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.


Collaborators & Colleagues

Conductor Mark Shapiro is music director of the Prince Edward Island Symphony, and artistic director of Cantori New York and the Monmouth Civic Chorus.

Grants & Grantees

Recognized as one of the world’s leading conservatories, The Curtis Institute of Music (Curtis) was founded in 1924 by Mary Louise Curtis Bok. Curtis has educated and trained some of the most exceptionally gifted young musicians from around the world for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level.

In June 2013, Pennsylvania Ballet presented the Center-funded company premiere of William Forsythe’s Artifact Suite, which was previewed by ABC 6 Action News.

The Invisible City project consists of extensive oral history research, conducted with artists, critics, and curators active in the city’s little-known avant-garde visual arts community of the 1960s and 1970s.

Grants & Grantees

Experimental music presenter Ars Nova Workshop produced five recordings on the record label High Two.

Grants & Grantees

Melanie Bilenker (Pew Fellow, 2010) translates the historic art of Victorian hair jewelry into work that reflects upon the contemporary era.

We asked our 2013 No Idea Is Too Ridiculous project facilitators, Kathleen McLean and Mark Beasley, to reflect on where they see constraints to doing creative work.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Pianist, composer/arranger, and educator Mike Holober serves as artistic director/conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra and composer-in-residence with the Gotham Wind Symphony.

Grants & Grantees

Andrew Simonet is a dance artist, a founder of Artists U and Headlong Dance Theater, and a 2006 Pew Fellow.

Grants & Grantees

Jennifer Levonian (Pew Fellow, 2009) creates cut-paper animations that explore the ambivalence of everyday life.

Get a sneak peek at a rehearsal of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia’s Bach/Mendelssohn St. Matthew Passion. for an introduction to the world of choral music.

At the launch of the Center’s new multimedia online publication the Director of Performance Bill Bissell and choreographer Lucinda Childs discussed the collaborative research effort that led to our fourth danceworkbook.