FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2014
Skirball Cultural Center presents
TERE O’CONNOR DANCE in
Sister and poem
Two fascinating new pieces by the choreographer renowned for his innovative
and dramatic work
Thursday, April 3, 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 4, 8:00 p.m.
Advance tickets: Available on site at the Skirball, online at www.skirball.org,
and by phone at (877) SCC-4TIX or (877) 722-4849
Also: FREE “Movement for Non-Dancers” workshop hosted by Tere O’Connor,
Saturday, April 5, 11:00 a.m.
LOS ANGELES, CA—Tere O’Connor Dance, one of New York’s most acclaimed dance companies, will perform two of its most recent pieces at the Skirball Cultural Center on Thursday, April 3, and Friday, April 4. Sister and poem are the central works of O’Connor’s multiyear project titled BLEED—praised as “masterly” by the New York Times—which examines how diverse cultures bleed into each other to create symbiotic relationships. Playful, enigmatic, and captivating, the pieces push the dancers’ bodies into dramatic and abstract gestures that explore the boundaries of physical movement—all set to an understated but mesmerizing score.
Inspired by O’Connor’s immersion in the poetics of dance and his thirty years of wrestling with its indeterminate qualities, Sister and poem mark yet another move by the choreographer towards abstraction and ambiguity. “The ephemeral—overly romanticized in dance history in my opinion—is an actual tool for me and is integral to my process,” writes O’Connor. “I long ago ceded any desire for the expression of specific ideas to the ambiguous contours and endless associative pathways of the choreographic mind.”
In poem (2012), commissioned by New York Live Arts, O’Connor re-examines his career-long obsession with artifice and formal structures in dance. The work, which features an original score by renowned composer James Baker, uses technique, craft, and complex movement to shed light on the subtle poetics of choreography. The featured performers are Natalie Green, Michael Ingle, Oisín Monaghan, Heather Olson, and Silas Riener.
Sister, which premiered at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois in September 2013, deals in slight variations, dual readings of imagery, and parallel experience. O’Connor describes the piece as “using gender, race, age, and dance history as engines of pluralistic consideration.” Sister was created for dancers Cynthia Oliver and David Thomson, and features a score compiled by O’Connor from pre-existing sources.
The performances will take place in the Skirball Museum’s beautiful Getty Gallery, rather than a more traditional auditorium-style space. Jordan Peimer, Skirball Vice President and Director of Programs says, “Tere O’Connor’s work is some of the most intellectually engaging of any of America’s top choreographers. When I saw poem in a studio setting, I was immediately delighted by how joy-filled the dancing was. Tere and I both agreed these particular pieces would work exceedingly well within the Getty Gallery. This will be a very different—perhaps more formal—presentation than his work Rammed Earth, which the company performed here more than five years ago, and I know it will thrill audiences just as much.”
In addition to viewing these performances of O’Connor’s work, visitors can also experience his choreography firsthand at a FREE “Movement for Non-Dancers” workshop on Saturday, April 5, at 11:00 a.m. At this hour-and-a-half-long workshop, participants will learn more about O’Connor’s composition and technique, and try some abstract movement of their own.
About Tere O’Connor
Tere O’Connor has been choreographing dance for thirty years, and has created more than thirty-six works for his company. Among his numerous commissions around the world are works for the Lyon Opera Ballet and the White Oak Dance Project, and a solo piece for Mikhail Baryshnikov entitled Indoor Man. He is a 2009 United States Artist Rockefeller Fellow and a 1999 Guggenheim Fellow, and has received numerous awards, including a 2013 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, three New York Dance and Performance “Bessies,” and awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Arts International’s DNA Project, and Creative Capital. O’Connor was the 2013 chair of the Chime Without Borders mentorship program initiated by the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in San Francisco. He is currently a Center for Advanced Studies professor in dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Praise for Tere O’Connor
“Instead of continuing on well-trodden paths like ballet or modern technique, [O’Connor] develops his own fusion language.”—Village Voice
“Without the burden of assigning meaning or stories to his dances, we are free to revel in [O’Connor’s] capacity for inventive movement and his talent for structure and composition, and to let images accumulate with their own logic.”—New Yorker
“There is so much fine dancing on view [in BLEED], so much beauty and strangeness to take in—and so much enigmatic yet familiar human behavior—that one viewing is hardly enough.”—ArtsJournal
THE PRESENTATION OF TERE O’CONNOR DANCE WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE NEW ENGLAND FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS’ NATIONAL DANCE PROJECT, WITH LEAD FUNDING FROM THE DORIS DUKE CHARITABLE FOUNDATION AND THE ANDREW W. MELLON FOUNDATION, WITH ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
About the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring the connections between 4,000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideals. It welcomes and seeks to inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity. Guided by our respective memories and experiences, together we aspire to build a society in which all of us can feel at home. The Skirball Cultural Center achieves its mission through educational programs that explore literary, visual, and performing arts from around the world; through the display and interpretation of its permanent collections and changing exhibitions; through an interactive family destination inspired by the Noah’s Ark story; and through outreach to the community.
Visiting the Skirball
The Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90049. Free on-site parking is available; street parking is strictly prohibited. The Skirball is also accessible by Metro Rapid Bus 761. Museum hours: Tuesday–Friday 12:00–5:00 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.; closed Mondays and holidays. Museum admission: $10 General; $7 Seniors, Full-Time Students, and Children over 12; $5 Children 2–12. Exhibitions are always free to Skirball Members and Children under 2. Exhibitions are free to all visitors on Thursdays. For general information, the public may call (310) 440-4500 or visit www.skirball.org. The Skirball is also home to Zeidler’s Café, which serves innovative California cuisine in an elegant setting, and Audrey’s Museum Store, which sells books, contemporary art, music, jewelry, and more.