To kick off its 2016/17 season, The Joyce Theater will be transformed for the "NY Quadrille," a sensational two-week engagement created by renowned choreographer Lar Lubovitch and commissioned by The Joyce featuring a specially constructed platform stage designed to create viewing from four sides.
Nearly 35 years ago, The Joyce opened its doors for the first time to audiences who appreciated how the Elgin Theater, an abandoned and decrepit movie house, had almost magically morphed into a stylish home for dance. Since then, new carpeting has been installed, seats have been repaired, and lighting and sound have been updated, but the Theater’s standard and necessary attributes—the stage and seating-- configuration have never changed.
Not until now. Or, more accurately, until September 27 when The Joyce kicks off its fall season with NY Quadrille, a two-week engagement created by the distinguished choreographer Lar Lubovitch, who got the idea of re-configuring The Joyce to produce a contemporary quadrille, a re-creation of an 18th century dance viewed from four sides. In the spirit of “four,” Lubovitch suggested that he select four contemporary choreographers—Pam Tanowitz, RoseAnne Spradlin, Tere O’Connor, and Loni Landon--to create works made to be viewed on four sides. The Joyce responded enthusiastically to Lubovitch’s proposal and agreed to commission the work.
Certainly sounds exciting. For the audience, that is. And what does this mean for the Joyce’s production crew? Ask Jeff Segal, the Joyce’s Director of Production, and he will tell you what it takes to build a stage apron that is 26 by 36 feet and extends 19 feet into the existing seating area. He will tell you about installing the Steeldeck platforming topped with a sprung floor and then finishing it off with a Marley floor. And he will tell you about additional speakers and necessary sightline adjustments for the 108 people seated on stage as well as for those in the Theater’s first few rows.
After more than 30 hours of construction, Segal says, the Theater will be ready for the engagement and rehearsals will start. Perhaps the change won’t be as dramatic as The Elgin’s transformation into The Joyce, but it surely will be a monumental, if impermanent, departure from the past, one that you won’t want to miss.