Stephen Petronio Company Teaching Residency

Ryan Pliss and Ernesto Breton in Stephen Petronio Company in Stephen Petronio’s AMERICAN LANDSCAPES. Photo by Ian Douglas.

Year: 2019-2020
DanceForce Member: Jacquie Davis
Artists: Stephen Petronio Company
Community Partners: The College at Brockport
Audience: 450
County: Monroe

This is the third part of a series of Danceforce projects on Legacy, with focus on Trisha Brown.

Our 2017 project with former company members Mariah Maloney, Irene Hultman, and Vicky Shick focused on the restaging and coaching of one of Trisha Brown’s signature works, Set and Reset/Reset. It was performed for three evenings and later toured to Alfred University.

Our 2018 project was the Trisha Brown Dance Company in performance, presenting six other works created by Trisha Brown between 1971 and 2002. It was well marketed to the Rochester region; there were two sold out performances and many more tickets requested. The residency activity included a dance class at the University of Rochester, a public lecture/demonstration, and Conversation with the company following the first performance.

This 2019-2020 project follows the theme of Legacy in a multi day teaching residency with Stephen Petronio, Trisha Brown’s first (1979-86) male dancer. He will be assisted by three current members of Stephen Petronio Dance. In addition to his own distinguished reputation and artistic history, Petronio is also well known for his Bloodlines project that recognizes significant earlier choreographers – Merce Cunningham, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Rudy Perez, and, of course, Trisha Brown.

During four intensive days, February 6-11, 2020, the company will teach repertory, talk about dance, and show work informally. Participants will include the College at Brockport undergraduate and graduate students, coming from counties across the state and beyond.

Dancers from outside the college will also be encouraged to participate The greater Rochester region now has a number of college dance programs, excellent faculty and serious dancers interested in special opportunities to study with guest artists. Using a Friday-Monday weekend work schedule will make dancer participation and studio availability more feasible. About five studio hours are scheduled each day. A total of approximately 450 are expected for classes, rehearsals, and lec/dems in addition to the intensive workshop participants.

Planning far in advance gives us time for marketing and for potential participants to plan their schedules. University of Rochester, Nazareth College, Biodance, Rochester City Ballet, Garth Fagan Dance, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, Rochester Dance Project, all in the Rochester area, will be kept informed, as well as colleges within driving distance such as SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Buffalo, Hobart and William Smith. While groups from two colleges attended the recent Trisha Brown Dance Company performances, it has always been difficult for dancers in the region to fit residency events into their schedules. Hopefully, the opportunity to work with Stephen Petronio and dancers in context of choreographic lineage will be given high priority by dancers beyond Brockport.

This three year approach to Danceforce project development provides a depth of experience not possible in one short residency. Stephen Petronio is a perfect fit for this Legacy project that goes beyond Trisha Brown.