MARFA SOUNDING 2017 ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES
Since the late 1930s Anna Halprin has been creating revolutionary directions for dance, inspiring artists in all fields. Through her students Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, and Simone Forti, Anna strongly influenced New York’s Judson Dance Theater, one of the seedbeds of postmodern dance. She also collaborated with such innovative musicians as Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, Morton Subotnik, and Luciano Berio, as well as poets Richard Brautigan, James Broughton, and Michael McClure. Artists who have studied with her include Robert Morris, Chip Lord, Meredith Monk, Eiko and Koma, Wanda Coleman, Janine Antoni, Carrie Mae Weems, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Dohee Lee, and Dana and Shinichi Iova-Koga.
Defying traditional notions of dance, Anna has extended its boundaries to address social issues, build community, foster both physical and emotional healing, and connect people to nature. In response to the racial unrest of the 1960s, she formed the first multiracial dance company and increasingly focused on social justice themes. When she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s, she used dance as part of her healing process and subsequently created innovative dance programs for cancer and AIDS patients. An early pioneer in the use of expressive arts for healing, she co-founded the Tamalpa Institute with her daughter Daria in 1978. Today, the Tamalpa’s ArtCorps program continues a vision close to Anna's heart: using dance as a healing and peace-making force for people all over the world.
Several films celebrate Anna’s work, including Andy Abrahams Wilson’s award-winning Returning Home and Ruedi Gerber’s acclaimed Breath Made Visible. Her many honors include the Doris Duke Impact Award and Isadora Duncan Dance Award in 2014, as well as earlier awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, American Dance Festival, University of Wisconsin, and San Francisco Foundation. In 2006 Anna was given a solo exhibition at Lyon’s Museum of Contemporary Art, which traveled to San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The art museum of the University of California, Santa Barbara, showcased her work in 2017. Her work has been featured in recent shows on performance art at MoMA PS 1, Centre Pompidou, and ZKM Museum, and the 2017 Venice Biennale.
Stephen Petronio is a choreographer, dancer, and the Artistic Director of the Stephen Petronio Company. Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979 to 1986). He has gone on to build a unique career, receiving numerous accolades, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award, a New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award, and most recently a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Petronio has created over thirty-five works for his company and has been commissioned by some of the world’s most prestigious modern and ballet companies, including William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt (1987), Deutsche Opera Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Sydney Dance Company (2003, full evening), Norrdans (2006), the Washington Ballet (2007), The Scottish Ballet (2007), and two works for National Dance Company Wales (2010 and 2013). Petronio collaborates regularly with visual artists, musicians, and fashion designers, including Cindy Sherman, Janine Antoni, Antony and the Johnsons, Nico Muhly, Imitation of Christ, and Narciso Rodriguez.
Petronio, whose training originated with leading figures of the Judson era, performed Man Walking Down the Side of a Building in 2010 for Trisha Brown Company at the Whitney Museum, and performed his 2012 rendition of Steve Paxton’s Intravenous Lecture (1970) in New York, Portland, and at the TEDMED-2012 conference at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC. Petronio received the distinction of being named the first Artist-in-Residence at The Joyce Theater from 2012 to 2014. He has been entangled with visual artist Janine Antoni in a number of discipline-blurring projects, including the video installation Honey Baby (2013), created in collaboration with composer Tom Laurie and filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, and most recently Ally, in collaboration with Anna Halprin and Adrian Heathfield, which premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in summer of 2016. Petronio and Antoni are the 2017 McCormack Artists in Residence at Skidmore College, where their series of installations, Entangle, will be shown through July of 2017. Petronio's memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict, is available at Amazon.com.
Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener
Since 2010 Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener have created dance in response to complex and active spatial environments, often merging elements of fantasy, absurdity, and quiet contemplation into challenging multifaceted performance. After working together for years in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Mitchell and Riener developed a keen interest in the way abstraction and representation coincide in the body. Their collaborative work takes many forms, from site-specific installations, improvisational dances, and traditional proscenium pieces to highly crafted and intimate, immersive experiences. Historical influences and aesthetic forms collapse into a visually charged hybrid physical language. Together they have been part of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Extended Life Dance Development program, the New York City Center Choreographic Fellowship, and have been artists in residence at EMPAC, Mount Tremper Arts, Wellesley College, Jacob’s Pillow, and Pieter. Their work has been presented at MOMA PS1 as part of Greater NY, Walker Art Center, MCA Chicago, The Chocolate Factory, New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, the Vail International Dance Festival, REDCAT, ICA Boston, and the O Miami Poetry Festival.
Since his emergence on the West Coast in the late 1970s saxophonist/composer Phillip Greenlief has achieved international critical acclaim for his recordings and performances with musicians and composers in the post-jazz continuum as well as new music innovators and virtuosic improvisers. He has performed and recorded with Fred Frith, Meredith Monk, and They Might Be Giants; albums include THAT OVERT DESIRE OF OBJECT with Joelle Leandre, and ALL AT ONCE with FPR (Frank Gratkowski, PG, Jon Raskin). Recent residencies have included Headlands Center for the Arts and from 2012 to 2014 he was the curator at Berkeley Arts, a home for progressive music. He is the recipient of a San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award.
Nina Martin’s choreography and master teaching have been presented in the United States, Russia, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, and Japan. Performance credits include David Gordon Pick-Up Company, Mary Overlie, Deborah Hay, Martha Clarke, and Simone Forti, among others. Nina danced in the PBS Dance in America Beyond the Mainstream program, which featured Steve Paxton and others. She was a founding member of Channel Z (New York City), New York Dance Intensive, and Lower Left (www.lowerleft.org) and presently is a board member of Marfa Live Arts. After choreographing and teaching for seventeen years in New York she relocated to the West Coast in 1994 where Martin's choreography and community activism earned her three Tommy awards and an Irvine Foundation’s DanceMaker Grant. While on the West Coast she was on faculty at UCLA's Department of World Art and Cultures. Martin has received funding for her work from the National Endowment for the Arts through six choreography fellowships, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Joyce-Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Meet the Composer/ Choreographer Grant, Texas Commission on the Arts, and others. Martin continues to teach and tour with Lower Left internationally, and cultivate a dance community interested in collaborative inquiry.
Jennifer Burris Staton
Jennifer Burris Staton is a curator and writer based in Bogotá, Colombia where she is director of Athenée Press. She has organized numerous live performances and film screenings in addition to exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, and The Kitchen in New York City.
In 2015 she co-founded Marfa Sounding: an ongoing series of performances, sound installations, and talks in the town of Marfa, Texas that explores the relationship between music and sculpture. As a writer she has contributed to publications including The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Studies in French Cinema, Bomb Daily, Revista Código, Afterall Online, and Frieze as well as artist monographs for Brian Weil, Godfried Donkor, Alexandra Navratil, and Raphael Montañez Ortiz.
A graduate of the University of Cambridge (Ph.D) and Princeton University (A.B.), she was a 2010–2011 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program and the 2011–2013 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania.