Dance Theater Workshop
the world premiere of
The Golden Legend
MAY 12-16, 2009
Tues-Sat at 7:30pm
New York, NY, March 31, 2009 – Dance Theater Workshop presents the world premiere of The Golden Legend by Christopher Williams. Inspired by fantastical tales in Jacobus de Voragine's 13th century work, Legenda Aurea Sactorum (or Golden Legend of the Saints), this grand scale production brings together portraits of 17 male saints performed by a diverse range of male dancers in the New York City dance community and accompanied by two movement choruses and puppets by Eric Wright, Lake Simons, and Christopher Williams.
Music for the work ranges from extant medieval hymns, antiphons, laude, motets, and conductus from as early as the 12th century, written in praise of each saint, to original compositions by distinguished composers Gregory Spears and Peter Kirn performed live by select members of Lionheart, Anonymous 4, and the New York Consort of Viols. The Golden Legend features costumes by Carol Binion, Michael Oberle, Ciera Wells, Andy Toad, and Christopher Williams. The Lighting Design is by Joe Levasseur and Set Designs are by Tom Lee.
The Golden Legend also features performances by Julian Barnett, Reid Bartelme, Jonah Bokaer, Brian Brooks, Bryan Campbell, Dylan Crossman, Alberto Denis, Clay Drinko, Chris Elam, Chris M. Green, Luke Gutgsell, John Kelly, Aaron Mattocks, Luke Miller, Philip Montana, David Neumann, Nicky Paraiso, David Parker, Dušan Perović, Glen Rumsey, Keith Sabado, Rommel Salveron, Charley Scott, Sydney Skybetter, Stuart Singer, Paul Singh, Gus Solomons, Jr., Brandin Steffensen, Arturo Vidich, Carlton Ward, as well as Renée Archibald, Abby Block, Sarah Bodley, Kate Brehm, Jennifer Laffery, Coco Karol, Takemi Kitamura, Erin K. Orr, Lake Simons, and Storme Sundberg.
Performances will take place at Dance Theater Workshop in the Bessie Schönberg Theater, May 12-16 (Tuesday -Saturday at 7:30pm). There will also be a Post-Show talk with Dan Hurlin on March 18 (Wednesday) and a Pre-Show
Coffee & Conversation with Nancy Dalva on May 13 (Thursday at 6:30pm). Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the box office and are available online at dancetheaterworkshop.org, over the phone at 212.924.0077, and in person at the box office. Box office hours are Monday – Friday from 5pm-9pm and Saturday – Sunday from 12pm – 8pm. Dance Theater Workshop is located at 219 West 19the Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.
About the Artist
Christopher Williams is a dancer, choreographer, and puppeteer based in the New York City area. He was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Syracuse, New York where he began early studies of gymnastics, drama, music, and ballet. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1999 from Sarah Lawrence College where he studied choreography with the late Viola Farber and puppetry with Dan Hurlin. Williams has also studied contemporary dance technique most notably with Jeremy Nelson, Vicky Shick, Douglas Dunn, Rebecca Lazier, John Jasperse, and at the Merce Cunningham Dance Studio, where he received three scholarships for participation in their professional training program. He also holds a diploma from the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he studied physical theatre, acrobatics, and mask traditions from 1996-1998.
Williams currently dances with Tere O'Connor Dance, Douglas Dunn & Dancers, and is a founding member of Rebecca Lazier's TERRAIN. He has also performed for critically acclaimed artists such as Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, Fred Ho, John Kelly, Edisa Weeks, Risa Jaroslow, Eliza Miller, Nanine Linning, Beppie Blankert, Charles Atlas, Wendy Rogers, Lisa Gonzales, and Anita Cheng.
