Pavel Zuštiak believes that the theatre offers a refuge where audiences and artists both seek a haven of solace and enter an arena of disquieting questions. Born in the former Czechoslovakia, Zuštiak is currently based in NYC where he is the artistic director of Palissimo, a dance theatre company that he founded in 2003. With Palissimo, Zuštiak has created bold and innovative performance works that integrate sound, set design, dance and video. In 2007, Zuštiak was awarded a prestigious Princess Grace Choreography Award to support his collaboration with Laboratory Company Dance in Pittsburgh, PA, and most recently he was nominated for a Bessie award for The Painted Bird triology – a collection of evening-length works that excavated the themes of displacement, otherness and transformation.
Endangered Pieces is Zuštiak’s next project in development, a work that unfolds in a series of dream-like scenes set amidst a looming calamity. A man in an empty space: in a field, onstage, in combat. Is this his ultimate battle and can it be won? Throughout, the visceral trumps the literal, leaving visual impressions, both alluring and unsettling, that linger and gestate in the subconscious. The work was created in response to recent unprecedented shifts in the global landscape. Zuštiak will work in VPL’s Lab with his longtime collaborator composer/musician Christian Frederickson, musician Bobby McElver and dancers Matthew Rogers and Jaro Vinarsky to develop the sonic environments and movement material for live performance.