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*Thursday includes a special opening night panel: Viewpoints with Sheryl Sutton and Robert Wilson GET DANCING: A Unique Evening of Contemporary Dance by Andy de Groat and Catherine Galasso
THIS PROGRAM WILL NOW TAKE PLACE INDOORS IN THE JOHN DREW THEATER. Guests attending any INDOOR John Drew Theater programs must show proof of FULL vaccination. At this time, only fully vaccinated guests are permitted to attend programs in the indoor theater. Face coverings are now optional for fully vaccinated guests.
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Part-tribute, part live-archive, part new work, GET DANCING is an evening of downtown dance history re-imagined. Presented in partnership with The Watermill Center, the program includes dances from the 1970s by the late choreographer Andy de Groat re-staged by Catherine Galasso, as well as Galasso’s notes on de groat featuring original choreography and a contextualization of de Groat’s legacy, revealing “an aesthetic of task lifted by beautiful music, of circles of the mind, of patience and poetry” (Wendy Perron, 2016).
Andy de Groat emerged as a choreographer in the 1970s. His early choreography places spinning and pedestrian movement within a complex framework, presented with a keen sense of timing, phrasing, and rhythm. He is known for numerous collaborations with Robert Wilson, including the choreography for the original Einstein on the Beach in 1976. de Groat and his company, red notes, were based in France for 30 years where he was nominated twice to the National Order of Arts and Letters. This collaboration with Galasso, created while de Groat was still living, was commissioned by Danspace Project, developed at The Watermill Center, and nominated for a New York “Bessie.”
Galasso will once again re-stage de Groatʼs Fan Dance and Get Wreck, this time with local community performers from the East End, alongside Galasso’s company dancers. The program also includes a film by Jon Meaney and Andrew Horn of de Groatʼs Rope Dance Translations (1979), as well as music by Catherine Galassoʼs father and frequent de Groat collaborator, the César Award-winning composer Michael Galasso, who is best known for his soundtrack for Wong Kar Waiʼs In The Mood For Love.
On Thursday night, July 29 at 7pm, Guild Hall and The Watermill Center are proud to present Viewpoints, a conversation engaging the community through intriguing dialogue and creative collaboration by leading voices in the arts and humanities. Moderated by Dr. Lauren DiGiulio, Viewpoints with Sheryl Sutton and Robert Wilson explores the legacy of collaboration in the early work of The Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, Wilson’s early performance collective. Sutton and Wilson will use GET DANCING and its foundation in the work of the late Andy de Groat, a Byrd himself, as an entry point into a discussion about generational exchange, the role of archives in contemporary performance practice, and the function of performance training in the Byrds’ work. The conversation will be followed by a live performance of GET DANCING, in which Catherine Galasso reimagines historic downtown works that de Groat developed in the late 1970s alongside fellow Byrd, composer Michael Galasso.
Run time: Approx. 70 minutes
The creation and premiere of GET DANCING was made possible, in part, by the Danspace Project 2015-16 Commissioning Initiative, with support from the Jerome Foundation. Additional support provided by the Bossak/Heilbron Foundation, individual donors, and the 92nd Street Y. The project was developed through residencies at Robert Wilsonʼs Watermill Center, the Centre Nationale de la Danse Pantin, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center in Tivoli, New York, East Village Dance Project, and through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Councilʼs Extended Life Dance Development program made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Andy de Groat
Andy de Groat (1947-2019) in the United States into a family of Dutch, Italian, French, German and English origins. While studying at the New York School of Visual Arts in 1967, he met the director Robert Wilson, joined his troupe as a performer, then dancer and choreographer for all productions from Deafman Glance in 1971, A Letter for Queen Victoria in 1974 to Einstein on the Beach in 1976, created for the Avignon Festival. In 1981, he received a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation in New York for his choreographic research. He created new works in succession for his company red notes, including several for Jean Guizerix, Wilfride Piollet, Jean-Christophe Paré, the Choreographic Research Group of the Paris Opera (GRCOP), the Scala in Milan, the Ballet du Nord (Roubaix), all five French national dance conservatories, innumerable workshops, and creations and repertory for Wah Loo Tin Tin Co., a Montaubanbased company of young performers. His work totals over sixty creations that have been presented in twenty countries and have periodically questioned the repertory and heritage of dance. His company worked regularly on lyrical productions starting in 1988, such as The Magic Flute (Mozart) with Robert Wilson at the Opera Bastille, Paris, The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky) with Alfredo Arias for the Aix-en-Provence Festival of Lyric Art and at the Operas of Lyon, Genoa and Montpellier, Aïda (Verdi) with Klaus Michael Grüber for the Amsterdam Opera. He was nominated Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters in 1985, and Commander in 2000.
