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Over 45 International Events Across All Disciplines Showcase Provocative Ideas in The Heart of Greenwich Village

Highlights include:

  • Joshua Light Show opens season with 50th Anniversary Celebration
  • American premiere of Mette Ingvartsen’s 7 Pleasures explores the politics of nudity
  • An immersive Pirates of Penzance seats audiences on a beach with Tiki Bar, pools and pirates, in a N.Y. premiere from The Hypocrites theater of Chicago
  • Aunts Dance Party transforms the Skirball’s lobby, dressing rooms and hallways into a giant dance club
  • Teatro La Re-sentida from Chile makes its American debut with The Dictatorship of Coolness, a blistering and hysterical attack on political hypocrisy
  • Congolese choreographer Faustin Linkyekula questions the morality of war in the American premiere of Sur les traces de Dinozord, set in a war-ravaged Republic of Congo
  • Berlin’s outrageous Gob Squad collective’s American premiere of War and Peace invites audiences into an immersive video/theater salon, mixing current politics and social attitudes with those of Tolstoy’s masterpiece
  • MAI (Movement Art Is) features Lil Buck and Jon Boogz in the N.Y. premiere of Love Heals All Wounds
  • The American premiere of Until Our Hearts Stop, choreographed by Meg Stuart, features musicians and dancers in a nightclub setting
  • David Lang’s ICE: the whisper opera invites audiences to explore the sounds of silence
  • French choreographer Jérôme Bel invites everyday New Yorkers to discover their inner dancer in Gala
  • DJ Spooky’s controversial, multimedia Rebirth of A Nation takes on racism
  • Two-day marathon concert of composer John Zorn’s “The Bagatelles,” featuring 20 ensembles performing over 100 pieces from Zorn’s newest book of music
  • New SKIRBALL TALKS series presents compelling and challenging speakers in weekly, free events open-to-the- public

May 19, 2017 NYU Skirball’s 2017-18 season will feature over 45 unique presentations by some of the world’s leading provocateurs, artists and activists, performing unconventional and often controversial works in varied spaces throughout the Skirball Center – turning the lobby, dressing rooms, hallways and backstage areas into centers of creativity. The season, the first curated by Skirball’s new director, Jay Wegman, will showcase diverse and cutting-edge international talent from Brussels, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Pakistan, Republic of Congo, the U.K. and the United States. The more than 100 performances and events will feature nine American premieres, running from September 8, 2017 – May 28, 2018.

“NYU Skirball’s 2017-18 season reflects the diversity, excitement and history of its Greenwich Village home. The season will feature performances and events that challenge, inspire and provoke audiences,” said Jay Wegman. “The Village has historically been home to some of the world’s most creative artists, challenging thinkers and political activists, and the new season is a reflection and continuation of this tradition.”

NYU Skirball will launch a new series, Skirball Talks, featuring compelling and challenging thought leaders from the worlds of the arts, entertainment, media and politics. The series is free and open-to-the public, and will open on September 25 with author Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Presentations are enhanced by free pre-and post-show discussions and special events, drawing on the expertise of NYU’s renowned faculty and educational resources. The events are designed to provide context and allow audiences to interact with the artists, reflecting NYU’s commitment to education in, and through, the performing arts.

The 2017-18 season kicks off in September with two high-energy events: A 50th Anniversary Celebration by Joshua Light Show and an immersive dance party by the unconventional dance company AUNTS. Political and social issues take center stage with the American premiere of Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula’s Sur les traces de Dinozord, a heart-wrenching look at the consequences of war; and the American premiere of Danish choreographer Mette Ingvartsen’s 7 Pleasures, an exploration of sexuality and body politics.

The season ends in May with the American premiere of Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods’ Until Our Hearts Stop, which will turn NYU Skirball into a nightclub featuring live music.

NYU Skirball 2017–2018 Season

In chronological order


September 8-9

The Joshua Light Show – those swirling psychedelic backdrops that exploded fans’ minds at New York’s Fillmore East in the Sixties – are staging a comeback.” — Rolling Stone, previewing its 2012 engagement at NYU Skirball.

