Stephen Petronio: Winning by losing
The audience for artistic director and choreographer Stephen Petronio’s shows are almost as dazzling as the dances he creates. His husband’s a fashion exec; the opening night house included models and designers.
Onstage, we were treated to Petronio’s version of Steve Paxton’s “Intravenous Lecture,” composed in protest against censorship of a nude dance work. Petronio told a riveting story about being jailed in London for wearing an obscene homoerotic T-shirt. He did this hooked up to an IV drip, dancing as he talked.
His 2002 work “City of Twist,” with costumes by Tara Subkoff/Imitation of Christ and graphic projections by Ken Tabachnick, retrieved the tortured psychology of Manhattan in the months after 9/11, featuring the astonishing Davalois Fearon spiraling in a shredded white dress.
Wendy Whelan performed “Ethersketch I,” a brief bauble welcoming the New York City Ballet star to the modern world.
The season’s premiere, “The Architecture of Loss,” had a complex new score played live by Icelandic composer Valgeir Sigurdsson. Knitted costumes by Gudrun and Gudrun and projections by Ravi Rajan of artwork by Rannvá Kinoy created a translucent environment surrounding stillness and movement. Petronio gives us much to look at and think about.