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Directing from Offstage

Dance artists have been naming companies after themselves ever since Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn first combined their names to create Denishawn a century ago. And while all of the artists in these selections have performed in their eponymous companies, all are offstage in these particular dances. Even so, you can feel the creative spirit behind the dancers who bring these works to life.

12 performances

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Directing from Offstage

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Dorrance Dance

The Blues Project, 2015

Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards stepped into this solo spot in 2015’s The Blues Project, and both Dorrance and Sumbry-Edwards return in 2016.

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Playing 1 of 12

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Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart

Malasangre, 2015

This German ensemble – returning for Festival 2016 – made a stunning first impression in 2015,  presenting works by its director and others.

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Playing 2 of 12

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Jessica Lang Dance

The Wanderer, 2015

One of Lang’s most fully-realized works to date, incorporating live music and a remarkable set, The Wanderer enjoyed a two-week run in 2015.

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Playing 3 of 12

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Henri Oguike Dance Company

Second Signal, 2007

With both dancers and musicians onstage together in Second Signal, the Nigerian/Welsh choreographer Henri Oguike brought his U.S. debut engagement to an exciting close.

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Playing 4 of 12

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Seán Curran Company

Sonata (We Are What We Were), 2004

On a stage filled with both dancers and a sea of miniature chairs, Curran’s Sonata grapples with the idea of how shared experiences can lead to healing, all set to a hauntingly beautiful score.

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Playing 5 of 12

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Stephen Petronio Company

City of Twist, 2003

Petronio is looking at a different kind of community in the midst of its own healing in City of Twist, created in the aftermath of 9/11 as “a love letter to New York.”

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Playing 6 of 12

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David Gordon / Pick Up Performance Company

Private Lives of Dancers, 2002

The performers in David Gordon’s work are delightfully idiosyncratic, and they embody theatricalized versions of themselves in Private Lives of Dancers.

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Playing 7 of 12

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K. Kvarnström & Co

Fragile, 2002

This Finnish choreographer brought his Stockholm-based dancers to the Pillow for their U.S. debut in the full-evening Fragile, two years after his work was first seen here in the repertory of Stockholm 59° North.

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Playing 8 of 12

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Paul Taylor Dance Company

Company B, 2000

This 1991 work was created long after Paul Taylor retired from the stage, but his presence is unmistakable in this virtuosic solo.

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Playing 9 of 12

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THARP!

The Fugue, 1998

Performed without music, Twyla Tharp’s The Fugue is anything but silent. Every footfall comes through crystal-clear, testifying to the rigor of this classic trio. It was first performed at the Pillow in 1977 and recorded here 21 years later.

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Playing 10 of 12

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Laura Dean Dancers and Musicians

Magnetic, 1989

Now that Dean has retired from both making new dances and restaging old ones, it’s a special treat to include one of her classic works in our online collection, Magnetic from 1986.

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Playing 11 of 12

Ted Shawn's Men Dancers

Sixth Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavichord, 1933

While only a fragment, this is the earliest known film of Shawn’s groundbreaking company, captured during the Pillow’s very first season.

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Playing 12 of 12

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