The mission of Stephen Petronio Company (SPC) is to support the vision of choreographer Stephen Petronio, which includes the creation and presentation of his existing and new works, alongside legacy initiatives meant to preserve the history of postmodern dance lineage, while also advancing its future through new works that honor and extend the history and offer a platform for a greater inclusivity of artistic voices.
Founded in 1984, Stephen Petronio Company has performed in 40 countries throughout the world, including numerous New York City engagements with 25 seasons at The Joyce Theater. The Company has been commissioned by Dance Umbrella Festival/London, Hebbel Theater/Berlin, Scène National de Sceaux, Festival d’Automne à Paris, CNDC Angers/France, The Holland Festival, Festival Montpellier Danse, Danceworks UK Ltd, Festival de Danse–Cannes, and in the U.S. by San Francisco Performances, The Joyce Theater, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Wexner Center for the Arts, Walker Art Center, and White Bird, among others and is the recipient of a Dancing Lab residency at the National Center for Choreography at the University of Akron (NCCAkron).
The 2014–15 season marked the first incarnation of Bloodlines, a project of Stephen Petronio Company to honor and embody a lineage of American postmodern dance masters. Distinguished for creating original languages that exemplify the highest level of artistic excellence displayed through extreme physical and conceptual rigor, these artists have had a profound impact on Petronio’s own artistic path. To date, the Company has restaged twelve works, by Merce Cunningham, Trisha Brown, Anna Halprin, Yvonne Rainer, Rudy Perez, and Steve Paxton, receiving two New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award nominations for the 2017 Bloodlines season. The juxtapositions of Bloodlines repertory alongside Petronio’s works offers audiences an experiential insight into the evolution of this strand of creativity in American choreography. This season is the third iteration of Bloodlines(future), looking towards future generations of artists and heirs to the Bloodlines lineage and how these historical masters frame the future of modern dance.
In 2017, Stephen Petronio Company expanded its focus on American postmodern dance to explore the meaning of legacy and its impact on the future and sustainability of this most ephemeral art form, establishing the Petronio Residency Center (PRC) which provides a safe haven for intensive developmental choreographic research. Located in the Hudson Valley, PRC supports future choreographic invention in the field with artist residencies and education initiatives. The program has since served over 100 artists, becoming part of a growing ecosystem in the U.S. dedicated to fostering a new model for the future of contemporary dance.
In 2021, with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, PRC established a permanent conservation easement for 77 acres of the 172-acre property, designating The Doris Duke Preserve at Round Top, Greene County as a preserve in perpetuity, putting PRC at the forefront of regional conservation efforts. Sheltered in and enlivened by the restorative and inspirational power of the natural world, artists at PRC are invited to immerse themselves in a pristine natural environment, benefitting from a residency and a retreat with unconstrained time and resources to make new work, with no deliverables required, and unfettered access to an extraordinary natural landscape.
Stephen Petronio Company / Petronio Residency Center has made a commitment to deepen our understanding of racial justice. We are grateful to all those we continue to learn from, including People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), a valued resource and community of activists, and Heather Bruegl, Director of Cultural Affairs for the Stockbridge- Munsee Community, who are a vital part of our cultural competency learning. We are grateful for their time and expertise in our work together. As part of this ongoing commitment, it is SPC/PRC’s intention that people across race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age and ability, feel seen, heard and valued within our organization. SPC is working towards being an anti-racist organization, through learning, un-learning, re-education, harm repair, harm reduction and harm prevention actions. We are working to name the practices and actions that harm our BIPOC artists and community members, and learning how to acknowledge these actions and hold ourselves accountable for past actions and to guard against future injustices.
It is with gratitude and humility that Stephen Petronio Company acknowledges that SPC and its associated artists work, perform and gather on the ancestral homelands of the Lenape people, on the Lenape island of Mannahatta (Manhattan) in Lenapehoking, the Lenape homeland. We pay respect to Lenape peoples, past, present, and future and their continuing presence in the homeland and throughout the Lenape diaspora. We pay respect to the Lenape peoples, past, present and future and their continuing presence in the homeland. Today the Lenape are located throughout the United States and recognized as the Delaware Nation of Anadarko, Oklahoma, Delaware Tribe of Indians in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Bowler, Wisconsin.
It is also with gratitude and humility that SPC acknowledges that the Petronio Residency Center and its associated artists work, perform and gather on the ancestral homelands of the Muh he con ne ok people, who are the Indigenous peoples of the land where PRC is located. Despite tremendous hardship in being forced from here, today their community resides in Wisconsin, and is known as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community. We pay honor and respect to their ancestors past and present as we commit to building a more inclusive and equitable space for all.
The violence directed towards Indigenous, Native, Aboriginal, First Nation, and First Peoples is ongoing and exemplified when Indigenous people’s histories are erased, their cultures are trivialized, their resources are seized, their labor is exploited, their children are stolen, and their lives are taken. In order to fight against this violence, occupiers of this land must listen to and amplify Indigenous people’s voices, while fighting against their complicity.
We recognize that land acknowledgements are a small step towards ensuring a culture of respect, truth, and accountability in our community: we acknowledge the truth of violence perpetrated in the name of this country and we make a commitment to uncovering that truth.
We encourage you to get to know the Indigenous people of your area, and ask what you can do to lift and raise their voices, honor, and respect their sovereignty. In that spirit, these action items are offered:
- Support Indigenous Artists and Indigenous-owned businesses.
- Read about Indigenous Cultures. A list of essential reading for anyone interested in Native American experience compiled by the First National Development Institute can be found here.
- Teach children about Indigenous Cultures. A list of Children’s Books from the First Nations Development Institute can be found here. Read these with a child, share the list with a library, book store or school, Use the hashtag #NativeReads and share on social media. For teenage readers, we recommended The Mourning Road to Thanksgiving by Larry Spotted Crow Mann (Nipmuc Nation). For young children, we recommend The Tyler series of picture books by Katari Wilson (Sicangu Lakota Nation).
- Donate to Mohican Nation organizations and to the Lenape Center.
- Pay attention to language and names. Honor and make changes to the dominant narrative that glorifies colonization and genocide of indigenous peoples of this area. Problematic terms like “Pioneer Valley” are a reminder of that legacy of dispossession, removal and subsequent erasure, try shifting to “Connecticut River Valley”. // Mahicannituck (The River that flows both ways)
- Share resources and information:
- Honoring Native Land: A guide to land acknowledgement (U.S. Department of Arts and Culture)
- Native Knowledge 360 (National Museum of the American Indian)
- NARF, Tribal College organization
SPC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to promoting diversity in its board, staff, volunteers, programs and audiences to foster an environment of respect, dignity, fairness, caring, and equality. All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.