October 21, 2016

Music Professor Dan Trueman wins BESSIE in collaboration with Lecturer in Dance Rebecca Lazier

Princeton Professor of Music and composer Dan Trueman, in collaboration with Mobius Percussion and the Music Department‘s Edward T. Cone Performers-in-Residence So Percussion, has received the 2016 Bessie Award for Outstanding Musical Composition/Sound Design for his contributions to There Might Be Others, a piece choreographed by Senior Lecturer in Dance Rebecca Lazier.  The New York Dance & Performance Awards, or “Bessies,” recognize outstanding and groundbreaking creative work by independent dance artists in NYC.

 Trueman’s work was hailed as “building a sound system which enabled an infinitely varied aural world, using drums, percussion instruments, pieces of paper, mobile phones, wine bottles, and more. The percussionists and dancers equally inhabited an everchanging composition in Rebecca Lazier’s There Might Be Others.”

Lazier’s dance work, There Might Be Others, is inspired by Terry Riley’s In C and builds on the tradition of open scores, where performers compose in real-time based on a predetermined array of content to stage negotiation. Lazier developed the score during residencies in Poland, Turkey, Canada, and New York. During summer 2015, a cast of dancers, Lazier, and Trueman joined Sō Percussion’s Summer Institute at Princeton, SōSi, for a residency to create the work. Trueman and Lazier also collaborated with Naomi Leonard, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton, to further their research in group decision-making and collective motion. With post-doctoral researchers Kayhan Özcimder and Biswadip Dey, Leonard acted as a dramaturge to help Lazier, Trueman and the cast of There Might Be Others push their investigations of collective composition beyond their initial impulses.

Lazier also taught the score to ten senior certificate dance students who performed a unique, condensed version of the piece as part of Under Pressure, their senior dance thesis concert in Berlind Theatre at McCarter Theater Center on March 25 and 26, 2016. Throughout the rehearsal process Princeton students had the opportunity to rehearse with the New York cast and the international guests on campus and in New York City.

There Might Be Others had its premiere March 16 through 19, 2016, at New York Live Arts.

group photo

From Left to right: David Degge (Mobius Percussion), Abby Rix Degge, Rebecca Lazier, Dan Trueman, Naomi Leonard, Stephanie Kershner, Josh Quillen (So Percussion). Photo by AK47 Division.

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