Jonah Bokaer to Bring Albee-Inspired Dance to Basilica Hudson

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Jonah Bokaer Choreography will present OCCUPANT and Study For Occupant at Basilica Hudson on Thursday, June 15, through Saturday, June 17. OCCUPANT is a trio for three dancers; Study for Occupant is a Jonah Bokaer solo. Both works were inspired by the Edward Albee play “Occupant,” about Russian-born New York sculptor Louise Nevelson, and both feature scenic collaborations with Daniel Arsham. This is Bokaer’s third residency at Basilica Hudson.

Bokaer will be bringing these works, plus Rules of the Game, to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., June 21 – June 25.

Bokaer’s production takes place on a monochromatic, blue-hued stage, where Arsham’s scenic elements and original sculptures include plaster casts of relics objects such as 35mm cameras, Super-8 cameras, and reels of film. Performed by Tal Adler-Arieli, Sara Procopio, Betti Rollo, the music is by leading Japanese electronic composer and sound artist Ryoji Ikeda, and with a special appearance by Bokaer.

“Jonah is the pioneer of dance at Basilica Hudson,” says Melissa Auf der Maur, Basilica Hudson director and cofounder. “He was the first to bring the art of dance within our walls during our inaugural programming year and then heroically returned in 2014 when he workshopped and performed his highly acclaimed Eclipse. He is, to date, our sole dancer-in-residence and is Basilica’s own guardian angel of dance. We are so excited to welcome his singular vision and team back.”

“Basilica Hudson has been the pioneering home of Jonah Bokaer Choreography, since the very beginning,” says Bokaer. “Productions as large as the BAM Fisher inauguration and as intimate as the local Hudson Valley dance festivals have been held within its unforgettable walls – a boundless space for creativity. Following the success of our National Dance Project touring award to Basilica Hudson in 2014, we return with OCCUPANT, funded by NYSCA, to move and shake the Hudson Valley with a site-specific performance, dedicated to the space.”

OCCUPANT has been presented worldwide including the Fabric Workshop & Museum in Philadelphia; the Spoleto Festival in Italy; the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami; and the Monodramas Festival of Luxembourg. Multimedia collaborators for this work include sceneographer Arsham, sound designer Jesse Stiles, dramaturg Gavin Kroeber, and composer Ryoji Ikeda (Dataplex).

New York-based Daniel Arsham is a celebrated contemporary visual artist; his work straddles art, architecture, and performance. He collaborated with choreographer Merce Cunningham, and realized one of the set designs for eyeSPACE in 2007. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union in New York City. In addition to Merce Cunningham (2007-2009) and Jonah Bokaer (2007-Present), he has collaborated with artists such as Hedi Slimane, Robert Wilson, and Richard Chai. Architecture is a prevalent subject throughout his work; he draws inspiration from environments with eroded walls, stairs going nowhere, nature overriding structures, and works with a general sense of playfulness within existing architecture. Structural experiment, historical inquiry, and satirical wit are all combined in Arsham’s ongoing interrogation of the real and the imagined. His work has been shown at MoMA PS1, Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Athens Biennial, the New Museum in NYC, Le Carré d’Art de Nîmes, and other venues.

Tunisian-American choreographer Jonah Bokaer has been active as a choreographer and exhibiting artist since 2002. The creator of 57 works in a wide variety of media (dances, videos, drawings, motion capture works, interactive installations, mobile applications, and film), Bokaer’s work has been produced in venues around the world, including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, BAM Next Wave Festival, Festival d’Avignon, Spoleto Festival, La Triennale di Milano, and SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival.

Bokaer has performed at the Guggenheim Museum, P.S.1 MoMA, and the New Museum in New York City. He was awarded a Young Leader of the French American Foundation, for founding Chez Bushwick in 2002, and co-founding CPR – Center for Performance Research with John Jasperse in 2008. Bokaer has collaborated with artists including Lynda Benglis, Anne Carson, Merce Cunningham, Robert Gober, Anthony McCall, Tino Sehgal, Lee Ufan (Guggenheim Retrospective 2011), and Robert Wilson (2007-Present).

As choreographer for Robert Wilson, Bokaer has completed six operas, including Faust (Polish National Opera), Aïda (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma), and On The Beach (Baryshnikov Arts Center).

Bokaer has collaborated with visual artist Daniel Arsham on nine full-length works since 2007. In 2015 he received the United States Artists Fellowship in Choreography (Ford Foundation), was named a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow in Choreography, and in 2016 won Italy’s Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship, in the Visual Arts category. In 2016, he was confirmed as one of the Resident Fellows at NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts.



Basilica Hudson

110 S Front Street

Hudson, NY 12534

Thursday, June 15 – Saturday June 17


Thursday, June 15 – 2pm & 8pm

Friday, June 16 – 2pm & 8pm

Saturday, June 17 – 8pm


Open to the public

tickets $15 – $25





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