Ordinary Festivals


Music: Italian folk music recorded by Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, Padano di Piadena Choir and Matteo Salvatore
Conceived, directed, and choreographed by: Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, created in collaboration with members of PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER
Costume Design: Sali Treek
Lighting Design: Tony Giovannetti
Duration: 22 minutes
Premiere: April 1995; P.S. 122 (New York)
Pacific Northwest Ballet Premiere: April 19, 2008 (Laugh Out Loud! Festival)

PNB Company dancers in Ordinary Festivals. Photo © Angela Sterling

The 2008 Seattle premiere of Ordinary Festivals was generously underwritten by Pacific Northwest Ballet’s New Works Initiative.

Set to folk music of pre-war Italy, Ordinary Festivals is a dance-theater piece for 300 oranges, 16 performers and 2 knives that “pushes the rituals of a traditional community over the edge into mysterious, subversive and often funny acts” (The Village Voice).

Sara Pearson and Patrik Widrig, artistic directors of PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER, have gained an international following for work that transforms the familiar into the unusual and the intimate. In 17 evening-length and numerous smaller company, duet and solo works, the audience is as likely to see 300 oranges, swirling arcs of salt or a 200-pound block of ice being smashed—images that delightfully shock the senses and awaken the heart—as they are to be irresistibly drawn in by their “electrifying, lush and delightful” dancing (Dance Magazine) and “extremely original” movement vocabulary (Calcutta Times, India). World-renowned master teachers of sentient technique, inspired improvisation and inventive choreography, Pearson and Widrig have conducted numerous college residencies as guest artists throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Notes compiled by Doug Fullington.

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