NYPAC is pleased to announce Night Light Bright Light, a new piece written, choreographed, and performed by Jack Ferver in collaboration with Reid Bartelme. In Night Light Bright Light, Jack Ferver draws inspiration from, and parallels to, the life, art, and death of Fred Herko. Ferver is producing the piece as part of NYPAC’s partnership with Fred Herko: A Crash Course, a one-day symposium held at NYU’s Department of Performance Studies that examines the work and legacy of the iconic Judson dancer and Warhol superstar.
“Fred Herko was a dancer, an actor, a choreographer, and he took a bath and got out and danced naked in front of his friend to Mozart, finally dancing out of a window to his death. I’m a dancer, an actor, a choreographer, and I love taking baths and I have danced naked though have yet to jeté out a window. I have often talked about suicide with my childhood friend, Reid Bartelme. Reid will join me in the work. Reid is a beautiful dancer. Reid will make sure I don’t jump.”
On the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Judson dancer and Warhol superstar Fred Herko, the one-day event Fred Herko: A Crash Course will feature a range of interdisciplinary thinkers exploring and experimenting with how we read the life and work of one of New York’s most iconic queer performers. Using archival photographs of Herko as a point of departure, speakers have been invited to think broadly about how we teach and write queer performance histories, as well as how we might differently attend to the lives of performers – those crucial though often fleeting figures who remain primarily in the ways they appear scattered throughout the archives of others. A range of opportunities will be available for “course” attendees to ask questions and to experiment with their own reading of Herko’s life. The day begins with a welcome reception and the opportunity to explore some of the archival materials and existing scholarship related to Herko. Immediately following the symposium we will celebrate the opening of an exhibition of the archival photographs at the Emily Harvey Foundation, launching a weeklong series of events celebrating Herko’s life.
Video stills: Danny Carroll. Night Light Bright Light was created in part through Abrons Arts Center's AIRspace Residency Program and is kindly hosted by the Emily Harvey Foundation. Fred Herko: A Crash Course was organized by Joshua Lubin-Levy; a complete list of partnering institutions is available on the symposium Tumblr.
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