My Favorite NYU Skirball Memory

Many of you may not remember this particular detail about that night, because many of you were concentrating on the men dangling upside down from tightropes on the ceiling or the strobe lights and giant metal wheels. But during the performance of Bromance, one of the boys in the Barely Methodical Troupe was required to enter from through the audience from a House aisle. I had gotten myself locked out of the theatre during this Act change, and found myself in the same aisle as him; in the theatre lobby. It was deadly quiet. I looked down at my coffee—the reason why I was late to the next act—and tried to pretend that I didn’t know this guy was an award-winning former Olympic performer and laureate British celebrity. His YouTube videos had over five million collective views. He’d studied high-risk choreography around the world. He’d won Britain’s Got Talent.

“Hi,” he said. He managed to make juggling four bowling pins at the same time look super causal.

“Hi,” I said.

“What’s up? How you doing?”

“Aren’t you about to perform right now?”

“Yeah, I am. Are you enjoying the show so far?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“Oh yeah? What was your favorite part?”

The music began and from the crack underneath the lobby door we could see lights flashing.

“So what’s your favorite part?” he said.

I said, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll miss your cue?”

“Nah, it’s cool, so you go here?”

Our conversation continued like this for a while. Eventually he goes, “Oh, I think that’s me. The laughter is my cue,” and enters through the left aisle door. I snuck in behind him. From my seat I watched him endanger his life countless times on stage for an effect that was undeniably…breathtaking. I just couldn’t believe how just a few moments ago he’d casually conducted conversation with a stranger as if he wasn’t about to jump off another man’s shoulders from six feet in the air in ten minutes.

But I guess that’s the wonder of seeing entertainment in a theatre that doesn’t quite set up barriers between audience and performer. The small talk. The talk before or after their big leap on stage that changes everything about the way we are involved in the performance.

NYU Skirball often facilitates a theatre experience where performers directly interact with their audiences; whether through workshops or dialogues.

Performance artists here are often eager to be part of a workplace that encourages them to expand on the message delivered in their art.

But mostly, I can’t believe I got to meet Barely Methodical Troupe!

-Nicole D’Alessio, CAS ’17

BEYOND THE STAGE with Twelfth Night


Filter Theatre in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company A radically-cut, fast-paced, and extremely accessible version of Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy where classical verse meets riotous gig. Performed by six actors and two musicians in everyday clothes, the experience is more akin to a rock concert than classical theater, creating an exhilarating live chemistry between actor and audience. Directed by Sean Holmes.

Artist’s Website

Filter Theatre’s Twelfth Night Trailer
Filter Theatre’s Video Clip

Podcast: Music in Shakespeare: Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 11 (Folger Shakespeare Library)
“Rebecca Sheir, host of our Shakespeare Unlimited series, interviews Ross W. Duffin, professor at Case Western University, about musical hints in Shakespeare that have been flying over the heads of most audiences and readers for 400 years.”—Richard Paul

Interview: Interpreting Malvolio in new fast-paced ‘Twelfth Night’
“Filter Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night, one of the more famous plays by William Shakespeare, promises to be fast-paced and irreverent, bringing together various styles to tell the story of Viola, Malvolio, Duke Orsino and Sebastian, among others.” —John Soltes, January 29. 2015

Article: NYU Skirball to Welcome Filter Theatre’s TWELFTH NIGHT Tonight (BroadwayWorld)
“NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present TWELFTH NIGHT, created by Filter Theatre in association with the Royal Shakespeare Company.”—February 16, 2016

Article: Filter Theatre launches 
version of ‘Twelfth Night’ (Boston Herald)
“Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” has often been described as whimsical — madcap even. But anarchic?” —Jed Gottlieb, January 18, 2016

Article: Music in the Elizabethan Theatre by W.J.Lawrence, The Musical Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 2 Apr 1029 pp. 192-205 Oxford university Press.

NYU Skirball’s Twelfth Night Playgoer Guide

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A, February 17
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with the cast of Twelfth Night, moderated by Daniel Spector, Teacher of Drama , NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Pre-Show Lobby Talk, February 18 at 6:30pm

Join us before the show for a lobby talk given by Filter producer and playwright Simon Reade.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A, February 19
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with the cast of Twelfth Night, moderated by Todd Barnes, Associate Professor of Literature, Ramapo College of New Jersey



BEYOND THE STAGE with Circus Now

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Think you know circus? Think again.

This January, for three spectacular nights, New York audiences are invited to re-imagine their perceptions of a timeless art, as the world’s most innovative and inspired companies take the stage for Circus Now: International Contemporary Circus Exposure 2016.

Join us in this celebration of contemporary circus—don’t miss the opportunity to experience this one-of-a-kind event.


