Jonah Bokaer photographed by Eric Boudet
October 1, 1981 |
Ithaca, New York, United States
|Occupation||Choreographer, Media Artist|
|Genres||Choreography, Dance, Performance, Media, Activism, New Genres|
|Notable work(s)||Why Patterns, REPLICA, STACKS, The Invention Of Minus One, A Cure For Surveillance,|
Jonah Bokaer is a choreographer and media artist. He has dedicated a short lifetime to expanding live performance through choreography, digital media, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and social enterprise, in the United States and internationally.
Originally from Ithaca, NY, Bokaer trained in dance at Cornell University, and subsequently graduated from University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a North Carolina Academic Scholar (Contemporary Dance/Performance, 2000). Recruited for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the unprecedented age of 18, Bokaer pursued a parallel degree in Visual & Media Studies at The New School (2003–2007), where he received the Joan Kirnsner Memorial Award. Additional studies in media and performance occurred at Parsons The New School for Design, NYU Performance Studies, and through self-taught explorations into digital media and 3D animation: such studies led to the development of a rare, multi-disciplinary approach to choreography, addressing the human body in relation to contemporary technologies.
Bokaer has worked with Merce Cunningham (2000–2007), John Jasperse (2004–2005), David Gordon (2005–2006), Deborah Hay (2005), Tino Sehgal (2008), and many others. He has also interpreted the choreography of George Balanchine as restaged by Melissa Hayden. Bokaer is also a frequent choreographer for Robert Wilson (2007–Present).
Bokaer is the author of 30 original choreographies, produced in Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recent engagements include the Attakalari Performance Biennale (Bangalore 2009), the Rotterdamse Schouwburg (Holland 2010), Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, MA 2011), Festival d'Avignon (Avignon, 2012), BAM Next Wave Festival, and a commission from the National Academy of Sciences (Washington, D.C.).
Bokaer has been honored with a Human Rights Award (Public Volunteerism, 2000), a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Dance & Media, 2005–2006), the inaugural Gallery Installation Fellowship from Dance Theater Workshop (2007), and one of four national Dance Access Scholarships from Dance/USA, with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2007), and the Alumni Achievement Award from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2009). Additionally, Bokaer recently accepted the Special Citation at the New York Dance & Performance / Bessie Awards, for the arts organization Chez Bushwick (2007); his choreography “The Invention Of Minus One” was also awarded a Bessie Award for original lighting design by Aaron Copp (2008). He is also a 2008–2009 Young Leader of the French American Foundation, and is the first dance artist to have been awarded.
- Awards, Honors, Fellowships
- Human Rights Award (Public Service, 2000)
- Joan Kirnsner Memorial Award (The New School, 2005)
- Foundation for Contemporary Arts (Dance & Media, 2005–2006)
- Passing It On Award, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (Chez Bushwick, 2006)
- 25 To Watch, Dance Magazine (2006)
- Inaugural Gallery Installation Fellowship from Dance Theater Workshop (Media, 2007)
- Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in Dance (Dance Finalist, 2007)
- New York Dance and Performance / Bessie Award - Special Citation (Chez Bushwick, 2007)
- New York Dance and Performance / Bessie Award - (Lighting Design by Aaron Copp, 2008)
- National Dance Access Scholarship from Dance/USA (via Mellon Foundation, 2007)
- Young Leader of the French American Foundation (First Choreographer Awarded, 2008–2009)
- Alumni Achievement Award from University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2009)
- OUT Magazine (2009)
- Rockefeller Foundation NYC Cultural Innovation Award (Chez Bushwick, Youngest Recipient, 2009–2010)
- The Nifty Fifty, America's Up-And-Coming Talent (NY Times, 2010)
- Crain’s NY Business “40 Under 40” (2011)
- Bogliasco Foundation / Jerome Robbins Special Fellowship in Choreography (Italy, 2011)
- Prix Nouveau Talent Chorégraphie, Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (Paris, 2011)
- National Endowment for the Arts (2011, 2012, 2013)
Under the leadership Bokaer in 2002, a group of artists and choreographers formed Chez Bushwick, an adventurous arts organization that has significantly impacted a new generation of dance artists, choreographers, and performers in the United States, and beyond. Founding artists developed a series of public programs that have become emblematic of a new way of working in New York City: across borders, across disciplines, employing variable aesthetic signatures, and overturning divisions between choreographer, curator, producer, and audience member. Through strategies of collaboration, activism, and public dialogue, these cultural strategies have achieved economic justice during a challenging real estate and funding climate in NYC. Chez Bushwick was recently awarded by the Rockefeller Foundation NYC Cultural Innovation Fund.
