Jillian_Pena by_Baranova

World Premiere

Dance, Multimedia

January 9-17

Jillian Peña (USA)

Panopticon is a duet that is simultaneously a solo and a work for 100 dancers. Through choreographic reflections and multiplications, a kaleidoscopic arena of bodies is created: simultaneously seen as individuals and objects. Inspired by the architectural concept of the panopticon, a structure in which everything is seen at all times, this performance aims to achieve omniscient visibility.

Creator: Jillian Peña
Performers: Alexandra Albrecht, Andrew Champlin

“Young, unquestionably hip and fearless, choreographer and video artist Jillian Peña creates work that is once laughably raw and scarily sophisticated.” – Time Out Chicago

50 minutes running time

Jillian Peña is a dance and video artist based in Brooklyn. Her work is primarily concerned with the confusion and desire between self and other, and focuses on the most complicated relationship we all have: that of the self to the self. Her work seeks to explore and expose the politics inherent in bodies; how bodies move and how they relate to each other. Inspired by Russian ballet, psychoanalysis, queer theory, pop media and spirituality, she believes in the power of dance to speak through history and to reveal subtle dimensions of human character, in both the performers and the viewers. She draws from ballet vocabulary, paying careful attention to the history embedded in each movement and letting this subtext inform the content of the work. She makes dances that sometimes include highly skilled dancers, sometimes ask the audience to dance, and sometimes hope that dance does not have to be visible, but can exist in the space between our bodies.

American Realness is a festival of dance and performance founded by tbspMGMT in partnership with the Abrons Arts Center.


Abrons Arts Center, located in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is accessible by the F subway line to Delancey Street or the J/M/Z subway lines to Essex Street. This neighborhood is perhaps best known as once being a center of Jewish culture in the city, which is embodied in the famous Katz’s Delicatessen at 205 East Houston Street. The Lower East Side is also known for its numerous contemporary art galleries and its thriving nightlife.


Some staff picks for great restaurants in the area are Benson’s NYC at 181 Essex Street and dirtcandy at 86 Allen Street. Also, the Clinton Street restaurant row sits just west of Abrons Arts Center and is complete with pizzerias, tapas restaurants and local bars.


Featured image by Maria Baranova
Panopticon is co-commissioned by Performance Space 122 with support from the Jerome Foundation and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Panopticon was developed as part of PS122’s RAMP residency series with support from the Jerome Foundation and LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


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