New Orleans Ballet to present Stephen Petronio Company

The New Orleans Ballet Association and The NOCCA Institute present the fast paced and edgy Stephen Petronio Company for three performances at NOCCA’s Freda Lupin Memorial Hall on March 2 and 3.

Acclaimed by critics as one of the most innovative choreographers of his generation, Petronio is known for his instantly-recognizable style of fiercely kinetic and emotional dances. For 25 years, his collaborations with provocative luminaries of music, art and fashion, from Anish Kapoor and Cindy Sherman to Rufus Wainwright and Lou Reed, have led to global success, according to NOBA.

He has been commissioned by the world’s most prestigious companies, such as Frankfurt Ballet, The Scottish Ballet, and the Lyon Opera Ballet and has received honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award.

The company of 11 intrepid dancers brings a program featuring two groundbreaking works with soundtracks by iconic music collaborators: Underland, set to music by Australian rocker Nick Cave; and City of Twist, set to an original score by performance legend Laurie Anderson.

Underland, originally choreographed for the Sydney Dance Company in 2003, is set to the dark, bittersweet songs of Nick Cave, who gave Petronio unprecedented access to his entire music catalogue, including rough tracks that were used to build songs. In partnership with Cave’s long-time producer Tony Cohen, Petronio created the arrangement that includes The Mercy Seat, The Ship Song, Death Is Not The End, and The Weeping Song.

“I felt I wouldn’t have made this piece at home,” says Petronio. “Going to Australia, I was so far away and anything was possible. The combination of the skill of the company and the music of Nick Cave just really opened me up.”

The dance is a journey through a subterranean, post-apocalyptic place that is hidden away and tucked underneath what was there before.

Petronio commissioned legendary performance artist Laurie Anderson to create a score for viola, cello, bass guitar, keyboards and percussion.

The program also highlights the striking environments created by Resident Lighting Designer Ken Tabachnick and the unique costumes by Fashion Designer Tara Subkoff of Imitation of Christ.

The Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8 p.m., and the Saturday matinee performance begins at 2 p.m. Single tickets are currently on sale for $40. Students with a valid ID can purchase tickets for $25.

Tickets may be purchased by calling the NOBA Box Office at 504-522-0996 or online at

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