Following highly successful NYU Skirball performances in 2012 and 2014, the Joshua Light Show returns to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The infamous multimedia artist Joshua White and his legendary team of collaborators create live visual masterpieces that move to the sounds of a

remarkable roster of musical collaborators. Utilizing signature projection techniques, including lumia and its fabled

“liquid light,” the JLS improvises an intense visual experience to complement the sensation of live music.

The Joshua Light Show gained worldwide acclaim as resident artists at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East during the late 1960’s, and continued to amaze at Woodstock with the most celebrated musicians of the era. Today, Joshua Light Show performs across the United States and Europe with a new generation of music luminaries. joshualightshow.com


September 15

NYU Skirball’s backstage, dressing rooms, hallways and lobby (everything but the theater itself!) will be transformed when AUNTS takes over the building for this special, one-time-only event. Audiences will be able to wander and experience as many or as few performances as they choose, creating their own experiences through chance encounters. AUNTS brings together contemporary dance artists and audiences for a special immersive party evening, directed by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman.

AUNTS was founded by James Kidd and Rebecca Brooks in 2005 and is currently organized by Laurie Berg and Liliana Dirks-Goodman. An underground platform for dance, AUNTS creates events in unconventional spaces with multiple performers, overlapping performances, open dance parties, multi-disciplinary, body/non-body based, time oriented, finished/experimental/unfinished/process art. Since 2005, AUNTS has organized approximately fifty events and hosted more than four hundred artists from all disciplines and at various points in their careers. auntsisdance.com


September 22 – 23

Sur les traces de Dinozord, an American premiere, is an adaptation of a 2006 work that paid homage to the murdered Congolese political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo. It asks the same question that Faustin asked people in the streets and fields in 2006: what has become of your dreams in war-ravaged Congo? Set to Mozart’s Requiem, performed live by rising opera star Serge Kakudji, dancers and actors move through a landscape of ruins, looking for remainders of their dreams.

Faustin Linyekula, an internationally renowned dancer, founded Studios Kabako, a space for contemporary dance serving his native Democratic Republic of Congo. Faustin lives and works in Kisangani, North-East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire, former Belgian Congo, former independent state of Congo. Faustin teaches in Africa, across Europe, and in the United States. kabako.org

Co-presented with the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)’s Crossing the Line Festival.

Part of BRIDGING, an initiative co-developed and supported by The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations.


September 29 – 30

At the heart of Mette Ingvartsen’s 7 Pleasures, 12 performers confront notions of nudity, body politics and sexual practice, questioning the borders between private and public space by literally placing the naked body in the middle of the theater public. In this American premiere, pleasure becomes a perceptual as much as a political question. How do we use pleasures joyful potential to disrupt cliché images attached to nudity and sexuality?

Mette Ingvartsen is a Danish choreographer and dancer. Questions of kinesthesia, perception, affect and sensation have been crucial to most of her work, which includes several site-specific propositions and have been seen around the world. Mette was artist-in-residence at the KAAITHEATER in Brussels from 2013 till 2016 and is currently part of the artistic team at Volksbühne in Berlin. metteingvartsen.net


October 6 – 7

From March to May 2015, John Zorn wrote 300 new compositions collected in a book of music called The Bagatelles. This two-day marathon concert features 20 ensembles performing over 100 pieces from Zorn’s expansive new book of music and marks the only New York presentation of these compositions in 2017. The musical ensembles include longtime Zorn players along with an eclectic mix of young musicians from the worlds of rock, jazz and classical music, many of whom are new to the Zorn universe. tzadik.com


October 27 28

BalletCollective’s 2017 program, Translation, consists of two new ballet-based works that are the result of experimental collaborations between boundary-pushing artists, composers and choreographers. The first work will feature contributions from choreographer and BalletCollective founder Troy Schumacher, artist Sergio Mora-Diaz, composer Julianna Barwick and speculative fiction writer and translator Ken Liu. The second will feature choreographer Gabrielle Lamb, composer Caleb Burhans, and artist Trevor Paglen. While each work is distinct, both are rooted in

an exploration of the concept of translation in contemporary culture.

