PS21 Announces First-Ever Spring Season and Executive Director

Who: More than 120 Artists from the US and five countries

What: Music, Dance, and Theater, plus residencies and workshops open to the community

Where: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, 2980 NY Route 66, Chatham, NY 12037

When: March – November 2020

From March to November 2020 PS21 will offer more programs than ever before to bring cultural and educational enrichment to the Hudson Valley’s year-round residents, vacationers, and visitors. Our lineup for 2020 brings a diverse, distinctive array of performances by acclaimed and emerging international dancers, musicians, and actors who have electrified audiences around the world and redefined traditional genres.

 

The first full program planned by Elena Siyanko, PS21’s first executive director, the Spring season kicks off on March 15 with a mini-festival of Contemporary Flamenco. Summer launches in July and continues into the fall, to be followed by a winter holiday program and spring 2021 season. Details of these summer and fall seasons will be announced soon.

Spring 2020

March 15  Patricia Guerrero, Proceso Eterno, Nuevo Flamenco Festival

March 20  Eduardo Guerrero, Desplante, Nuevo Flamenco Festival

March 31 A conversation over a glass of wine with Manuel Liñán: Contemporary Flamenco: Art, Resistance, and Gender, Nuevo Flamenco Festival

March 30, 31, April 1: Education workshops in public schools, with members of Manuel Liñán dance troupe

April 25: Performance: Contemporary Dance Makers/ Encounters with the Piano (Hilary Clark, Mina Nishimura, and Adam Tendler)

April 26: Movement Without Borders Open Level Class: Contemporary Dance Makers

May 2: Performance: Power to the People, with pianist Conrad Tao and n+1 Magazine

May 23: Performance and Workshop: Les Impuxibles, Barcelona (dance theater)

May 24: Performance: MACE (Mannes American Composers Ensemble)

May 30: Judy Grunberg Memorial Gala, Dinner and Performance

May: Public School movement workshops: RIOULT Dance NYC

June 5-6: Performance: Les Ballets C de la B, Requiem pour L (concert version)

June 7: Free Program for the Whole Family: a music workshop by composer Fabrizio Cassol, Requeim pour L

June 12-22: Residency: The Art of Theater, Pascal Rambert and Jim Fletcher (theater)

Work in Process Showing: Jim Fletcher and Pascal Rambert

June 17: Performance: Instable, by Compagnie Les Hommes Penchés (A Leaning Man), circus, France (June 16 Free Family Friday)

 

Additional artists’ residencies with accompanying community workshops are still being scheduled and will be announced throughout the season.

 

Box Office and Information: www.ps21chatham.org; (518) 392-6121

 

Spring’s opening performances, the Contemporary Flamenco Mini-Festival, March 15 and March 20, features three of the evolving genre’s most exciting young innovators. Patricia Guerrero, born in Granada in 1990; Eduardo Guerrero, a thirty-six-year-old native of Cadiz; and Manuel Liñán are at the forefront of a new generation of younger flamenco artists who are reimagining this traditional music and dance art form for the 21st century.

 

Residencies by Rioult Dance NYC and Compania Manuel Liñán, who will lead movement workshops in the local schools, will run concurrently with the season and continue into early June.

 

Continuing its commitment to fostering innovative performance, PS21 has invited award-winning dancers Mina Nishimura and Hilary Clark as artists in residence in April. On April 24-26, they will inaugurate the second season of our successful Movement Without Borders open workshops series and present new work in the Contemporary Dancemakers/Piano Pioneers program on April 25, sharing the stage in a double bill with Adam Tendler, who performs in Encounters with the Piano.

May ushers in a potpourri of performances across the artistic spectrum, starting with Power to the People!, a collaboration with the literary magazine n+1 featuring pianist Conrad Tao on May 2; continuing with a performance and workshop by Les Impuxibles, a fusion of music and movement by sisters Clara and Ariadna Peya of Barcelona on May 23 and an appearance by MACE, the Mannes American Composers Ensemble, in recital on May 24.

 

An important event of the spring season is the Judy Grunberg Memorial Gala on May 30, with a special dinner and performance.

