Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"Like Lazarus Did" - Stephen Petronio Company Gala

Stephen Petronio Company's New York Season at the Joyce Theater featured an evening-length work based on Lazarus' resurrection, the phoenix rising, and cycles of reincarnation. The title "Like Lazarus Did" is a line taken directly from an American slave song passed down through oral tradition. On May 1st, we attended the gala performance.

To our surprise and joy, the performance started outside the Joyce Theater as members of The Young People's Chorus of New York City silently filed out onto the sidewalk.  This marks Stephen Petronio's third major collaboration with the chorus.

In the style of a New Orleans funeral, musicians clad all in black appeared and began to sing and play their instruments.  In this case, C.J. Camerieri on trumpet, Son Lux on guitar while Rob Moose eschewed his violin to hold the black silk parasol.  The reactions of passersby was very interesting, adding to the air of unreality.

George, Nancy and John outside the theater.

Pas le Fae sported big pink sunglasses, a gossamer car-wash skirt, big tattoos and tall black platforms.

When the audience entered the theater to take their seats, they were greeted by the very pale Stephen Petronio lying prone on the stage in a black suit as if laid out for a wake, while overhead Janine Antoni lay suspended in a fireman's rescue stretcher strewn with bones and partial skeletons. She lay completely motionless in suspended meditation for the duration of the performance, leaving some convinced she was a mannequin.

We'd love to show you pictures of the dance, but we were uncharacteristically well behaved, and took none, as instructed.  (And we turned off our cell phones.  Last year's performance was marred by little bright lights in the audience coming from people whose incoming texts were more important than the enjoyment of their fellow audience members.  Honestly, some people need to bring their mothers with them to enforce good manners.)

After the performance, guests all strolled a few blocks north and west to 10th Avenue and West 20th Street to the not-yet-opened High Line Hotel for the gala after-party.  The hotel is located behind brick walls and ironwork in what used to be a seminary, with green lawns and meandering pathways that are quite a luxury in By the Square Foot Manhattan.  The party was held in a huge grand hall with carved wood walls, stained glass windows, portraits of patriarchs on the walls and beautiful light fixtures overhead.  The wall behind the bar at the front of the space was dominated by an enormous fireplace and hearth.

Choreographer and man-of-the-hour Stephen Petronio and publicist Mandie Erickson of Showroom Seven flank Sami Rahman, the director of events and creative marketing for the High Line Hotel.

Dancer Davalois Fearon and her mother stopped for a quick photo before entering the party.

Dancer Joshua Tuason in bow tie and his brother.

Dancer Barrington Hinds on the left and his friend.

Dancer and assistant to the artist director Gino Grenek (in kilt) posed with dancer Nicholas Sciscione.

Marja Samsom, Valerie, Kirsten Hawthorne and Nancy Ng and white tulips.

A tall, dapper gent and Jean are bookends for  Renaldo and composer/musician Son Lux.

This gorgeous blond woman was in Jean's sightline to the musicians at the left of the stage and Jean caught musician C.J. Camerieri winking at her (the blonde, not Jean) just as the performance began. Her name is Sydney ("like the city").  She posed with dancer Davalois Fearon and with CJ himself.

Videographer Blake Martin, Petronio company's executive director Craig Hensala and board member and uber-supporter Jean-Marc Flack (who is also Stephen's husband).

Friends from Stephen's alma mater Hampton College, many of whom were in the dance program with Stephen when he was there.

Petronio Board Member Clare Flack and her dapper, fun-loving husband Fred.

Nancy Ng and Frank Winter pose for "just one last shot" (photograph, not tequila!) before heading home for the evening.

Dancers Natalie Mackessy (in blue), Josua Tuason, Emily Stone and Jaqlin Medlock.

Jean got a goodnight kiss from dancer Julian De Leon.

1 comment:

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