Audiences Return to The Joyce with Benefit Performances of STATE OF DARKNESS
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 02:01 pm EDT 05/20/21

Audiences Return to The Joyce Theater in June
For Six Live Benefit Performances Of
By Molissa Fenley
Tour de Force Solo Work Performed at Separate Performances By
Jared Brown, Lloyd Knight, Sara Mearns, Annique Roberts,
Cassandra Trenary and Michael Trusnovec

June 16-20

The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Avenue
New York City

(New York, New York – May 20, 2021) – For the first time in 15 months, The Joyce Theater Foundation (Linda Shelton, Executive Director) will host live audiences inside its iconic Chelsea home later this spring, from June 16-20. The Joyce, one of the world’s premiere presenters of dance, enthusiastically announced today that after the unprecedented state-wide shut-down of performing arts venues, it will present six benefit performances of Molissa Fenley’s acclaimed tour de force solo, State of Darkness. Last fall, Fenley set her seminal 1988 work on some of today’s most outstanding dancers for performances that were livestreamed around the world, garnering rave reviews, including a “Best Dance of 2020” shout-out by The New York Times. Jared Brown, Lloyd Knight, Sara Mearns, Annique Roberts, Cassandra Trenary, and Michael Trusnovec will each reprise their astonishing performances to limited capacity audiences of no more than 100 (21%) per show. Tickets for these benefit performances range in price from $250 – $500. For more information including details on The Joyce Theater’s extensive safety protocols and to purchase tickets, please visit www.Joyce.org. The Joyce Theater is located at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Choreographer Molissa Fenley’s celebrated solo work, State of Darkness, found new life at The Joyce Theater where it was revived last fall, performed by a new generation of New York dancers, each receiving enthusiastic acclaim for their singular interpretations. Originally commissioned by the American Dance Festival in 1988, State of Darkness challenges Stravinsky’s cacophonous “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) with an intense 35-minute solo performance of relentless fervency, technical precision, and fearless abandon. Fenley reimagined the commanding score as the sonic landscape for a solo journey, rather than the usual ensemble interpretations.

These six dancers will have their own performances in front of a live audience at The Joyce Theater from June 16-20: 2020 Juilliard grad Jared Brown; Lloyd Knight of Martha Graham Dance Company; Sara Mearns of the New York City Ballet; Annique Roberts of Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE; Cassandra Trenary of American Ballet Theatre; and former Paul Taylor American Dance Company member Michael Trusnovec.

Performance Schedule
Wednesday, June 16 at 8pm: Annique Roberts
Thursday, June 17 at 8:00pm: Jared Brown
Friday, June 18 @ 8:00pm: Sara Mearns
Saturday, June 19 @ 2:00pm: Lloyd Knight
Saturday, June 19 @ 8:00pm: Michael Trusnovec
Sunday, June 20 @ 2:00pm: Cassandra Trenary
(subject to change)

State of Darkness features original lighting design by David Moodey, and costume supervision by Marc Happel.

About the Artists
Jared Brown (dancer), a Dallas native, is a 2020 graduate of The Juilliard School. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts with recognition from the National YoungArts Foundation in Modern Dance and Choreography. He is a 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts and has performed at the Kennedy Center under the direction of Debbie Allen. Jared has performed and toured with companies including Molissa Fenley and Company, David Dorfman Dance, Douglas Dunn + Dancers, Seán Curran Company, I Kada Contemporary Dance, and Arch Contemporary Ballet. Jared is a recipient of the 2019 Princess Grace Award, Martyn Ravenhill Liberace Mansion Dance Honor. He is currently based in London, working with Shechter II - Hofesh Shechter Company.

