August 27, 2012—Columbus, OH—
Palissimo, an adventuresome dance theater company based in New York, will mount all sections of its enigmatic and atmospheric The Painted Bird trilogy as
a complete sequence for the first time, on two different stages. Co-commissioned by the Wexner Center, The Painted Bird trilogy’s world premiere is supported by a Wexner Center Artist Residency Award. Performance dates are September 12, 13, and 16, 2012.
Choreographed by Czech-born artistic director Pavel Zu!tiak, The Painted Bird trilogy is composed of three multimedia works (with live music by composer Christian Frederickson and video) made between 2010 and 2012, inspired by Jerzy Kosi!ski’s novel of the same name. Zu!tiak's ambitious, emotionally charged project excavates the tale's themes—identity, otherness, displacement, and transformation—in three uniquely staged performance events. Community volunteers will participate in one section of the trilogy.
The Painted Bird trilogy makes use of the two flexible and intimate venues at the

Wexner Center: the Performance Space and the Black Box on Mershon Stage, set up in novel configurations. Audience members can choose to immerse themselves in a pairing of two sections of the trilogy, or come on the final day to experience all three parts, with an optional box supper available from the Heirloom café at an additional charge of $10. (Meals must be ordered in advance.)

Notes Charles Helm, director of performing arts for the Wexner Center, “Being able to match innovative artists’ needs with our range of resources is at the heart of our creative residency program’s mission. For Palissimo, with its expanded concepts in dance theater for The Painted Bird trilogy, we are able to make full use of our two venues set up in novel ways with different seating configurations or as a site for performance/installation. Working out the technical logistics and ways that this can be mapped out for both performers and audiences will greatly assist the company as they perform the three-part program on tour. Pavel Zu!tiak and his collaborators in Palissimo are among those who are committed to remaking the dance experience for today, and it’s been a pleasure to work in partnership with them to realize this project.”

All three parts will feature live music composed by Frederickson, known to Wexner Center audiences as a former member of the acclaimed chamber rock band Rachel’s; Frederickson and other musicians will perform live music in each of the three sections. Palissimo is dedicating the premiere of The Painted Bird trilogy to the memory of Jason Noble, another former member of Rachel’s who performed regularly with the company, but who recently passed away after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.

The first section, Bastard, draws from Kosi!ski’s novel, in which a young boy making his way through war-time Eastern Europe watches as a brilliantly painted bird is killed by its own flock, which mistakes it for an imposter. Performed by the award-winning Slovak dancer Jaroslav Vi"arsk", Bastard was called “searing” by the New York Times. Local volunteers, enlisted from a variety of sources, including the Wexner Center usher corps and volunteer docent program, as well as students in the Departments of Dance and Theater at Ohio State, perform in this first section. More volunteer dancers—particularly men—are still needed for the production. Rehearsals are scheduled on Sunday, September 9 from 1–6 pm and Monday, September 10, from 7–10 pm. Call time for the September 12 performance is 5:30 pm; call time for the Sunday, September 16 performance is 1:30 pm. Interested volunteers can contact Sarah Swinford at, or by calling (614) 292-6190.

The second section, Amidst, is a performance/installation work that combines dance with visual art and video. The audience has the opportunity to move through an open space that includes a trio of live performers, as well as animated projections

which explore the juxtaposition of ideas such as past and present, real and virtual, memory and disappearance.

In the third section, Strange Cargo, co-commissioned by the Wexner Center, Zu!tiak has collaborated with Frederickson and fellow musician Ryan Rumery to tackle themes of refuge and home with an ensemble of four performers.
Observes the New York Times, “There is the sense that, with The Painted Bird, he [Zu!tiak] has found his material, and will be mining it for a long time to come.”

More information on The Painted Bird trilogy:

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