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“As diminishing delivery systems and other economic constraints affect the research, development, and performance of this singularly fragile form, I feel called upon as a mature artist to respond. The need for precious research and development opportunities centered upon the field of the moving arts in America is urgently needed as the financial structures that support this activity disappear before our very eyes.”
— Stephen Petronio
The Petronio Residency Initiative addresses the shifting tastes and cultural expectations for the uniquely American field of Modern Dance. The concept is centered upon multi-week, on-site creative residencies in Round Top, New York, offering a fresh model for engaging in choreographic research and development alongside the collaborative arts that so potently affect dance. The Residency Initiative aims to relax dependence on the strained producer/presenter driven system to fund creative activity so encouraged in the past decades. It will serve as a retreat in which to study, work, and play while cut loose from the overbearing pressures inherent in the simultaneous effort of making work and trying to survive in NYC and other urban settings. Residential periods will afford the space to focus intensely on early stages of chosen research and, the Initiative will serve as a gathering place for the local community. The site of PRI will be Crow’s Nest, a 175-acre haven just outside Cairo, perched in Greene County’s Catskill Mountains.
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David Szlasa, Director, Petronio Residency Initiative brings 20 years of production and project development experience to Stephen Petronio Company. David has launched several residency programs including Range Studio, a tiny mobile art space residency named a Living Innovation Zone by the City of San Francisco. While programming director at Z Space in San Francisco, David conceived and secured funding for a residency program that gave performance artists the chance to explore big design ideas in a fully equipped theater. David has taught at Stanford University, St Mary’s College of California, Playwrights Horizons / NYU and currently at Bard College. His own design work in collaboration with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Sara Shelton Mann, Hope Mohr, Joanna Haigood, Myra Melford, Bill Shannon, Will Rawls and others has been seen worldwide in venues including BAM Next Wave, the Kennedy Center, Chicago MCA, Yerba Buena, Berlin Jazzfest, Sydney Opera House, and Harare Festival of the Arts, Zimbabwe. In 2015, David relocated to the Hudson Valley to renovate a 200 year old farmhouse, develop homesteading and sustainability skills with his growing family, and bolster opportunities for artists to create exceptional work outside of an urban center.
“The uniqueness of a residency experience takes a working process to a whole other level. The blending of people, within a space, experiencing a single environment together for a time, with only the simple desire to create something together, puts a spirit and a life force into art like nothing else will.”
— Wendy Whelan