U.S. Premiere; Tree of Codes

I am a fan of art inspiring further art; books to TV shows, musicals into movies, movies into ballet. Hey, it has to be a better idea than recipe-based ballet (TheSoup Maiden..honestly, Jess)

I recently heard word of a new Contemporary ballet choreographed by a personally beloved choreographer, performed by members of this incredible company,  inspired by a new artistically conceptualized book by a favorite author, Jonathan Safran Foer

jordan all jordan book

image via culturevixen.com

image via culturevixen.com

image via Smoothradio.com

image via Smoothradio.com

Here are the details:



With direction and choreography by Wayne McGregor, dance commission

features site-specific environment by Olafur Eliasson, score by Jamie xx, and

performances by members of Paris Opera Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor

New York, NY – May 28, 2015 – A major new and immersive contemporary ballet—collaboratively imagined by choreographer Wayne McGregor, visual artist Olafur Eliasson, and award-winning producer/composer Jamie xx—makes its U.S. premiere at Park Avenue Armory this September. Inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s enigmatic and eponymous novel,Tree of Codes distorts conventional perceptions of space and time, through manipulation of light, reflection, sound, and movement. The work will be performed by a company of soloists and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and Company Wayne McGregor.

“At the Armory, we are always encouraging artists to push the limits of their specific disciplines. Wayne McGregor, Olafur Eliasson and Jaime xx are each pioneers in their respective fields, and their collective vision for Tree of Codes asks us to bend our pre-conceived notions of traditional ballet and also the world around us,” said Rebecca Robertson, President and Executive Producer of Park Avenue Armory. “We are thrilled to once again animate the drill hall with the intense beauty of dance, and to offer our audiences the opportunity to connect with the art form in new and exciting ways.”

Fusing storytelling and sculpture, and blurring definitions of time and space, Jonathan Safran Foer’s original work is at once a novel and a piece of art, created by carving words and phrases from Bruno Schulz’s collection of short stories The Street of Crocodilesto arrive at a new narrative that explores a person’s last day of life. Utilizing this imagery and Foer’s merging of genres as a point of departure,Tree of Codes will feature a site-specific environment by Olafur Eliasson that warps audience perception from the moment they enter the drill hall through the contortion of reflection, color, and prisms of light. Sixteen dancers, performing to an original score by Jamie xx, will interact with and respond to the environment. Further echoing and enhancing the themes of space and time, the audience will at once be intimately engaged with the dancers and immersed in the historic drill hall.

There are certainly a lot of influences behind and a lot of artists contributing to this new piece; short stories inspiring wood carvings and phrases which inspired ballet and music and sculpture. This piece and the 2015-16 season at the Armory begs the question, at what point is ballet such a reimagining of ballet that it is no longer ballet? At what point does the crossing of disciplines between art, music, literature, movement become so divided amongst the various forms of art at hand that it loses the power and focus of each specific, beautiful ,stand-alone discipline? In other words, can you see the forest for the trees?

It sounds to me like this piece – with leading artists across various fields- will either be completely mind-blowing or mind-overwhelming and no ambiguous book of phrases and etchings will uncode it.

the beautiful Ellen Vierse

the beautiful Ellen Vierse

artist Julia Watkins

artist Julia Watkins

photo by Jordan Matter

photo by Jordan Matter

(These are a few photos that come up if you type ‘forest’ and ‘dancer’ into google search)

2 thoughts on “U.S. Premiere; Tree of Codes

  1. Pingback: FLEXN Evolution Review; Why the theater is the best place for activism | BODIES NEVER LIE

  2. Pingback: RIOULT Dance NY Season Review | BODIES NEVER LIE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s