Manhattan’s Gibney Center presents Jennifer Nugent in world premiere of ‘up against’

The New York City Gibney Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, located in Manhattan, will host the premiere of performer and artist Jennifer Nugent’s newest dance work ‘up against’.

From April 28-30, Nugent will perform ‘up against’, an interactive dance performance that aims to emphasize physical resonance through collaboration with the artists, the set, and the audience with the work highlighting the mental and physical transition dancers undergo as performance unfolds.

Nugent will invite the audience to participate by doing or witnessing certain aspects of the performance, all while keeping consent, asking for help, listening and following while interacting with audience members. 

A minimal set design will be displayed during the performance, relying heavily on classical pine theater slats, designed by Adrian W. Jones. Accompanying the performance and enhancing the set will be an intricately composed soundscape of synthesized melodies, constructed room tones and occasional guitar – all composed and organized by Ted Coffey.

Nugent has been performing in NYC since 1999 and was awarded a 2005 New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Awardee: “For her physical and emotional audaciousness, and for making abandon look controlled and control look abandoned, in the works of David Dorfman Dance among others.” 

This performance in particular aims to get audience members to be active participants in the act of performing, while encouraging individuals to consider the significance of “moving forward and backwards”. Nugent challenges the concept of stability and permanence while performing to an ever-changing soundscape and unexpected interactions with audience members. 

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation will be provided for all three performances by Jess Ames. ‘up against’ features video by Tori Lawrence and was supported by Anna Wotring who served as rehearsal director and creative collaborator.

‘up against’ is commissioned and presented by the Gibney Center as part of their 2021-2022 season curated by Eva Yaa Asantewaa. 

Tickets available for purchase on Gibney website.