Lewis Center Past Fellows

Pavel Zustiak

Pavel Zustiak headshot

photo by Robert Flynt


Pavel Zuštiak is a director, choreographer, performer, and founder/artistic director of the NYC-based contemporary performance group Palissimo. Born in the communist Czechoslovakia and trained at the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, his staged public art works—often described as both human and humane—merge the abstract aspects of dance with nonlinear qualities of theatre of images into multidisciplinary works rich in evocative imagery and piercing emotional resonance while reaching spectators as totalizing multi-sensory theatrical experiences.

Zuštiak is the winner of 2014, 2009 and 2007 Princess Grace Award, a recipient of 2013 LMCC President's Award for Excellence in Artistic Practice, 2012 NEFA/NDP Award and 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship. His five-hour trilogy THE PAINTED BIRD (inspired by Jerzy Kosiński ‘s novel) received a 2013 Bessie Award nomination for Outstanding Production.

Zuštiak‘s work has been presented by Wexner Center for the Arts, Performance Space 122, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Abrons Arts Center, Legion Arts, PADL West and internationally at Archa Theatre (Czech Republic), Bratislava in Movement Festival, Slovak National Theatre, KIOSK Festival, State Theatre Kosice (Slovakia), and Bytom Int’l. Dance Festival (Poland). His upcoming 2015 work is co-commissioned by New York Live Arts, Walker Arts Center and Legion Arts.

Zuštiak was an artist in residence at Vermont Performance Lab, Maggie Allesee National Choreographic Center, Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Abrons Arts, LMCC as well as the Grotowski Institute in Poland and Stanica in Slovakia.

palissimo.com, facebook.com/Palissimo@palissimoco


Midwest debut of Zustiak’s “Custodians of Beauty” at Walker Art Center | October 20-22, 2016