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Katy Pyle: Existential Dread Hallway Dances

Mar 16–Jun 6, 2020

The Closet

Free & Open for All

The project #existentialdreadhallwaydance is a series of improvised dances performed and filmed by Katy Pyle in the hallway of her Brooklyn apartment. Using a variety of costumes and props, the series began as a response to Pyle’s feelings of existential dread that arose after the 2016 presidential election. In the Existential Dread Hallway Dances Pyle plays with traditional ballet technique, as well as modern and postmodern dance, to express a unique mixture of vulnerability, femininity, and strength, as well as to physically express her feelings of grief. Pyle plays with costumes and props to disguise herself, almost as an escape, that only leads back towards more self-exposure. By uploading these performances to Instagram, Pyle is able to share these intimate performances with a broader audience.

Pyle is the founder and Artistic Director of Ballez, a dance company that that focuses on representing people whose identities have been marginalized in ballet. Ballez creates possibilities, representation, and inclusion for queer dancers within the patriarchal structure of ballet, through performances, public programs, and classes.

Pyle is a dancer, choreographer and teacher. Before founding Ballez, Pyle danced in the works of Ivy Baldwin, Faye Driscoll, John Jasperse, Xavier Le Roy, Karinne Keithley, Jennifer Monson, Anna Sperber, Katie Workum, and Young Jean Lee, among others. She currently performs in the work of Stina Nyberg.

Pyle’s company Ballez (est. 2011), creates large­ scale story-ballets, open classes, and public engagement. Major works: “The Firebird, a Ballez," Danspace Project (2013), “Variations on Virtuosity” American Realness (2015), “Sleeping Beauty & the Beast,” La Mama (2016), "Slavic Goddesses," the Kitchen, Visual Direction by Paulina Olowska (2017), and will premiere "Giselle of Loneliness" at the Joyce Theatre in June 2020. Pyle has brought Ballez workshops to Yale, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence, NYU, Whitman College, Bowdoin College, Beloit College, MDT in Stockholm, and the New School, where Pyle is a current faculty member. Pyle also teaches weekly Professional Ballez class at Gibney Dance. Ballez has been featured in the New York Times, Dance Magazine, NBC, and Teen Vogue.

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