Rebecca Lazier is a choreographer and dance educator originally from Nova Scotia, now based in Brooklyn. Since 1995, she has created work that has been hailed for its “exciting immediacy,” according to the New York Times. Her recent production of Coming Together/Attica, named one of 2013’s most memorable experiences by critic Eva Yaa Asantewaa, is a site-specific setting of Frederic Rzewski’s iconic minimalist scores written in response to the Attica prison riots. A film of the work was featured in "IK-00 Spaces of Confinement," an exhibition produced by Moscow based foundation v–a–c, the art of being contemporary as part of the Architecture Biennale in Venice. The American Embassy in Athens recently sponsored a tour Coming Together/Attica to Thessaloniki and Patras.
In New York, Lazier’s work has been presented at many venues including La MaMa, Danspace Project, The Kitchen, the Guggenheim Museum, 92nd Street Y, and Symphony Space, and the company has toured to a variety of locales from Martha’s Vineyard to Los Angeles, Jacob’s Pillow to New Orleans, from Nova Scotia to Russia. Lazier has been artist-in-residence at Movement Research, The Joyce Theater Foundation, The Yard, and the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and has received grants from the Puffin Foundation, New Music USA, Canada Council on the Arts, and the Greater New York Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, Inc. Lazier is a Senior Lecturer at Princeton University and has previously been on the faculty of UCLA, Mimar Sinan Conservatory in Istanbul, Trinity College, Hartford Ballet, and Wesleyan University. Lazier was the festival director of the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival from 2002–06 and was a panelist at many conferences including Dance USA, Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, Congress on Research in Dance, and the Juilliard School.
Teaching Artistic and Physical Practice
Lazier integrates a broad range of somatic, anatomical, contemporary, and historical theories and dance practices to develop structures for learning and experimentation that support personal transformation and promote choreographic research. Lazier views the body as a site of experimentation and continually seeks new models of thinking to serve as stimulus for perceptual change.
“The dancers, who masterfully employ both technique and rhythm in a whimsical and energetic way, created a one-of-the-kind masterwork.” —Polish critic Stanisław Godlewski on There Might Be Others
“That this dance diptych wasn’t upstaged by the mighty punk-classical ensemble Newspeak, who played Rzweski’s score with a ferocity to match their nimble, Bach-like precision, speaks to the intensity of Lazier’s work.”—Lucid Culture
“Such beauty in the midst of the worst of atrocities was captured by recent performances of Coming Together / Attica by Frederic Rzewski with original choreography by Rebecca Lazier. It was simply impossible to be physically disconnected from this performance.”—I Care if You Listen
There Might Be Others
There Might Be Others assembles an international ensemble of dancers and musicians to examine the roles of presence, performer agency, and collective decision-making. A movement-based realization of Terry Riley’s seminal masterpiece In C, There Might Be Others builds on the tradition of open scores, in which performers compose in real time with a predetermined array of content. Director/choreographer Rebecca Lazier and composer Dan Trueman have developed content for the performers ranging from rhythmic sequences to sustained gestures, distilled abstraction to camp theatricality, and interactive games to isolated tasks. The onstage negotiations embolden all of the performers, musicians and dancers alike, to become coauthors. There Might Be Others will premiere at New York Live Arts in March 2016. It features design by Davison Scandrett and Mary Jo Mecca, dramaturgy by Naomi Leonard, the musicians of Sō Percussion and Mobius Percussion, and dancers from New York, Poland, Turkey, and Canada.
There Might Be Others was developed and performed internationally in Canada at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts with the support from Mocean and Canada Council for the Arts (February 2015); in Turkey, where, with sponsorship from the American Embassy in Ankara, it toured to Mersin, Ankara, and Rize in a collaboration with TORK Dance (April 2015); and in Poland where it toured to Malta Festival Poznan and the Gdansk Festival through Stary Browar/Art Stations Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Fund (June 2015). It was also developed at Sō Percussion's Summer Institute at Princeton University (July 2015).
Coming Together/Attica, a collaborative work by choreographer Rebecca Lazier with the inimitable proto-punk ensemble Newspeak, explores the seminal and controversial work of composer Frederic Rzewski. The music and movement of Coming Together/Attica juxtapose finely wrought structural directives with impulsive individual improvisations. The energy unleashed by these counterpoised forces drives both Rzewski’s score and Lazier’s choreography. Newspeak’s interpretation combines classical, jazz and rock’n’roll influences and features a female vocalist. The performance begins with confinement, isolation and oppression, then features stark states of individual lapses of reality before moving onto decisive and demanding dancing, evoking a fugue state. Rzewski’s propulsive and stirring companion pieces Coming Together and Attica are influential classics of early-‘70s minimalism and although they were inspired by the riots, Rzewski does not dictate an ideology in the piece, he invites the listener to create his or her own meanings, as does the choreography.
EPK for Coming Together/Attica →