“What it feels like to perform, to be on the wild intuitive moment of abandon: Letting go into a score of movement that is so deep in your muscles it needs no conscious thought but is like some invisible guide moving you through the dance and moving through your body that HAS surrendered to it. It’s like being completely lost to your self but sensing exactly where you are in space and where you must go. Sometimes inspired. Sometime mundane.” – from Confessions of a Motion Addict by Stephen Petronio.
Over the last 30 years Stephen Petronio has established himself, and his company, as one of the most influential and thrilling forces in American dance. He began his career as the first male dancer with the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and is currently Artist-in-Residence at The Joyce Theatre in New York. His iconoclastic works – defined by an incredible dynamism from the pelvic axis – fuse eclectic elements of pop culture and the avant-garde to often explosive effect. His constantly growing list of collaborators has included Imitation of Christ, Leigh Bowery, Diamanda Galas and Laurie Anderson; artists Yoko Ono, Anish Kapoor and Cindy Sherman; Nick Cave, Michael Nyman, Lou Reed and Nico Muhly. Ahead of an anniversary season at the Joyce in New York, he talked to Civilian about some of his landmark productions.