Amidst (The Painted Bird II)

Pavel Zuštiak / Palissimo

photo by Peter Snadik

COIL Premiere

Dance

Jan 12-14, 2013

Admist (The Painted Bird II)
Pavel Zuštiak / Palissimo (USA)

Haunting images interface with a cast of three, juxtaposing the past and present, real and virtual, as a constant shifting illusion at the intersection of dance, visual art, and live music. The audiovisual elements engulf the audience, who is invited to make their own choices about where to experience the work. Blurred lines of presence and absence, memory and disappearance cannot possibly all be consumed. Amidst is the middle part of The Painted Bird and fittingly focuses on nostalgia as a place of entrapment on a journey “home.”
 
“It’s worth losing your bearings for a while in the enigmatic atmosphere of this high-art haunted house.”
The New York Post
 
60 minutes
 
In memory of Jason Bingham Noble (1971–2012)

Award winning choreographer Pavel Zuštiak is the Producing Artistic Director of Palissimo Company, established in New York City in 2004 under his vision to pursue artistic liberty through communion with live audiences. Palissimo is known for sophisticated, multidisciplinary works with piercing emotional content and abundant surrealist imagery that explore “the darker shades of human behavior” (The New Yorker). Born in the former Czechoslovakia and trained at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, Zuštiak’s relocated to the U.S. in 1999. He has won the prestigious 2007 Princess Grace Award, 2009 Princess Grace Residency Award, received the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2010/2011 NEFA: National Dance Project Award, a 2013 Alpert Award nomination (his second to date) and was named an ambassador of KOŠICE 2013, European Capital of Culture. Zuštiak’s most recent 4+ hour trilogy project The Painted Bird (Bastard/Amidst/Strange Cargo) brought together co-producer/co-presenters La Mama, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Performance Space 122, Wexner Center and Stanica-Zilina. Deborah Jowitt of the Artsjournal called the trilogy “extraordinary,” The New York Times as “searing,” while the Financial Times as “earning its emotional extremity with tenderness and quiet.”
Zuštiak currently resides in New York City.

 

Palissimo, an adventurous dance theater company from New York, is re-mounting its enigmatic and atmospheric Amidst of the Painted Bird during 2013 COIL Festival. Choreographed by Pavel Zuštiak, Palissimo’s Czechoslovakian-born artistic director, The Painted Bird is inspired by a classic and controversial novel of the same name by Polish-born author Jerzy Kosiński. The allegorical novel tells the story of a young boy making his way through war-time Eastern Europe and a brilliantly painted bird that is violently killed by its own flock, which mistakes it for an imposter. Zuštiak’s ambitious, emotionally charged project excavates the tale’s themes—identity, otherness, displacement, and transformation—in three uniquely staged performance events. His approach integrates dance, video, and visual projections with live music composed by Christian Frederickson (a former member of the acclaimed chamber rock band Rachel’s) and Ryan Rumery and Jason Noble. As a New York Times reviewer observed, “Essentially, Zuštiak has created a roomful of outsiders. That sensation of being on the outside looking in…along with the live score, gives jolts of spooky energy. There is the sense that, with The Painted Bird, he has found his material, and will be mining it for a long time to come.”

Concept/Direction/Choreography Pavel Zuštiak
Original Music Christian Frederickson, Jason Noble, Ryan Rumery
Performed by Lindsey Dietz-Marchant, Nicholas Bruder, Pavel Zuštiak
Live Music Performed by Christian Frederickson, Tim Iseler, Ryan Rumery
Photography Robert Flynt
Video Design Keith Skretch
Lighting Design Joe Levasseur
Costume Design Nick Vaughan
Dramaturgy A .P. Andrews
Touring & Production Management Elizabeth Moreau


The Painted Bird trilogy is a co-production of Palissimo Company, Wexner Center for the Arts, La MaMa, Baryshnikov Arts Center, PS122, Stanica-Zilina (Slovakia), Grotowski Institute (Poland). Amidst was developed and supported during a residency at BAC (NYC) with financial support from the Princess Grace Foundation—USA. Further funding was provided by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Greenwall Foundation, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Jerome Foundation. Production design support was provided by The Edith Lutyens and Norman Bel Geddes Design Enhancement Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York). Funds for the composers’ commission and musicians’ fees were provided by the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program. Amidst was also made possible through subsidized studio space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space program provided by a real estate donation from Capstone Equities. Additional presentation support from Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Harkness Foundation for Dance and Jerome Robbins Foundation.
 

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