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NYC’s Janis Brenner & Dancers ‘Once You Are Not A Stranger’


Premiered at the international Sarajevo Winter Festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina in February, Janis Brenner & Dancers present “Once You Are Not A Stranger” in its US premiere at The Dance Hall.

Following their sold-out show in Fall 2015, the company has been invited for a return engagement. In Bosnia, Janis Brenner & Dancers presented the World Premiere of their new 40-minute, interdisciplinary work, Once You Are Not a Stranger to critical acclaim. At the Dance Hall, Ms. Brenner recently conducted her acclaimed workshops in Movement, Voice and Improvisation and has invited local artists to appear in the finale of the Once You Are Not a Stranger alongside the company. The concert will also include a tribute work by the legendary dancer/choreographer, Murray Louis, who passed away in 2016. Mr. Louis was an important mentor to Ms. Brenner throughout her forty-year career. Two of Ms. Brenner’s long-time dancers, Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen will open the program with excerpts of Barkin’s highly successful 2016 work, Hot Knife in Cold Butter.

Janis Brenner’s multi-layered and internationally-acclaimed work searches for unique relationships between movement and music, as well as between multidisciplinary forms. Brenner’s work explores the passion, humor, depth, and emotional power of human relationships and societal situations as they apply to the world-at-large. The premiere of Once You are Not a Stranger, which looks at the ideas of Empathy and “Otherness” as physical, emotional and socio-political forces, continues Brenner’s work in these important, artistic areas. The Company presents the work with a commissioned score by Bosnian-born, electro-acoustic composer Svjetlana Bukvich, with Ms. Brenner appearing as a vocalist. A large, hanging set piece, designed by Slovenian-born installation artist Eva Petric and Ms. Brenner, consists of more than twenty fabric pieces representing all the countries that the American-born dancers’ families and ancestors were originally from, including Ms. Bukvich’s and Ms. Petric’s. The set-piece plays both an intercultural/historical role as well as an imagistic, poetic role in the work.
Janis Brenner & Dancers is an acclaimed NY company known for its “meticulous artistry” (The Village Voice), its musical collaborations and the caliber of its outstanding dancers. The company has performed throughout the U.S., Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe for more than twenty-five years and been presented by leading NY organizations and festivals including The Joyce Theater, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, The Whitney Museum of American Art, Madison Square Garden Theater, Symphony Space, The 92nd St. Y Harkness Dance Festival, Battery Dance Festival, etc. JB&D has performed in Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the American Dance Festival, New Moves Festival, Huntington Arts Festival, and throughout the US.   They have had two major collaborations with the United Nations, including A “Peace” For Women, premiered in September, 2000 at Madison Square Garden Theater for 5,600 people on the “Celebration for Peace” Concert in honor of the UN Millennium Summit Conference in New York. Ms. Brenner has toured in 35 countries and is recognized worldwide as a dancer/choreographer/singer/teacher. She is on faculty at The Juilliard School in NY.