Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies (2009)


PERFORMERS: Erin Cornell, Eleanor Hullihan, John Jasperse, Burr Johnson, Kayvon Pourzar

MUSIC: Hahn Rowe

LIGHTING DESIGN: John Jasperse and Joe Levasseur



Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies is an evening-length work by John Jasperse with a commissioned score by composer Hahn Rowe for string quartet and electronics and Lighting by Joe Levasseur in collaboration with Jasperse.

Truth explores the often fluid boundaries between fantasy and reality. By juxtaposing varied styles of dance, performance and music in a collage that bounces between the sincere and the ironic, the work asks us to examine what we believe, what we don’t, and why. The work makes diverse references to the history of performance practices, where illusion has been alternately cultivated, in the service of creating theatrical magic, and shunned, in the search for an honest, neutral or demystified expression. The resulting feeling is a bit like a series of balloons which are blown up and which either burst or deflate in surprising ways, over and over.  These “real/illusions”, which range from cheap to surprisingly refined, take us on a journey of sorts, where the experience is defined as much by what is hidden as by what is revealed.  Images of the baroque, refinement, seduction, valiance and violence, emerge and disappear; in the end, it is left for us to decide what is real and what is a ruse, what is solid and what is full of hot air.


WORLD PREMIERE: Festspielhaus Hellerau (Dresden, Germany), September 2-5, 2009

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago, IL), April 9-11, 2010

REDCAT/CalArts (Los Angeles, CA), April 15-18, 2010

The Myrna Loy Center (Helena, MT), April 23, 2010

The Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), May 20-22, 2010

NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE: The Joyce Theater (NYC), June 16-19, 2010

PICA TBA Festival (Portland, OR), September 16-18, 2010

Ringling International Arts Festival (Sarasota, FL), October 14-17, 2010

The Colony Theater, presented by Miami Dade Performing Arts Center (Miami, FL), April 13-14, 2012

Prisma Festival (Panama City, Panama), October 29, 2012


John Jasperse and Nicholas Leichter View Artifice Through Different Lenses – Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice 6/22/10

Hamming It Up, With Pink Light, Flashes of Murakami and Flowered Bikinis – Roslyn Sulcas, NYTimes 6/18/10

John Jasperse Company Review – Susan Yung, Dance Magazine 7/2/10

It’s Not All Black and White – Martha Sherman, danceviewtimes 6/16/10

Dance review: John Jasperse’s flirty West Coast premiere at REDCAT – Victoria Looseleaf, Los Angeles Times 4/15/10

The Truth According to John Jasperse – ARTBURST 8/5/16

Performance: John Jasperse and a Choreographers’ Evening – Caroline Palmer, StarTribune 8/17/12

True Lies: John Jasperse collaborates in search of beauty – Valerie Jean Johnson, New City Stage 4/5/10

TBA 2010: John Jasperse Interview – Claudia La Rocco, Monthly Portland 9/16/10

Jasperse’s new work looks at the stories lovers tell – Robert Johnson, 6/19/10

Choreographer John Jasperse’s piece at the Walker explores truth, lies – Camille LeFevre, MINN Post 5/20/10

John Jasperse Company, Joyce Theater, New York – Apollinaire Scherr, Financial Times 6/18/10

Dancing magic tricks and tricky questions – 4/11/12

Dance Review: John Jasperse Company at REDCAT – Anna Reed, Culture Spot LA 4/16/10


Project Funders:

Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat Out Lies was co-commissioned by the Joyce Theater’s Stephen and Cathy Weinroth Fund for New Work (New York, NY) and The Forsythe Company (Frankfurt-am Main/Dresden, Germany). Truth was a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, in partnership with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), the Walker Art Center, REDCAT/CalArts and NPN. Truth was commissioned by the American Music Center Live Music for Dance Program and by Meet The Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA program. Truth was made possible by the Doris Duke Fund for Dance of the National Dance Project, the National Endowment for the Arts, The O’Donnell Green Music and Dance Foundation, and Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation. The development of Truth was supported in part through residencies at Abrons Art Center, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and by Swing Space, a program of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.