Water Mill, New York
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Join choreographer Christopher Williams, composer Gregory Spears, and costume designer Andrew Jordan as they offer an informal glimpse into the early process of creating their latest work for live music and dance at Watermill. Inspired by ancient themes of the “mythic hero’s journey” found in the faerie legends, folklore, and earliest literature of the Insular Celtic cultures, the work’s libretto bears witness to the initiation rites of a central hero character grappling with queer identity via bouts with supernatural agency, otherworldly passage, and transformation. Driven by detailed choreographic, musical, visual, and poetic sequences, the work interweaves dance, music, and visual design to define a ritualistic arena in which lost mythology is embodied via contemporary performance. Presentations of dance etudes, musical themes, and costume designs from the work-in-progress will be accompanied by discussions about the work’s research, concept, and design. A conversation with the audience will follow.
Christopher Williams, hailed as "one of the most exciting choreographic voices out there" in The New York Times, and "the downtown prodigy" in The New Yorker, is a choreographer, dancer, and puppeteer who has been devoted to crafting and performing choreographic works since 1999. His pieces have been presented at many New York City venues including Dance Theater Workshop, City Center, Danspace Project, P.S. 122, La Mama, the 92nd Street Y, and Dance New Amsterdam, among others, and have toured nationally to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and internationally to Bogotá, Colombia. He has held artistic residencies at Movement Research, Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, Djerassi, White Oak Plantation, Yaddo, The Yard, and the Liguria Study Center for Arts & Humanities in Bogliasco, Italy. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and has received multiple grants from the O'Donnell-Green Music & Dance Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Jim Henson Foundation. In 2005, he received a New York Dance & Performance “Bessie” Award for his work Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and has since performed for Tere O’Connor Dance, Douglas Dunn & Dancers, John Kelly, Yoshiko Chuma & the School of Hard Knocks, Rebecca Lazier's TERRAIN, Sally Silvers, Jon Kinzel, and Yvonne Meier, among others, as well as for puppetry artists Basil Twist and Dan Hurlin. He also serves on Danspace Project’s Artist Advisory Board.