Catherine Galasso is an independent choreographer and director based in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to being presented by venues such as Danspace Project, La MaMa, SFMoMA, Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris and the Kohler Arts Center, Galasso also creates original contemporary dance works for underground bank vaults, dilapidated homes, and grand marble staircases. Galasso’s work has been supported by New York State Council on the Arts, LMCC, BAX, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Headlands Center, Kaatsbaan and ODC Theater in San Francisco, among others. Galasso’s Danspace-commissioned collaboration with choreographer Andy de Groat, “GET DANCING,” was nominated for a 2016 “Bessie.” She has received two San Francisco “Izzie” nominations, for her 2018 ODC Theater-commissioned “Alone Together,” described by the SF Chronicle as “a treasure chest so packed with jewels that the lid won’t stay down,” and for her 2011 “Bring On The Lumière!” about cinema inventors the Lumière brothers. Galasso was born in New York and raised in Italy. She attended a fine arts high school in Venice and received a BA in film from Cornell University. Her parents were part of Robert Wilson’s international theater troupe in the 1970s, and she grew up steeped in the avant-garde dance, theater and film collaborations of her father, composer Michael Galasso. Galasso’s choreography for opera and theater was featured most recently in productions at Bard SummerScape and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The Watermill Center
Founded in 1992 by avant-garde visionary Robert Wilson, The Watermill Center is an interdisciplinary laboratory for the arts and humanities situated on ten acres of Shinnecock ancestral territory on Long Island’s East End, offering year-round artist residencies and education programs. With an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, Watermill integrates contemporary artistic practice with resources from the humanities and research from the sciences to provide a global community with the time, space and freedom to create and inspire. www.watermillcenter.org
The New York Times described Robert Wilson as “a towering figure in the world of experimental theater and an explorer in the uses of time and space on stage. Transcending theatrical convention, he draws in other performance and graphic
arts, which coalesce into an integrated tapestry of images and sounds.” Susan Sontag has said of Wilson’s work, “it has the signature of a major artistic creation. I can’t think of any body of work as large or as influential.” Born in Waco, Texas, Wilson was educated at the University of Texas and Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, where he took an interest in architecture and design. He studied painting with George McNeil in Paris and later worked with the architect Paolo Solari in Arizona. Moving to New York City in the mid-1960s, Wilson found himself drawn to the work of pioneering choreographers George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, and Martha Graham, among others artists. By 1968 he had gathered a group of artists known as The Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds, and together they worked and performed in a loft building at 147 Spring Street in lower Manhattan. Performing Arts In 1969 two of Wilson’s major productions appeared in New York City: The King of Spain at the Anderson Theater, and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1971 Wilson received international acclaim for Deafman Glance (Le Regard du Sourd), a silent opera created in collaboration with Raymond Andrews, a talented deaf-mute boy whom Wilson had adopted. After the Paris premiere of the work, French Surrealist Louis Aragon wrote of Wilson, “he is what we, from whom Surrealism
was born, dreamed would come after us and go beyond us.” Wilson then went on to present numerous acclaimed productions throughout the world, including the seven-day play KA MOUNTain and GUARDenia Terrace in Shiraz, Iran
(1972); The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, a twelve-hour silent opera performed in New York, Europe, and South America (1973); and A Letter for Queen Victoria in Europe and New York (1974-1975). In 1976 Wilson joined with composer Philip Glass in writing the landmark work Einstein on the Beach, which was presented at the Festival d’Avignon and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, and has since been revived in three world tours in 1984, 1992 and 2012-2015. After Einstein, Wilson increasingly worked with European theaters and opera houses. His productions were frequently featured at the Festival d’Automne in Paris, the Schaubühne Berlin, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, and the Salzburg Festival, among many other venues. At the Schaubühne he created Death Destruction & Detroit (1979) and Death Destruction & Detroit II (1987); and at the Thalia he presented four groundbreaking musical works, The Black Rider (1991), Alice (1992), Time Rocker (1996), and POEtry (2000). In the early 1980's Wilson developed what still stands as his most ambitious project: the multinational epic the CIVIL warS: a tree is best measured when it is down. Created in collaboration with an international group of artists, Wilson planned this opera as the centerpiece of the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles. Although the full epic was never seen in its entirety, individual parts have been produced
in the United States, Europe and Japan. Robert Wilson has designed and directed operas at La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Opéra Bastille in Paris, the Zürich Opera, the Hamburg State Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Houston Grand Opera and the Moscow Bolshoi, among others. His productions include Salome (Milan, 1987), Parsifal (Hamburg, 1991), The Magic Flute (Paris, 1991), Lohengrin (Zürich, 1991), Madama Butterfly (Paris, 1993), Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung (Salzburg, 1995), Four Saints in Three Acts (Houston, 1996), Pelléas et Mélisande (Salzburg, 1997), Orpheus and Eurydice (Paris, 1999), Der Ring des Nibelungen (Zürich, 2000- 2002), Aida (Brussels, 2002), Leos Janacek’s Osud (Prague, 2002), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Paris, 2003), Gluck’s Alceste (Brussels, 2004), Bach’s Johannes-Passion (Paris, 2007), Brecht/Weill’s Threepenny Opera (Berlin, 2007), Gounod’s Faust (Warsaw, 2008), Der Freischütz (Baden-Baden, 2009), Katya Kabanova (Prague, 2010), Norma (Zürich, 2011), Verdi’s Macbeth (Bologna / Sao Paulo, 2013), a Monteverdi trilogy consisting of L’Orfeo (2009), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (2011) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (2014) in Milan and Paris, La Traviata (Linz, 2015) and The Troubadour (Parma, 2018).