Acrobatic Conundrum (US) — The Language of Chance
Oktobre (France) — Oktobre

Andréane Leclerc/Nadère arts vivants (Canada) — Whore of Babylon
Barely Methodical Troupe (England) — Bromance
Water on Mars (Sweden)

Aloft Circus Arts (US) — Dinner of our Discontent
Barely Methodical Troupe (England) — Bromance
Water on Mars (Sweden)

EMCEE: Sxip Shirey


Article: High Flying and High Minded: Circus Academics Convene at NYU (Observer)  “Before the show, a panel of academics in the circus arts and high-ups from Cirque du Soleil discussed the state of contemporary circus.” —Justin Joffe, January 20, 2015

Review: Company Water on Mars, Andréane Leclerc /Nadère Arts Vivants, and Barely Methodical Troupe at Circus Now (StageBuddy)
“Much of the circus arts exist outside of a big top. This is evidenced by the three groups that performed in Friday’s International Contemporary Circus Expo at NYU’s Skirball Center. The expo was sponsored by Circus Now, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the circus arts in the U.S. All three groups brought something very different to the stage, demonstrating just how diverse the circus can be.” —Tami Shaloum, January 17,2016

Review: Circus Now International Contemporary Circus Exposure (Times Square Chronicles)
“Circus Now really lives in the present. It is a conceptually stunning departure from the traditional circus that one would imagine with clowns on tricycles passing out cotton candy and girls in pink frilly tutus with parasols, walking the tight rope. This modern retake is quite exciting and expressive in its own right.” —Nora Davis, January 17, 2016

Article: Festival Seeks to Define the Next Wave for Circus Arts (The Wall Street Journal)
“Forget elephants—the Circus Now festival showcases how new companies incorporate more theater and dance.” —Sophia Hollander, January 14, 2016

Review: Circus at APAP: Acrobatic Conundrum (Seattle), Company Oktobre (Paris) (InfiniteBody)
“Dance, theater, performance folks, scoot over a bit, won’t you? Circus has arrived, taking its place among the city’s vast APAP-related offerings. The mission? To make visionary, contemporary circus as thriving an artform in the US as it is abroad.” —Eva Yaa Asantewaa, January 14, 2015

Review: Circus Now (Theater Pizzazz)

Article: Seven International Circus Companies Coming to NYU Skirball in January (BroadwayWorld) – December 2, 2015

Interview:  BWW TV Exclusive: Tony Winner Susan Hilferty Compares Costume Design in Theatre & Circus! (BroadwayWorld)
“NYU Skirball has partnered with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to present a circus-themed costume exhibit in 13 large display windows adjacent to the Skirball Center. The exhibit will also feature circus memorabilia, photographs and historical information, and will be on display from December 23 – January 18, 2016.” —BroadwayWorld TV December 23, 2015

Article: NYU Heralds Circus Now 2016 with Window Exhibit of Ringling Costumes (Amusing the Zillion blog) —Tricia, January 11, 2016

Panel Discussion: Contemporary Circus Now!, January 15 5:30-7:00pm
FREE to the public with RSVP
Location: Kimmel Center Room 909
60 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012

NYU Skirball Center presents a panel discussion given by scholars and experts in the field of contemporary circus. Join us as they share their unique perspective on the importance and challenges of presenting contemporary circus today, the training and mental preparation that goes into this type of artistry, and current trends in the field of circus research.

About the Circus Now Companies:
Founded in 2012, Acrobatic Conundrum, based in Seattle, is dedicated to creating performance experiences that engage and amaze audiences. Conundrum shows feature moments of absurd and intimate humanity, and are dedicated to a vision of human courage, connection, and collaboration. The company has performed in various venues around the Pacific Northwest, headlined the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival, was a featured performer at the Vancouver CircusFest, and hosted the THREE HIGH Circus Series in Seattle

Website: Acrobatic Conundrum

Full Video: Acrobatic Conundrum | Talks at Google  
Video Clip: The Acrobatic Conundrum presents The Way Out
Video Clip: Rope Battle Royale ACV3 5/10

Interview: Terry Crane, Founder of Acrobatic Conundrum, on the Life of a Circus Artist (StageBuddy)
“Acrobatic Conundrum, Seattle’s premier contemporary circus arts company, will be performing The Language of Chance at the NYU Skirball Center on January 14th as part of Circus Now 2016. Acrobatic Conundrum is led by Artistic Director and Co-founder, Terry Crane, an expert at vertical rope and practitioner of capoeira, contact improvisation, hip-hop dance, physical theater, and tree climbing.” —Kathryn Turney, January 11, 2016

Review: Acrobatic Conundrum’s “The Language of Chance” Opens Two Weeks of Amazing, Intimate Circus at 12th Avenue Arts (The Huffington Post)
“Everyone in this troupe is a star, and yet each character also steps back to support the others in some feats of daring that left me continually wondering, “how can a person do such a thing with their body?” —L. Steven Sieden, May, 5, 2015


A winner at the prestigious Jeunes Talents Cirque/Circus Next Awards in 2013, Oktobre features three of France’s top young circus-theatre talents, combining their trapeze, acrobatic and magic talents in a surreal circus-theater drama. It can be seen as a circus show with outrageous characters in a world of dark fantasy, where the notions of time and logic are absent or as a sharp look at human behavior.

Website: Octobre

Trailer: Oktobre

Article: OKTOBRE / CIE OKTOBRE (Circus Work Ahead!)

