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STEPHEN PETRONIO (Artistic Director/Choreographer)
Stephen Petronio is a choreographer, dancer, and the Artistic Director of the Stephen Petronio Company. For over 35 years, Stephen Petronio has honed a unique language of movement that speaks to the intuitive and complex possibilities of the body informed by its shifting cultural context. He has collaborated with a wide range of artists in many disciplines over his career and holds the integration of multiple forms as fundamental to his creative drive and vision. He continues to create a haven for dancers with a keen interest in the history of contemporary movement and an appetite for the unknown. Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began his early training in improvisation and dance technique. He was greatly influenced by working with Steve Paxton and was the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Dance Company (1979 to 1986). He has gone on to build a unique career, receiving numerous accolades, including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, awards from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, an American Choreographer Award, a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award, and a 2015 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award.
Petronio has created over 35 works for his company and has been commissioned by some of the world’s most prestigious modern and ballet companies, including William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt (1987), Deutsche Oper Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Sydney Dance Company (2003, full evening), Norrdans (2006), the Washington Ballet (2007), The Scottish Ballet (2007), and two works for National Dance Company Wales (2010 and 2013). Over his career, Petronio has collaborated with a wide range of artists in many disciplines. Collaborators include some of the most talented and provocative artists in the world: composers Valgeir Sigurðsson, Nico Muhly, Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and Peter Gordon; visual artists Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Donald Baechler, and Janine Antoni; fashion designers Narciso Rodriguez, John Bartlett, Benjamin Cho, and Leigh Bowery.
Petronio, whose training originated with leading figures of the Judson era, performed Man Walking Down the Side of a Building in 2010 for Trisha Brown Company at the Whitney Museum, and performed his 2012 rendition of Steve Paxton’s Intravenous Lecture (1970) in New York, Portland, and at the TEDMED-2012 conference at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC. Petronio received the distinction of being named the first Artist-in-Residence at The Joyce Theater from 2012 to 2014. He has been entangled with visual artist Janine Antoni in a number of discipline-blurring projects, including the video installation Honey Baby (2013), created in collaboration with composer Tom Laurie and filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, and most recently Ally, in collaboration with Anna Halprin and Adrian Heathfield, which premiered at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia in summer of 2016. Petronio and Antoni were the 2017 McCormack Artists in Residence at Skidmore college, where they showed their series of installations, Entangle. Most recently, he was commissioned by The Juilliard School to set a work, #PrayerForNow, on their fourth year students for the New Dances Edition 2019. Petronio’s memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict, is available at Amazon.com. His latest limited edition book, In Absentia, features entries from his personal journals written in quarantine at the Petronio Residency Center, paired with never before seen studio and behind-the-scenes photos by Sarah Silver and Grant Friedman.