Peter Stathas Dance presents the virtual premiere of What We Have To Give, June 18, 2021. The evening is a fundraiser showcasing a stripped-down assortment of solos and one duet that were conceived through a process of remote creativity and capture different moments in time throughout the last year. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $10 for dancers and are available at https://secure.givelively.org/event/peter-stathas-dance-inc/what-we-have-to-give-fundraiser/what-we-have-to-give. The piece will be available from June 18, 2021 at 7pm ET through June 20, 2021 at 10pm ET.
"Shortly after the pandemic began, everyone at Peter Stathas Dance knew that our creative and performing lives were going to be interrupted in a big, impactful way," said choreographer and Artistic Director Peter Stathas. "We knew that coming together in a studio to create new work was impossible, so we embarked on a process of remote creativity. We all saw this as a golden opportunity to collaborate together in a way that would not have presented itself if the pandemic had not happened."
This time period was filled with unrest, and the dancers' intention was to create work that reflected this specific moment in time--where they could be themselves and really be present.
"By allowing ourselves to revisit our artistry at a time when we found ourselves so uninspired, our brains were reignited in a creative and collaborative way," Stathas continued. "Stepping into the unknown together, at a time when everything was unknown, allowed us to heal. As a choreographer, I wanted to capture each dancer's desire to be somewhere else, wanting to move, looking for connection, but stuck."
Utilizing the technical means they could access, Stathas and the dancers began the collaborative process of crafting a dance, reflecting on the times, their hardships, and the meaning of the spaces they all found themselves in. The outcome is a collection of solos and one duet that has a stripped down, raw, and honest value.
What We Have to Give is simply a collection of dances that explains the love and commitment Peter Stathas and his dancers have to their art form and how the separation of the pandemic manifested for each dancer. The dancers worked to create truth, beauty, and meaning without being in one another's physical presence, relying instead on what connects us in ways we could not have previously known. After much reflection about whether to somehow weave these stories together and make some alchemy, it was decided there was more integrity in keeping things simple--to allow the audience into the intimate lives of these gifted performers; presenting each piece in the chronological order it was made.
Dancers: Ty Graynor, Selina Hack, Andrew McShea, Paulina Meneses, Jesse Obremski, Emilee Pratt, Sasha Rydlizky, Lauren Twomley
"Peter Stathas is an incredibly generous person with an open heart," said dancer Jesse Obremski. "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, within everyone's personal and collective trauma, Peter Stathas connected with each artist with what he has (that open heart). What We Have To Give is aptly named and is wholesome, curious, and honest. I have found support, opportunity, and solidarity from Peter and, especially within this solo, space where I can engage in conversations to develop my artistry through trust and collaboration. I invite everyone to view this honest work as a culmination of honest spaces created with Peter."
"This process with Peter has been a challenging yet fulfilling experience," said dancer Selina Hack. "We were able to put together a meaningful piece about the hardships of being a dance artist throughout the pandemic. It features themes of isolation, loneliness, hope, and homecoming."
"During a time of languish, What We Have To Give allowed me to feel and process the circumstances we found ourselves in, and allowed space for me to rediscover my sense of self," said dancer Lauren Twomley. "I am grateful to Peter for creating an opportunity for each of us to reinvigorate our curiosity and creativity."
"Working on this project was significant for me in that it was the first performative opportunity I had to explore and reflect after a year of inner transformation," said dancer Ty Graynor. "The piece beautifully evolved over several rehearsals and speaks to the discoveries I've made in acceptance, grief, frustration, and commitment to a sacred life. I learned a lot about myself while working with Peter, and I look forward to sharing this work with others."
About Peter Stathas Dance
Peter Stathas began his dance training at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and transferred to SUNY Purchase to finish his dance training. He moved to New York City to study with such dance luminaries as Gerri Houlihan, Lar Lubovitch, Mel Wong, Mark Morris and his mentor Maggie Black. He performed with the Jose Limon Dance Company and worked extensively with Bessie winning choreographer and filmmaker Marta Renzi. For the past 30 years, Peter has worked as a Physical Therapist forming his own successful private practice, Freedom Physical Therapy Services, which has four locations in the greater Milwaukee area. After a long hiatus, his love for dance inspired his decision to return to choreography. Peter returned to the stage in 2016 presenting his first work in over 30 years. In 2018 he premiered work in NYC as a part of DEVICES choreographic mentoring program. In 2019, Peter Stathas Dance was selected by Danspace Community ACCESS program to perform his curated program "Leaving and Coming Back." In February 2020, Peter Stathas Dance premiered a new work "In The Garden" as a part of the Gibney POP Series.
Peter Stathas Dance was created to give dancers a forum to unleash their creativity and individuality through a collaborative process with the choreographer to generate innovative movement. As part of valuing the whole artist, Peter Stathas Dance is committed to ensuring dancers are able to practice and perform their craft while earning a living wage. http://www.peterstathasdance.com