Nadère Arts Vivants, founded by Montreal-born contortionist and storyteller Andréane Leclerc in 2013, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create, produce and broadcast experimental hybrid works, combining circus language with a dramaturgic line. Whore of Babylon is Leclerc’s reinterpretation of the biblical story of creation and the Book of Revelation, featuring five circus-trained performers and original music by Martyn Jacques of the Tiger Lilie

Website: Nadère arts vivants

Trailer: Cherepaka

Blog: Andréane Leclerc 
Article: Andréane Leclerc and “The Whore of Babylon”Marion Gerbier, September 1, 2015

Barely Methodical Troupe, founded in London in 2013, features three graduates from the U.K.’s National Centre for Circus Arts, all winners of the inaugural Circus Maximux competition. The acrobats fuse Hand-to-Hand and Cyr Wheel with a through line of creative dynamic movement. Bromance celebrates all things “blokey” through a series of heroic, risk-taking physical feats. With an inventive mix of flawlessly-timed acrobatics, shoulder-high balances and a jaw-dropping routine inside a spinning metal wheel, the trio explores male companionship and its limits

Website: Barely Methodical

Trailer: Bromance
Trailer: BMT
Video Clip: Contemporary circus: Bromance by Barely Methodical Troupe
Video Clip: Circus Now‘s London Blokes, The Barely Methodical Troupe, Are Ready to Blow Your Mind

Article: Bromance (Crying Out Loud)
“Meet Britain’s hottest young acrobats, Barely Methodical Troupe. This exceptionally skilled all-male trio won a Total Theatre Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival for their outstanding debut Bromance, and it’s easy to see why.”—Crying Out Loud

Water on Mars features three young jugglers who studied at Stockholm’s Dance and Circus University. Their tricks are as physical as break dance and as stylized as Japanese pop art. The trio brings a performance full of dynamic airborne images: 100 rings are thrown, backflips are landed, feet are twisted, water is flipped, 21 balls are juggled and 15 clubs spin around the 3 bodies while an electro beat keep the rhythm

Website: Water on Mars

Trailer: Water on Mars

Article: Subcase- Subtopia Circus Fair (Sideshow Circus Magazine)

Aloft Circus Arts, based in Chicago, is a collection of earth-bound aerial and circus artists, expressing themselves without regard to gravity. Aloft reveals more than just the splendor and danger inherent in the circus arts; they construct accessible, purposeful stories, drawn from the juxtaposition of artistic, emotional and physical extremes. The results are acts and full-length productions that are powerful, dangerous, hilarious and passionate; where spectacle lies not in special effects or elaborate sets, but in the intensity, beauty and captivating nature of the human body entwined in circa.

Website: Aloft Circus Arts

Trailer: Aloft Circus Arts





BEYOND THE STAGE with Dog Days Opera


Dog Days is a work of contemporary music-theatre from celebrated composer David T. Little that incorporates elements of opera, musical theatre, and rock-infused concert music to investigate the psychology of a working-class American family pitted against a not-so-distant-future wartime scenario. Based on a powerful short story by Judy Budnitz, Dog Days is set in the aftermath of an unimaginable catastrophe as a family struggles to survive. The teenage daughter clings to hope, unwilling to accept their dire situation, until a disturbing stranger shows up at the doorstep.

Show Website

Dog Days Trailer


Review: Opera Review: Dog Days Is ‘Intolerable and Superb’ (Vulture)
“With a blunt, merciless libretto by Royce Vavrek and wheeling, nimble music by David T. Little, Dog Days portrays an American family brutalized by war, and the result is by turns intolerable and superb.”—Justin Davidson, January 11, 2016

Review: David T Little presents ‘opera theater’ at its finest (The Guardian)
“Led by conductor Alan Pierson, singers and actors handle the composer’s complex, percussive and hook-filled music with suave assurance”—Seth Colter Walls, January 10, 2016

Review: In ‘Dog Days,’ a Family Clawing for Survival (New York Times)
“With its boldly eclectic score and powerful libretto, “Dog Days” tells an apocalyptic story unstintingly”—

Interview: Tony Award Nominee, Lauren Worsham Shines in the Darkness (Center on the Aisle)
“Tony award nominee, Lauren Worsham — best known to Broadway audiences as murderous Monty’s fiancée, Phoebe in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” — has taken a turn past musical comedy and found herself deep in darkness. Not as a villain however, but in style, as a performer and leading lady having just released her first full-length album, “Beautiful Monster” with her indie-pop band, Sky-Pony and in the post-apocalyptic opera, “Dog Days” at NYU’s Skirball Center”—Steve Schonberg, January 8, 2016

Interview: Dog Days at the Prototype Festival (CurltureRadar)
“Dog Days is told from the perspective of 13-year-old Lisa, who, after her family survives an apocalyptic event, befriends a man trying to survive by becoming a dog. Culturadar blogger Shoshana Greenberg talked to Vavrek and David T. Little, composer of Dog Days, about their experience in the festival, their collaboration, and writing for a dog-man.” —Shoshana Greenberg,  January 6, 2015

Article: Angels, Demons and Opera: Boundary-Pushing Programs (The Wall Street Journal)
“If you wrote a five-minute string quartet about the fall of civilization, the tone of it would have to be really direct,” said David T. Little, the composer of “Dog Days,” about a nuclear family’s meltdown in a post-apocalyptic world, and its telltale responses to a stranger who has chosen to regress into a canine-like persona.” —Steve Dollar, January 5, 2015

