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A two-year journey in the making first conceived when Montclair State University made The Kasser a state-of-the art live performance broadcast venue by installing multiple 4K robotic video cameras linked to control studios in MSU’s School of Communication and Media.The potential for what PEAK HD could mean for the theatre world has been elevated and expanded, breaking the rules of performance as we have known it.
Co-directed by Anne Bogart and Elizabeth Streb
Adapted from the plays of Charles Mee
Created and Performed by SITI Company & STREB Extreme Action
World Premiere Performances Took Place at The Alexander Kasser Theater September 24-30, 2019
Two titans of avant-garde performance—director Anne Bogart and choreographer Elizabeth Streb—join forces to take on works of Obie Award–winning rebel playwright Charles Mee in an original production co-produced by PEAK Performances. In FALLING & LOVING, six actors from Bogart’s company and six of Streb’s action heroes storm the stage and launch into the air with the aid of a Guck Machine, an enormous contraption conceived by Streb that features rotating rings and buckets armed to continually release materials into the stratosphere. Artists, ideas, and objects collide in this radical new production.
Janet Eilber, Artistic Director
Music by Aaron Copland
Set by Isamu Noguchi
Choreography by Martha Graham
Music by Augusta Read Thomas
Choreography by Troy Schumacher
Music performed by International Contemporary Ensemble
Conducted by Vimbayi Kaziboni
Performances (surrounding the 75th Anniversary of Appalachian Spring and marking the World Premiere of The Auditions, commissioned by PEAK Performances) took place November 14-17, 2019 at The Alexander Kasser Theater.
Comprising the “most skilled and powerful dancers you can ever hope to see” (The Washington Post), Martha Graham Dance Company performs the iconic dance maker’s most celebrated work, Appalachian Spring, in concert with a PEAK Performances commission, The Auditions by choreographer Troy Schumacher and composer Augusta Read Thomas. This new work has been designed to resonate with Graham’s classic, which turned 75 in 2019. “America’s foremost new-music group” (Alex Ross), the International Contemporary Ensemble joins the Graham Company for these world-class renditions of new music by Augusta Read Thomas and the original Pulitzer Prize–winning score for Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.
Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley
Director: Sean Gandini
Choreographer: Alexander Whitley
U.S. Premiere performances took place at The Alexander Kasser Theater December 12-15, 2019
The avant-garde virtuosos of Gandini Juggling create breathtaking productions that mesmerize audiences of all ages. Back by popular demand following the success of the 2018-2019 season’s Smashed, the company collaborates with British choreographer Alexander Whitley in Spring. “Joyous, exhilarating, and transporting” (Culture Whisper), this production interweaves five virtuoso jugglers with four contemporary dancers in a kaleidoscopic dreamscape propelled by an immersive score by Gabriel Prokofiev. Visually arresting, colorful, and bursting with rhythm and pattern, Spring is a refreshing and entertaining production at the vanguard of contemporary circus.
Performed by: Erika Dohl, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Blair McMillen, Lisa Moore and Isabelle O’Connell
Performances, marking Grand Band’s PEAK debut, The Alexander Kasser Theater February 14 & 15, 2020
Grand Band is a unique musical ensemble that includes six pianos arranged in a circle and played by “the finest, busiest pianists active in New York’s contemporary-classical scene” (The New York Times). The sextet engulfs the audience in the sonic intensity of four landmark contemporary works: the iconic and massive Gay Guerilla by cult underground figure Julius Eastman; the pulsating Sensitive Spot by Australian sound artist Kate Moore; and my lips from speaking, a riff on Aretha Franklin’s Think by Pulitzer-winning composer Julia Wolfe. In a thrilling combination of sight and sound, Missy Mazzoli’s Three Fragile Systems is enhanced by the debut of an animated film by Joshua Frankel. In this film, commissioned by PEAK Performances, Frankel builds a world of geometry, color and looping patterns of human bodies created collaboratively with choreographer Faye Driscoll, heightening the experience of the music.
Choreography Richard Alston | Martin Lawrance
Pianist Jason Ridgeway | Soprano Gelsey Bell
Performances, which included the U.S. Premieres of Detour, Shine On, and Brahms Hungarian, took place February 20-24, 2020 at The Alexander Kasser Theater.
Boasting a “rich, pliant, full-bodied” style that transports audiences “to the heart of dance itself” (The New York Times), Richard Alston Dance Company returned to PEAK Performances in early 2020 for its final American engagement before the company closed its doors after a quarter of a century. A selection of recent works highlights the unflagging invention of this beloved group, led by Richard Alston, one of the world’s finest choreographers currently celebrating his 50th year of making dances. Performed to live music, Alston’s witty Brahms Hungarian is presented alongside Shine On, the last piece the choreographer will create for the company.