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Stephen Petronio’s new Breath of the Beast is an evening-length, full company work to initiate Stephen Petronio Company’s 40th year, created in collaboration with violin virtuoso Jennifer Koh who will be performing live improvisation for these celebratory performances.

Petronio tracked and recorded his dancing throughout the pandemic, working in isolation, returning to his own dancing roots as an improvisor, catching the sources of his personal history expressed through a body now in its mid-60s. Petronio’s signature language and prowess are offered as an ignitor for the dancers to tap their own histories set free in a churning creative process that urges emotional exposure and access to their deepest physicality. Breath of the Beast is a dialogue with the sophisticated intelligence and intuition that drives these dancing collaborators.

Grammy Award-winning violinist Jennifer Koh is recognized for intense, commanding performances delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. Koh is a forward-thinking artist dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire while promoting equity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 100 works written especially for her.

Stephen Petronio is an acclaimed American choreographer, dancer, and artistic director known for his innovative and boundary-pushing work in contemporary dance. Petronio has made a significant impact on the dance world through his unique artistic vision and his commitment to pushing the limits of movement and expression.In 1984, he founded the Stephen Petronio Company, a contemporary dance company based in New York City. Touring and performing throughout the world, the company quickly gained recognition for its bold and visually stunning performances that combined elements of modern, ballet, and postmodern dance. Petronio’s choreography challenges traditional notions of movement and explored themes of sexuality, gender, and identity.

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Made possible in part with support from the Harkness Foundation for Dance.

Harkness Foundation for Dance

NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

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