Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, PC Charles Villyard

Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener Keep Challenging Conventions For The Joyce's Quadrille Series

In 2016, Lar Lubovitch decided that New York City's Joyce Theater needed a new look. He envisioned extending the stage outward so that audiences could sit on all sides. And that is pretty much what happened for his Quadrille series, and it was so refreshing that the series returns this year, with a new bunch of intrepid choreographers. I say intrepid because the choreography may be seen from unplanned angles, and the dancers are more exposed.

For the audience, if you're sitting under hundreds of lighting instruments overhead, you naturally feel like you are onstage. And if you're sitting in the usual seats, you see the performers onstage, with half the audience behind them. The whole set-up can be pleasantly disorienting.


Next up in the Quadrille series are Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, who have been challenging conventions for years—which is why they appeared on the cover of our issue on dance renegades. In their new piece, SWITCH, the dancers navigate between set choreography and any impulse of the moment that may strike them as desirable. It may sound a bit chaotic, but it's clear that Riener and Mitchell are again challenging a convention: the assumption that choreography is made up of steps.

The whole series runs until October 13, and Mitchell + Riener are October 2–6.

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Erik Tomasson, Courtesy SFB

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Prolific director-choreographer Cathy Marston has made story ballets chic again. Last year began with Marston poised to make a big splash in the U.S., with plans for new creations at The Joffrey Ballet (Of Mice and Men) and San Francisco Ballet (Mrs. Robinson, based on The Graduate), following up remounts at American Ballet Theatre and The Joffrey of her Jane Eyre. With both premieres delayed by the pandemic—even SFB's planned digital debut of Mrs. Robinson this month has been replaced by a webcast of her 2018 Snowblind—Marston continues to work remotely and even started a project-based company in partnership with choreographer Ihsan Rustem.

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February 2021