Canyon (2011)

CREATION & CHOREOGRAPHY: John Jasperse in collaboration with the performers

PERFORMERS: Lindsay Clark, Erin Cornell, Kennis Hawkins, Burr Johnson, and James McGinn






“Waking up begins with saying am and now.  That which has awoken then lies for a while staring up at the ceiling and down into itself until it has recognized , and therefrom deduced I am, I am now.”  –  Christopher Isherwood

“What is your original face?”  –  The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng

Witty, incessantly curious, and smart as a whip, choreographer John Jasperse has trained his singularly skewed worldview on all manner of disciplines, including architecture, finance, and aesthetics. In his latest work, Jasperse tackles wonder and the ineffable—the transformative power of losing oneself in visceral experience—where the supremacy of the intellect is humbled into a state of awe. Created in collaboration with five dancers and performed to a score by composer Hahn Rowe, Canyon plays with engineered disorientation, sensory overload, spaciousness, fractured connectivity, and rapture.


WORLD PREMIERE: Philadelphia Live Arts Festival (Philadelphia, PA), September 9-11, 2011

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE: Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival (NYC), November 16-19, 2011

American Realness Festival, Abrons Art Center (NYC), January 6-7, 2012

Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), April 26-29, 2012


The Phenomenological Wow: John Jasperse’s Canyon at BAM Next Wave – Audrey Lane Ellis, The L Magazine 11/18/11

Body and Brain Both Stretched To Their Limits – Gia Kourlas, NYTimes 11/11/11

Navigating Through Time and Space– Claudia LaRocco, NYTimes 11/17/11

John Jasperse: Weak-kneed dances with a philosophical bent – Robert Johnson, The Star Ledger 11/19/11

John Jasperse’s Canyon – Lauren Bakst, BOMB Magazine 8/15/11

The supremacy of the intellect is humbled into a state of awe with John Jasperse’s Canyon – Stephen Weisz, The Dance Journal  9/6/11

Choreographer John Jasperse to deepen “Canyon” at Mass MoCA – Larry Murray, Berkshire on Stage 8/12/11

John Jasperse’s “Canyon’ at the Fringe Festival, Confronting the inexplicable – Jonathan M. Stein, Broad Street Review 9/13/11

Inside the Creative Process – Queens Buzz 5/2/11

Mass MoCA presents ‘Canyon,’ a work in progress – Tresca Weinstein, Times Union 8/25/11


Project Funders:

New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project; The MAP Fund; Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program; the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation; the Harkness Foundation for Dance; the James E. Robison Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Canyon was developed in residencies at The Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography (MANCC), MASS MoCA and CPR – Center for Performance Research.