The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU is an international research institute for scholars and artists of ballet and its related arts and sciences. This year they have accepted twelve fellows for their 2020 Fellowship, and two of our recipients are Tisch Dance's Faculty! Rashaun Mitchell and MFA alum Silas Riener will be working on their project, "OPEN FIELD," and Andy Teirstein will be working on, "The Folk Influence on Ballet and Contemporary Dance."
Silas Riener (left) and Rashaun Mitchell (right). Photo by Michael Williams
Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener
Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener have created dances together since 2010. After working in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, they began developing adaptive systems for choreography in response to shifting environments. Their work incorporates technology and digital strategies from a perspective that questions the dominance of new media in performance.
At CBA, Mitchell and Riener will work with a shifting group of ballet and contemporary dancers on improvisational structures, algorithmic scores, and game-based ideas. They will document the work using analog tools, written descriptions, and digital technologies, generating an archive of materials and experiences that can be accessed and arranged in physical or digital space.
Andy Teirstein. Photo by Mary John Frank
The Folk Influence on Ballet and Contemporary Dance
Andy Teirstein’s music is inspired by the folk roots of modern culture. A student of Henry Brant, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, Teirstein has received awards from Meet the Composer, The NEA, NYFA, and ASCAP. His work has been heard at Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Lincoln Center, and internationally. Teirstein’s background includes acting, clown work, and performance art, and has led to collaborations with many choreographers, including Donald Byrd, Liz Lerman, and Stephen Petronio. Teirstein is an Arts Professor and Director of the New York University Global Institute for Advanced Study Working Group Translucent Borders, which explores the role of dance and music at cultural and geographic borders.
At CBA, Teirstein will look at the relationship between traditional folk influences and contemporary choreography. He will work on a written piece and on a new dance film with a score combining banjo and chamber ensemble, with sung text from Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Stories and choreography drawing on Appalachian clog dancing.