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Ruptured Horizon

Premiere of an evening length dance by Anna Sperber, integrating live music by Jessica Pavone and light installation by Elliott Jenetopulos.


Choreographer Anna Sperber will collaborate with composer Jessica Pavone to create Ruptured Horizon, an evening length work for four dancers which will premiere in June, 2015 at the newly inaugurated Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center at Gibney Dance. Sperber is one of the select choreographers to be curated into the first season of presented work at Gibney Dance. Critic Elizabeth Zimmer wrote that an early iteration of the piece, “explores the work of bodies in time, letting us see up close enduring patterns of strength and aggression: the sheer beauty of the laboring figure, without drama or ornamentation.”

Sperber is interested in the relationship between landscape and the body, and the parallel patterns and rhythms found within each territory. She is collaborating with costume designer Christian Joy (known for her costumes for Karen O. of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) who works with complex layered materials, bold colors, and visual gestures.

Jessica Pavone has performed in countless improvisation, avant jazz, experimental, folk, and chamber ensembles since moving to NYC in 2000. As a composer, The Wire magazine praised her “ability to transform a naked tonal gesture into something special,” and The New York Times described her music as “distinct and beguiling…its core is steely, and its execution clear.” Pavone’s recent works for solo viola and voice stem from years of concentrated long tone practice and interest in repetition, song form, and sympathetic vibration. They combine her long tone rituals with delay, understated melodies, and sparse lyrical content while continuously experimenting with new forms. These explorations will echo, support and be in conversation with Sperber’s use of rigorously crafted gradually shifting cycles of movement sequences. In the collaboration, Sperber and Pavone find driving intensity that swells and fills the work. They also yield to the vast landscape of the work as they listen to scores built in; the footwork glides, sweeps, and pushes while costume fabric slaps and unfurls.

The dance will take place in a lighting environment designed in collaboration with Elliott Jenetopulos. As Jenetopulos designs the lighting installation, they are wrestling with questions such as: what is the relationship between body and architecture? How does light affect our perception of space, time, architecture, movement, body, and self? What is the part of time that is true or natural, unaffected by calendars or watches? In Ruptured Horizon, the dance, music and lighting will all be in conversation with these explorations of perception.
Sperber’s stellar ensemble of performers includes Michael Ingle, Rebecca Warner, Omagbitse Omagbemi, and Alice MacDonald.

Sperber has been creating and presenting work for 14 years, building a reputation as a dancemaker of note with presenters, peers, and the press. She has collaborated extensively with composers and live music in her past work, and Ruptured Horizon will build on and extend this body of work.
Ruptured Horizon was created with commissioning support from Gibney Dance, a Dance In Process (DiP) Residency at Gibney’s Choreographic center. This work was created, in part, through the Artist in Residence Program at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange.

Project Media

The Superseded Third
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Features: Anna Sperber

This excerpt begins 8 min. into an evening length duet (premiere- The Chocolate Factory Theater, April 2013). With direct speed and momentum the dance rushes closely by the audience lining the space tightly on either side.
The music is composed and performed live by trumpet player Nate Wooley,
with vocalists Chris DeMiglio and Megan Schubert. In this video it is hard
to distinguish, but the vocalists are embedded in the audience and
performing unamplified, sometimes singing and sometimes creating subtle
whispering sounds and textures.

Salute Flying
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Features: Jessica Pavone

“Salute Flying”, from “Knuckle Under.” (solo viola)

Flying.Composer/Performer: Jessica Pavone (Viola / Effects)
Director: Yuan Liu
Editor: Michael Allen Bell and Yuan Liu
Camera: Jamie Gu
Art Director: Yuan Liu
Created November 2014

Recorded by Marc Allen Goodman @ Strange Weather
Available via Taiga Records www.taigarecords.com

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Features: Anna Sperber

FOREVERANDADAY was presented by The Kitchen in 2011. This excerpt begins 12 minutes into a 55 min piece that gradually builds in complexity and intensity through subtle changes in an extended repetitive sequence. The music was composed and performed live by Nate Wooley, with Peter Evans and Greg Kelly. The three trumpet players are playing live on stage. There is a 40 second section in this excerpt where the dancers exit, and the musicians continue to play in darkness before the dancers re-enter.

Start and End Dates



New York, New York

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
Anna Sperber is a choreographer and performer, and a native of Brooklyn, NY where she is currently based. The primacy of the moving body and detailed attention to embodied presence is at the center of her work. She believes in the poetic potency of choreography and its potential to access a visceral level of transformation…

In Collaboration With

Composer / musician
Brooklyn, New York


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