Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener Keep Challenging Conventions For The Joyce's Quadrille Series
Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, PC Charles Villyard
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.
My best running buddy was on my left. To my right, a total stranger with whom I'd suddenly become competitive. As the 15-person group headed into a two-minute push, the instructor got hyped, and the remix blasting Rihanna's "We Found Love" transitioned to "Smooth Criminal."