BalletCollective connects artists, composers, and choreographers to create new ballet-based works. Through a unique consideration of process, the Collective produces collaborative works that expand the boundaries of artistic disciplines and resonate with a wide audience. Founded in 2010 by choreographer Troy Schumacher, BalletCollective has collaborated with over 50 artistic partners and produced ten new works. www.balletcollective.com


November 4

Conceived as a reimagining of director D.W. Griffith’s infamously racist 1915 silent film The Birth of a Nation, DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation is a controversial and culturally significant project that examines how exploitation and political corruption still haunt the world, but in radically different forms. The project was Miller’s first large-scale multimedia performance piece, and has been performed around the world.

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky is a composer, multimedia artist and writer whose work immerses audiences in a blend of genres, global culture, and environmental and social issues. He has recorded a huge volume of music and collaborated with a wide variety of musicians and composers, among them

Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore and many others. He also composed and recorded the score for the Cannes and Sundance Award-winning film Slam, and produced material on Yoko Ono’s recent album Yes, I’m a Witch. djspooky.com


November 5

The Sachal Ensemble presents Song of Lahore, inspired by the acclaimed documentary film of the same name by two-time Academy Award-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken, is a cross-cultural re-creation of songs made iconic by the likes of Duke Ellington, The Beatles, Dave Brubeck and Richard Rodgers as well as traditional Pakistani folk songs. The musicians of The Sachal Ensemble come from the Pakistani city of Lahore, for hundreds of years a thriving center of the arts on the Indian subcontinent. thesachalensemble.com

The Sachal Ensemble is co-presented with the World Music Institute.


Asking for It: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her P*Ssy And Little Else!

November 10

Radical comedian, activist and performance artist, Adrienne Truscott’s Asking for It…” mixes humor, dance, video and p*ssy-puppetry while undoing the rules and rhetoric surrounding rape and comedy. Truscott straddles the world of stand-up and performance art, dressed only from the waist up and ankles down. With commentary from George Carlin, Louis C. K. and Robert De Niro, Truscott takes on ducks, mini-skirts, rape whistles and Rick Ross. Heavy at its core but light on its feet, Truscott makes jokes about rape all night long…even if you ask her to stop.

Adrienne Truscott is a choreographer, circus acrobat, dancer, writer and comedian. She has been making genre- straddling work in New York City and abroad for over 15 years, has performed at many international Festivals, and most recently a sold -out run at Joe’s Pub. She is one half of the infamous Wau Wau Sisters and has worked with cult cabaret legends Kiki and Herb, Meow Meow, and John Cameron Mitchell (Shortbus). adriennetruscott.com


November 11

Mx Justin Vivian Bond presents a raucous and seductive evening of songs and stories. Declared a “cabaret messiah” by Time Out/London, Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City. As a performer, both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades, winning an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007). V authored the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011). justinvivianbond.com


Nov 29 – Dec 10

Swimming pools, twinkly lights, a well-stocked Tiki Bar and beach balls welcome the audience to this raucous and utterly zany beach party adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance. The entire audience joins the cast on the stage-beach, immersed in the action alongside sappy pirates, dewy-eyed damsels, bumbling bobbies and one very stuffy Major General. In this New York premiere, The Hypocrites Artistic Director Sean Graney brings his singular sense of humor to one of the most beloved operettas of all time.

The Hypocrites, founded in 1997 Artistic Director Sean Graney, is one of Chicago’s premier off-Loop theater companies, specializing in mounting bold productions that challenge preconceptions and redefine the role of the audience. The company has a reputation for creating exciting, surprising, and deeply engaging theater as it re-interprets classics and tackles ambitious new works. the-hypocrites.com

ICE: the whisper opera MUSIC

Jan 24 – February 4

the whisper opera, with words and music by Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang and direction and design by Jim Findlay, is performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) with the musicians, singer, and audience enclosed in an intimate onstage set, and is performed almost entirely in whispers. Lang explores the question: “what if a piece were so quiet and so personal to the performers that you needed to be right next them or you would hear almost nothing. The only way this piece can be received is if you are there, in person, listening very closely.”

The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) is an artist collective committed to transforming the way music is created and experienced. ICE explores how new music intersects with communities across the world. The ensemble’s 35 members are featured as soloists, chamber musicians, commissioners, and collaborators with the foremost musical artists of our time. The group currently serves as artists in residence at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ Mostly Mozart Festival, and previously led a five-year residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. iceorg.org.


