For Immediate Release

Premieres, Debuts, And Digital Explorations

Jonah Bokaer’s Work Seen On Screen, Stage And In Gallery Spaces In New York City, Cannes, London, Amsterdam This Fall

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Choreographer Jonah Bokaer, who has become increasingly recognized for his unique collaborations with emerging and established visual artists, filmmakers, and scientists, will present the world premiere of “Occupant,” a work he created with his long-time collaborator, visual artist Daniel Arsham, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts during Art | Basel Miami, December 6-8. The dance will be seen in preview at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, D.C., November 8-10.

“Occupant” is inspired by Edward Albee’s witty and provocative 2001 play of the same name, in which the playwright pits the now-dead, wildly flamboyant sculptor Louise Nevelson against an anonymous interviewer for posthumous questioning. What ensues is a debate about Nevelson’s life and art.

Bokaer’s “Occupant” takes place on a monochromatic, blue-hued stage where Arsham’s small sculptures—comprised of 35mm cameras, super 8 cameras, and reels of film cast in white plaster—glow eerily. Dancer Tal Adler-Arieli will perform the role of the Man, and Valda Setterfield will perform the role of Woman, while CC Chang embodies the emotional/intellectual exchange between the two. The score is by Jesse Stiles.

Bokaer’s fall and winter schedule is filled with events that attest to his wide range of intellectual and creative explorations. October 4 marked the U.S. theatrical release of Alan Brown’s feature-length film, “Five Dances,” for which Bokaer choreographed five original works. The film was screened at Cinema Village in Manhattan. Following this showing, Bokaer flew to Amsterdam to perform a site-specific work during the October 12 opening of Daniel Arsham’s solo exhibition at the Ron Mandos Gallery. The Amsterdam performance was followed by an iterative edition of the same dance at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London, where Arsham had another opening on October 14, during the London Frieze Art Fair.

On November 19, Bokaer will present the European premiere of “SEQUEL” at the Cannes International Dance Festival. The solo was created in collaboration with 2002 Whitney Museum Biennial video and installation artist Irit Batsry, who was awarded the 2002 Bucksbaum Award . Her rich imagery provides the kinetic backdrop for the dance.

In between performance dates, Bokaer continues to travel back and forth to the Ferst Center for the Arts, where he is collaborating with a team of developers at Georgia Institute of Technology to develop a new mobile application that enables collaborative movement-based experiences using a mobile phone. Those who will be called upon for their expertise include architects, physicists, App developers, and explorers of “augmented reality” software. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2015, is funded by a $150,000 grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.


Artist Bios

Born to Tunisian and Welsh parents and raised in Ithaca, NY, Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, media artist, and art space developer. His work, which integrates choreography with digital media, is often the result of his cross-disciplinary collaborations with artists and architects. The choreographer of 32 dances, ten videos, three motion-capture works, three interactive installations, two mobile applications, and one film, Bokaer’s work has been produced in theaters in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Some of his most recent performances include two seasons at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (2011 and 2012), the 2012 Festival d’Avignon in France, and Théâtre de la Cité Internationale in Paris. ECLIPSE, a collaboration with visual artist Anthony McCall, was recently commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music to open its BAM Fisher theater in September, 2012. Often created in museum spaces, Bokaer’s dances have been performed at The New Museum, MoMA PS1, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, as well as in The Asia Society | Texas in Houston, Le Carré d’Art de Nîmes, IVAM Valencia, and MUDAM Luxembourg, among others. 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 both in New York City and abroad. Bokaer has collaborated with artists such as Daniel Arsham, Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal, and Robert Wilson. He has choreographed many operas by Robert Wilson including 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); CONFÍNES (IVAM: Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain, 2009); and On The Beach (Baryshnikov Arts Center, New York).


Occupant is generously supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Occupant is co-produced by the Fabric Workshop & Museum Philadelphia, The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and Fundamental A.s.B.l. Occupant is co-presented by Trois C-L, MUDAM Luxembourg, and Galerie Perrotin (Paris).