Questions of Practice: Choreographer Stephen Petronio on Performance and Ephemerality

Choreographer Stephen Petronio discusses how his previous creations represent moments in time that live unconsciously in the body. He says his past works are a “reminder of the places that I’ve poured myself into and how they affect where I might be going in the future, or what I might want to discard from that past.”

Choreographer Stephen Petronio on performance and ephemerality. Filmed at The Fabric Workshop and Museum on April 22, 2016.

With Center support, The Fabric Workshop and Museum presents Ally, a performance-as-exhibition conceived by visual artist Janine Antoni in collaboration with Petronio and modern dance pioneer Anna Halprin. Ally is on view through July 31, 2016. View the performance schedule here.


Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body. In the past 30 years, Petronio has created over 35 works for his company, and has been commissioned by some of the most prestigious modern and ballet companies around the world. Petronio is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, and a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.


Several Center-funded performances and exhibitions have garnered national and regional media coverage in recent weeks.

Grants & Grantees

Kate Watson-Wallace is a Philadelphia-based choreographer, 2007 Pew Fellow, and the co-director of anonymous bodies.

Headlong completed a five-month-long research and choreographic project with choreographer Tere O’Connor.

This event features saxophonists/composers Ries and Zenón, and WNYC’s John Schaefer, as they address the unique challenges of collaborating across genres.

Grants & Grantees

FringeArts partnered with Bang on a Can to present this event at its 2010 festival: a 12-hour concert that explored contemporary American compositional currents.

Pew Fellows Eileen Neff and Raphael Xavier are among the distinguished recipients of 2016 Guggenheim Fellowships.

Grants & Grantees

Teresa Leo is a poet and a 2002 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Kim Arrow is a dance artist and a 2003 Pew Fellow.

We ask DeFrantz how changes in technology are impacting the ways in which artists produce narrative.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Charmaine Warren is a performer, historian, consultant, and dance writer. She is founder, producer, and artistic director for the Montclair dance festival “Dance on the Lawn,” co-curator of Harlem Stage’s E-Moves, and lead curator for Dance at the Wassaic Project festival.

Tempesta di Mare performs two of its orchestral rediscoveries from the French high baroque: Jean-Philippe Rameau’s Les Fêtes de Polymnie, and Jean-Marie Leclair’s Scylla et Glaucus.

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society serves the Greater Philadelphia region and the field of music by presenting a rich and compelling variety of chamber music and recital programs performed by exceptional international and Philadelphia-based artists at affordable prices.