’Spring’ forward: Choreographer re-imagines ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’ during VPL residency


GUILFORD -- Vermont Performance Lab and Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts have teamed up to bring French choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang to New England for a three-week residency.

Working with adventurous local participants ages 60-100 in Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, Niang will workshop a re-imagining of "Le Sacre du Printemps" by Igor Stravinsky and Vaslav Nijinsky. The workshop will culminate in public showings on Wednesday, May 28, at 7 p.m., at The Serkin Center, Marlboro College in Marlboro and on Friday, May 30, at 7 p.m., at The Hub at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, Mass.

For reservations to the Wednesday, May 28 show, call VPL at 802-257-3361 or visit www.vermontperformancelab.org. For reservations to the May 30 show, call MIFA at 413-540-0200

Since 2000, Niang has worked in theater and opera with world-renowned institutions including the International Festival of Opera in Aix en Provence, La Scala in Milan, the Monnaie and Les Tanneurs in Brussels, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Le Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. Niang’s choreography explores sociopolitical constructions and the various ways we live together through the relationships between individuals and groups, amateurs and professionals and the narrative and abstract.

In Niang’s re-imagining of "Le Sacre du Printemps," participants will explore the history, music and significance of this 100 year-old work through a series of discussion and movement-based workshops. Niang’s work with senior citizens inverts the youthful orientation of this iconic work to challenge assumptions and prejudices about vitality, sexuality and aging.

Following both performances there will be a post-performance reception with the artists.

This workshop and residency with Thierry Thieû Niang is funded in part by FUSED: French-US Exchange in Dance, a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and FACE (French American Cultural Exchange), with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Florence Gould Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, a Small & Inspiring Grant from The Vermont Community Foundation and VPL’s Creation Fund donors.

Thierry Thieû Niang is a dancer and choreographer who danced for choreographers such as Hela Fattoumi, Eric Lamoureux, Daniel Larrieu, Christine Gérard, Daniel Dobbels and Odile Duboc. He began to choreograph after returning from a trip to Vietnam as part of his fellowship with the Villa Médicis in 1993. Since 2000 he has been working extensively in theater and opera. He offers courses and choreographic workshops for children and senior citizens and works frequently in schools, at-risk communities, hospitals, and prisons, bringing in other collaborators including writers, musicians and visual artists.

Vermont Performance Lab is a Guilford-based non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting artists in the creation and development of new work and bringing artistic experiences to rural Vermont communities.

MIFA’s mission is to present the finest examples of contemporary practice in the performing, visual and literary arts for the purposes of educating, entertaining and enriching lives. MIFA serves the economic revitalization of Holyoke through the preservation and reopening of the historical landmark Victory Theatre.


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