Peak Performances Season Schedule

Falling & Loving - PEAK World Premiere

SITI Company & STREB Extreme Action

September 24th - September 29th

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Two titans of avant-garde performance—director Anne Bogart and choreographer Elizabeth Streb—join forces for the first time to take on works by Obie Award–winning rebel playwright Charles Mee in an original production co-produced by Peak Performances. In FALLING & LOVING six actors from SITI Company and six dancers from STREB Extreme Action storm the stage and launch into the air with the aid of a Guck Machine, an enormous contraption conceived by Streb that features rings and buckets armed to continually release materials into the stratosphere. Artists, ideas, and objects collide in this radical new production.

Shanghai Quartet Featuring

Simone Dinnerstein

October 5

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Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique, and distinctive blend of styles, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. The “utterly sublime” (The New York Times) ensemble returns for two enchanting engagements. The Shanghai Quartet is the quartet-in-residence at Montclair State University’s Cali School of Music.

For Justice and Peace - Peak Debut

Sphinx Virtuosi

October 6th

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One of the nation’s most dynamic chamber orchestras, the Detroit-based Sphinx Virtuosi makes its Peak Performances debut with a program driven by issues of social justice. Comprising 18 prizewinning Black and Latinx soloists, the performance includes a new composition and inspiration for the title of the program by Xavier Foley, Philip Herbert‘s requiem for a life lost to violence, Jessie Montgomery‘s homage to African-American artists in the Civil Rights era, Michael Abels‘ ode to the well-being of earth, and more. With “immeasurable power, unwavering command, and soulful beauty” (The Washington Post), these talented young artists address our current moment with a sensitivity and clarity that points toward peace.

Lena Herzog - PEAK Debut

Last Whispers

October 16th - October 20th

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Trained in linguistics and philosophy, Lena Herzog is a multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. Last Whispers, an immersive cinematic experience dedicated to vanishing languages, is the result of Herzog’s ongoing interest in indigenous dialects, which are disappearing at an astonishing rate. By 2050, half of the roughly 7,000 languages spoken around the world will fall silent. In Herzog’s oratorio, the historical recordings of more than 40 endangered or lost languages come alive among the echoes of collapsing stars in a work The New Yorker critic Alex Ross calls “haunting and singular.” Multiple panels and open discussions are planned to provide deeper understanding of the languages and what is being done worldwide to protect indigenous voices from fading away.

Appalachian Spring & The Auditions
PEAK World Premiere

Martha Graham Dance Company

November 14th - November 17th

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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 turns 75 this year. “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 Thomas and the original Pulitzer Prize–winning score for Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland.

Gandini Juggling and Alexander Whitley
American Premiere

Spring

December 12th - December 15th

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The avant-garde virtuosos of Gandini Juggling create breathtaking productions that mesmerize audiences of all ages. Back by popular demand following the success of last year’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 including 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.

Shanghai Quartet

February 8

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Shanghai Quartet’s second engagement features notable classical compositions alongside a cutting-edge contemporary work. The world-class chamber ensemble performs a mysterious work by Caroline Shaw, a lively piece by Antonín Dvořák, and a majestic string quartet by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The Shanghai Quartet is the quartet-in-residence at Montclair State University’s Cali School of Music.

PEAK Debut

Grand Band

February 14th & 15th

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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.

Three American Premieres

Richard Alston Dance Company

February 20th - February 23rd

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Boasting a “rich, pliant, full-bodied” style that transports audiences “to the heart of dance itself” (The New York Times), Richard Alston Dance Company returns to Peak Performances for its final American engagement before the company closes its doors after more than 25 years. 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. The fast-paced Detour, created by associate choreographer Martin Lawrance, rounds out a thrilling program that celebrates a troupe still in top form, even as the curtain closes.

Kate Soper - PEAK World Premiere

The Romance of the Rose

April 2nd - April 5th

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The startlingly refreshing work of composer/performer Kate Soper arrives with the world premiere of The Romance of the Rose. Performed by seven singers and a chamber ensemble and live electronics, this innovative work mixes medieval and contemporary allegory—along with shrieks, wails, and auto-tuned oration—to dramatize the ways in which love, sex, and music wreak havoc on our sense of self. A new voice in the lineage of iconoclastic performers like Laurie Anderson and Meredith Monk, Soper has been hailed as “one of the great originals of her generation” (The New Yorker).

Familie Flöz - American Debut

Hotel Paradiso

May 7th - May 10th

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Using clowning, acrobatics, magic, and improvisation, Familie Flöz makes its highly anticipated US debut after delighting European audiences for more than 20 years with captivating theatrical experiences. Strange things happen in Hotel Paradiso, a comedic thriller chock full of eccentric characters including a pajama-wearing front desk clerk, a kleptomaniacal maid, and a cook who chops up more than just pork. Set in a family-run Alpine resort, this fairy tale full of secrets is created by a Berlin-based troupe known worldwide for works that are “wordless and yet somehow so expressive, full of yearning and yet also filled with joy” (The Guardian).