For Immediate Release

The Eighth Day, According to Jonah Bokaer

Upcoming Performances And Choreography

May-December 2009

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In 2008, it was speculated that Jonah Bokaer may have invented the 26th hour; but this year, it seems that the 27-year-old choreographer/media artist may have found the 8th day of the week in order to conquer the infinite range of creative challenges he sets for himself.

After performing in over twenty cities across Europe, India and the United States this past year, Bokaer was recently seen locally:  First, in collaboration with MacArthur Award-winning poet Anne Carson at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, and then in April at the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process as co-choreographer and soloist in Robert Wilson’s ”KOOL-Dancing In My Mind.”

His next local appearance is on May 7 when he performs at a Gala for Chez Bushwick that honors 2wice editor Patsy Tarr and the groundbreaking publication’s designer Abbott Miller.  The benefit evening takes place at “Everybody Dance Now: 20 Years of Dancing in Print,” an exhibition at the AIGA National Design Center that celebrates the 20th anniversary of 2wice and its predecessor, Dance Ink.

Bokaer is currently at work on two new dances that are scheduled to premiere in New York in the next months. The first is “GPS: Ground Positioning System.” Bokaer’s title, a witty transformation of the traditional acronym for Global Positioning System, well-summarizes his 12-minute solo.  The dance takes place entirely on the ground within and around a three-sided structure whose two inner sides and roof become screens for an animated projection. Exploring global mapping technologies and working within this severely confined space, Bokaer’s grounded movement elegantly challenges the unimagined potential of mobility, expression and distortion. The music is an original score by Loren Kiyoshi-Dempster. The enclosure is designed by Bokaer, who also created the digital animation and video; the editing and graphics are by Nicoletta Massignani. “GPS: Ground Positioning System,” which is co-commissioned by Théâtre de Vanves in Paris, will receive its world premiere at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City, June 4-7. It is scheduled to premiere in Europe at the Théâtre de Vanves in March 2010.

Bokaer’s other new dance, “REPLICA,” a spatial and temporal perception-challenging work created by Bokaer, visual artist Daniel Arsham and performer Judith Sanchez Ruiz, is designed for varied performance spaces including stage, gallery or site-specific locations. Commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences—the first dance ever commissioned by NAS—the work explores movement, memory and amnesia through the use of E.M.D.R. (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) testing technologies.

Each performance of the evening-long dance utilizes Arsham’s customized set involving wall erosions and sculpted cavities, which symbolize memory loss. The production also makes use of “creative geography” in video (footage by Bokaer and Arsham). Watching the dancers on previously recorded video, while simultaneously witnessing them live as they interact with Arsham’s décor, the audience experiences a conflation of real and fictional time. The dance will receive its world premiere in Valencia, Spain on May 28 at IVAM: Instituto Valenciana d’Arte Moderna. It receives its American premiere at the Harman Center in Washington, DC on July 1, and its New York City premiere at The New Museum, December 3, 10, 17 and 24.

Artist Bios

An award-winning choreographer and media artist, Jonah Bokaer has dedicated a short lifetime to expanding possibilities for live performance through choreography, digital media, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and social enterprise, in the United States and internationally.

Bokaer’s self-taught explorations into digital media and 3D animation have led to the development of a rare, multi-disciplinary approach to choreography, addressing the human body in relation to contemporary technologies.

His dances have been presented widely in venues throughout the United States and abroad, including the MIT Museum, Cornell University, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, La Mama ETC, P.S. 122, Symphony Space, the ISB (Bangkok), Naxos Bobine, Studio Théâtre de Vitry, and La Générale (Paris), Les Subsistances (Lyon), La Compagnie (Marseille), La Ferme Du Buisson (Marne-la-Vallée), De Singel (Belgium), International Tanzmesse NRW (Germany), PSi (Copenhagen), Kunsthalle St. Gallen (Switzerland), and others.

Recent engagements include the Attakalari Performance Biennale (Bangalore), Teatro dell’ Opera (Rome), Teatr Wielki (Warsaw), and Sens Lab (Montréal).

Awards:

•Human Rights Award (Public Volunteerism, 2000) •Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Dance & Media, 2005-2006) •Gallery Installation Fellowship from DTW (Inaugural Recipient, 2007) •Dance Access Award from Dance/USA (2007) •BESSIE Award; Special Citation for Chez Bushwick (2007) •BESSIE Award; Lighting Design/Aaron Copp/The Invention Of Minus One (2008) •Young Leader of the French American Foundation (2008-2009, first dance artist) •Rockefeller NYC Cultural Innovation Fund Award for Chez Bushwick •Building Brooklyn Mixed Use Award for Center for Performance Research (2008) •National Grid: Green Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency (2008) •Alumni Award for Artistic Excellence: NCSA (2009)

Collaborations:

•Daniel Arsham | Sculptor (2009) •Charles Atlas | Filmmaker (2003) •Liubo Borissov | Surveillance Designer (2007) •Anne Carson | Writer (2008) •Michael Cole | Video Artist (2006-2008) •Collective Opera Company | Original Opera (2006) •Aaron Copp | Lighting Designer (2008-Present) •Merce Cunningham | Choreographer (2000-2007) •Robert Gober | Sculptor (2005) •Marsiela La Grave | Intermedia Events (2003) •Christian Marclay | Composer (2008) •Isaac Mizrahi | Designer (2008) •Robert Wilson | Theater Artist (2007-Present): FAUST, by Charles Gounod (Teatr Wielki, Polish National Opera, 2008); AÏDA, by Giuseppe Verdi (Teatro dell’ Opera di Roma, Italy, 2009); KOOL: Suzushi Hanayagi (Guggenheim Museum, New York City, 2009); FRONTERAS (IVAM, Spain, 2009)

Education:

The New School (Visual & Media Studies) •Joan Kirnsner Memorial Award (2007) North Carolina School of the Arts (Contemporary Dance) •North Carolina Academic Scholar (2000) •Alumni Award for Artistic Excellence (2009) Cornell University (Dance/Performance)

Writings:

•Artwurl •American Society for Alexander Teachers •Critical Correspondence •DIAL Magazine •Goldrush Dance Magazine •ITCH •Movement Research Performance Journal •NYFA Current

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