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published 9.09.2015

Narcissus Now Opening Night

by Onassis Foundation USA

Narcissus Now Festival Launches With Triple Echo (World Premiere), Collaboration by Choreographer Jonah Bokaer and Composer Stavros Gasparatos

October 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Olympic Tower, NYC

New York, NY, (September 9, 2015) — Jonah Bokaer, American/Tunisian “contemporary dance’s renaissance man” (The New York Times), and Stavros Gasparatos, a leading composer of the new Greek generation, team up with extraordinary collaborators for the world premiere of a site-specific dance and music creation, Triple Echo. Commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Center NY, the performance will launch the first annual Onassis Festival NY, titled Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined. Triple Echo consists of three solos, set to live music and danced by three remarkable performers: Bessie-Award recipient Hristoula Harakas; founding member of Shen Wei Dance Arts Sara Procopio; and co-creator of the newly made performing collective “….don’t they?,” Mata Sakka, a member of Sasha Waltz & Guests. Costumes are by “master of minimalism” (T MagazineNarciso Rodriguez and lighting design is by Aaron Copp (Bessie-Award with Jonah Bokaer, 2008).

Triple Echo draws its inspiration from the female figure of the myth of Narcissus, the nymph Echo. Bokaer explores the way mimesis, dance and self-reflection operate, how women view themselves while alone and what being a citizen of the Mediterranean means today. Gasparatos builds an 11-channel sound installation that illustrates the discourse between the subject and its reflections. The captured voice of Echo interacts with “The Rhythm Method” string quartet, performers and the acoustic space, and evolves into an endless emotional feedback between the music, the performance and the audience.  Percussion is by Matt Evans and voice (recorded) by Savina Yannatou.

The performance will take place in the newly renovated Onassis Cultural Center gallery, gallery foyer and Olympic Tower Atrium, connected with a downward glass staircase and a waterfall leading to a pool. The music is designed to awaken the new space. Each solo will take place in one of the renovated areas with the audience moving at will across the expanse of the space to experience the event.

“The Onassis Cultural Center celebrates its 15-year presence right in the heart of NYC. We are grateful to the public of this great city for embracing our work through all these years,” states the President of the Onassis Foundation Dr. Anthony Papadimitriou. “Now the time has come to move forward, to enhance the presence of the present and the future of Greek culture, to bring together the ancestors and the descendants. With a larger team of people, and fruitful collaborations with significant organizations like BAM and the NYPL, we evaluate, create bridges, and magnify the spectrum of our audience and our content.”

Presented by the Onassis Cultural Center NY and running October 8-11, Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is a festival of arts and ideas which offers a kaleidoscopic view of the myth of Narcissus through music, visual art, film, science, literature, choreography, culinary arts, fashion and digital media. The festival will feature over 40 free events for audiences of all ages in New York City.

The world premiere of choreographer Jonah Bokaer and composer Stavros Gasparatos is free and open to the public.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at onassisfestivalny.org

The Olympic Tower is located at the Onassis Cultural Center NY, 645 5th Avenue at 51ST Street, New York.

For further information, visit onassisfestivalny.org

* Update as of October 1: Callie Nichole Lyons has replaced Mata Sakka who had to withdraw due to illness. Callie Nichole Lyons is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer and aspiring filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY.

About the Artists:

Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, and visual artist. He is a pioneer in designing site-specific choreography for museum spaces internationally (2002-Present). Bokaer’s work has been produced in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and 22 of the United States. In May 2015 Bokaer became a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow in Choreography (2015-2016).

Stavros Gasparatos is a renowned composer and digital sound artist. He mainly composes music for dance, theatre and cinema, but he is also frequently working on solo projects. His music has been performed in all major Greek theatres and concert venues, including the Epidaurus Theatre, the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Megaron Concert Hall, and also in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, USA, and China. He is a frequent collaborator of the National Greek Theatre, and he is considered as one of the most important composer of the new Greek generation. In 2009 he composed the music for the opening ceremony of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, directed by Athina Tsagari.

Narciso Rodriguez is one of the foremost American designers during the last two decades, Narciso Rodriguez plays a singular role in global fashion. As Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue has said, “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning.” In 1996, Rodriguez received international acclaim when he designed the bias-cut sheath wedding dress that his close friend Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John Kennedy, Jr. On November 4, 2008, Narciso Rodriguez became part of a monumental event in American history. To celebrate her husband Barack Obama’s triumphant victory as the first African American president of The United States, Michelle Obama chose to wear a dress from the designer’s Spring 2009 Collection. “It was both emotional and exhilarating,” Rodriguez said. “To be part of this memorable moment in history was a great honor.” Today, Narciso Rodriguez’s fashion house is based in New York City where he shows his women’s ready-to-wear collections.

Aaron Copp’s most recent projects include designs for Natalie Merchant’s 2014 US tour, Sinead O’Connor’s Gospel Sessions at Lincoln Center, Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Off-Broadway, tour, and DVD release), a new concert DVD by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Tanglewood, Where We Live by SO Percussion at BAM, and The Goat Rodeo Sessions US tour with Yo-Yo Ma and Chris Thile.  Aaron has designed for The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theater Center, and other major theaters around the country.  He has worked extensively in the dance world, and in 2008 received his second Bessie Award for Jonah Bokaer’s The Invention Of Minus One.  He had a long association with Merce Cunningham, designing such pieces as Ground Level Overlay, Windows, and Biped, for which he also won a Bessie.  Aaron received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BA from SUNY-Binghamton.

About the Onassis Cultural Center NY:

Founded in 2000, the Onassis Cultural Center NY explores Hellenic culture, from antiquity to today, through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions, events and online engagement. Located in midtown Manhattan, in Olympic Tower, the newly renovated creative space offers experiences that inspire and support the interaction between audiences and artists and thinkers in all cultural fields from visual arts, dance, film, literature, music and theater to the humanities.  Programs and exhibitions-from scholarly to those designed for families and novices -are presented free of charge to make the experience accessible to all.

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Mason
Bruce.A.Mason@gmail.com   
917-541-9014

Jenny Lerner  
Lernernyc@aol.com   
212-486-7229

Maria Galanou  
mgalanou@onassisusa.org   
917-732-7167 direct  
or 
212-486-4448 x113