NeverEnd: a new work for Periapsis Music and Dance by Norbert De La Cruz III and Harry Stafylakis
We are thrilled to commission choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III and composer Harry Stafylakis to create a joint work for our resident company of dancers and musicians. Our mission is to cultivate a new repertoire of collaborative works by composers and choreographers, and we believe this will be a vital and exciting addition.
Norbert and Harry both possess powerful artistic voices, and we’re lucky to have this opportunity to combine their talents. NeverEnd will become a featured work for our spring 2019 programs, and we expect it to have a long life in our repertoire. The following thoughts will likely evolve, but serve as strong starting points:
Do you recall a time of your life when insecurities clouded your ambitions? Do you wish your “turf” were as vibrant, or freshly “green,” as someone else’s? These poisonous comparisons divert and warp the full potential of one’s endeavor and give rise to the commonly used phrase, “the grass is greener on the other side.”
I am eager to visually stimulate this bittersweet judgment between our psychological and physical barriers, navigating the human body through thick space with concepts of cerebral bondage. Designing the stage to evoke the proposed proverb, I’ll harness the athleticism of the Periapsis ensemble, melding my classical aesthetics with the expressive challenges of traditional contemporary dance technique. I am interested in the body’s instinctual response to live music, steering the dancers’ energetic impulses to bring together the audible and the spatial, and exploring movements that celebrate the unique differences between the two. I aspire to overcome and make visible the degree of humankind’s territorial instincts, describing artificial impressions and verifying how psychosomatic illusions corrupt or advance a community as a whole.
Alongside Harry Stafylakis and Periapsis, I am delighted to illustrate the shifting textures in music and thrilled to reassemble the familiar proscenium into a unique territory.
“The grass is always greener on the other side” is one of the most common American proverbs, a testament to the ubiquity of the sentiment it evokes. It often seems that the biggest obstacle in our never-ending quest for happiness and prosperity is ourselves; inevitably, we fall prey to feelings of inadequacy, envy, and restlessness as we compare ourselves to how we perceive our friends, neighbors, or rivals.
This work for piano trio and dancers depicts the essence of this psychological state. The ensemble, beginning in a state of stability/comfort, will gradually grow restless, the texture becoming corrupted by a longing for the different, deteriorating as it strives for an idealized new. Once the goal is achieved, the structure will collapse into a new state of stability before the process reproduces itself, never allowing a feeling of contentment to settle for long. Stylistically, the music will express the contrasting poles of my own musical persona: classicism/primitivism, beauty/brutality.
I am excited to join Norbert and Periapsis on this multidisciplinary project. Through the dynamic manipulation of sound, motion, light, and space, we will create a vibrant and evocative artistic experience.
Bird Study was Harry’s first experience in the dance world, though he wrote the music, his Suite for Solo Cello (2009), purely as a concert piece. It was chosen by one of the invited guest choreographers from our inaugural concert, Ian RT Colless, who set it on his own company, Untitled|Collective, as part of our program. This video includes extended excerpts from that premiere, with cellist Hiro Matsuo.
Periapsis Music and Dance presents an early scene from “Latency,” by choreographers Erin Dillon and Hannah Weber and composer Jonathan Howard Katz. Premiered as a work-in-progress on February 18-19 at GK ArtsCenter. Dancers: Erin Dillon, Elisabeth Jeffrey, Megan Jones, Michaela Catherine McGowan, Isaac Owens, Hannah Weber. Musicians: Adrián Sandí, clarinet; Lauren Cauley, violin; Jonathan Howard Katz, piano.
Start and End Dates
09/01/2018 — 05/31/2019
Brooklyn, New York