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Dance Heginbotham & Maira Kalman: The Principles of Uncertainty


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In the new dance piece, The Principles of Uncertainty, illustrator and painter Maira Kalman collaborates with choreographer Jonathan Heginbotham and his company to explore the strange wonder, humor, and sadness of life. In picture books, museum exhibitions, and acclaimed illustrations for The New Yorker and The New York Times, Kalman delights with a bold sense of color and playful line. In her wonderful picture book The Principles of Uncertainty, she found the humor in the solemn and the sacred, a sense of mischief underlying even her most troubled thoughts.

Likewise, choreographer and Mark Morris alumnus John Heginbotham injects playfulness and whimsy into the rigorous dances he makes for his his acclaimed company, Dance Heginbotham. “His works seem to have personalities of their own,” declared The New Yorker. “You want to know them.”

The evening-length adaptation of The Principles of Uncertainty arrives at Duke Performances following its premiere at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in summer 2017. Kalman and Heginbotham describe the work as an “absurdist travelogue” that moves from intimate to global, from New York to Tel Aviv, from world famous to workaday. Kalman says of the piece: “We’re trying to make sense out of nonsense and make something beautiful out of sense.” She will perform in the piece when it comes to Duke Performances alongside seven of Heginbotham’s dancers; they will be accompanied by a new score from Brooklyn Rider’s Colin Jacobsen, performed live by Jacobsen and a five-piece chamber ensemble.

Made possible, in part, by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, & support from the Dance Program at Duke University.

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