Faye Driscoll is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer and director who has been hailed as a “startlingly original talent” by the New York Times. Her work is rooted in an obsession with the problem of being ‘somebody’ in a world of other ‘somebodies’ and all of the conflicts and comedy born in our interactions with others. Works include: WOW MOM, WOW a postmodern/pop musical/death metal fantasy (2007); 837 VENICE BOULEVARD (2008; Bessie Award) an autobiographical work taking place in a theater within a home; THERE IS SO MUCH MAD IN ME (2010) an exploration of ecstatic states; YOU’RE ME (2012) a duet distorted by props, paint and manic costume shifts; and she is currently at work on a series called THANK YOU FOR COMING that implicates the audience in the work and invites the sensation of co-creation.
Driscoll’s work has been commissioned by and presented at such venues as Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Institute for Contemporary Art/Boston, Danspace Project, HERE Arts Center, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, American Dance Festival, Fusebox Festival, UCLA, CounterPULSE and The Yard. She has been funded by The MAP Fund (2014), a Bogliasco Fellowship (2014), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2013), a Creative Capital award (2013), a French-US Exchange in Dance grant (FUSED) (2015), NYSCA (2013-2015), a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant (2013), NEFA’s National Dance Project production and touring award (2010/2014), The Jerome Foundation (2012-2014), Greenwall Foundation (2008-2010), and LMCC (2013-2015).
She has been an Artist-in-Residence at Mass Live Arts, The Performing Garage Presents, Baryshnikov Arts Center and Park Avenue Armory, and a choreographic fellow at MANCC. She has collaborated and continues to collaborate with theater and performance artists including Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, Taylor Mac, Jennifer Miller and NTUSA. She is one of the only dance artists exhibited in YOUNGER THAN JESUS, the first in a series of triennials at New Museum, and her work was included in NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial, the first biennial at the Museum of Arts and Design. In February 2015, Driscoll toured YOU’RE ME to Theatre Vanves in France through FUSED.
photo (c) Kate Ryan
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.