Each weekend between October 24 and November 1, 2020, choreographer Molissa Fenley’s celebrated work State of Darkness will be performed by a new generation of New York’s famous dancers at The Joyce Theater in New York. Responding to the current world we live in, Fenley has adapted State of Darkness to be viewed virtually, but it will be broadcast live each weekend from The Joyce Stage.

Molissa Fenley and Company was founded in 1977 and since that time Fenley has created over 85 plus dance works and continues to do so. Before moving to New York City, Fenley studied dance at Mills College in Oakland, California. As a soloist and with her company, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Europe, Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Two of her works, Cenotaph and State of Darkness were awarded a Bessie for Choreography in 1985 and 1988, respectively.  Fenley’s choreography has been mounted on numerous ballet and contemporary dance companies, including Oakland Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Repertory Dance Theatre, Robert Moses’ Kin, and the Seattle Dance Project. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, has enjoyed residencies at Yaddo, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Baryshnikov Art Center, Djerassi and is a twice recipient of awards from the Asian Cultural Council to visit Japan. During spring semester since 1999 Fenley has been a Professor of Dance at Mills College, and often teaches at other institutions such as Bennington, Barnard/Columbia and Hunter. In 2008, Fenley was awarded a Rome Prize for a six month residency at the American Academy in Rome and named a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow.

State of Darkness was originally commissioned by the American Dance Festival in 1988 and “challenges Stravinsky’s cacophonous “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) with an intense 35-minute solo performance of relentless fervency, technical precision, and fearless abandon”. Joyce Theater press release (10/9/20)

Fenley has restaged her solo individually with seven dancers: 2020 Juilliard grad Jared Brown; Lloyd Knight of Martha Graham Dance Company; Sara Mearns of the New York City Ballet; Shamel Pitts, former Batsheva Dance Company member; Annique Roberts of Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE; Cassandra Trenary of American Ballet Theatre; and Michael Trusnovec of Paul Taylor American Dance Company.

Tickets start at $12 per household. Livestreamed performances will be available for viewing until November 7, 2020.

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Performance Schedule


5pm ET – Performance featuring Michael Trusnovec
8pm ET – Performance featuring Jared Brown


5pm ET – Performance featuring Annique Roberts
8pm ET – Performance featuring Shamel Pitts


5pm ET – Performance featuring Lloyd Knight
8pm ET – Performance featuring Cassandra Trenary

5pm ET – Performance featuring Sara Mearns

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Access all performances and more with Choreographers & Cocktails!

Choreographers & Cocktails goes virtual for two weekends with seven unforgettable individually live streamed solo performances of State of Darkness and an Opening Event which includes pre-recorded content, a live Q&A with the dancers and an enticing Silent Auction.

Purchase All-Inclusive Choreographers & Cocktails Tickets

Written and compiled by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: (L -R) Top row Sara Mearns, Lloyd Knight, Michael Trusnovec, Annique Roberts Bottom row Shamel Pitts, Cassandra Trenary, Jared Brown, Molissa Fenley – Photo courtesy The Joyce Theater.