“I don’t know how I made this career,” he acknowledges to us during our talk with him in his Bushwick apartment. “I’m legitimately only writing libretti. Aside from doing a couple of classes at different universities and one-offs, I’m not working in any other capacity. I’m making no money besides from writing libretti and lyrics.””  —Frank J. Oteri, January 1, 2016

Article:  Fully Committed: The Prototype Festival redefines contemporary opera. (The New Yorker)
“Amidst the general uncertainty of New York’s operatic scene, the Prototype Festival, an annual explosion of youthful energy spearheaded by Beth Morrison Projects and the experimental theatre space HERE, has built a clearly defined profile: brash, socially engaged, and substantially post-classical.”— Russell Platt, January 11, 2016 Issue

Article: ‘Dog Days’ Is Centerpiece of Prototype Festival (NY Times)
For new music, the main difficulty isn’t getting a premiere. It’s getting a second performance, and a third, and a fourth, the repetitions necessary for a piece really to enter the cultural bloodstream. That hasn’t been a problem for the acclaimed opera “Dog Days,” a post-apocalyptic family drama based on a short story by Judy Budnitz.” December 31, 2015

Interview: Interview: John Kelly on Getting in Touch with His Feral Side for Post-Apocalyptic Opera ‘Dog Days’ (StageBuddy)
“Performance artist John Kelly is known for his emotionally and intellectually complex works in which he draws from elements of his own life, current politics and other arts. Going from writing, to singing, to acting, Kelly is always on the lookout for the next challenge, and in the contemporary opera Dog Days (co-presented by NYU Skirball Center, Beth Morrison Projects and HERE’s Prototype: Opera/Theatre/Now) he might have found one of the most exciting projects yet.” —Jose Solis

Interview: BWW Interview: Lauren Worsham Talks Sky Pony, Dog Days and Makes an Exciting Announcement! (BroadwayWorld)
“Tony nominee Lauren Worsham spoke with BroadwayWorld about her new Sky Pony album and upcoming role in Dog Days.”—Reilly Hickey, December 23, 2015

Article: Notable Performances and Recordings of 2015 (The New Yorker) “Amid a spate of ineffectual American operas on inoffensive themes, David T. Little’s “Dog Days,” which had its première in 2012 and which I saw in a presentation by the L.A. Opera, is stunning in its ferocity.” —Alex Ross, December 15, 2015

Article: The Kaleidoscopic World of Royce Vavrek (Opera News)
“His words give a bizarre lift to contemporary opera. This spring, librettist Royce Vavrek’s Dog Dayscomes to Fort Worth and L.A. HEIDI WALESON talks with one of opera’s freshest new voices.” —Heidi Waleson,, The Wall Street Journal, April, 2015

Article: The Battle to Make Opera Cool: Meet the Bright Young Things of New York City’s Opera Renaissance (The Daily Beast) “It took the hard work of producer Beth Morrison to give David T. Little the platform he needed. Morrison first heard of him when she was sent his song cycle “Soldier Songs.” She cried throughout the entire thing. Cut to the first PROTOTYPE and the work is being staged before an audience, and she helped to stage Dog Days, too.”— David Levesley, March 1, 2015


Join us for a post-show discussion and Q&A with composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek, moderated by Randall Eng, Assistant Arts Professor, Graduate Musical Theatre Writing , NYU Tisch School of the Arts.



Working as a Collective with “Shadowland” Creative Director Mark Fucik


NYU Skirball Student Insiders participate in a Pilobolus-inspired workshop with Shadowland Creative Director, Mark Fucik

On Thursday November 19, students gathered in NYU Skirball’s Studio where they met with the Creative Director of Pilobolus’s Shadowland, Mark Fucik, for an interactive workshop focusing on working as a collective to create new movement.

From dance to sociology majors, students were given the opportunity to connect their own interests of study to this creative process of working. For Pilobolus, it’s not so important that students are technically trained dancers as long as they have the willingness to move and work collaboratively, skills which benefit students of any major.


Mark began the workshop with spacial awareness exercises to get students familiar with their surroundings and familiar with the idea of using their bodies to fill empty space. Next, they played with the concept of leading and following and in groups they practiced seamlessly transferring movement from one person to the next.

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Mark explained the importance of the ensemble within the Pilobolus company. Since the success of their shapes and formations are tied to each member in the group, when one person is leading they also have to be following. The workshop participants then observed and imitated each others’ movement with the goal of making the sequences as precise as possible. Pilobolus performers often move as one unit and not individually. If one person is out of sync it is noticeable.


The workshop ended with the participants working in pairs to create interesting shapes using each others’ body weight.


One person acted as a base while the other partner perched on top. Partners played with using different points of contact to see how that affected their strength. The result: pure magic! Take a look at some of the interesting moments that came out of this final exercise:

Student Insider Eugenia commented on her experience of the workshop saying, “It’s always so nice to see people from different backgrounds come together to create something unexpectedly beautiful out of trust and imagination”.

