“A blend of small but gem-like virtuosic moments, rich metaphors, and unforgettable visual panache.”—Dance Magazine
Award-winning New York choreographer Donna Uchizono draws from physics and the Buddhist tenet on emptiness to create a stunning new trio that combines iconic art-rock guitarist/composer Fred Frith’s densely intriguing score, the visceral power of her own unique dance vocabulary, and Michael Casselli’s ghostlike video imagery. Thin Air is a hypnotic experience that beautifully utilizes sound, simple yet brilliant scenic elements, and finely detailed movement that flows from the deliberate to the frenetic.
Donna Uchizono Company
performs on Thursday–Saturday, April 2–4, at 8 pm in the Walker Art Center’s William and Nadine McGuire Theater. Copresented with the National Performance Network (NPN).
Hailed by Ms. Magazine’s end-of-the-century issue as “a choreographer making great leaps forward into the 21st century,” Donna Uchizono is the artistic director of Donna Uchizono Company, a company established in 1990. Since her choreographic debut in 1988, Uchizono rapidly emerged from the “downtown scene” as a choreographer known for her spicy movement, wit, and rich invention.
In addition to being a Guggenheim Fellow and a “Bessie” Award winner, Uchizono has been recognized by many awards, most recently with a 2005 Alpert Award in Dance. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the National Dance Project, the National Endowment for the Arts, three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital Foundation, Altria Group, Inc., the Jerome Foundation, the Dance Magazine Seed Grant, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation, Arts International, Metropolitan Life Foundation/ADF Commission, the National Performance Network, the Suitcase Fund, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Greenwall Foundation, Meet the Composer, and the Bossak Heilbron Charitable Foundation.
Uchizono’s numerous collaborative projects include quietly goes a giant jane, made in collaboration with visual artist David Hammons, composers “Butch” Morris and James Lo, and lighting designer Stan Pressner. Uchizono recently created a new work for Mikhail Baryshnikov, commissioned by the Baryshnikov Dance Foundation. Her project Low, with composer Guy Yarden, received a “Bessie” for both Uchizono and Yarden. Uchizono’s interest in original and live music for performance is evidenced by her collaborations with composers and her former role as co-director and co-curator of Bread to the Bone, a live music/dance series at The Knitting Factory in New York. Uchizono was the choreographer for Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home for the Trinity Repertory Company and the Long Wharf Theater. She was commissioned by COBAI, a coalition of independent choreographers and dancers in Argentina, to create a piece for COBAI and Donna Uchizono Company in collaboration with the musicians of the Tobas Indians, the indigenous people of Argentina.
Since 1980 Uchizono has regularly taught workshops and classes in the U.S., Europe, and South America. She has participated in festivals and teaching institutions in Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, France, Portugal, Belgium, Slovenia, Argentina, and Romania. In the U.S., she has been a guest choreographer at various universities and colleges, including Temple University, Barnard College, Bryn Mawr, Sarah Lawrence College, Wesleyan University, California Institute of the Arts, UCLA, and the University of Minnesota. She currently is artistic director of the New Media and Performance MFA program at Long Island University in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, and is a member of the Artist Advisory Board at Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, where she was a founding member and Chair from 1990–1995, setting up a forum for artists to discuss issues.
Reflecting its founder’s dedication to artistic integrity, the Donna Uchizono Company has aimed throughout its existence to embody the power of dance—to convey its meaning and essence to both current and new generations of audiences.
Tickets to Donna Uchizono Dance Company are: Thursday, $18 ($15 Walker members); Friday–Saturday, $25 ($21) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.