For Immediate Release



Jonah Bokaer will present three New York City premieres–“Study for Occupant,” “Future Tense” and “The Explorer”–each featuring sculptural décor by Bokaer’s long-time collaborator Daniel Arsham, October 23-26. The performances take place at Lightbox, a newly opened convertible space, at 339 West 38th Street.

First on the program is “Study For Occupant,” a solo performed by Jonah Bokaer, which had been previously seen in Paris, Luxembourg, London, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, and the 2014 Spoleto Festival, where it played for 40 performances at Salon of Honor in La Rocca Albornoziana. The 15-minute dance has an original score by Echospace.

Performed by Sara Procopio and Tal Adler-Arieli, and featuring the venerated actor/dancer Valda Setterfield, who recently turned 80, “Future Tense” takes place in eerily lit blue landscape filled with mysterious plaster encased objects such as cameras, 16mm film reels, and Pentax devices that suggest future time past. Separately and together Bokaer and Arsham investigate positive and negative space and their physical, emotional and spiritual relationships. The music is by Riyoji Ikeda; the costumes were produced by the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.

Brimming with visual surprise, “The Explorer,” a 20-minute work staged by Bokaer and Arsham, with music by DJ Spooky, the dance features performances by Setterfield, Procopio and Adler-Arieli.

The Lightbox performances, the third program of new work by Bokaer in the past six weeks, exemplifies the choreographer’s rapidly growing and expanding career. On September 25th, he premiered “Fragments,” commissioned by Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company in Salt Lake City, while on October 7th, his solo exhibition “October 7, 1944” opens at Popper Gallery at the Center for Jewish History.



The house opens for the October 23-25 performances at 7:30pm, and at 2:30pm for the October 26 show. Tickets, available online at Brown Paper Tickets, are $10 for Chez Bushwick members, $15 for students and seniors, and $20 for the general public.

Artist Bios

JONAH BOKAER Born to Tunisian and American parents in Ithaca, NY, Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, and artspace developer. His work, which integrates choreography with digital media, is often the result of his cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects. Creating choreography for museum spaces since 2002, Bokaer’s work has been exhibited at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, The New Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in The Asia Society Texas Center, Le Carré d’Art à Nîmes, IVAM Valencia, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and MUDAM Luxembourg, among others. The creator of 33 dances, ten videos, three motion capture works, three interactive installations, two mobile applications, and one film, Bokaer’s work been seen in theaters throughout the world including Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent performances include two seasons at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2011-2012), the 2012 Festival d’Avignon in France, Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris, and the BAM Next Wave Festival 2012, for which he was commissioned for the inauguration of BAM Fisher, with artist Anthony McCall. In 2008-2009 Bokaer became the first dance artist to be appointed a Young Leader of the French American Foundation, in acknowledgment of his efforts to develop Chez Bushwick, and CPR – Center for Performance Research, two independent arts centers which nurture young artists in New York City and internationally. Bokaer has collaborated with artists including Daniel Arsham (2007-present), Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal,and Robert Wilson (2007-present). As choreographer for Robert Wilson, he has completed many operas including “Faust” (Polish National Opera), “Aïda” (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma), “KOOL” (Japan/USA Guggenheim Works & Process), and “Fronteras” (IVAM Valenica), and “On The Beach” (Baryshnikov Arts Center). Bokaer was recently named one of ten American artists to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation grant award for the development of his third mobile application, in partnership with Georgia Tech. Daniel Arsham employs elements of architecture, performance, and sculpture to manipulate and distort understandings of structures and space. Arsham became widely known at the age of 25 when he was asked to design his first of several sets for Merce Cunningham’s productions. His practice has been guided by a curiosity for architecture and structured space, stemming from childhood memories of seeing the wreckage of Hurricane Andrew in his hometown of Miami. Some of his best-known works include a series of installations that destabilize the solidity of gallery walls, such that they appear to be dripping, folding, oozing, or absorbing furniture; also figuring among his oeuvre are pixelated clouds based on photographs and rendered with hand-colored spheres, and sculptures made from granulated materials like crushed glass. He is also active as one half of the art and architecture collaborative Snarkitecture, along with Alex Mustonen.


The premiere of Study For Occupant, Future Tense, and The Explorer is generously supported in part, by grants from The Jerome Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Works Program with additional support from the New York State Council of the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council. The three premieres are co-presented by Trois CL.
photos by: © Tess Deselle