Pilobolus’s Shadowland will run at NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts from Nov.20-Dec.6

BEYOND THE STAGE with Pilobolus


Following sold-out performances throughout Europe and Asia, Pilobolus’s Shadowland makes its North American Premiere at NYU Skirball. Pilobolus’s Shadowland is a mix of shadow theater, dance, circus, and concert, incorporating multiple moving screens of different sizes and shapes to create a performance that merges projected images with front-of-screen choreography. Shadowland was the first show of its kind to combine shadow theater with dance and has since inspired many similar productions around the world

Pilobolus website

Review: BWW Review: Pilobolus Presents SHADOWLAND (BroadwayWorld)
“The remarkable quality of the Pilobolus dancers is that they can fulfill dual roles as both storytellers and athletic dancers.” —Jennifer Fried December 1, 2015

Review: Shadowland (Eye On the Arts, NY)
“The show’s strength lies in the charms and malleability of shadows, Pilobolus’ torrent of ideas, most winningly with their play on framing and perspectives.” —Deirdre Towers, November 29, 2015

Review: Shadowland  (Lighting and Sound America)
“You don’t find many — or any — dance reviews in this column, but, for sheer mastery of a specific stage effect, Shadowland is hard to beat.” —David Barbour, November 25 2015

Review: In “Shadowland,” Pilobolus invents a form of silhouetted kinetic poses (The Komisar Scoop)
“Pilobolus takes dance theater to a new dimension, transforming the performers to silhouetted figures behind a screen, using body artistry to turn dancers into shadows of elephants, café tables, lobsters and a centaur.” — Lucy Komisar, November 2015

Review: Stage Door: Shadowland, Ripcord (Huffington Post)
“It’s amazing what you can do with a dancer, a screen and eerie lighting.
Shadowland, a haunting, hypnotic phantasmagoria, now at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, is a triumph of ingenuity.” —Fern Siegel, November 24, 2015

Review: Pilobolus in ‘Shadowland’ (Stage Buddy)
“Shadowland is an Alice in Wonderland for the new age” —Melanie Brown November 24, 2015

Review: In ‘Shadowland’ Opening the Makeup Case and Unleashing a New World (The New York Times)
“Shadowland is deft, teeming with clever tricks of the body, scenery and light.”—Siobhan Burke, November 23 2015

“Shadowland is for adults and children alike. As much theater as dance, it’s theatrical, magical, and thoroughly entertaining.”—Alix Cohen, November 23, 2015

Review: Pilobolus: Shadowland North American Premiere (Critical Dance)
“Shadowland impresses as an edgy combination of dance, circus, acrobatics, and theatrical magic; a joyous extravaganza every bit as worthy of seasonal celebration as The Nutcracker.” —Jerry Hochman, November 21, 2015

Interview: Pilobolus’ Executive Director, Itamar Kubovy, on the North American Premiere of Shadowland (StageBuddy)
“World-renowned dance company Pilobolus premieres Shadowland later this month at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. We talked to Executive Director Itamar Kubovy about the show, the company’s process, and what’s in store for the future.” — Melanie Brown, November 12, 2015

Interview: BWW Interview: Itamar Kubovy Talks Pilobolus’ Shadowland (BroadwayWorld)
“Itamar Kubovy, one of the creators of the show, spoke with BroadwayWorld about how the magic of Shadowland is almost like “SpongeBob meets The Nutcracker.”— Reilly Hickey November 17, 2015

Interview: ‘A Fable Told Through Shadows’: Pilobolus’ Shadowland Makes U.S. Debut (DIYDancer)
“Escape into the world of shadow illusion this November when modern dance troupe Pilobolus brings its evening-length Shadowland to an American stage for the first time.”

Article:  Before Seeing Shadowland, See Five Videos of the Incredible Pilobolus Dance Company In Action (BroadwayBox)— November 19, 2015

Article: Pilobolus Turns Shadows Into Dance (TDF Stages)
“Since 1971, Pilobolus has stretched the ways in which dancers share and shift weight in modern dance” —Lauren Kay, November 19, 2015

Video clip: Pilobolus’ Shadowland on BBC One’s The One Show

Livestream Periscope Talk  November 21 4:00pm
Follow @nyuskirball on Periscope

Pre-Show Lobby Talk November 22 1:00pm
Join us before the performance for a pre-show lobby talk given by the artistic team of Pilobolus. They will discuss the creation of Shadowland and the rediscovery of shadows as a contemporary narrative performance technique. Moderated by filmmaker, Ira Sachs.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A November 23+24 and December 2+4

Join us for a post-show discussion and Q&A with the artists.

BEYOND THE STAGE with Heidi Latsky Dance and AXIS Dance Company

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In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Heidi Latsky Dance and AXIS Dance Company will perform together to create an unprecedented evening of innovative dance.

Heidi Latsky is known for using both conventional and unexpected performers.Somewhere is a series of intimate movement portraits that highlight the luminous appeal of a diverse unconventional cast. On Display, created for NYU Skirball, is a living gallery focusing on the themes of inclusion and diversity. Heidi Latsky will also be featured in Solo 1 as a prologue to Somewhere.

