From the NYCI: 2021 Summer Session Virtual Commissions
August 25, 2021,
The New York Choreographic Institute has maintained its principle goal to foster international dance-making at the forefront of the artform in its more than 20-year history, including throughout the pandemic and the restrictions it has placed on creative production. Beginning with the 2020 Summer Session and continuing on through its most recent iteration this past May, the NYCI's commissions have resulted in unique dance films. For the 2021 Summer Session, Institute Artistic Director Adrian Danchig-Waring partnered with Cornell Tech Research Fellow Michael Byrne for a new site-specific approach; the resulting works are strikingly different, yet reflective of both the NYCI's broader technological goals, and of the time in which they were created.
Sophie Laplane's film yoyo, her third dance created under the auspices of the NYCI, co-directed by NYCB Corps de Ballet Member Emily Kikta and Soloist Peter Walker, features four Company Dancers: Soloists Daniel Applebaum and Georgina Pazcoguin, and Corps Members Preston Chamblee and Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara. Performing throughout Cornell Tech's Tata Innovation Center, in dramatically surreal costumes and richly symbolic exchanges reflective of the work's handheld inspiration, the dancers move in time with two divergent pieces of music: the pensive, tense strings of "A Deal with Chaos," performed by Jóhann Jóhannsson, and the driving beat of Joshua Crining's "Ortis."
For Outside In, Alysa Pires' third collaboration with the NYCI, the choreographer worked with Soloist Megan LeCrone and Corps de Ballet Members Victor Abreu, Isabella LaFreniere, and Davide Riccardo. Set to contemporary composer Poppy Ackroyd's multivalent "Trains," the piece utilizes the light- and vista-filled windows and stairwells of The Emma and Georgina Bloomberg Center on the Cornell Tech Campus, in a moving contemplation of the relationship between interior and exterior, in all the many poignant iterations of that relationship as it has been—and continues to be—experienced.
Learn more about the making of these films in our oral history of the projects.
About The Choreographers
Sophie Laplane is a Franco-British choreographer based in the UK. She trained at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris and danced with the Scottish Ballet for 13 years; she has a Masters Degree in Choreography from the Central School of Ballet, London and the French Diplôme d'État en Danse Classique. Currently the Choreographer in Residence at the Scottish Ballet, Sophie has created works for companies around the world, including two previous commissions for the New York Choreographic Institute: Vis-à-Vis in 2018, and 20/20 in Spring 2020, the latter in collaboration with composer Jack Gulielmetti.
For her third piece created under the auspices of the Choreographic Institute, Laplane collaborated with NYCB Soloists Daniel Applebaum and Georgina Pazcoguin and Corps de Ballet Members Preston Chamblee and Meaghan Dutton-O'Hara, completely over Zoom, resulting in the film yoyo.
For more information about Sophie and her work, visit sophielaplane.com
Alysa Pires is a Canadian choreographer who has created works for companies around the world, including the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Kelowna, Ballet Edmonton, Canada's Ballet Jörgen, and others. She is an Honours BFA graduate from X University and was the recipient of the 2015 Jack McAllister Award, and was one of the 2017 winners of Northwest Dance Project's International Choreographic Competition.
For the film Outside In, her third piece commissioned by the Choreographic Institute, Pires collaborated virtually with NYCB Soloist Megan LeCrone and Corps de Ballet Members Victor Abreu, Isabella LaFreniere, and Davide Riccardo.
For more information about Alysa and her work, visit alysapires.com.