Silas Riener, a former member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, leads a project in hybrid dance experiments blurring natural, virtual, and augmented environments. Rooted in Merce Cunningham Technique, students are studying, practicing, and performing excerpts from Cunningham dances spanning over 50 years of choreography for stage and camera and arranged into a MinEvent in collaboration with video editor Daniel Madoff. In tandem students are creating new work for our evolving digital platform by adapting and misusing some of Cunningham’s methods: scores for chance procedures, indeterminacy, fixed and mobile camera perspectives, layers of structural complexity, and animation.

Olivier Tarpaga presents Out of Sync, a hybrid dance work/video choreographed remotely by Olivier Tarpaga in collaboration with the dancers. This Movement Percussion project utilizes high intensity hybrid movement transformation practices rooted in structured live music improvisation and rhythms to create the final collaborative project.


All festival events are free and open to the public. Performances will take place on Zoom Webinar; registration required. Separate Zoom registration required for each event in the festival. Live audience Q+A on Zoom follows each performance.


Program content for the show is available digitally. View the Virtual Program for Princeton Dance Festival Reimagined


closed captioningPre-recorded content will be closed captioned and live performances and conversations will be open captioned. Guests needing other access accommodations in order to participate in this event are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least 2 weeks in advance of the event date.



November 23, 2020 at 8:30 PMChoreography by Peter Chu | Register for Chu Event

December 3, 2020 at 8:00 PMLed by Francesca Harper | Register for Harper Event

December 4, 2020 at 8:00 PMLed by Rebecca Lazier + Dean Moss | Register for Lazier + Moss Event

December 5, 2020 at 8:00 PMChoreography by Merce Cunningham staged by Silas Riener + choreography by Olivier Tarpaga | Register for Riener + Tarpaga Event



The Program in Dance presents an exciting and innovative, reimagined virtual edition of the annual Princeton Dance Festival featuring six diverse, professional choreographers who have created new dances with Princeton students despite the restrictions of the COVID pandemic.

Led by Peter Chu, Francesca Harper, Rebecca Lazier, Dean Moss, Silas Riener, and Olivier Tarpaga, students explore the intersections of dance and multimedia performance, digital animation, filmmaking, site based work, and music. Each evening is a completely different and unique experience followed by a question and answer session with the choreographers.





silas rienerSilas Riener graduated from Princeton University in 2006. As a dancer he has worked with Chantal Yzermans, Takehiro Ueyama, Christopher Williams, Joanna Kotze, Jonah Bokaer, Rebecca Lazier, Kota Yamazaki, Tere O’Connor, Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey. He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC) from November 2007 until its closure at the end of 2011, and he received a 2012 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award for his solo performance in Cunningham’s Split Sides. While performing with MCDC, Riener completed his MFA in Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (2008). Since 2010 he has collaborated with Rashaun Mitchell. In 2013 along with Rashaun Mitchell he was named one of Dance Magazine‘s “25 to Watch.” He is a licensed stager for the Merce Cunningham Trust.



olivier smiling in tan hat and red shirt

Photo by Margo Tamize

Olivier Tarpaga is a Lester Horton Award-winning choreographer and musician, a guest dance lecturer and the director of the African music ensemble for Princeton University’s Department of Music. Tarpaga’s dance and music work — described as “unforgettable” by the Los Angeles Times, “extraordinary” by the New York Times and “Exceptionally smart work” by Broad Street Review Philadelphia — is hybrid contemporary dance theatre with an emphasis on live music.

Tarpaga is the founder and artistic director of Dafra Drum and Dafra Kura Band and co-founder of the Baker & Tarpaga Dance Project. He danced with David Rousseve/ REALITY from 2006 to 2010, when he was also a State Department Art Envoy in South Africa, Botswana, Burkina Faso, and Sri Lanka. Commissions: Wind of Nomads for Malaysia’s HANDS percussion; RESIST, RESURGE: Traces of Hope for MAYA dance theater of Singapore; The way of sands for the Temple of Fine Arts in Perth, Australia; and Visage for Zig Zag Ballet in Connecticut.


Presented By

  • Program in Dance