As seen on So You Think You Can Dance!, AXIS Dance Company is one of the world’s leading and most innovative ensembles of dancers with and without disabilities. AXIS will present two pieces: Divide, choreographed by Marc Brew, and to go again, a new work created by beloved choreographer Joe Goode.

Heidi Latsky Dance Website
“The mission of Heidi Latsky Dance is to redefine beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, using performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous, passionate and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences.”

AXIS Dance Company Website
“AXIS exists to change the face of dance and disability. ”

Trailer Heidi Latsky Dance “Somewhere”
Trailer AXIS Dance Company “Divide”
Interview with Marc Brew on “Divide”
Interview with Judith Smith, Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company
Interview with Joe Goode and his new work with AXIS Dance inspired by Veterans, “to go again”
Talks at Google with Heidi Latsky and Pilobolus

Podcast: Pod de Deux “This is Art EP. 13, Heidi Latsky & Jerron Herman

Blog: AXIS Dance

Article: Redefining a Dancer’s Body (Our Town)
“A new work features disabled and other dancers who challenge the conventional images of the art.”— Gabrielle Alfiero, November 5, 2015

Article: Heidi Latsky Dance and AXIS Dance Company “DANCE SPEAKS series” (Dance Enthusiast) — November 15, 2015

Article: AXIS and Heidi Latsky Dance to Honor Americans With Disabilities & Veterans This Fall at NYU Skirball (BroadwayWorld)
“The evening is the second presentation of NYU Skirball’s new DANCE SPEAKS a new annual series showcasing dance works that explore current issues that shape our lives and reflect our times”— September 24, 2015

Article: Beauty All Around (

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A November 15
A Conversation Between AXIS Dance Company and Heidi Latsky Dance

NYU Skirball, in collaboration with Dance/NYC, presents a conversation between AXIS Dance Company and Heidi Latsky Dance. Join us for a discussion with Judith Smith, Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company, and Heidi Latsky, Artistic Director/Choreographer/Performer of Heidi Latsky Dance, as they discuss the state and future of physically integrated dance, both locally and nationally, and offer up ways for audiences and other dance enthusiasts to get involved. Moderated by Lane Harwell, Executive Director of Dance/NYC.

 ASL interpreters will be present at the Post-Show Discussion, courtesy of NYU Henry and Lucy Moses Center for Students With Disabilities.

BEYOND THE STAGE with Balletcollective


Acclaimed New York City Ballet choreographer Troy Schumacher brings artists at the forefront of their genres together to collaborate as equals as they create new, ballet-based works. The result is a series of thrilling, inventive pieces certified “mint-fresh” and “seriously experimental” by The New York Times. BalletCollective provides audiences the rare chance to experience NYCB dancers up close in works tailor-made for them featuring live music performed by the ensemble Hotel Elefant.

This season, BalletCollective presents the world premieres of two works, both inspired by series of commissioned photographs by Paul Maffi and Dafy Hagai respectively, with commissioned scores by music director and resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin) and Mark Dancigers (NOW Ensemble). The new works will be performed alongside All That We See and Dear and Blackbirds, both of which premiered last fall at NYU Skirball, and will leave you thinking “I simply want to see these dances again” (The New York Times). BalletCollective will perform at NYU Skirball on November 4th and 5th at 7:30pm.

Artist’s Website: BalletCollective

Video Clip: Invisible Divide 
Video Clip: Works & Process at the Guggenheim 

Preview Article: When Is Ballet Like a Photograph? (TDF Stages) “When Troy Schumacher discusses his five-year-old ballet company, he rarely uses the word “I” to describe its direction or approach. Instead, he chooses “we” again and again, and that’s right on target for the aptly named BalletCollective” — Lauren Kay, October 27, 2015

Preview Article: Dance This Week (The New York Times) “From that recent Guggenheim event, a solo, again for Mr. Coll, stands out hauntingly: he twisted his weight to and fro while balanced on one leg, as if racked by internal forces. This solo will be part of a longer work in the BalletCollective season at Skirball on Wednesday and Thursday; I’m impatient to discover more.” — Alastair Macaulay, November 3, 2015

Preview Article: BalletCollective to Premiere Works by Troy Schumacher at NYU Skirball, 11/4-5 (BroadwayWorld) — Dance News Desk, September 17, 2015

Past Review: Leaping From Within, Narratives of a Young Ensemble. BalletCollective Performs at the Skirball Center (The New York Times) “The worlds created by BalletCollective are mint-fresh. They feel both attuned to life outside the performing arts and to the interior lives of the performers.” — October 30, 2014

Article: A Dancer’s Creative Evolution: Troy Schumacher Prepares His First Work for City Ballet (The New York Times) “A City Ballet member since 2005, Mr. Schumacher has danced a variety of roles, from Puck in Balanchine’s Midsummer Night’s Dream to one-half of the frisky male twosome in Mr. Ratmansky’s “Concerto DSCH.” — Marina Harss, September 19, 2014

Pre-Show Lobby Talk November 4 at 6:30pm
Composing for Dance
Join us before the show for a lobby talk given by music director and resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin).

Join us after the performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with music director and resident composer Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin), Mark Dancigers (NOW Ensemble), and Director of BalletCollective, Troy Schumacher.

