Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (SPDT) is making its way to Wharton Center in less than a week, and what better way to learn about their production, Matinee, than from Stuart Pimsler himself. We discuss his newest work, the company, and other fun facts about his life.
Can you tell us what to expect with Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater: Matinee?
Matinee is a multi-media extravaganza that depicts the journey of a woman yearning to escape from the tedium of her life by going to the movies. The lonely woman encounters a variety of characters, both live and on screen, who provide momentary connections during her search for fulfillment. Matinee is filled with surprising, heart-felt moments realized through noirish, original films, a luscious sound score and compelling performances by the artists of SPDT. Cinema, acting, and dance come together in a bountiful ride that blurs the parallel realities of live theater and everyday life.
What led you to create Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater?
After graduating with an MFA in dance from Connecticut College, I moved to New York City to begin my career. I was determined to find ways to merge my creative interests in writing, movement, and acting as a vehicle for commenting on contemporary life. My first NYC concerts were performed by colleagues and friends. I was pleased with these early artistic ventures and decided that I wanted to have a permanent ensemble that I could work with regularly.
If you had to describe Matinee using a singular dance step, which would you choose?
What kind of music is on your current playlist?
A dizzying potpourri ranging from contemporary R&B, to international vocalists, to golden oldies from decades past.Give us more insight on the artistic mission of SPDT. What are you most passionate about communicating to audiences and participants?
SPDT has two parallel programs which comprise the heart and soul of its mission: the creation of provocative performance work that strives to blur the personal and political; and the presentation of Community Connections projects which engage diverse populations not typically having access to creative expression. A core value for SPDT is to celebrate the artistic voice of all citizens through work that offers real connections to everyday experiences.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I was an athlete in high school and college and had dreams of making it in the NBA. As an undergraduate English major, I enjoyed poetry writing and protesting about the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. My political passions led me to enroll in law school in Washington, D.C., where I also began my formal study of dance. I completed law school, returned to my native New York City and passed the bar. Shorty after, I formed SPDT which has allowed me to continue to pursue my interests in the personal and political filtered through a creative lens.
Matinee draws inspiration from many film genres. What is your all-time favorite film?
Wim Wenders’ 1987 masterpiece, Wings of Desire, continues to be my all-time favorite film. Coincidentally, it shares many of the same characteristics and qualities as my current work, Matinee. In Wings of Desire, modern-day angels clothed in chic overcoats listen and study people’s lives perched high above the streets of Berlin as well as in public libraries. Unable to interact with the people they observe, the angels spend their days observing a range of human interplay.
See Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater’s newest piece, MATINEE, at Wharton Center on January 17. Student and youth tickets are available for just $19 here. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more behind the scenes looks at what’s on at Wharton.
Please note: this performance contains adult subject matter and sexual innuendo, and may not be suitable for patrons under the age of 16.