Joyce Theater

Throwing Shade: Lighting designer Mikki Kunttu’s Ongoing Collaboration with Tero Saarinen

By Laura Diffenderfer, with help from Terhi Mikkonen

KunttuMikki_hi-res-1.jpgMikki Kunttu carves light, shade, and smoke into stunning dreamscapes.The lighting and set designer for Tero Saarinen’s Morphed, Kunttu is currently one of the most sought-after stage designers in Europe, having worked with artists such as Jorma Elo, Jirí Kylián, and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, in addition to Saarinen, with whom he has collaborated since 1993. Kunttu has won many prestigious awards, including a 2005 “Bessie” Award for lighting design for his work with Saarinen and Akram Khan. We sat down with Kunttu to learn more about his unique style and his vision for Morphed.

You and Tero have been working together a long time. How did the collaboration begin, and how has it evolved?


Interview conducted and excerpted by Laura Diffenderfer

The iconic Twyla Tharp has returned to The Joyce with a program that includes a world premiere set to the work of Bob Dylan, and two gems from the 1970s: RAGGEDY DANCES and THE FUGUE. She sat down with us to discuss why THE FUGUE was different than the works that had come before it; how it relates to her masterwork IN THE UPPER ROOM; and why she revisited the music of Bob Dylan in her new work, DYLAN LOVE SONGS

LD: So, you're bringing back THE FUGUE, from 1970.

TT: THE FUGUE never goes away.

LD: Have you been performing it?

Rose Marie Wright and Sara Rudner: Back in the Studio with Twyla Tharp

by Laura Diffenderfer

In August, two of Twyla Tharp Dance’s founding members, Sara Rudner and Rose Marie Wright, reunited to help to reconstruct Tharp’s 1972 work THE RAGGEDY DANCES, in which they both originated roles. The importance of these two figures in relationship to Tharp’s work can’t be understated. In Marcia B. Seigal’s book on Tharp, "Howling Near Heaven: Twyla Tharp and the Reinvention of Modern Dance," the dedication calls them out explicitly: "For Rose and Sara and all the others who made Tharp dance." Tharp dedicated her 1976 season at the Brooklyn Academy of Music to Wright, and Rudner, who danced with Tharp for 20 years, remains a dedicated ally and champion of the choreographer.