Jack Ferver

Ferver has been creating full-length works since 2007. He has been presented at The Kitchen (NYC), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), PS 122 (NYC), The New Museum (NYC), The Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Diverse Works (Houston, TX), Danspace Project (NYC), Abrons Art Center (NYC), Dixon Place (NYC), and Théâtre de Vanves in France. Shorter and solo works have been presented at MoMA/PS1, Andrew Edlin Gallery, Dance New Amsterdam, LaMaMa E.T.C., The Culture Project, and NP Gallery (all NYC). His work has been written about in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, Modern Painters, The Boston Globe, and Dance Magazine.

Ferver’s solo Two Alike, a collaboration with the visual artist Marc Swanson, was presented at Diverse Works in conjunction with The Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston in 2011. The work then premiered in New York at The Kitchen and traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art in conjunction with Summer Stages Dance in Boston in 2012. In 2011 Ferver premiered his duet with Michelle Mola, Me, Michelle this at the Museum of Arts and Design as part of Performa 11. It returned as part of American Realness at Abrons Art Center. Ferver’s Rumble Ghost premiered at PS 122 in 2010, and was brought back for their COIL Festival in January 2011. His A Movie Star Needs A Movie was commissioned by The New Museum in 2009. It was also presented in American Realness at Abrons Art Center and at Théâtre de Vanves in France. He was the first choreographer to be presented at The New Museum with I Am Trying to Hear Myself in 2008. He remounted the work at PS 122 in 2009. In 2009 he also premiered his evening length work Death is Certain at Danspace Project. In 2008 Ferver premiered MEAT, his second Mondo Cané! commission from Dixon Place. Ferver’s first Mondo Cané! commission was in 2007 for his first full length work: When We Were Young And Filled With Fear. As an actor, credits include the film Gayby, Strangers With Candy (Comedy Central), and numerous other film and theatre projects. His writing has been published in the magazine Novembre. He has curated for Danspace Project, Center for Performance Research, and Dance New Amsterdam. He teaches privately as well as at New York University and Bard College, and has set choreography at The Juilliard School.

Jack Ferver’s work has been described as “restless, visceral, and often painful… as sympathetic as it is bitingly corrosive” by Claudia LaRocco of the New York Times. His relentless hunt for the truths about the human psyche are worked out in his performances that use high octane, often violent choreography and exacting scripts moving from confessional monologues to “hyper-real” dialogues. His exploration of the twists and turns of the mind, are explored from the macro, with his continual study of psychology, to the micro, as he draws from his own persona and that of his performers. Through this, the flimsy membrane between the performer and the character they play gives way in front of the audience, as Ferver shows us what we are all capable of with an unflinching eye.

Choreographic Fellow | May 23 – June 8, 2012

All of a Sudden

At MANCC, Ferver began the initial stages of development for a new production based on Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer (a play, and subsequent movie starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, about a therapist who helps a young girl driven insane after witnessing her cousins’ gruesome murder). The work will consist of a duet created collaboratively between Ferver and Dramaturg Joshua Lubin-Levy, set in an atmosphere of visual media and an original score.

While in residence, Ferver focused on creating a calibrated dance, movement vocabulary, and script, which explored his thesis of the similarities between artist/dramaturg and patient/therapist relationships. He explored how film can be used as a vehicle for cultural and personal mythologies, and as a means of inhabiting facets of our personality and exploding them into performances that are both entertaining and transcendental. During his residency Ferver sought an Entrypoint that would inform his study of the Tennessee Williams’ play Suddenly Last Summer. Interested in both the text and film versions, Ferver invited FSU Theater professor and Williams’ scholar, Dr. Elizabeth Osborne, to an open rehearsal to generate feedback on the work. To facilitate his research Ferver concluded his residency with an informal showing and audience discussion about his work-in-progress.

All of a Sudden is scheduled to premiere at the Abrons Arts Center in May of 2013. 

  • Jack Ferver performs a scene from his current work-in-development <em>All of a Sudden</em>
  • Jack Ferver performs a monologue during <em>All of a Sudden</em>
  • Jack Ferver explores the theme of insanity during an Open Rehearsal
  • Joshua Lubin-Levy performs to a recording of a case study involving intimate mother/son relationships
  • Joshua Lubin-Levy and Jack Ferver show developments from <em>All of a Sudden</em>
  • Joshua Lubin-Levy and Jack Ferver explore patient/therapist relationships through dialogue
  • Ferver continues to explore the patient/therapist relationship in a rehearsal scene from <em>All of a Sudden</em>
  • Ferver performs during an Open Rehearsal of his work-in-develoment <em>All of a Sudden</em>
  • Jack Ferver shows movement developed to date for <em>All of a Sudden</em>
Collaborator in Residence: Joshua Lubin-Levy [Dramaturg/Performer]. Slideshow photos by Al Hall.

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