Molissa Fenley (choreographer) is a New York based choreographer and performer. She founded Molissa Fenley and Company in 1977 and has since created over 85 dance works during her continuing career. She grew up in Ibadan, Nigeria traveling there with her family in 1961, completing all of her early education there in International Schools. She returned to the US in 1971 to study dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation in 1975, she moved to New York and has lived there ever since. With her company and as a soloist, she performed all over the world. Her work has been commissioned by the American Dance Festival, the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Dia Art Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, Lincoln Center, the New National Theater of Tokyo, The National Institute of Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea, New York Live Arts, and The Kitchen. Both Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded Bessies in 1985 and 1988, respectively. Molissa also created many works on ballet and contemporary dance companies, most recently for the Oakland Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Robert Moses' Kin and the Seattle Dance Project. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, a Fellow of the Bogliasco Foundation, has enjoyed residencies at the Bloedel Reserve, Bard College, Harvard University, Yaddo, The Baryshnikov Art Center, The Bainbridge Dance Center, two awards from the Asian Art Council to visit Japan and is a Master Artist of the Atlantic Center of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Fl. She is Professor Emerita of Dance at Mills College and on the faculty of the Experimental Theater Wing of New York University. Seagull Press/University of Chicago recently published Rhythm Field: The Dance of Molissa Fenley.

Born in England and reared in Miami where he received a BFA from the New World School of the Arts under Artistic Director Daniel Lewis, Lloyd Knight (dancer) joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2005 and was promoted to Soloist in 2009 and Principal in 2014. He has had ballets choreographed on him by Nacho Duato twice, Andonis Foniadakis, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Lar Lubovitch, Kyle Abraham, Liz Gerring, Michelle Dorrance, Anne Bogart, Pontus Linberg, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Pam Tanowitz, and Mats Ek. Dance Magazine named Mr. Knight as one of the “Top 25 Dancers to Watch” in 2010. He partnered with New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan in Ms. Graham's Moon Duet and with Misty Copeland in a Graham duet from Letter to the World. He was picked Best Performer of 2015 by Dance Magazine and is currently a guest principal artist for The Royal Ballet of Flanders.

Sara Mearns (dancer) is a Principal Dancer with New York City Ballet, known for her roles as the Swan Queen in Swan Lake and for Balanchine ballets including Jewels (Diamonds) and Symphony in C, among countless others, and where she has originated roles in ballets by choreographers including Justin Peck, Kyle Abraham, Alexei Ratmansky, and Christopher Wheeldon. Sara has appeared as a guest artist with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Martha Graham Company, The Ashley Bouder Project, and Company Wang Ramirez. Sara appeared in New Bodies, a collaboration with Jodi Melnick. At New York City Center, she has appeared regularly in the Fall for Dance Festival and the 2018 Balanchine Festival. Sara alternated the role of Victoria Page in the U.S. premier of Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, and made her theatrical debut in I Married an Angel directed/choregraphed by Josh Bergasse also at NY City Center (Encores!). Last summer she danced at Jacob’s Pillow in a tribute to her called Beyond Balletwhich followed her debut with The Metropolitan Opera in La Traviata. A recent recipient of the Bessie Award and Dance Magazine Award, Sara holds an Honorary Doctorate from University of South Carolina.

Annique S. Roberts (dancer) is currently a dancer and the rehearsal director with Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE, A Dance Company. She performed and toured nationally and internationally with both Evidence and Garth Fagan Dance over her 16-year career. Annique is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and a graduate of Tri-Cities High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance from Howard University in 2004 under the direction of Dr. Sherrill Berryman Johnson. There, she performed works by Ronald K. Brown, Kevin Iega Jeff, Christopher Huggins, and Eleo Pomare. Annique joined Garth Fagan Dance in 2004 and became senior dancer in 2006. Annique joined Evidence in January 2010, and was nominated for a 2013 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for Best Performer. Annique holds an MA in Arts Administration from Savannah College of Art & Design. She currently serves on the School Advancement Committee for Jacob’s Pillow and is an Adjunct Professor of Dance at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. From 2011-2016, she co-founded and directed the Atlanta Spring Dance Series, an annual one-day dance workshop event that raised money to assist young dancers with various professional development opportunities.

