Biography

Faye Driscoll is a Bessie-award winning choreographer and director who has been called "a startlingly original talent" by the New York Times. She was born in Venice Beach, in Los Angeles, California. In 1994, she moved to New York to attend Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. While at Tisch, she began a five-year collaboration with the Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder, performing her searing and personally excavating work in New York, Prague and Belgrade. From 1997-1999 she danced for David Neumann, performing in his work and assisting him in his collaboration with Mikhail Baryshnikov. From 2000-2003 she was a member of Doug Varone and Dancers, touring nationally and internationally performing his rapid-fire, intensely physical work. In 2003 she moved to San Francisco, where she found herself in a scene of artists, writers, and musicians who helped open up her ideas around performance and its rules. Having worked professionally for many years at this point, she was eager to recapture that “Hey, kids, let’s put on a show” feeling that made her want to dance as a kid. She still returns to this spirit today and hopes to inspire it in her audiences.

Driscoll has received commissions from HERE Arts Center (for the 2008 Bessie-award winning “837 Venice Blvd.”), Dance Theater Workshop and the American Dance Festival (2010, for “There is so much mad in me”), the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Kitchen (2012, for “You're Me”), and Danspace Project (2014, for her new work-in-progress). “There is so much mad in me” was a sold-out hit at DTW, and was re-mounted 6 months later and recorded for the New York Public Library Performance Archives. In 2013, "You’re Me" was re-mounted in the American Realness festival. Driscoll has recently received a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2013 Creative Capital award, a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Art grant, a 2013 LMCC Extended Life award, and a 2013 NYSCA grant. Her work has been supported by a 2010 - 2013 National Dance Project NEFA production and touring award, 2012 - 2014 funding from Jerome Foundation, 2008 - 2011 funding from the Greenwall Foundation, and a 2010 LMCC Fund for Creative Communities grant. She has been awarded a 2013 Alumni New Works award from the Headlands Center for the Arts where she was first an Artist-in-Residence in 2011. She was also a 2011 Choreographic Fellow at the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, and an Artist-in-Residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center and the 92nd Street Y. Driscoll was commissioned for new work by the Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis and Barnard College in New York. She has collaborated extensively with theater artists including Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, Taylor Mac, Jennifer Miller and NTUSA. She was one of the only dance artists exhibited in Younger than Jesus, the first in a series of triennials at the New Museum. Driscoll has been an adjunct professor at Bard College and NYU’s Playwrights Horizon’s Theater School. Her work has toured to the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Fusebox Festival, UCLA, the ICA/Boston, CounterPULSE, the American Dance Festival, and The Yard.

photo (c) Kate Ryan


Artistic Statement

I am a choreographer who strives to investigate new forms of theatrical experience aimed to provoke feeling, stimulate the senses, and activate the mind. I am obsessed with the basic problem of being "somebody" in a world of other "somebodies," and in my work I attempt to pull apart this daily performance of self. I do this by enacting it in excess, blowing it up to the extreme in order to reveal its edges and create more space, more possibility for who we can be. Drawing on familiar images and archetypal scenes—such as poses from classical art, or the physicality of people in extreme states, from torture to religious rapture—I seek to animate the tension between image and felt experience. Strutting drag queens morph into a mother bird protecting and feeding her baby, who become beasts in a battle with one another, who turn into two people pushed to the brink of their relationship. My intention is to open up a space between extremes—where there is uncertainty and ambiguity, where falsehoods and truths mix. I often seduce the viewer with the representational so they might think, “I know what is happening, and who those people are,” then flip things on their head so that there is a loss of identity, and the viewer is left in the uncomfortable attempt to relocate themselves within that loss. I create manically choreographed physical and aural scores from these scenes and images, making them tightly constructed and difficult to get through. Through this labor, I hope to allow for a kind of transformation of both the performer and the viewer—to liberate the id, the erotic, and the fantastical. I use my work to convey the world I want to create, while grappling with the difficulties of negotiating the one we live in.