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Bloodlines: Exploring Heritage, Lineage and Legacy

Originally published on CultureBot. “I’ve had a company for thirty years. It’s taken me time to research and articulate a specific language, in the old fashioned sense of building a language, that is Petronio technique. I took great pains to do that, because in the drift of post-modern thought, that kind of idea was disappearing and that’s something that I could do and wanted to do, and that I felt I should do. At the end of twenty-five years, I’ve got this amazing language. So, now what do I do? Do I spend the next twenty-five years just using that language to speak? What do I do?”

“Once you define a language, it can also become a prison. I have principles that are about discovery and ways to shift expectations for myself as an art maker, but with a language there’s a danger of having a predictable response within that framework. I got nervous about that. So, I began to invite collaborators, most recently Janine Antoni because she uses her body as well in her work, and because I really wanted her to interrupt my language.”

“Then Merce passed away and then Trisha Brown (who I danced with) got sick and was no longer able to make work. My great influences, people I admire very much in the dance world and two people who really opened the doors to me being who I am as a dance maker disappeared. And it just made me, besides being sad, wonder what to do with the rest of my life.” – Stephen Petronio. Read more...


Jaqlin Medlock and Barrington Hinds performing "Locomotor," a work to be featured alongside a restaging of Merce Cunningham's "RainForest" by the Stephen Petronio Company. Photo by Yi-Chin Wu.

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