Cassandra Trenary (dancer) began her dance training at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet. She was a national training scholar for the American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensives from 2006-2010, and joined the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in 2009. In 2011, Cassandra was offered an Apprenticeship with ABT Studio Company, and that same year joined American Ballet Theatre as a corps de ballet member. Cassandra was promoted to Soloist in 2015, and Principal Dancer in 2020. In addition to the wide variety of classical and contemporary rep with ABT, Cassandra has had the privilege of dancing for Gemma Bond Dance, Daniil Simkin’s Intensio, Hamptons Dance Project, CoLab Dance, Cirio Collective, Guggenheim Rotunda Project Falls to Shadowand was a guest artist with the Royal Ballet for The Joyce Theater’s Ballet Festival. She also performed in The Joyce produced dance play, The Tenant, by Arthur Pita. Cassandra’s creative repertoire has recently expanded to choreographer and producer when she co-created At the Time, a dance film. Cassandra’s accolades include being named a National YoungArts Foundation Winner, a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts nominee, a recipient of a Princess Grace Dance Honorarium and the Annenberg Fellowship for Dance. ?

Michael Trusnovec (dancer) grew up dancing on Long Island, graduated from the Long Island High School for the Performing Arts, and earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University. For over two decades, Michael was a principal dancer with the Paul Taylor Dance Company, creating more than 25 roles with Mr. Taylor, and premiering new works by choreographers including Pam Tanowitz, Larry Keigwin, Margie Gillis, and Doug Varone. Additionally, Michael was Associate Rehearsal Director, and now serves as the Director of Worldwide Licensing and as a repetiteur of Mr. Taylor’s dances. Michael was honored with a Dance Magazine Award, a Bessie Award, and in 1992 he was a National YoungArts Foundation awardee and Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He serves on the Board of Directors of Dance Films Association, and was an Executive Producer and Curatorial Advisor for Dance on Camera 48. He is a National Reviewer and Dance Mentor for YoungArts, and co-founded the Asbury Park Dance Festival. Michael continues to teach, choreograph, and perform around the world, appearing most recently as a guest artist with the New York City Ballet during their 2020 Lincoln Center winter season.

About The Joyce Theater Foundation
The Joyce Theater Foundation (“The Joyce,” Executive Director, Linda Shelton), a non-profit organization, has proudly served the dance community for almost four decades. Under the direction of founders Cora Cahan and Eliot Feld, Ballet Tech Foundation acquired and renovated the Elgin Theater in Chelsea. Opening as The Joyce Theater in 1982, it was named in honor of Joyce Mertz, beloved daughter of LuEsther T. Mertz. It was LuEsther’s clear, undaunted vision and abundant generosity that made it imaginable and ultimately possible to build the theater. Ownership was secured by The Joyce in 2015. The theater is one of the only theaters built by dancers for dance and has provided an intimate and elegant home for over 400 U.S.-based and international companies. The Joyce has also expanded its reach beyond its Chelsea home through off-site presentations at venues ranging in scope from Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, to Brooklyn’s Invisible Dog Art Center, and to outdoor programming in spaces such as Hudson River Park. To further support the creation of new work, The Joyce maintains longstanding commissioning and residency programs. Local students and teachers (K–12th grade) benefit from its school program, and family and adult audiences get closer to dance with access to artists. The Joyce’s annual season of about 48 weeks of dance now includes over 340 performances – both digital and in-person – for audiences in excess of 150,000.

The Joyce Theater Foundation welcomes back audiences this later this spring with six benefit performances of Molissa Fenley’s celebrated 1988 solo work, State of Darkness, danced by six of today’s most outstanding artists – Jared Brown, Lloyd Knight, Sara Mearns, Annique Roberts, Cassandra Trenary, and Michael Trusnovec – from June 16-20 at The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue. Tickets from $250 – $500 can be arranged at www.Joyce.org or by calling JoyceCharge at 212.242.0800. For more information and to read about The Joyce Theater’s detailed health and safety protocols, please visit www.Joyce.org.
Link http://www.Joyce.org

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