Requiem pour L., a concert performance of the epic reworking of Mozart’s Requiem by Les Ballets C de la B, is the eagerly anticipated centerpiece of PS21’s Spring programming. Composer Fabrizio Cassol has enlivened the timeless masterpiece with infusions of jazz, opera, and African music by artists from three continents, with lyrics in Latin and five African languages, including Lingala and Swahili. While preserving the formal structure and theme of the iconic original, Requiem pour L. expands the work’s emotional range and redefines the “journey towards the hereafter.” There will be two performances, on June 5 and 6, and a music workshop by composer Fabrizio Cassol as part of our Free Program for the Whole Family series, on Sunday, June 7.

 

Capping the season is Instable, by Compagnie Les Hommes Penchés (A Leaning Man), with a French solo performance of one acrobat and a Chinese pole, that investigates ways we live in a world filled with longing (June 17).

Highlights of the summer and fall include “Envá,” an original work of circus theater by the Catalan-based company that combines acrobatics, history, and humor to explore the mysteries of human relationships on a stage strewn with 500 pounds of straw (July18-19), a lunch prepared by a former chef from El Bulli will accompany Envá, to celebrate the consummation and celebration of locally grown and produced food; and a work of political cabaret by radical South African theater maker Robyn Orlin. In addition to the performances, each visiting company will offer a Free Program for the Whole Family afternoon performance, and teach a workshop. Together, these events solidify PS21’s status as a Hudson Valley cultural destination and underscore our mission to enrich the lives of the community.

 

Throughout the season, PS21 will host a number of residencies, including DELIRIOUS Dances/Edisa Weeks who is developing 3 RITES: Liberty, a theatrical work about the foundations of Liberty in America — just in time for election season; local favorite the Jamal Jackson Dance Company; celebrated French director Pascal Rambert and Jim Fletcher, the Obie Award-winning American actor who are developing a new theater piece, whose protagonist is a dog; and Parsons Dance, with workshops and performances.

 

Community participation, central to PS21’s mission, will take several new directions this summer. Among them Artways, a weekend-long exploration of trails in Crellin Park and on PS21’s lush landscape; immersive installations and participatory theater; and “Firefighters Select,” a community film festival curated by members of local fire companies and climaxing with a screening of Milos Forman’s classic Firemen’s Ball.

 

Elena Siyanko joined PS21 as its first Executive Director in June 2019, after 6 years as Director of Advancement Initiatives at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. Elena was based in New York City, where she worked with trustees and major donors, established and developed a range of programs linking exhibitions to current social and cultural concerns, including the role of the arts in contemporary politics, evolving views of nature, and the intersections of old and new art forms, such as painting, contemporary music, and film.

 

Elena led initiatives to bring the Clark and the surrounding community closer by, introducing free modern music series and large-scale season-ending festivals, where the museum’s distinctive architecture was integrated with performance. In September 2017 she programmed Abstract Expressions: an American musical exhibit in multiple parts, an afternoon-long event with performances of post-war American music in five different locations on the Clark campus, in conjunction with the Clark’s exhibition of Helen Frankenthaler’s work, and also conceived an annual mini-festival with members of American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), that created a “dialogue” between architecture and landscape. Elena’s sensorial supper, a dinner celebrating the Clark’s 2019 exhibition “Renoir: The Body, the Senses” held at the Explorers Club in Manhattan, was featured in the New Yorker magazine’s “Goings On About Town” section.

Before joining the Clark, Elena served as Director of Marketing and Business Development at Louise Blouin Media, focusing on art, lifestyle and culture; was Associate Director for Cultural Development at Bard College; served as Executive Director of a chamber music festival known for pioneering works of American composers (ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award); and founded her own marketing communications and producing agency, Red Osmosis.

 

Having worked with numerous companies and independent artists in France, Russia, Japan, Italy, and in the U.S. as an administrator and producer, Elena is uniquely qualified to carry on Judy Grunberg’s vision for PS21, to present culturally significant work embedded in community collaborations and subsidized by affordable tickets. She holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, where she also studied at the Columbia Business School, and received a B.A, in Asian Studies from Mount Holyoke College.

Board Co-President Marian Krauskopf says, “This exciting new season showcases outstanding and surprising work from new artists and those already beloved by our audiences.  The Board of PS21 is so pleased to have the leadership of Elena Siyanko, whose sophistication, imaginative artistic reach, and a deep commitment to community promise a thrilling future for PS21.”

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