As a puppeteer, Williams has worked with the award-winning master puppeteer Basil Twist, both serving as the Ballet Captain for the puppets' choreography as well as performing the title role in his version of the ballet Petrushka. In addition, he has toured with the award-winning work of Dan Hurlin, including Everyday Uses for Sight no. 3 and Hiroshima Maiden, and has also performed in the work of Erin K. Orr. His own puppet works have been performed in the Late Night Cabaret of Jim Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater, at HERE Arts Center as part of the Puppet Parlor, at P.S. 122, through the Arts at St. Ann's Puppet Lab, and at Dixon Place.
He has had the great fortune of collaborating with many distinguished artists including Colombian visual artist Rosario López, composers Gregory Spears, Robert Een, Peter Kirn, and Ivan Jiménez, choreographer Kindra Windish, with members of The New York Consort of Viols, and with members of the internationally renowned vocal ensembles, Anonymous 4 and Lionheart.
He received a New York Dance & Performance "Bessie" Award in 2005 for his work Ursula and the 11,000 Virgins, and his various works have been shown both locally in many New York City venues including City Center, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Dance New Amsterdam, Joyce SoHo, Symphony Space, Galapagos Art Space, BRIC Studio, HERE Arts Center, P.S. 122, La Mama Experimental Theater Club, One Arm Red, the John Ryan Theater, the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, Solar One, The Mulberry Street Theater, the Spiegeltent, Judson Church, and internationally in the Casa del Teatro Nacional in Bogotá, Colombia. He was also recently commissioned to set original works on student dancers at both Princeton University, and New York University′s Tisch School of the Arts.
Williams is the recipient of grants from The Foundation for Contemporary Arts, The Jim Henson Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, and the 92nd Street "Y" through the Harkness Dance Foundation, and was a commissioned artist of Dream Music Puppetry through the Here Artist Residency Program. He received a Bessie Schönberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship for a residency at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program as well as a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation for a residency at The Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Italy. He has also been an artist in residence at the Joyce SoHo, Dance New Amsterdam, the White Oak Plantation, Yaddo, The Yard, Bates Dance Festival, and Movement Research. He currently serves on the Artist Advisory Board for Danspace Project and lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
The Golden Legend is commissioned by Dance Theater Workshop's Commissioning and Creative Residency Program with support from the Jerome Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation.
The Golden Legend has also been made possible with generous grants from the Greenwall Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Jim Henson Foundation. This work was also created and developed while in residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center through the Baryshnikov Arts Center Residency Program, supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, through a fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation for a residency at the Liguria Study Center for the Arts & Humanities, during an artist's residency at Dance New Amsterdam, during a choreographic residency at Bates Dance Festival, during a Dancenow/NYC's Silo Artist Residency, during a residency provided by The Joyce Theater Foundation, New York City, with major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and during a Movement Research Artist's Residency, funded, in part, by the Leonard and Sophie Davis fund.
Additionally, this work would not have been possible without the generous support from many individuals including Judd Williams & Anne Bonaparte, Micki Wesson, Douglas Dunn, S Again, Gillett G. Griffin, Barbara Busackino, Ruth S. Trampler, Ladan Hamidi-Toosi, Juliette Crump & Bill Bevis, Brian Selznick & David Serlin, Martin Wechsler & David Fanger, Terry & Jane Keenan, Bryna & Maneesh Subherwal, Margrit Diehl, Bill & Betsy Elkins, Rick & Chris Bond, Philip Yenawine, Stuart & Barbara Williams, the late Victor P. Bond, Robert & Linda Bond, Leslie Waters, Catherine & John Lazier, Rebecca Lazier & Price Waldman, Eleanor & Harry Loose, Anita Cheng, Inna Samuelson, Michele & Steven Pesner, Jane Jerardi, Jack Kirven, Glen & Dottie Williams, Andrea Smardon, Allyson Green, Donna Williams & Pierce Bounds, Grace Jun, Cynthia Bishop, Robert Flynt & Jeff McMahon, Jon Nakagawa, and Norman & Alice Hatt.
PRESS KITS AND DIGITAL IMAGES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.