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

In the first shot of Yvonne Meier’s film, Hidden, we see a secluded waterfall in a lush landscape. A natural pool collects at its bottom, a dried-out, rocky riverbed beyond, all at the foot of a tree-covered mountain. Entering the woods, we observe a figure dragging a giant ball of rope up the mountain. The rope-ball is an oversized version of a childhood toy, the Wonderball, a small woolen ball with toys that would spill out when the ball unraveled. Back at the riverbed, we discover a large bundle of newspaper, fringes cut into the ends. Suddenly, the giant rope-ball comes flying down the waterfall and lands in the pool. The newspaper mound begins to tremble, then shake, evolving into a full-blown shaking and trembling dance. We hear Eastern European songs to which the newspaper dancer responds with a stomping and fringe-ripping dance. During the newspaper dance, we see the first ballman appear from the woods, jumping into the freezing pool to retrieve the rope ball. Upon unraveling the ropes, a weird snake dance ensues. This dance ends with the ball dancer laying out the various ropes to form a path for the second dancer to travel—actually to escape—using the rope to guide her hands and feet. Both dancers end up at the pool. The newspaper dancer rips the cloth of the rope-ball dancer, and they both jump into the pool and disappear. The film evokes a slow-growing terror, one the viewer may never be able to name but feels. Through the process of imagining it, Meier realized Hidden was a piece about the ongoing war in Ukraine. The film is not a strident anti-war declaration, but a mysterious reflection and embodiment of the effects this violence is having on all of us, whether we know it or not.

Yvonne Meier

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.