Works & Process at the Guggenheim
The Principles of Uncertainty
by John Heginbotham and Maira Kalman
Monday, September 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Photo gallery of images taken by Christopher Duggan, courtesy of Jacob’s Pillow Dance can be seen below.
Choreographer John Heginbotham and author/illustrator Maira Kalman discuss their newest collaboration featuring imaginative production design and whimsical dance theater inspired by Kalman’s written work and visual art. Following the world premiere at Jacob’s Pillow and before the New York premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dance Heginbotham and members of The Knights orchestra will perform highlights set to a score composed, curated, and arranged by the orchestra’s artistic director Colin Jacobsen.
Each of the collaborators are deeply respected in their own fields. John Heginbotham received the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; Andrew Boynton of The New Yorker has commented “The mind of John Heginbotham is a magical place…[he] has such a strong choreographic personality-a refreshing mixture of casualness and discipline, lunacy and sincerity.” Kalman is a celebrated literary and visual artist, and the author and illustrator of more than a dozen books, including The Principles of Uncertainty, based on her illustrated column for The New York Times; of which critic Ariel Levy wrote, “Her depictions here of radiant fruit bowls, pink bedrooms and people in flamboyant hats make the case that our consolations for loss, bewilderment and impending death are beauty, humor and surprise. And Kalman can be very witty, particularly in the face of the grim and the unsolvable.”
The Principles of Uncertainty was co-commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was created during residencies at BAM Fisher, The Banff Centre, Dartmouth College, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center at Governor’s Island, and the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts, with additional rehearsals at Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York City Center, and the Mark Morris Dance Center. Additional support for the creation and touring of The Principles of Uncertainty provided in part by the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jerome Robbins Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development Program, New York City Center, and Dance Heginbotham’s Commissioners’ and Benefactors’ Circles. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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Peter B. Lewis Theater
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About John Heginbotham
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, John Heginbotham graduated from The Juilliard School in 1993, and was a member of the Mark Morris Dance Group from 1998-2012. In 2011, he founded Dance Heginbotham (DH), a performance group devoted to the presentation of his dance and theatrical work. In addition to DH, Heginbotham is active as a freelance choreographer. Recent projects include Daniel Fish’s Bard Summerscape production of Oklahoma! (2015), Angels’ Share for Atlanta Ballet (2014), and Isaac Mizrahi’s Peter and the Wolf for the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process Series (2013), which has become an annual holiday event. Heginbotham’s growing list of opera commissions include Candide with the Orlando Philharmonic (2016); The Magic Flute at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, directed by Isaac Mizrahi (2014); Handel’s Alceste for the American Classical Orchestra (2014); and Maria de Buenos Aires at the Cork Opera House (2013). In the fall of 2017 he will choreograph the San Francisco Opera production of John Adams’ and Peter Sellars’ new opera Girls of the Golden West. Heginbotham is the recipient of the 2014 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award and a 2017-2018 New York City Center Choreography Fellowship. He was a Fellow at the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts (2016), and has received two Jerome Robbins Foundation New Essential Works (NEW) Fellowships (2010, 2012). In addition to directing the Dartmouth Dance Ensemble, he is on faculty at Dartmouth College and is a founding teacher of Dance for PD®, an ongoing collaboration between the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Parkinson Group.