Bokaer is a Co-Founder of Center for Performance Research (CPR), a newly formed nonprofit organization in collaboration with John Jasperse/Thin Man Dance. CPR is located at 361 Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, and offers a singular new development for the performing arts in Brooklyn’s first L.E.E.D.-certified green building of its kind. This 4,000-square-foot (370 m2) arts facility is an-artist driven initiative: the new development aims to provide affordable space for rehearsal and performance, innovative arts programming, education and pedagogical engagement with the communities of New York City and abroad, as well as a dynamic new model for sustainable arts infrastructure in dance and performance. During a real estate climate that threatens to displace the arts from maintaining permanent and affordable space in NYC, CPR offers a pioneering approach to civic development, and advocacy for performance at the community level.
- Awards for CPR - Center for Performance Research & GREENBELT Brooklyn
- United States Green Building Council - First "Gold" Certification in Brooklyn for a green building
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - First "Gold" Certification in Brooklyn for a green building
- Building Brooklyn Awards - Winner for Mixed Use Development
- United States National Grid (USNG) - Award for Excellence in Energy Efficient Design
- American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York Designs for Living Exhibition - 2008
- Open House New York - Featured Project: Sustainable New York
- Graphic Design USA - 2008 Winner
- Municipal Art Society - 2008 Nominated in Neighborhood Catalyst Category
- Northeast Sustainable Energy Association - Green Buildings Open House Tour 2008
- Village Voice Award - Best New Performance Space, 2008
Bokaer's writings have been published in Artwurl, The American Society for Alexander Teachers, Critical Corresondence, AADIAL Magazine, Goldrush Dance Magazine, ITCH, Movement Research Performance Journal, and NYFA Current.
- Daniel Arsham | Artist (2009–Present)
- Charles Atlas | Filmmaker (2003)
- Irit Batsry | Video Artist (2010)
- Liubo Borissov | Surveillance Designer (2007)
- Anne Carson | Writer (2008)
- Michael Cole | Video Artist (2006–2008)
- Peter Cole | Sculptor (2008)
- Collective Opera Company | Original Opera (2006)
- Aaron Copp | Lighting Designer (2008–Present)
- Merce Cunningham | Choreographer (2000–2007)
- Loren Dempster | Composer (2005–Present)
- Robert Gober | Sculptor (2005)
- Marisela La Grave | Intermedia Events (2003)
- Christian Marclay | Composer (2008)
- Isaac Mizrahi | Fashion Designer (2008)
- Snarkitecture | Scenographers (2010)
- Robert Wilson | Theater Artist (2007–Present)
- FAUST, By Charles Gounod (Teatr Wielki, Polish National Opera, 2008)
- AÏDA, By Giuseppe Verdi (Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Italy, 2009)
- KOOL: Suzushi Hanayagi (Guggenhiem Museum, New York City, 2009)
- CONFINES (IVAM: Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain, 2009)
- Dialogue ONE Theatre Festival, Williamstown, MA, 2009
Museums, performances and commissions
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Works & Process Series 2010 - New York, USA
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum / Choreography in the Rotunda, 2011 - New York, USA
- The New Museum - New York, USA
- MoMA PS1 - New York, USA
- The Museum of Arts & Design - New York, USA
- The Whitney Museum of American Art - New York, USA
- Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami - Miami, USA
- MASS MoCA North Adams - MA, USA
- Le Carré d'Art - Nîmes, France
- MAC Marseille - Marseille, France
- La Ferme du Buisson - Marne-La-Vallée, France
- Kunsthalle St. Gallen - St. Gallen, Switzerland
- Institut Valencià d'Art Modern - IVAM - Valencia, Spain
- Palazzo deli Arti - Napoli, Italy
- MUDAM - Luxembourg
Relations with France
Bokaer's choreography over the past decade has been made possible in large part through a vigorous artistic relationship with France.
