Like Lazarus Did
The Latest Update
New work from Stephen Petronio
LOCOMOTOR, a new work by Stephen Petronio, premieres at The Joyce on Tuesday, April 8th with music by Clams Casino. You can hear them talk about their collaboration on John Schaefer’s Sound Check: https://www.wnyc.org/radio/#/ondemand/360007, starting at about 37′ into the program from Thursday, April 4th.
Like Lazarus Did was recently presented at UC Davis, White Bird (Portland, OR) and at San Francisco Performances. It will be seen next at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts on April 25, 2014.
Like Lazarus Did is a new work by Stephen Petronio inspired by the mythology of resurrection. Recurring themes of sacrifice, death, and transformation stretch from pagan culture to the contemporary world and are rich source material for this work. Collaborating artists include composer Ryan Lott (aka Son Lux), visual artist Janine Antoni, and longtime lighting designer Ken Tabachnick. For its premiere at The Joyce Theater in New York from April 30 – May 5, 2013, the music was performed live by yMusic ensemble and The Young People’s Chorus of New York City. This was Petronio Company’s third collaboration with the Young People’s Chorus.
Composer Son Lux employed a range of spiritual music – from the drones of eastern mystical traditions, to the songbooks of early American slavery; a sung tradition of transformation first passed down orally and eventually transcribed in the early 1800’s. Power, struggle, and elevation are themes that have long fueled Petronio’s work. These traditions of music and song are laced with emotional release from worldly pain and oppression. In effect, they are hymns of mystery and empowerment and Petronio and Lott reference them as historical springboards to find similar states of contemporary transformation. The music was built as an atmosphere of sound that gels into more structured “song events.”
Said Lott of the composition process, “Weaving these ‘lost’ slave songs—originally stark, monophonic, and a cappella—in and out of a highly textured and rich score is an exciting challenge.” In particular, Lott utilized the sound of the choir to evoke different images: at one point, a group of slaves, working in a line across a file; at another, a host of “bright angels.”
Critically acclaimed visual artist Janine Antoni created the visual/installation component of this work. Petronio and Antoni’s sensibilities stem from a common fascination with human nature, spiritual exaltation, and transformational states. The visual component was composed of multiple installations that served as platforms for short performance events that build to a final central dance. In addition to the work’s premiere at The Joyce Theater in April 2013, the work has received residency and touring opportunities as part of the 2013 River to River Festival in St. Paul’s Chapel, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, and other upcoming dates and venues across the United States through 2014.
This short video about the creation of Stephen Petronio’s Like Lazarus Did includes behind-the-scenes footage of the company in rehearsal and interviews with Stephen Petronio and collaborating visual artist Janine Antoni. It includes excerpts of the original commissioned score by Son Lux.
Stephen Petronio Company presents the world premiere of LIKE LAZARUS DID, an evening-length work inspired by the mythology of resurrection. Petronio and his powerhouse dancers explore notions of transformation and rebirth with their trademark “visceral thrill… unlike anything offered by other contemporary choreographers” (The New York Times).
Start and End Dates
04/30/2013 — 05/05/2013
New York, New York