He has presented innovative adaptations of works by writers such as Virginia Woolf (Orlando, Berlin, 1989), Henrik Ibsen (When We Dead Awaken, Cambridge Mass., 1991; Lady from the Sea, Ferrara, 1998; Peer Gynt, Oslo, 2005), Gertrude Stein (Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, Berlin, 1992; Saints and Singing, Berlin, 1997), Wole Soyinka (Scourge of Hyacinths, Geneva, 1999), Georg Büchner (Woyzeck, Copenhagen, 2000), Jean de la Fontaine (Les Fables de la Fontaine, Paris, 2004), Samuel Beckett (Happy Days, Luxembourg, 2008; Krapp’s Last Tape, Spoleto, 2009), Homer (Odyssey, Athens, 2012), Daniil Kharms (The Old Woman, Manchester, 2013), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust I and II, Berlin, 2015), and Sophocles (Oedipus, Pompeii, 2018). His longstanding love to Indonesia led Robert Wilson to direct I La Galigo (Singapore, 2004), a play based on a sacred text from Southwest Sulawesi. Later on, Wilson directed Rumi: in the blink of the eye, based on Sufi mystic poetry (Athens, 2007), and 1433—The Grand Voyage, a Ming- Dynasty parable (Taiwan, 2010). Wilson has collaborated with a number of internationally acclaimed artists, writers, and musicians. He worked closely with the late German playwright Heiner Müller on the Cologne section of the CIVIL warS (1984), Hamletmachine (1986), and Quartet (1987). With singer/song-writer Tom Waits, Wilson created the highly successful production The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic Bullets (Hamburg, 1991), as well as Alice (Hamburg, 1992) and Woyzeck (Copenhagen, 2000). His collaboration with Lou Reed also resulted in three works for the stage: Time Rocker
(Hamburg, 1996), POEtry (Hamburg, 2000) and Lulu (Berlin, 2011). With David Byrne, Wilson staged The Knee Plays from the CIVIL warS (1984), and later The Forest, in honor of the 750th anniversary of the City of Berlin (1988). He worked with poet Allen Ginsberg on Cosmopolitan Greetings (1988) and with performance artist Laurie Anderson on Wilson's adaptation of Euripides's Alcestis (1986). Writer Susan Sontag joined Wilson in creating Alice in Bed (1993), and together they developed a new work, Lady from the Sea (1998), based on Ibsen’s classic and since revived in many different languages. Wilson's long association with noted opera singer Jessye Norman began with Great Day in the Morning (Paris, 1982) and continued with a stage and video work based on Franz Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise in 2001. Other important collaborations include The Temptation of St. Anthony (Duisburg, 2003) and Zinnias (Montclair, 2013) with Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon; Büchner’s Leonce and Lena (Berlin, 2003) with Herbert Grönemeyer; The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic (Manchester, 2011) with Antony; Peter Pan (Berlin, 2013), Pushkin’s Fairy Tales (Moscow, 2015) and Edda (Oslo, 2017) with CocoRosie, and The Sandman (Recklinghausen, 2017) with Anna Calvi.