Dance and choreography
- Working with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company throughout 30 French cities, in 9 regions, over the course of 8 years
- Touring new choreography to Alternative Spaces in Paris - Naxos Bobine (2006), La Générale (2006), Atelier de Paris (2007), Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin (2007, 2010)
- Production support in Marseille - La Compagnie (2006), Ballet National de Marseille (2010), MAC Marseille (2010)
- Production support in Lyon - Les Subsistances (2007)
- Production support in Nîmes - Le Carré d'Art (2009)
- Production support in Paris - Art/Dan/Thé Festival, Vanves (2010)
- Production support in Avignon - Les Hivernales Festival (2011), Les Penitents Blancs (2011), CDC Avignon (2011)
- Receipt of the FUSED / French U.S. Exchange in Dance grant (2011)
Production and presentation
- Provision of residencies to Alexandre Roccoli (Chez Bushwick, 2007)
- Provision of residencies to Christian Rizzo (CPR, 2008)
- Provision of residencies to Steven Cohen (CPR, 2009)
- Provision of residencies to David Wampach (CPR, 2009)
- Restaging of French choreography on U.S. artists via David Wampach (CPR, 2009)
- Induction into Young Leaders of the French American Foundation 2008 (Paris, Strasbourg) / 2009 (Chicago)
- FUSED / French U.S. Exchange in Dance (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
- Cultural Services of the French Embassy (2008, 2009, 2010)
- FIAF's Crossing The Line Festival (2007, 2008, 2009)
- ONDA (2010)
Representation and booking
- Julie George & Damien Valette, Paris
- "Artist Residency". Knight Foundation. 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "New Museum - Digital Archive". Archive.newmuseum.org. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "Academic Scholars Program". Ncpublicschools.org. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Alastair Macaulay (August 2, 2012). "Exploring The Space With Stillness". The New York Times.
- Weinstein, Tresca (2011-07-31). "Choreographer's new work mixes dancers and 5,000 ping-pong balls". Times Union. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Simon, Edward. "Jonah Bokaer - Profile - Dance, Media, Visual Arts - USA Projects - Artist Fundraising & Advocacy". USA Projects. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- About Caden Manson (Editor In Chief). "In Performance: Jonah Bokaer’s REPLICA (NYC)Contemporary Performance". Contemporary Performance. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "UC Berkeley Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium - Bio: Jonah Bokaer". Atc.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "Jonah Bokaer | French-American Foundation". Frenchamerican.org. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Heyman, Stephen (2010-01-08). "The Nifty 50 | Jonah Bokaer, Choreographer - NYTimes.com". Tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- "NEA 2013 GRANT AWARDS: State Listings for the Art Works I/Literature Fellowships (Poetry) categories <!- ->". Arts.gov. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Posted on 06/15/2010 in Pivotal Place: New York City (2010-06-15). "Replica Performs at Pocantico's Kykuit Forecourt | Rockefeller Brothers Fund". Rbf.org. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Official website
- Archival footage of Jonah Bokaer performing in Why Patterns in 2011 at Jacob's Pillow.
- Chez Bushwick
- Center for Performance Research
- Daniel Arsham
- Robert Wilson