Dance

Jan 5-8


Pavel Zuštiak/Palissimo (NYC)
Custodians of Beauty

For decades in the humanities, various arguments have been put forward against beauty. Where do we find beauty today and does it need our defense? Bessie Award–winning choreographer/director Pavel Zuštiak and his Palissimo Company examine beauty and its intrinsic relationship with art through minimalist movement, sensuous abstraction and potent stage imagery.

Drawn from a dark Eastern European dance-theater aesthetic, this richly postmodern dance/live music event casts the human body as a sculptural form, an emotional trigger, or a political symbol. In an age when humanity, disenchanted with itself, seems to have rejected the necessity of beauty, Custodians of Beauty asks us to look again, beyond the surface, to see differently.

“Plunges headlong into questions about what is ‘beautiful’ by interrogating sources like Plato, Pope Benedict XVI, and of course, the dancing body.” – Time Out New York


Concept, Direction, Choreography: Pavel Zuštiak
Performers: Nicholas Bruder, Emma Judkins, Justin Morrison
Original Music: Christian Frederickson
Lighting Design: Joe Levasseur
Set Design: Simon Harding
Costume Design: Ásta Bennie Hostetter
Dramaturgy: Megan Carter
Text: Alexandra Collier.

Pavel Zuštiak is a NYC-based director, choreographer and performer, born in the communist Czechoslovakia and trained at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam. His works for stage and public spaces merge the abstract aspects of dance with nonlinear qualities of “theatre of images” into multidisciplinary pieces rich in evocative imagery and piercing emotional resonance. Zuštiak is the 2015 Bessie Juried Award winner for his “poetic layering of movement and visual imagery, conceiving the stage space as a decentralized world in which the corporeal body is the focus and canvas for a wide range of human expression,” a 2015-17 Princeton Arts Fellow, the recipient of 2013 LMCC President’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Practice and 2012 NEFA/NDP Production and Residency Grants, 2010 Guggenheim Fellow and 2014, 2009, and 2007 Princess Grace Awards Winner. His 5-hour trilogy The Painted Bird received a 2013 Bessie Award nomination for Outstanding Production. www.palissimo.org

La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. Founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, La MaMa is recognized as the seedbed of new work by artists of all nations and cultures. To date, La MaMa has presented more than 150,000 artists from over 70 nations. Each season, we offer more than 80 productions and receive 34,000 visits from people of all ages and all backgrounds who attend performances, exhibitions, educational activities and the Archives. We support the people who make art, and it is to them that we give $2 million of in-kind support including free theatre and rehearsal space, and audio/visual package, tech support, marketing support, and ticketing services. We enable artists explore their ideas and translate them into a theatrical language that can communicate to any person in any part of the world. La MaMa is the place where emerging artists learn from established artists and where artists from around the globe share work and ideas. Our East Village campus has grown to include four theatres, an art gallery, artist work and living space and an extensive Archive. For more information, visit lamama.org.

Featured image by Maria Baranova.

Pavel Zuštiak/Palissimo’s Custodians of Beauty is commissioned by the Walker Art Center with support provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Performance Network’s (NPN) Creation Fund project created in partnership with the Walker Art Center, Legion Arts, New York Live Arts, and NPN. Co-commissioned by American Dance Institute (ADI). Additional support provided by the Jerome Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Residency and developmental support provided by the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space, and the Dance in Process Program at Gibney Dance.


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