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

Choreography and Design by John Jasperse

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

Music: Hahn Rowe

Lighting Design: John Jasperse and Josephe 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.


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.



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

Touring dates: 

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)

The Joyce Theater, New York, NY (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)