The Latest Update
Preview performance APAP 2020
Donna and dancers Natalie Green, Molly Lieber, Pareena Lim, and Angie Pittman shared a preview performance of “Iron Jane” at premiere venue Baryshnikov Arts Center on January 10, 2020.
This preview performance also included excerpts of composer Okkyung Lee’s music for “Iron Jane,” shared with the public for the very first time. These excerpts were developed in a winter 2019/20 residency in New York City.
Work continues development at MANCC residency 2019
In July 2019, the Donna Uchizono and dancers Brittany Engel-Adams, Natalie Green, Molly Lieber, Pareena Lim, and Angie Pittman embarked on a residency at MANCC, the Maggie Allesee National Choreographic Center at Florida State University. Donna and collaborators, including Embedded Writer Sophia Wang, were able to further work on “Iron Jane” in advance of its May 2020 premiere at Baryshnikov Arts Center.
I am in awe of the courage it takes to be human and, in these charged times, humane. “Iron Jane” (working title) challenges expected hierarchies of weight by investigating “the weight in-between.” The work for five dancers features the third collaboration between choreographer Donna Uchizono and composer Okkyung Lee, as well as visual design by artist Janet Echelman. Several images come to mind as points of departure: bodies offering their sternums to the sky, arched with wings of iron stretching in opposite directions; hips fiercely shaking with grounded weight. The piece’s beginning truly demands deep exertion of the body. In unfolding this tough exterior over time, a new kind of intimacy emerges.
Having joined the project in Fall 2019, composer Okkyung Lee and Uchizono develop a first-time collaboration for “Iron Jane.”
Developing this work in our times has made me especially sensitive to moments that remind us of our humanity in a divisive cultural and political moment. The middle section offers a radical reconsideration of audience engagement. In the space between words and dance, the viewer and what they view, and the space shared by all in a room, “Iron Jane” provides a forum to share in the weight of a vulnerability that is simultaneously public and private, offering transcendence grounded in grit.
Janet Echelman approached Uchizono with the idea of collaborating during the United States Artists Assembly in March 2017. Her breathtaking work will cascade over the piece’s final section, juxtaposing a lofty expansiveness with striking weight. Residencies at LMCC and MANCC, in addition to secured government and foundation funding, will support the development of this work. Coming off the heels of a separate premiere at the Joyce Theatre in Fall 2018, the company will build momentum and depth in the collaboration between Uchizono and the dancers as well as continue to grow its NYC-based audience
Dedicated to creative experimentation, “Iron Jane” soars towards weighted heights in a body of work that is both challenging and humane. “Iron Jane” will premiere at the Baryshnikov Arts Center (New York, NY), co-presented by the Chocolate Factory Theater in May 2020.
The development of Iron Jane is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, Dance/NYC’s Dance Advancement Fund, made possible by the Ford Foundation, the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography at Florida State University and rehearsal space generously provided by Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Iron Jane is supported by the Harkness Foundation and New Music USA.
Start and End Dates
07/13/2019 — 05/16/2020
New York, New York