Pam Tanowitz

Over the past 15 years choreographer Pam Tanowitz has become known for her unflinchingly post-modern treatment of classical dance vocabulary. Her abstract movement challenges stylistic expectations, conventions of composition as well as the concert-going experience itself.  Tanowitz’ mission is to revitalize abstraction and formalism by obliterating the self-imposed dialectical boundaries of each, while stretching the material into uncharted territory.

Pam Tanowitz Dance was founded in 2000 as a platform for Tanowitz to explore her vision with a consistent group of dancers. Since then the company has received commissions and residencies at prestigious performance venues such as The Joyce Theater, Bard Summerscape Festival, New York Live Arts, The Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process series, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Chicago Dancing Festival, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival. The company has been selected by The New York Times Best of Dance 3 years in a row. ( 2013, 2014 and 2015)

Pam was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 and as the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University in 2013-14.  In 2009 she received a Bessie Award for her dance, Be in the Gray With Me, at Dance Theater Workshop.  Tanowitz has been invited to create new work for The Vail International Dance Festival and City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival; has set work on The Juilliard School, Ballet Austin, New York Theater Ballet and Saint Louis Ballet; and has been a guest choreographer in the dance departments at Barnard College, Princeton University, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Marymount Manhattan College And Purchase College.  Additional awards include three Joyce Theater Residency Grants, Jerome Robbins Foundation, and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Grants to Artists Award. She holds dance degrees from The Ohio State University and Sarah Lawrence College. She is Resident Fellow at New York University's Center for Ballet and the Arts, New York City Center and currently teaches at Rutgers University. Pam Tanowitz is the 2016 Juried Bessie Award Winner .

Visiting Artist | February 1- 13, 2017

New Work for Goldberg Variations (working title)

Pam Tanowitz came to MANCC with collaborator Simone Dinnerstein to continue development of New Work for Goldberg Variations. This evening-length piece for piano and a sextet of dancers was co-commissioned by FSU’s Opening Nights and will premiere in Fall 2017. Inspired by and set to a live performance of Bach’s iconic score, this work marks an important collaboration between Tanowitz and pianist, Simone Dinnerstein, who is one of the foremost interpreters of the Goldberg Variations in recent years. Dinnerstein, who will perform with Tanowitz’ dancers, brings her nuanced understanding of the demanding score.

Tanowitz’s residency focused on developing movement for New Work for Goldberg Variations. As a fully post-modern experimentalist, Tanowitz deconstructs classical movement vocabulary to highlight . Exploring performing rituals while mining codified techniques in an unusually layered contemporary collage that is imbued with rich, mysterious undertones, the work plays with narrative and abstraction, and formality and immediacy. A progression of images is created that dissolve and reappear throughout the work’s path. Tanowitz frequently works with live music by bringing in musicians towards the end of the project, however, this residency enabled Tanowitz to work with Dinnerstein at a much earlier stage in the development of the piece. Rather than Tanowitz directing the musical performers within her work, Tanowitz and Dinnerstein embarked collaboratively in this project.

Dinnerstein will also perform alongside the dancers, and introducing them at this stage allowed their on-stage dynamic to begin to flourish. Often freelance performers are required to work on multiple choreographic projects simultaneously. This residency allowed for focused time for Tanowitz and Dinnerstein to work with the dancers one-on-one.  

Two FSU School of Dance students, Jacqueline Cannon (Senior BFA) and Sarah Rose (First-year MFA), were selected to work with Tanowitz and her dancers as understudies during the residency. This also allowed Tanowitz to experiment with eight dancers, instead of six, for the piece.

The residency concluded with an informal work-in-progress showing. FSU undergraduates from Professor Doug Corbin’s Rhythmic Analysis class attended.

This residency is funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts.

  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Lindsey Jones and Maile Okamura
  • Maile Okamura
  • Lindsey Jones and Pam Tanowitz
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Christine Flores
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Maggie Cloud
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Jason Collins
  • Maile Okamura
  • Lindsey Jones and pianist Simone Dinnerstein
  • Pam Tanowitz collaborating with pianist Simone Dinnerstein
  • Maile Okamura and Pam Tanowitz
  • Maile Okamura
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Linsey Jones
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal
  • Christine Flores and Jason Collins
  • <i>New Work for Goldber Variations</i> informal showing
  • <i>New Work for Goldber Variations</i> informal showing
  • Christine Flores and Jason Collins
  • <i>New Work for Goldberg Variations</i> rehearsal

Collaborators in Residence: Simone Dinnerstein [Pianist], Maile Okamura, Maggie Cloud, Lindsey Jones, Jason Collins, Christine Flores, Sienna Blaw [Dancers]

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Okwui Okpokwasili

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