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2013

May 30, 2013
Choreograph: Rite of Spring "Sacrificial Dance"
The Hartford Symphony
the Belding Theater at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts
SPriteHartford Courant
"Hartford Courant"
June 1, 2013
JEFFREY JOHNSON
The "Rite" was originally a ballet, and Stephen Pier from The Hartt School Dance Division choreographed the "Sacrificial Dance." Jane Cracovaner and Christopher LaFleche emerged during the tense and expectant music just prior to the fierce final section where a young maiden dances herself to death as a sacrifice to the Earth in order to regenerate spring. LaFleche created a hypnotic presence that made the ritual seem destined to move forward. Cracovaner impressed with a unique fluidity and unrelenting physical energy. The dancers embodied the beautifully disturbing sense of this musical passage. It was a memorable way to close the concert.





2010

February 20 Saturday 2010 3:00pm
Performance: Shotorashion For Gagaku Ensemble and Dancers
Music From Japan
Merkin Concert Hall
SPwGagakuNYT
The New York Times: The Arts 2/22/2010
Allan Kozinn/Music Review
"Shotorashion," a rhythmically vital, three-movement dance piece, with raucous sho figures and tactile percussion, closed the program. Stephen Pier and Maya Sakai danced their own choreography, with Mr. Pier taking a more modern, expressive approach in the outer movements, and Ms. Sakai dancing in a more traditional style.




February 6, Saturday 2010 3:00pm
Performance: Shotorashion For Gagaku Ensemble and Dancers
Fukushima, Japan


2009

February 1 & 2, Sunday and Monday, 2009---7:30pm

Panel Discussion
"VISIONS and VOICES: Altria/ABT Women's Choreography Project"

Contact Guggenheim Museum: Works & Process
New York, NY


2008

M-deux Ballet
Nameless Garden
Premiere : Nagoya, Japan
....was full of free spirit that it looked as if the dance had literally shaken the space and vibrated the air. I found some Eastern spirituality in it. Mr. Pier�fs choreography powerfully showed a spirit of modern dance
Eri Karatsu --- Chacotte Online Review


- The nature is generated, withers, and reproduces in the Nameless Garden. Pier seems to have requested a spiritual deeper, more various spaces though was going to be compared to person's life.
The dancer crouched, beat the floor, and made up the space where the reality crosses with the unreality by complex movement getting on pungent music and the changed lighting of a little darkness.

On Stage News Paper, Japan --- 2008/8/1

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2007

Dicapo Opera Theatre : Puccini Project : Messa di Gloria
Premiere : New York
Puccini's Messa Di Gloria, found the chorus in notable depth and musicality, in the segments entitled: Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. This deeply religious Mass included the themes of redemption, glory, resurrection, peace, and mercy. Dicapo's Opera Theatre Chorus gave a textured, resonant, and moving interpretation of this work. Tonight's soloists, the baritone, Oziel Garza-Ornelas, and the tenor, Drew Slatton, presented highly professional, solo arias, with confidence, clarity, and depth. Stephen Pier, the new work's choreographer, and his assistant, Miki Orihara (the Martha Graham Dance Company), had the Nilas Martins dance ensemble moving with up-stretched arms, all the while with feet firmly placed onstage (ballet slippers, but not en pointe, in a choreographic style evocative of Graham, herself).
The orchestra held its own and more, with contrasting tempo and tone. The dancers flowed with the chorus, in a structure that paired male dancers and male chorus, female dancers and female chorus, plus mixed gender performances, and, at times, the entire chorus or orchestra performed unaccompanied by dancers, for a constantly shifting focus in genre and aesthetic.
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower --- 1/12/2007

 

Dicapo Opear Theater : Puccini Project : Messa di Gloria
Premiere : New York
...striking performances of choreography by Stephen Pier ('Messa di Gloria')
the 'Messa di Gloria' showed that Dicapo is capable of achieving a higher standard. And Mr. Pier's choreography reflected the bright, busy (sometimes cheesy) music in interesting ways. When the low voices intoned, 'Qui tollis peccata mundi,' he sent the male dancers across the front of the stage in Graham-like poses that were later embellished with the female dancers on a repeat when the women's voices joined in.
ANNE MIDGETTE --- the New York Times ---1/15/2007


2006

Nilas Martin Dance Company
Le Villi
Premiere : New York
....there were also moments of substance and beauty, particularly in the works by Pier
The most stunning of these works was the dance for Meunier by Stephen Pier to the soprano aria, 'Would I Could Be Like to the Flowers.' This is the song of the abandoned maiden in 'Le Villi' whose death the Wilis will avenge (Giselle, if you will). One doesn�ft have much chance to see Meunier these days and many in the audience were there to see her. The results were every bit what they wished for. Meunier had the stage to herself. The soprano air, though from early in Puccini's career, was characteristic of his best vocal writing for the female voice:long floating vocal lines in which the voice seems to hover suspended in the air.Meunier was costumed in dance slippers and a long peasant dress. Forget that the action of 'Le Villi' is set in the Black Forest; the costume and mood here were Spanish. Since we speak of opera, Azucena, the gypsy heroine of 'Il Trovatore,' comes to mind. The choreography integrated large sweeping bends from the waist with the dancer brushing at the floor. At other times the movement became nearly convulsive, as Meunier repeatedly brought her knees to her chest and then almost stamped the foot, leaping forward in a Flamenco like motion. Until she herself went to the floor, her dress about her waist, rocking herself from side to side. The impression was conveyed of constricted grief and of emotional pressure. The dance ended with Meunier escaping to demi pointe, her arms pushing up above her head as if on an atmosphere which weighed her down-all this while the soprano's voice soared instead into a floating, empyrean Puccini-esque diminuendo on the Italian refrain 'Do not Forget Me.'
.....the preceding work for Meunier by Pier, provided the real displays of 'passion' on this bill.
Michael Popkin ----- Danceviewtimes ----- 4/3/2006

Mr. Pier's solo, choreographed to an aria from 'Le Villi,' provided her with elements of earth-mother lamentation. Rising from the ground to her full height, her body palpitating with emotion as she stood on half pointe, Ms. Meunier was riveting. She is the kind of protean performer who, if paired with the right choreographic collaborators, could develop new possibilities of dance language and expression.
New York Sun ----- 3/27/2006




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Updated 7/1/2010




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