Figure a Sea

by Deborah Hay

Upcoming performances

Next performance

30 Jun
Teatro alle Tese, Venice, Italy

The New York Times: “This Sublime New Dance Work Embraces Wonder”
SF Gate: ” …an extraordinary new work.” “The dancers add up to a diverse, wonderfully sleek and resilient crew; anywhere you look, there’s something appealing and it is always beautifully articulated.”
Bachtrack: “existentially tender and, finally, terribly poignant, terribly human.”
Seen and Heard International: “The evening was unusual and rare – modest, contemplative, and intelligent, it satisfied the soul in these noisy, troubled times.”
Tanz: “Figure a sea is a subtile and tender piece, ingenius too and extremely exhilarating.”

Berliner Zeitung: “So young, so fresh, so awake. Contemporary dance like Figure a Sea is seldom seen”. “This piece should have opened the festival because it is representative and at the same time important art and a shock.”

Dagens Nyheter: “Magnificent, skillful and peaceful”
“Cullbergbaletten’s collaboration with Deborah Hay is a success. Figure a Sea is a thoughtful, flowing and very beautiful performance.”
“The performance is a remarkable and sublime meditative experience.”
“Cullbergbaletten with guests impresses.”

SR Kulturnytt: “60 minutes of purity, beauty and body.”
“A wonderful meeting between Laurie Anderson and Cullbergbaletten”

Cullbergbaletten continues to challenge the audience’s experience of dance, and by their curious and international collaborations the company changes the dance map. The new creation brings together 21 dancers in an artistic master meeting between some of the performing arts finest: the choreographer Deborah Hay and composer Laurie Anderson. World premiere of Figure a Sea at Dansens Hus, Stockholm, 24 September.

American icon dancer, choreographer and author Deborah Hay was born 1941 in Brooklyn. She trained with Merce Cunningham and Mia Slavenska, and she danced with the Cunningham Dance Company in 1964. Hay belongs to a generation of choreographers who were at the base of Judson Church Movement in New York in the 1960’s where daily life movements became part of the choreography and untrained people became dancers. This was a change in the history of dance. The group, known as the Judson Dance Theatre, became one of the most radical and explosive postmodern 20th century art movements. Hay focused on large scale dance projects, and later almost exclusively on rarified and enigmatic solo dances based on her new experimental choreographic method.

She has also choreographed a duet for herself and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Single Duet in 2000. She is the recipient of a 1983 Guggenheim Fellowship in choreography, numerous National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowships, and the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship in 1996. In October 2009 Deborah received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Dance from the Theater Academy in Helsinki, Finland and in 2010 she was awarded an US Artist Friends Fellowship and a 2011 artist’s grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, based in New York. In April 2012, Deborah Hay became one of the 21 American performing artists to receive the inaugural and groundbreaking 2012 Doris Duke Artist Award. After a two year research collaboration with Motion Bank, a project of the Forsythe Company, an online interactive website was dedicated to Hay’s choreographic aesthetics. Turn Your F*^king Head is an hour documentary made in 2012 by British filmmaker Becky Edmunds, about Deborah Hay’s last Solo Performance Commissioning Project at the Findhorn Community Foundation, near Inverness, Scotland. The film is included in the Routledge Performance Archive and will be available from Routledge after January 15, 2015.

Laurie Anderson (born in 1947 in Glen Ellyn) began her career as a sculptor and performance artist in the late 1960s. Early in her career she worked as an illustrator and art critic. She is a pioneer in electronic music and has written both popular and art music and collaborated with, among others, William Burroughs, Peter Gabriel and Lou Reed. Since 1975, she has recorded seven albums. Anderson plays several instruments, variations of the violin being her main one. O Superman, from 1981 is one of her most famous songs which also reached as high as second place in the British charts.

Zodiak, Center for New Dance, Helsinki, Finland.
Peak Performances @ Montclair State University, New Jersey, USA.
Balletto di Roma, Rome, Italy.
Centro per la Scena Contemporanea – Comune di Bassano del Grappa, Bassano del Grappa, Italy
CCAP, Stockholm, Sweden
Supported by the Italian Cultural Institute, Stockholm

Choreography: Deborah Hay

Composer: Laurie Anderson

Set & Lighting Design: Minna Tiikkainen

Impressive is an understatement.


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