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CUNY Dance Initiative and John Jay College Present the World Premiere of Gabrielle Lamb’s Plexus: a work in knots

February 7, 2020 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

The CUNY Dance Initiative and John Jay College, in collaboration with Pigeonwing Dance, present the World Premiere of Gabrielle Lamb’s Plexus: a work in knots on Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7:30pm at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, 524 W. 59th Street, NYC. Tickets are $25 ($15 students/seniors)and can be purchased at https://www.pigeonwingdance.com/pwd/plexus.


In Plexus: a work in knots, Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer Gabrielle Lamb creates a complex ecosystem of interdependent bodies, a mysterious network of fluctuating loyalties built upon an unsteady balance of power. This world premiere is performed by the seven members of Pigeonwing Dance – Lamb’s own NYC-based company – and set to a commissioned electroacoustic score from composer James Budinich that mixes traditional instruments with sounds from found objects.


“Plexus explores and embodies the importance of interdependence,” said Lamb. “Western culture has traditionally prized individuality, encouraging humans to sever our obligations to each other—then further dividing us into a separate body and mind. This work reintegrates body and mind, then coordinates multiple bodies as linked, interlocking parts of a larger whole.” 


Plexus: a work in knots features lighting design by Barry Steele and costumes by Christine Darch, and is performed by Cody Berkeley, Robin Cantrell, Giovanna Gamna, Tiffany Mangulabnan, Patrick O’Brien, Victoria Sames, Kailei Sin.


“This was full-body dancing, not in an aggressive sense but in that every limb and finger and eyelash of every dancer was engaged in expression.”

–San Francisco Chronicle


Gabrielle Lamb, the winner of a Princess Grace Award, is an NYC-based choreographer. A native of Savannah, GA, she was a longtime soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, touring the world in works by classical and contemporary masters. DANCE Magazine described her as “a dancer of stunning clarity who illuminates the smallest details-qualities she brings to the dances she makes, too”. Her work has been presented by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, BalletX, Ballet Collective, Sacramento Ballet, Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, Jacob’s Pillow, and Dance on Camera at Lincoln Center. She has won fellowships and competitions at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, the Banff Centre, and NY City Center, as well as the S&R Foundation’s Grand Prize Washington Award. In 2018, she was selected to create for ABT’s Choreographic Incubator.


James Budinich composes music inspired by minimalism, Croatian folk traditions, and American popular music. He has written for orchestra, voice, chamber ensembles, solo instruments, and electronics, and has worked with ensembles such as the Momenta Quartet, Yarn/Wire, the Lontano Ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, and Pigeonwing Dance. In 2017, he was commissioned by Ensemble Móbile; the resulting trio (Embrace for flute, violin, and guitar) premiered in Brazil as part of their 2017-18 season. James is currently studying towards his PhD in Composition at Duke University, having previously earned his Master of Music in Composition from Binghamton University.

Pigeonwing Dance, founded by Gabrielle Lamb in 2016, seeks the coordinates where beauty turns to awkwardness and tension dissolves into ease. Murmurations, accidents, and chance encounters are caught, preserved, and folded into dance. These moments of improvisatory abandon are counterbalanced by hours of calculation, revealing intricate structures of architectural precision.


The company, described in The New Yorker as “eccentric…playful…curious”, has been presented by Baruch Performing Arts Center, Garth Newel Music Center, Dance Gallery Festival, Jamaica Performing Arts Center, the 92Y Harkness Dance Festival, Bryant Park, and the CUNY Dance Initiative’s 5th Year Fest. In December 2018, PWD became the first dance company commissioned by Symphony Space’s beloved “Selected Shorts” series.


The world premiere of Plexus: a work in knots is made possible by commissioning a grant from the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, with additional support from the S&R Foundation and the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation. James Budinich’s score was commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation. This project is also made possible with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. LMCC.net


The projectis supported by the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI), a residency program that opens the doors of CUNY campuses to professional choreographers and dance companies. CDI receives major support from the Howard Gilman Foundation and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation, the SHS Foundation, the Harkness Foundation for Dance, and Dance NYC’s New York City Dance Space Subsidy Program, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. CDI is spearheaded and administered by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts at Queens College.  www.cuny.edu/danceinitiative


Since opening its doors in 1988, the Gerald W. Lynch Theater has been an invaluable cultural resource.  The Theater is a member of CUNY Stages, a consortium of 16 performing arts centers located on CUNY campuses across New York City and the CUNY Dance Initiative. The Theater hosted events in the Lincoln Center Festival since its first season in 1996, and subsequent Mostly Mozart & White Light Festivals, as well as the New York City Opera, Mummenschanz, and the World Science Festival. Live and recorded events including Inside the Actor’s Studio, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, Comedy Central Presents, the American Justice Summit, and the NYC Mayoral Democratic Debates have thrilled audiences here. The Theater is the perfect space for premiere galas, conferences, international competitions, and graduations.  For more information, and a schedule of events, please visit www.GeraldWLynchTheater.com.


John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York, an international leader in educating for justice, offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. www.jjay.cuny.edu.


February 7, 2020
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM


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