Canyon (2011)

Created and choreographed by John Jasperse

In collaboration with performers: Lindsay Clark, Erin Cornell, Kennis Hawkins, Burr Johnson, and James McGinn

Composer: Hahn Rowe

Visual Designer: Tony Orrico

Lighting Designer: James Clotfelter


“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.


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

Touring dates: 

BAM’s Next Wave Festival Brooklyn, NY (November 16-19, 2011)

American Realness Festival, Abrons Art Center, NY, NY (January 6 & 7, 2012)

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

Press for Canyon:

The Phenomenological Wow: John Jasperse’s Canyon at BAM Next Wave by Audrey Lane Ellis for The L Magazine, November 18, 2011

Navagating Through Time and Space by Claudia LaRocco for he New York Times, November 17, 2011

John Jasperse: Weak-kneed dances with a philosophical bent by Robert Johnson for The Star Ledger, November 19, 2011

Video of Canyon:

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.