BEYOND THE STAGE with Spectrum Dance Theater “The Minstrel Show Revisited”

The Minstrel Show Revisited

The Minstrel Show Revisited, which runs at NYU Skirball Center Oct. 28-30interrogates and critiques the 19th Century black-faced entertainment genre whose legacy is still felt today and continues to play a significant role in cultural stereotyping.

The work addresses current racial issues while shining the light on racist aspects of American history that are difficult to discuss. By using the conventions of the 19th Century Minstrel Show, including the once common tradition of “black face,” Byrd and his remarkable dancers confront audiences with the past and present manifestations of racism and perpetuation of stereotypes embedded in American culture and tradition.

The black-faced mask of minstrel shows is a lingering image from America’s past that still inflicts wounds today through its psychic hold…In the future if we are to be free from its terrible grip we must confront it boldly and courageously by staring back into its face and laughing at the absurdity of its representation until it no longer has the power to hurt us. Only then will it be vanquished and we are free to be. —Donald Byrd

Donald Byrd’s work as a choreographer achieved international visibility with the creation of the Harlem Nutcracker and a Tony Award nomination for his 2006 choreography of Broadway’s The Color Purple. He has created more than 80 modern dance pieces for his own groups as well as Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and The Joffrey Ballet.  He was a fellow at The Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University for three years. His unbounded appetite to explore the arts has fueled his artistic vision for Spectrum Dance Theater since 2002 and has evolved the company into one of regional and national significance.

Artist’s Website: Spectrum Dance Theater
Artist’s Blog: Donald Byrd
Program Guide: The Minstrel Show Program Guide
The program guide was written for, and originally published in, the program for 1991’s The Minstrel Show. It includes an essay, Wrestling with our Responses, by Scott deLahunta.

Review: From Vaudeville to the Streets (ArtsJournal blog: DanceBeat)
“Eleven dancers take the stage at NYU Skirball Center in Donald Byrd’s The Minstrel Show Revisited.They’re strutting, prancing, raising white-gloved hands. How come I don’t recognize any faces? I can hardly tell which are women and which are men. Byrd has already made a point about racial prejudice; it may change its forms over the years, but it doesn’t vanish.”—Deborah November 2, 2015

Review: Donald Byrd: The Minstrel Show Revisited (TimeOut New York)
“In 1991, choreographer Donald Byrd’sThe Minstrel Show was daring. Is it still? Daring yes; riveting—less so.” —Helen Shaw, October 30, 2015

Review: Donald Byrd and Spectrum Dance Theater – The Minstrel Show Revisited – New York (DanceTabs)
“With the onslaught of cases of unarmed black men being killed by the police, the comforting illusion that racism in America was on the wane has been shattered” —Marina Harss, November 1, 2015

Feature Article: Tap Routine: Donald Byrd Considers the Evolution of Minstrelsy (The New Yorker) “Minstrel shows seem even more deplorable in that they began as the creation of white people, performing in blackface and with big, woolly wigs. But such shows were also hugely popular with black people, who were soon producing their own versions, in which they, too, corked up and put on fuzzy wigs” —Joan Acocella, November 2, 2015

Review: Equal Opportunity Racism in The Minstrel Show Revisited (City Arts Magazine)
“Regardless of prior “exposure” to blackface—via movies, pictures, books, TV shows, or otherwise—watching a group of performers painted and costumed to emulate a horrific, archaic form of racism is unsettling, emotional and thought–provoking. The Minstrel Show Revisited (a restaged version of choreographer and Spectrum Dance Theater artistic director Donald Byrd’s Bessie Award-winning 1991 work The Minstrel Show) does just that, and more.” —Rachel Gallaher, February 24, 2014

Review: Spectrum Unpacks Racism ( SeattleDances)
“…despite the “riskiness” of this topic, Donald Byrd and Spectrum Dance Theater boldly unpacked the history and the current state of race relations in America with poignant poeticism in The Minstrel Show Revisited” —Imana Gunawan, February 26, 2014

Preview Article: How Trayvon Martin brought a dance work back to new life in Seattle (Crosscut)
“I think people who come are the ones who want to be challenged. They want to be shaped a bit.” —Donald Byrd in an interview by Florangela Davila, February  20, 2014

Preview Article: Choreographer Uses Blackface To Confront Racial Attitudes Past And Present (KUOW)
February 20, 2014

Preview Article: Minstrel Show Update Revisits Race Conversation (SeattleDances)
“Byrd is an artist who thrives on opening dialogue about difficult, uncomfortable topics. Race is a prime example.” —Anna Waller February 19, 2014

Preview Article: Spring Arts: The Button-Pusher, Donald Byrd (Seattle Weekly)
The Minstrel Show Revisited takes an unflinching view of a difficult part of our performance history, making us squirm and smile at the same time.” —Sandra Kurtz February 11, 2014

Review: A Message For Today In Blackface (New York Times)
“Donald Byrd choreographically examined this theatrical form in The Minstrel Show, the witty and provocative new work that Donald Byrd/ The Group presented on Wednesday night at the Bessie Schonberg Theater” —Jack Anderson November 9, 1991

Review: A ‘Hot Time’ at Intriguing Minstrel Show : Dance: Choreographer Donald Byrd and The Group remind a sometimes uneasy audience that the tradition of racism through entertainment is alive and well. (L.A Times) —Frankie Wright January 27, 1992

Article: Stomping on Eggshells: An Honest Discussion of Race, Identity, and Intent in the American Theater
Spurred by the controversies over the new adaptation of The Jungle Book that opened this summer in Chicago, this series of articles explores who is allowed to tell whose stories onstage. This series is curated by Rebecca Stevens, the Chicago Commons Producer for HowlRound.