About Maira Kalman
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and raised in New York, Maira Kalman is the author and illustrator of 18 children’s books including Fireboat, Looking at Lincoln, and What Pete Ate, as well as five books for adults. Her online columns for The New York Times were compiled into two volumes, The Principles of Uncertainty and The Pursuit of Happiness. Kalman created an illustrated edition of the classic The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker, including cover art and an upcoming illustrated column based on travels to museums and libraries. Her travel pieces have appeared in Departures, Culture and Travel, and The New York Times, among others. She has created fabric for Isaac Mizrahi and Kate Spade, and sets and costumes for the Mark Morris Dance Group. In 2013, she performed the role of The Duck in Isaac Mizrahi’s production of Peter and the Wolf at The Guggenheim Museum. Her two most recent books about design, My Favorite Things and Ah-Ha to Zig Zag were published in October 2014 in conjunction with the re-opening of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City for which she curated the exhibit, Maira Kalman: My Favorite Things. She recently published Girls Standing on Lawns (2014) with text by Daniel Handler in conjunction with the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art. Kalman’s latest book, Beloved Dog, was published in October 2015 by Penguin Press. In 2010, a retrospective of her work entitled Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) originated at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Philadelphia and traveled to a Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. In April 2014, all of the original paintings for The Elements of Style were exhibited together for the first time at the Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville, TN. Through November 2017, she has an exhibit on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum entitled Sara Berman’s Closet. Future book projects include an illustrated edition of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. Kalman is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery which has two exhibitions featuring her work through September 2017: The Elements of Style, which includes the complete series of 57 paintings from her 2005 edition of the iconic illustrated The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and Darling Dorset, a series of paintings commissioned by Departures Magazine and published in the May/June 2017 issue. mairakalman.com
About Dance Heginbotham
The mission of Dance Heginbotham (DH) is to move people through dance. DH is a New York-based contemporary dance company committed to supporting, producing and sustaining the work of choreographer John Heginbotham. With an emphasis on collaboration, DH engages with national and international communities with its unique blend of inventive, thoughtful, and rigorous dance theater works. Founded in 2011, DH has quickly established itself as one of the most adventurous and exciting new companies on the contemporary dance scene, and is celebrated for its vibrant athleticism, humor, and theatricality, as well as its commitment to collaboration. DH has shared the stage with music icons including Alarm Will Sound, Brooklyn Rider, Ethan Iverson, Gabriel Kahane and Shara Nova, and in 2016 presented Fantasque, a collaboration with puppeteer Amy Trompetter, commissioned and produced by Bard College’s Summerscape Festival. DH had its world premiere in January of 2012 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and has since been commissioned and presented by Arts Brookfield, Bard College, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carolina Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Joyce Theater, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Vail International Dance Festival, among others. In the spring of 2016, the company toured to Indonesia, Laos, and the Philippines as cultural ambassadors of the United States with the DanceMotion USA program, a project of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), produced by BAM. DH celebrated its 5th Anniversary in February 2017 with the world premiere of Lola, performed with the world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell, and commissioned by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Symphony Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach, Music Director, as part of the 2016-2017 season. danceheginbotham.org
About The Knights
The Grammy-nominated orchestral collective, The Knights, are flexible in size and repertory, dedicated to transforming the concert experience. Engaging listeners and defying boundaries with programs that showcase the players’ roots in the classical tradition and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights have “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products… known far beyond the borough for their relaxed virtuosity and expansive repertory” (New Yorker). The Knights’ 2017 summer season includes a world premiere by Judd Greenstein and an East Coast premiere by Vijay Iyer; returns to Central Park’s Naumberg Concerts, Tanglewood, the Ravinia Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. This fall, The Knights’ embark on their second Home Season in Brooklyn, in partnership with the downtown venue BRIC, presenting family concerts and evening performances. Next is a U.S. tour with Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Syrian clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh. This follows a 2016-17 season which saw the release of the album Azul on Warner Classics with longtime collaborator Yo-Yo Ma; a debut at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center as part of the inaugural “SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras;” and a European tour, which took them to the Easter Festival at Aix-en-Provence and three concerts across Germany, including one at the new Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg where the ensemble’s performance was lauded as one of the best in the new hall (Hamburg Abendetter). The Knights evolved from late-night chamber music reading parties with friends at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. The Jacobsens, who serve as artistic directors of The Knights, were selected from among the nation’s top visual, performing, media, and literary artists to receive a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship in 2012. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance. theknightsnyc.com
Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Described by The New York Times as “an exceptional opportunity to understand something of the creative process,” for over 33 years and in over 500 productions, New Yorkers have been able to see, hear, and meet the most acclaimed artists in the world, in an intimate setting unlike any other. Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, has championed new works and offered audiences unprecedented access to generations of leading creators and performers. Most performances take place in the Guggenheim’s intimate Frank Lloyd Wright-designed 285-seat Peter B. Lewis Theater. In 2017, Works & Process established a new residency and commissioning program, inviting artists to create new works, made in and for the iconic Guggenheimrotunda. worksandprocess.org.