Skybetter and Associates Presents the World Premiere of “For Want of Sleep”

With commissioned score by Sxip Shirey
in an evening of works at Joyce SoHo from April 5-22, 2012

Brooklyn-based skybetter and associates presents deepening investigations into affect, mathematics, and memory. Tracing the development of artistic director Sydney Skybetter’s formalism, the company will perform Near Abroad (2008), The Laws of Falling Bodies (2009), Temporary Matters (2011), Little Boy (2012) and the World Premiere of For Want of Sleep, featuring a commissioned score by composer Sxip Shirey.

Near Abroad refers to the antithetic impulse to contain yet remain separate from another, exploring the physicality of partnership and loss. With its assiduous sparseness, the piece suggests that the most intimate bonds are formed not out of what is shared, but what is mutually had and then lost. The Laws of Falling Bodies reflects on photographs of jumpers captured during the chaos of 9/11. Simultaneously beautiful and disturbing, these images compel a work conceived to render gorgeous movement and abject horror simultaneously, with sequences of arrested falling punctuated by moments of impact. Temporary Matters is a meditation on parenthood and the passage of youth, employing iterative mathematics in an effort to contend with underlying themes of loss of innocence and life. The resulting work is at once haphazard and serendipitous, using the temporal nature of dance to address the chaotic nature of birth. A dense, sweeping work, Little Boy references literary source material (ranging from Borges to Murakami) and the nascent movement of vocabulary of Skybetter’s infant son to explore themes of lineage and recurrence. For Want of Sleep (World Premiere) takes its title from a poem by Philip Larkin, and uses variations on the formal structure of mirroring to examine the rhythms of insomnia and partnership.

skybetter and associates has partnered with nel shelby productions to produce an innovative multi-cameria live stream of the performance on April 15. “When we live-streamed our sold-out season at Joyce SoHo in 2009, exponentially more people saw our work on the Internet than in the theater. Even given our extended run this year, we project that Internet audiences will outnumber tickets sold by as many as 5 to 1,” said Sydney Skybetter.

Every performance will be followed by a talkback with various artists, scholars, consultants and managers, including Eduardo Vilaro, artistic director of Ballet Hispanico (4/5); David Parker, artistic director of Bang Group (4/7); Lane Harwell, director of Dance/NYC (4/11); Bill Bragin of Lincoln Center and composer Sxip Shirey (4/14); Tim Cynova, deputy director of Fractured Atlas (4/20); and Jennifer Edwards of Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency (4/22).

“I’ve learned through extensive work in the dance community as a marketer and technologist that post-show talk backs are square one in audience engagement. So we thought, why just have one during the run when we can have one following every show,” said Sydney Skybetter.

skybetter and associates appears as part of Joyce SoHo’s “In rep” series, in which three companies rotate performances over a three week season. skybetter and associates performs at Joyce SoHo from April 5-22, 2012, with performances on April 5, 7, 11, 15 and 20 at 7:30pm; April 14 and 22 at 2pm. Joyce SoHo is located at 155 Mercer Street (between Houston and Prince), NYC. Tickets are $18 ($12 for students/seniors) and are available by phone at 212-242-0800 or Tickets to Joyce SoHo performances purchased at carry no service fees!

skybetter and associates was formed in 2008 to perform the work of choreographer Sydney Skybetter. Skybetter draws from literary, musical, mathematical, and personal texts to explore his contradictory impulses for clear self- expression and the creation of abstract, narrative-free dance. skybetter and associates performs its rigorously formal repertory to enliven an architecture of feeling that can only be articulated by arresting bodies in motion. The company has set its repertory on New York University Tisch School for the Arts, SUNY Purchase, Skidmore College, the Zenon Dance Company, Muhlenberg College, and DeSales University and has performed at Inside/Out at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, The Dance Theater Workshop / New York Live Arts, the Danspace Project, The 92nd Street Y, and Joyce SoHo, among many other venues. Skybetter has received a commission from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, as one of the award recipients for the 2012 Local Dance Commissioning Project.

Sydney Skybetter is a choreographer, curator, and consultant for performing arts organizations. After studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Columbia, and New York University, Skybetter performed with Christopher Williams and the Anna Sokolow Foundation. His choreography has been presented in New York at The Joyce Theater, The Joyce SoHo, Dance Theater Workshop / New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, and The Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church, among many others. Skybetter is a founding partner at Edwards & Skybetter | Change Agency, which provides product development, brand management and technology consulting for such international organizations as the Mark Morris Dance Group and The Fresh Arts Coalition, and has written about performance history and technology for the Ballet Review and The Huffington Post. He is a Producer with the Dance [NOW] NYC Festival, a teacher for the NYU Tisch Dance Department, and a lecturer on Dance History for the LEAP Program at St. Mary’s College. Skybetter serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Gotham Arts Exchange / Zia Artists, and as the Founding Chairman of the Technology Committee for the Board of Trustees of Dance/USA. He received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University.

Sxip Shirey is a composer and performer who lives in New York City. His music is beautiful, surprising, deep, and will twist your head right around. Ecstatic melody, unimaginable sounds, and deep sexy beats played Industrial Flutes, Bullhorn Harmonicas, Regurgitated Music Box, Triple Extended Pennywhistles, Miniature Hand Bell Choir, Obnoxiophone, Glass Bowls With Red Marbles, human beat box, and a clutch of curious objects.

About Joyce SoHo

Joyce SoHo’s onsite box office is only open one half-hour prior to performance time to sell tickets exclusively for that performance. Tickets may also be purchased online at or via phone at 212-242-0800 or in person at The Joyce Theater at 175 Eighth Avenue at 19th Street Mon-Sun, 12 noon-6pm. On days when there are performances, The Joyce Theater’s box office is open through curtain time. Advance sales stop one hour prior to curtain times. For matinee curtains, advance sales begin one-half hour following that curtain time. The Joyce Theater’s box office is closed on major holidays.

Joyce SoHo 155 Mercer (between Houston and Prince), NYC
B/D/F/M to Broadway – Lafayette Street; 6 to Bleecker Street; R to Prince Street
April 5-22, 2012
Tickets are $18 ($12 for students/seniors)
JoyceCharge: 212-242-0800,

The creation of Joyce SoHo was made possible by the magnanimous support of the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. Joyce SoHo is generously supported by Alphawood Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, First Republic Bank, The Harkness Foundation for Dance, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Open Society Foundations and the Fund for the City of New York, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.

Lead support has been provided by The New York Community Trust. Special support has been provided by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Joyce SoHo is made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State’s 62 counties; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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