Video clip

Pre- and Post-Show Talks on NYU Skirball YouTube

Pre-Show Lobby Talk October 28 at 6:30pm
From Representation to Reality: Blackface Minstrelsy in Past and Present: Join us before the performance for a pre-show lobby talk and Q&A with Matthew Morrison, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow at Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

This pre-show discussion will give a brief history of the first original form of popular entertainment in the U.S., Blackface Minstrelsy, and how this performance style  has continued to impact American popular entertainment, identity, and culture into the present day.

Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Arielle Andrews, President of the Black Student Union at NYU, in conversation with Donald Byrd.

Pre-Show Lobby Talk October 29 at 6:30pm

From Minstrelsy to Miley Cyrus: A Round Trip: Join us before the performance for a pre-show lobby talk and Q&A with Daniel Charnas, Associate Arts Professor at Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music in Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.

Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Deborah Jowitt, Master Teacher in Dance at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, in conversation with Donald Byrd.

Pre-Show Lobby Talk October 30 at 7:00pm

Join us before the performance for a pre-show lobby talk and Q&A with Awam Amkpa, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU.

Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Kwami Coleman, Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in Gallatin School at NYU, in conversation with Donald Byrd

BEYOND THE STAGE with Gare St Lazare Ireland: “Waiting for Godot”


Gary Lydon (Vladimir) and Conor Lovett (Estragon).

On a country road, two friends wait for a man named Godot to arrive. Their comical efforts to pass the time parody the human condition, and the everyday language of their exchanges takes on a universal significance.

Gare St Lazare Ireland ranks among the foremost interpreters of Beckett’s work and will be performing Waiting for Godot at NYU Skirball October 13-17. The company consists of joint artistic directors Judy Hegarty Lovett and Conor Lovett (who also plays Estragon in this production), and associate producer Maura O’Keeffe. They have produced over 17 Beckett titles for the stage and performed in over 25 countries across six continents to great international acclaim. 

Artist’s Website: Gare St Lazare Ireland

Playwright’s Website: Samuel Beckett

Review: Waiting For Godot (Total Theatre Magazine)
“Director Judy Hegarty Lovett has many productions of Beckett under her belt with this company, and it bears their trademark purity of vision and economy of movement.” — Lisa Wolfe, Dublin Theatre Festival 2013

Review: There’s Hope and Futility in Waiting For Godot (Broadway World/Boston)
“The wonderful trick of the Gare St Lazare Players of Ireland’s mesmerizing production of Samuel Beckett’s classic Waiting for Godot is that it inspires hope even as it suggests life is hopeless.” — November 10, 2013

Review: Waiting for Godot — Dramatizing the Residue of Resilience (The Arts Fuse)
“What the Gare St Lazare Players Ireland bring to the work is its distinct connection to Ireland, Beckett’s ancestral home, which he abandoned…Thanks to this production, moving glimpses of the Old Sod itself flicker through the emptiness.” — Robert Israel, November 3, 2013

Article: Celebrating 60 years of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
Godot highlights what French novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet called ‘being there’. It has little plot beyond the fact of waiting for Godot, and little on stage to distract the two tramps, Estragon and Vladimir (or the audience) from their waiting.” — Anna McMullan January 4, 2013

Article: When Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot he really didn’t know a lot about theatre
“As Waiting for Godot turns 60, Beckett expert Anna McMullan explains why the play still appeals” — Interview by Daisy Bowie-Sell January 5, 2013

Article: ‘Very Unpromising Material’: A Review for Beckett’s Waiting For Godot, From 1955. A review for Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from when the play first opened in England, at the Arts Theater Club, London, in August 1955.

Video Clip

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 13th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Tom Bishop, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director, Center for French Civilization and Culture at NYU, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 15th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with Belinda McKeon, Irish novelist and playwright, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.

Symposium October 16th, 2:00-6:00pm
Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”: A Symposium

Co-presented by NYU Skirball Center, Glucksman Ireland House at NYU, and Gare St Lazare Ireland. Free to the public. Please RSVP by emailing

Join us for a discussion with guests including Walter Asmus, Will Eno, Jonathan Kalb, Tom Cousineau, Conor Lovett and Judy Hegarty Lovett of Gare St Lazare Ireland, and more celebrated scholars in conversation about Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in performance, politics, and the classroom.

Post-Show Discussion and Q&A October 16th
Join us directly after performance for a post-show discussion and Q&A with John Waters, Clinical Assistant Professor of Irish Studies; Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Irish Studies at NYU, in conversation with artists from Gare St Lazare Ireland.