After creating the NYCB’s 2014 Art Series installation (covered), JR is taking the collaboration with New York City Ballet to a new level as a theatrical director. The versatile French artist came up with the idea of creating something on the stage of NYCB while working on his art installation, and the result of that idea is an eight-minute pièce d’occasion, conceived and directed by him. The work will include more than 40 NYCB dancers and guest artist Lil Buck, performing to an original score composed for the New York City Ballet Orchestra by acclaimed musical artist Woodkid. With such strong collaborative names, this piece is a a fitting finale to NYCB’s 2014 Art Series.

This will be JR’s debut as a theatrical director, and aside from choreographing the performance, he also created video projections and costumes. The piece is inspired by the artist’s own experiences from 2005 riots in Paris, which took place in eastern suburbs of the city where he was illegally pasting up photo portraits of young people from the neighborhood. By doing so, he unintentionally created a visual background for the riots that took place on the streets, so taking up a role of a choreographer as this theatrical performance well as the set designer is a kind of a homage to this event. 

JR’s new work for New York City Ballet will premiere on Tuesday, April 29, the opening night of NYCB’s 2014 spring season, and will be performed five additional times during the opening week of the season.

Discuss JR here.