For her work, Yvonne Meier has been awarded three New York Foundation for the Arts grants, a grant from the NEA’s American Masters program, a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as three Bessie Awards.Artist Bio
Hidden is a site-specific piece made for St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery in New York City. In it, I deconstruct two childhood memories. The first involves giant wool balls with forks rolled in them. In Hidden, there will be three enormous balls that get shot from the balcony as the forks come flying out. The “ball people” open the balls and wrap the interior of the church, including the audience, in their wool. Rolling the balls through the space, they connect the architecture, turning the space into a fearsome web. The second childhood memory is constructed of newspaper that gets rolled, cut, and pulled into gigantic cones. The dancers’ arms, legs, and heads get enveloped in the cones, creating intense, fringy, crazy newspaper costumes. The “newspaper dancers” lay on the floor as the audience enters the theater. The shooting of the wool balls sets off a trembling dance, causing a whispering sound in the newspaper costume, followed by a full-blown, possessed shaking dance. The rhythm of an Eastern European folk song gets picked up by the dancers, stomping their heels. The piece culminates with the dancers ripping off their fringed paper, causing a shuffling dance. Finally, they begin to stuff the newspaper into their shirts and leave the space. The ball people create sounds with the forks and the tightening wool, gradually getting themselves wrapped up in the strands they have spread through the space. The space is transformed completely by the events that unfold in it.
New York, NY
Yvonne Meier is originally from Zurich and now lives in New York City. Since 1979, she has built a career in dance, creating a wide array of works, from quiet solos to large group spectacles. Meier is the recipient of three NEA Fellowships (1987, 1988, 1991), three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships (1988, 1994, 2006), two NEA Inter-Arts grants (1990, 1992), three Bessie Awards (1993, 2010, 2011), a Lambent Foundation Award, the Dorothea Tanning Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (2010), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2019). Her works have been performed in leading experimental venues in New York, including the Kitchen, Danspace Project, Performance Space 122, as well as Lincoln Center Out of Doors. Meier has shown her work in theaters and festivals throughout the United States and Europe. As a dancer, performer, and teacher, Meier is known for her skill, deep research, and sharp humor as an improviser.