While known for creating highly acclaimed theatrical pieces, Wilson's work is firmly rooted in the fine arts. His drawings, paintings and sculptures have been presented around the world in hundreds of solo and group showings. Major Wilson exhibitions have appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1991); the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (1991); the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston (1991); and the Instituto de Valencia de Arte Moderno (1992). Wilson has created
original installations for the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1993); London’s Clink Street Vaults (1995); Museum Villa Stuck, Munich (1997); Guggenheim Museum (2000); Museum of Art and Design Copenhagen (2000); Passionsfestspiele Oberammergau and Mass. MOCA (2000-2001); Vitra Design Museum in Weil, Germany (2001); the Parisian Galeries Lafayette (2002); Barbier- Mueller Museum for Precolumbian Art in Barcelona (2004); the Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent Foundation (2004); Aichi World Exhibition Nagoya (2005); Oerol Festival (2008); Norsk Teknisk Museum Oslo (2011); Norfolk and Norwich Festival (2012); Kunstfest Weimar (2012); Minneapolis Institute of Art (2018); Max Ernst Museum Brühl (2018). His tribute to Isamu Noguchi has been shown at Vitra Museum (2001), the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (2002), the Rotterdam Kunsthal (2003), the Noguchi Garden Museum in New York (2004), the Seattle Art Museum (2006) and the L.A.- based Japanese American National Museum (2006). His installation of the Guggenheim’s Giorgio Armani retrospective (2000) traveled to Bilbao, Berlin, London, Rome, Tokyo, Shanghai and Milan (from 2000 to 2007). For the Louvre Museum in Paris, Wilson curated and designed the exhibit “Living Rooms,” featuring around 700 artworks from his Watermill Collection (2013). In 2004 Robert Wilson started his Video Portraits, a series of HD video works on subjects that include celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Alan Cumming, Jeanne Moreau, Johnny Depp, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Renee Fleming, Sean Penn and Robert Downey Jr. as well as a variety of animals (the Snowy Owl “KOOL”, a black panther, a porcupine etc.). These works have been shown in more
than 50 exhibitions worldwide, including at MoMa PS1, Paula Cooper Gallery and Phillips de Pury & Co. in New York, Ace Gallery Los Angeles, Kunsthalle Hamburg, ZKM Karlsruhe, Academy of the Arts Berlin, Museum of Modern Art Salzburg,
Times Square New York, Palazzo Madama Torino, the University of Toronto’s Art Center, and the Louvre Museum in Paris. His drawings, prints, videos and sculptures are held in private collections and museums throughout the world, notably The Metropolitan Museum of Art; MoMA; the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Vitra Design Museum; Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Menil Foundation Collection, Houston.
Awards and Honors
A recipient of two Rockefeller and two Guggenheim fellowships, Wilson has been honored with numerous awards for excellence. In 1986 Wilson was the sole nominee for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for the CIVIL warS. He received two Hewes Design Awards for A Letter to Queen Victoria (1975) and the CIVIL warS Act V (1987); a Bessie Award for The Knee Plays (1987); two Italian Premio Ubu awards for Alice and Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (1994 and 1992); the Golden Lion Award for Sculpture of the Venice Biennale for Memory/Loss (1993); the German Theater Critics Award for The Black Rider (1990); a Reumert Prize for Woyzeck (2001); the Smithsonian National Design Award (2001); the French Theater Critics Award for A Dream Play (2002); an International Design and Communication Award for Mind Gap (2012); and an Olivier Award for Einstein on the Beach as “Best New Opera Production” (2013). Wilson was honored with several lifetime achievement awards, including: Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize (1996); Premio Europa for Theater, Taormina (1997); Tadeusz Kantor Prize, Cracow (1997); Pushkin Prize, Moscow (1999); Rosa d’Oro, Palermo
(2007); Prix Italian and the Fendi Foundation Award (both in 2012); Paez Medal of Art / Venezuela (2013) and the German Goethe Institute’s Medal for the Arts (2014). He has been named a “Lion of the Performing Arts” by the New York
Public Library (1989); “Texas Artist of the Year” by the Art League of Houston (1995); received an Institute Honor from The American Institute of Architects in New York City (1988); the Harvard Excellence in Design Award (1998); and was
elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2000). The President of France pronounced him Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (2003) and later Officer of the Legion of Honor (2014). The President of Germany awarded
him the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit (2014). Wilson holds Honorary Doctorate degrees from the Pratt Institute (1991), the California College of Arts and Crafts (1994), the University of Toronto (2005), the University of Bucharest (2008), the American University of Paris (2010), the City University of New York (2013), the Sorbonne Nouvelle University (2013) and the University of Hartford (2016). In 1997, April 18th was declared “Robert Wilson Day”
by the legislature in the State of Texas.
Robert Wilson’s Legacy
Since the early 1990s, Robert Wilson has held workshops for students and experienced creative professionals from around the world at the International Summer Arts Program at The Watermill Center in Eastern Long Island – an interdisciplinary laboratory for the Arts and Humanities. Following a successful capital campaign, construction of a permanent facility was completed in the summer of 2006, enabling the Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation to offer residencies, lectures and performances, and educational programs throughout the year.
Become a Sponsor
Theater Programming supported in part by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Barbara Slifka, The Schaffner Family Foundation, Straus Family Foundation, Brown Harris Stevens, Michael Balmuth, Blythe Danner, Lang Insurance, and funding from The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming and The Melville Straus Family Endowment
John Drew Backyard Theater
Special thanks to Marty and Michele Cohen, Ben Krupinski Builder, Hollander Design, and Groundworks Landscaping
Special thanks to Marty and Michele Cohen, Ben Krupinski Builder, Hollander Design, and Groundworks Landscaping