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STEPHEN PETRONIO (Artistic Director/Choreographer)

Stephen Petronio is an acclaimed American choreographer, dancer and artistic director known for his innovative and boundary-pushing work in contemporary dance. As a graduate of Hampshire College, early student of Steve Paxton, and the first male dancer in the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Petronio has made a significant impact on the dance world through his unique artistic vision and his commitment to pushing the limits of movement and expression.

In 1984 Petronio founded the Stephen Petronio Company, committed to touring and performing throughout the world. The company quickly gained recognition for its bold and visually stunning performances that combined elements of modern, ballet, and postmodern dance. Petronio’s choreography challenged traditional notions of movement and explored themes of sexuality, gender, and identity.

Over the years, Petronio has collaborated with a wide range of artists and musicians including Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Robert Longo, Stephen Hannock, Teresita Fernandez, Janine Antoni, Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, Rufus Wainwright, Ryan Lott/Son Lux, Mostah Black and David Linton, Narciso Rodriquez, Tara Subkoff/ Imitation of Christ, Patricia Field/Iris Bohnner, Leigh Bowery, Ghost and Michelle Rhee, and choreographers Anna Halperin, Michael Clark and Johnnie Cruz Mercer.

He has also created dances for numerous other companies around the world, including the Frankfurt Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Sydney Dance Company, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 2019, The Juilliard School commissioned him to create a work, #PrayerForNow, on their fourth-year students for their New Dances Edition. This production was the last creative experience of the graduating class before closing for the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In 2014 he conceived the ongoing signature initiatives, Bloodlines, to honor the experimental Judson pioneers that have inspired him and Bloodlines(future), to support a new generation of dancers and choreographers more equitably in this artistic lineage. He also founded the Stephen Petronio Residency Center (2017-2023), a research and development facility immersed in the Catskill Forest of upstate New York that provided rare support for artists and their personal creative growth in nature and without restriction. As part of this endeavor, The Doris Duke Preserve at Round Top, Greene County was established to protect 77 acres of the residency forest, designating the open space as “Forever Wild”.

Petronio has received numerous awards including a New York Performance Award (Bessie), an American Choreographers Award, A Doris Duke Artist Award, A Guggenheim Fellowship and 2017 McCormack Artists-in-Residence at Skidmore College.

Petronio’s memoir, Confessions of a Motion Addict, is available on His latest limited-edition book, In Absentia, features entries from his journals written in quarantine at the Petronio Residency Center paired with never-before-seen studio photos by Sarah Silver and Grant Friedman.

Stephen Petronio’s contributions to the field of contemporary dance have had a lasting impact on the art form. His fearless exploration of movement, his commitment to collaboration and his relentless pursuit of innovation have solidified his place as one of the most influential choreographers of his generation.