaturge of the Forsythe Company; and Jennifer Homans, author of Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet.
Jenelle Porter is senior curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Prior to that, she curated at Artists Space in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
Leah Stein’s Center-funded project Battle Hymns, set to an original score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, was remounted in San Francisco in the spring of 2013.
Established in 1963, Pennsylvania Ballet has extended its important Balanchine-based repertoire by presenting new works by a variety of contemporary choreographers.
Richard Maxwell, playwright and director, is the artistic director of New York City Players and a two-time Off-Broadway Theater Award winner.
The Philadelphia Art Alliance underwent exhibition planning with artist collective the Miss Rockaway Armada for a project that explored the organization’s relationship to its surrounding neighborhood.
Nato Thompson is chief curator at Creative Time. He served as a Center panelist (2008) and evaluator (2010), and contributed to the Center’s Pigeons on the Grass, Alas series.
We asked Lee how she thinks about the relationship between innovation with preservation.
Micah Danges’ (Pew Fellow, 2015) work hovers between image and object, pushing the limit of what a photograph can be and using optical distortions that create abstract scenes from everyday items and places, in a distinctive merging of materials and process.
Named for Doylestown’s most famous son, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James A. Michener, this museum was founded in 1988 with a regional focus, housing a collection of Pennsylvania impressionist paintings.
A number of Center-supported performances take the stage this summer, including seven new musical commissions by The Crossing and the world premiere of Pablo Batista’s music and dance production El Viaje (The Journey).
Charles Burnette is a design educator and a 1993 Pew Fellow.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founding director of Urban Bush Women, reflects on her artistic evolution and the importance of living on the “edge of failure.”