Brooklyn-based skybetter and associates performs an evening of contemporary dance repertory with live music by the Ear Heart Music Ensemble, making their debut in this concert. The program includes Temporary Matters set to selections from Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Englabörn; Cold House You Kept set to String Quartet no. 2, Quasi una Fantasia by Henryk Górecki, and the New York premiere of Eveningland, Skybetter’s recent commission by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, featuring selections from David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Little Match Girl Passion. Flutist and Ear Heart Music director Amelia Lukas will lead the ensemble in Karen Tanaka’s ethereal Frozen Horizen, setting an icy yet uplifting tone for the evening. The performance will take place in the round.
BACKGROUND ON EVENINGLAND FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR SYDNEY SKYBETTER:
“Eveningland was commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center in the summer of 2012. We had just moved to DC so my wife could complete a fellowship at the Smithsonian, and my then-one-year-old son wasn’t sleeping well. He simply refused to learn how to fall asleep. Every night, my wife and I would rock, sing, cajole and beg him to go down, and ultimately, exhausted, he’d konk out, only to wake up two hours later. Over time, I found this lack of sleep warped my sense of self and the world.
“This, then, is the emotional terrain of Eveningland. Informed by David Lang’s score, I created a danced, formal frame to mirror the odd violence and darkness of my somnambulance. A narcissistic intention, surely, but thankfully Eveningland is not just MY work. It is the result of three dance companies – skybetter and associates, Christopher K. Morgan and Artists, and Summation Dance – working in close collaboration with one another, sharing resources, funding, and dancers. It is an intensely collaborative work haunted by the bodies, stories, poetry and emotional states of dozens of dancers from around the country. I set out to make a mirror, and my dancers made a kaleidoscope.
“In this way, the creative process of Eveningland helped to refine an interstate creative practice that is now my standard. All new dances I create are collaboratively made and owned, by as many as four different dance companies at once, and performed exactly once in New York City.”
SKYBETTER AND ASSOCIATES
skybetter and associates formed in 2008 to perform the work of choreographer Sydney Skybetter. Skybetter draws from literary, musical, mathematical, and personal texts to explore his contradictory impulses for clear self-expression and the creation of abstract, narrative-free dance. skybetter and associates performs its rigorously formal repertory to enliven an architecture of feeling that can only be articulated by arresting bodies in motion. The company has set its repertory on New York University Tisch School for the Arts, SUNY Purchase, Skidmore College, the Zenon Dance Company, Muhlenberg College, and DeSales University, and its repertory has been performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, The Dance Theater Workshop / New York Live Arts, Danspace Project, The 92nd Street Y and The Joyce SoHo, among many other venues. Online at
EAR HEART MUSIC
“… a feisty contemporary-classical concert series” –The New York Times
A showcase of highly talented and adventurous performers, composers, and collaborative artists, Ear Heart Music is a modern chamber music series for modern ears. “Embracing a landscape where cross-genre collaboration is not the exception or a special occasion but the rule and standard operating procedure, this contemporary chamber music series, organized by the flutist Amelia Lukas, keeps up its high ambitions with a season at Roulette full of new and recent compositions. ” (NY Times)
Ear Heart Music “has become a staple in the New York new music soundscape.” (Time Out NY) Its thoughtfully designed programs highlighting recent masterworks stimulate creative thought and instill new avenues of perspective in the listener. The consistent level of intelligent and inspiring music-making resonates in the mind and body. Shows include electronic processing, performance art, visual art, film, and dance, providing deeper context for the music. Unique artist pairings, diverse programming, and the integral incorporation of new work all contribute to Ear Heart Music playing a major role in reshaping the chamber music landscape for the 21st century.
Since September 2009, Ear Heart Music has produced over 75 unique concerts with over 60 world premieres. The 2013-14 season features the debut of the Ear Heart Music Ensemble, star vocalists Lucy Shelton and Hai-Ting Chinn, two cutting edge dance companies, three star string quartets, two chamber operas, six world premieres, and numerous multimedia extravaganzas. Online at earheartmusic.org.
Roulette’s ongoing purpose is to support artists through presenting a substantial and diverse program of concerts, commissioning new work, paying artists a deserving fee, and finding them an audience interested in learning about developments in experimental art. Online at roulette.org.