February 10

Rivers of Sound is a 17-piece musical ensemble led by composer, trumpeter, santur player and vocalist, Amir ElSaffar. In performing Not Two, an original composition by ElSaffar, each musician interacts with the group through both improvised and composed material to create a novel composite sound. An expert in Jazz and Iraqi maqam, ElSaffar is a master of diverse musical traditions and a singular approach to combining Middle Eastern musical languages with jazz and other styles of contemporary music. His music is both timely and urgent. amirelsaffar.com


March 3 – 4

Featuring amateurs, professionals and everything in between, the 20 dancers of Gala will be cast in NYC from all walks of life. Through their movement, the gentle humanity of each performer lights up this inspired production. Breaking the sanctity of the stage, this is a jumble of joys, failures, and stumbling insights into the uniting power of dance.

Jérôme Bel, the “mischievously entertaining” (The Guardian) Paris-based choreographer, explores the relationship between choreography and popular culture, dancer and audience,

often using humor to break the formality of a theater apparatus. Bel’s work has often been referred to as conceptual. He questions both art and contemporary dance by deconstructing modes of presentation and the notion of authorship while problematizing the historical prominence of technical virtuosity in dance. jeromebel.fr

Gala is part of the third annual Tilt Kids Festival, a cultural event for families presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF).


March 28 – April 1, 2017

Gob Squad, Berlin’s outlandish theater renegades, set their sights on Tolstoy’s opus War and Peace, only to discover that neither war nor peace are coming without a fight. The setting is a literary salon, where audience members join the cast in a live theater/video performance in which art and daily life, history and the present, reality and fiction blur. In this American premiere, a never-ending parade of characters dance, dine and duel while performers prepare for scenes as if going into battle, all in order to reframe Tolstoy’s central inquiry: Can we live a moral life in an imperfect world?

Gob Squad, Berlin’s notorious and challenging arts collective, make live video performances that unsettle the lines between the prepared and the improvised, performer and bystander, fiction and life. Gob Squad has been devising, directing and performing together since 1994, motivated by a desire to elevate the everyday and empower audience members to step beyond their traditional role as passive spectators. www.gobsquad.com


April 5 – 7

The Dictatorship of Coolness, an American premiere performed in Spanish with supertitles, is a raucous social satire reflecting on art, culture and contemporary lifestyles, inspired by Moliere´s “The Misanthrope.” The show is set on the 1st of May, as Santiago’s cultural and artistically elite gather to celebrate the new Minister of Culture. As the streets pulse with the ambiance of protest, the Minister realizes the hypocrisy and inefficiency of bourgeois culture and renounces capitalism and greed, turning the celebration into a nightmare.

La Re-sentida (The Resentful) is a collective of young activists and artists from the Chilean national theatrical scene who regard theater as a critical instrument with major political responsibility. Their work embodies the pulses, visions and ideas of their generation and assumes as duty, audacity, the desecration of taboos and reflection generated from provocation. Their works give theatrical creation great political responsibility, understanding it as an instrument of critique, reflection and construction. Their works have been performed in more than 17 countries. teatrolaresentida.cl


April 13 – 14

Love Heals All Wounds, an evening-length work by MAI (Movement Art Is), addresses social issues such as police brutality and violence in America while seeking to promote diversity, inclusion, and empathy as a uniting force. MAI (Movement Art Is), co-founded by Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, uses movement artistry to inspire and change the world while elevating the artistic educational and social impact of dance. Through movement art films, workshops, performances and exhibitions, MAI is resetting the spectrum that defines dance. movementartis.com,

Jon Boogz is a movement artist, choreographer and director who seeks to push the evolution of what dance can be sharing with audiences of all backgrounds an appreciation of the melding of art forms while inspiring and bringing awareness to social issues. He co-starred in the viral short film Color of Reality, which continues to screen at film festivals worldwide and has won numerous awards.

LIL BUCK is an International phenomenon. He began jookin’ a street dance that originated in Memphis at age 13 and went on to train in hip-hop and ballet. Named one of Dance Magazine’s25 to Watch,” his collaboration with Spike Jonze and Yo-Yo Ma performing The Swan went viral in 2011. Since then he has collaborated with a broad spectrum of artists across the world, and is an avid arts education advocate and recipient of the WSJ Innovator Award.



