10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON PERFORMANCE: The Midway, July, 2020
A concert dance, contemporary classical music, technologically-driven visual design, and fashion performance experience featuring choreographer Vanessa Thiessen, director Robert Dekkers, renegade dance company Post:Ballet, and acclaimed composer Samuel Adams (who was awarded the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship specifically to support this project), Lyra uses the touchstone story of Orpheus and Eurydice from classical mythology as a jumping point for an introspective exploration of the modern day human condition – and represents rising star Samuel Adams’s most ambitious work to date.
Samuel Adams (b. 1985 in San Francisco) is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic music. Adams has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Symphony, the New World Symphony, pianist Emanuel Ax and the St Lawrence String Quartet. In 2015 Adams was named a Mead composer-in-residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). During his tenure with the CSO, Adams has created new works for the orchestra and co-curate the CSO’s critically acclaimed MusicNOW series. A committed educator, Adams frequently engages in projects with young musicians. Adams grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he studied composition and electroacoustic music at Stanford University while also active as a contrabassist in San Francisco. Adams received a master’s degree in composition from the Yale School of Music.
Post:Ballet was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director and choreographer Robert Dekkers, named “25 to Watch” by DANCE Magazine, with a vision to experiment with eclectic artists, using dance as a medium for creative expression that takes chances, pushes boundaries, and challenges social norms. Dekkers’ and Resident Choreographer Vanessa Thiessen’s collaborative approach to dance making gives all of the artists involved the opportunity to share in the investigation and contribute to the development of a new work, resulting in productions that are “decidedly daring and always beautifully performed” (SF Arts Monthly). Integrating the company’s classically trained dancers with diverse artists including composers, animators, architects, cinematographers, fashion designers, and sculptors, Post:Ballet’s collaborations range from intensely intimate to wildly conceptual. Critical Dance exclaimed that Post:Ballet’s “choreography and artistic collaborations are risky and challenging, yet they still cling to traditional technique in a very unique and genuine way.”