STEPHEN PETRONIO (Artistic Director/Choreographer) For nearly 30 years, Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body within the shifting sphere of our current time. He continues to create a haven for dancers with a keen interest in history and an appetite for the unknown. Petronio was born in Newark, NJ, and received a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst MA, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton as well as the dancing of Rudolph Nureyev and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown 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, and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award.
Petronio has created over 35 works for his company, and has been commissioned by some of the world’s most prestigious modern and ballet companies, including William Forsythe’s Ballett Frankfurt (1987), Deutsche Oper Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Sydney Dance Company (2003, full evening), Norrdans (2006), the Washington Ballet (2007), and The Scottish Ballet (2007).
His company repertory works have been set on The Scottish Ballet, Norrdans in Sweden, Dance Works Rotterdam, National Dance Company of Wales, X Factor Dance Company in Edinburgh, Ballet National de Marseille, Ballet de Lorraine, and London Contemporary Dance Theater. In 2009, Petronio completed an evening-length work, Tragic Love for 30 dancers in collaboration with composer Son Lux for Ballet de Lorraine. He completed two additional new works with Son Lux: By Singing Light, for the National Dance Company of Wales (2010), and The Social Band, a commission for OtherShore Dance Company in New York (2011). Other recent projects include Prometheus Bound (2011), a musical for the American Repertory Theater, in collaboration with director Diane Paulus (HAIR), writer and lyricist Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and composer Serj Tankian (Grammy award, lead vocalist “System of a Down”). Petronio performed his rendition of Paxton’s Intravenous Lecture at the TEDMED-2012 conference at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC, and has spent the last several years working on his memoir, “Confessions of a Motion Addict.” In October 2012, Petronio received the honor of being named the first Artist-in-Residence at The Joyce Theater and will be in residence for a two-year period.