May 4 – 5

In Until Our Hearts Stop, an American premiere, six performers and three musicians find themselves in a place that is both a nightclub and an arena: an unreliable, high-octane refuge, a place of desire and illusion, experiencing extreme intimacy at each other’s hands. To the sound of throbbing basses, piano and drums – a mix between improvisation and composition – they connect and explore each other, drawing the audience into their immersive world.

Meg Stuart is a New Orleans-born choreographer and dancer living and working in Berlin and Brussels. Stuart moved to New York in 1983 and was actively involved in the downtown New York dance scene. Together with her company, Damaged Goods, she has created over 30 stage works, ranging from solos to large-scale choreographies, site- specific creations and improvisation projects. Stuart strives to develop a new language for every piece in collaboration with artists from different creative disciplines and navigates the tension between dance and theater. Meg Stuart/Damaged Goods has an on-going collaboration with Kaaitheater (Brussels) and HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin). damagedgoods.be



A new series, Serious Fun, invites children, families, students and teachers to experience the wonder and excitement of live performance, with age-appropriate pre-and-post show activities, including creative workshops and talkbacks. This year’s Serious Fun productions include Gala, Pirates of Penzance and MAI: Love Heals All Wounds.


National Theatre Live returns to NYU Skirball with encore screenings of acclaimed broadcasts, including showings of Peter Pan (September 10) and Yerma (September 24). Launched in 2009, National Theatre Live broadcasts have been seen by an audience of over 5 million people at 2000 venues in 50 countries. A complete schedule will be announced shortly.


Tickets will be available in July: for complete scheduling, dates and times, visit www.nyuskirball.org. NYU Skirball is located at 566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Square, New York, New York 10012.


NYU Skirball, located in the heart of Greenwich Village, is one of New York City’s major presenters of international work, and has been the premier venue for cultural and performing arts events in lower Manhattan since 2003. The 860-seat state-of-the art theater, led by Director Jay Wegman, provides a home for internationally renowned artists, innovators and thinkers. NYU Skirball hosts over 300 events annually, from re-inventions of the classics to cutting-edge premieres, in genres ranging from dance, theater and performance arts to comedy, music and film.

NYU Skirball’s unique partnership with New York University enables it to draw on the University’s intellectual riches and resources to enhance its programming with dialogues, public forums and conversations with artists, philosophers, scientists, Nobel Laureates and journalists.

Jay Wegman is responsible for the direction and leadership of the Center’s artistic programming. He previously served as director of the Abrons Art Center at Henry Street Settlement from 2006-2016, where he curated a balance of local, international, emerging and established multi-disciplinary artists. During his tenure, Abrons was awarded a 2014 OBIE Award for Innovative Excellence and a 2015 Bessie Award for Best Production. He also served as Canon for Liturgy and the Arts at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine for over a decade and was a Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. from 2004-2005. Jay is a graduate of Yale University.

Designed by architect Kevin Roche with excellent sight lines and acoustics, NYU Skirball features state-of-the-art technology and broadcast capabilities, making it a sought-after venue for film and television screenings and premieres, theatrical events, live radio, and podcast presentations. www.nyuskirball.org.

Programs, artists and ticket prices are subject to change.

# # #

2017-18 Season by Genre


Aunts September 15

Faustin Linkyekula: Sur les traces de Dinozord September 22 23 Mette Ingvartsen: 7 Pleasures September 29 30

BalletCollective October 27 28

Jérôme Bel: Gala March 3 4

MAI: Lil Buck and John Boogz: Love Heals All Wounds April 13 – 14 Meg Stuart: Until Our Hearts Stop May 4 5


Joshua Light Show September 8 9

John Zorn October 6 – 7

The Sachal Ensemble November 5

ICE: the whisper opera January 24 February 4

Rivers of Sound February 10


DJ Spooky: Rebirth of A Nation November 4

Adrienne Trustcott: Asking for It November 10

Justin Vivian Bond November 11

The Hypocrites: Pirates of Penzance November 29 December 10

Gob Squad: War and Peace March 28-April 1 Teatro la Re-Sentida: The Dictatorship of Coolness April 5-7


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