Faye Driscoll is a Bessie-award winning choreographer and director who has been called "a startlingly original talent" by the New York Times and "the most promising performing artist of her generation" by the Weekly Standard. 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”), and the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Kitchen (2012, for “You're Me”). “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 Creative Capital award, a 2013 Foundation for Contemporary Art grant 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. Driscoll is currently being commissioned for new work by the Zenon Dance Company in Minneapolis and Barnard College in New York. Her work has toured to the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Fusebox Festival, UCLA and the ICA/Boston, with upcoming tours to CounterPULSE, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the American Dance Festival, and The Yard. 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.
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 work with movement in ways that wouldn’t typically be called dance: the action of a violent mob, the play of persona, and states of consciousness. I am interested in expanding ideas of what dance is and creating work that is both entertaining and socially engaged. I believe, in this time of over-stimulation and numb entertainment, that live performance can be revolutionary.
My process is intensely rigorous and collaborative, asking the performer to lay themselves bare in the work. My performers are never just bodies in space; I am interested in their different intelligences, their fully-embodied individuality, expressed and communicated in every moment. Consequently, their impact comes not only from their emotional exposure and rawness, but also from a powerful sense of their own minds.
My aesthetic strategy is disorientation and unpredictability as a means to get the viewer (and myself) into a more open state of seeing the world. I take people on an emotional roller coaster ride from being turned on to disgusted, laughing hysterically to incredible sadness and loneliness. My intention is to open a space in between extremes - where there is uncertainty and ambiguity, where falsehoods and truths mix. In this complex and layered reality, in this absurdity, I feel closer to the truth of my experience.