LEAP OF FAITH: Guests attending the performance prior to Stephen Petronio Company’s benefit gala on April 8 will get to see Narciso Rodriguez-designed costumes in the world premiere of Stephen Petronio’s “Locomotor/Non Locomotor.” Cindy Sherman is the event’s honorary chair, while committee members include Wendy Whelan, Lucy Liu, Karen Erickson, Erin Featherston, Harold Koda, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Dustin Yellin.
“Locomotor/Non Locomotor” will feature an original score by electronic pioneer Michael Volpe, better known as “Clams Casino” with some vocal elements from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City.
The program at The Joyce Theater will also feature the Petrino Company’s premiere of Merce Cunningham’s “RainForest” from 1968, with original music by David Tudor performed live, and décor by Andy Warhol. The double-billing is the first installment of “Bloodlines,” a five-year project that incorporates works by American postmodern dance trailblazers into the company’s repertory and presents them with new works by Petronio. The launch celebrates the troupe’s 30th anniversary and performances will run April 7 to 12 at The Joyce Theater.
Whelan, a 30-year veteran of the New York City Ballet, will be in the audience on April 8. But she has used the designer’s expertise for various dance costumes and will continue to do so with the next phase of her career. In a talk with Rodriguez at FIT last fall, Whelan said his stagewear for her “felt like rose petals on the skin. They felt so fragile but they lasted a good long time.”