American choreographer Jermaine Maurice Spivey will create the performance Extant for Opera Ballet Vlaanderen this season. This work forms a triple bill together with Crystal Pite's Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue and William Forsythe's famous One Flat Ting, reproduced. This triple bill is no coincidence: Spivey worked closely with both of these top choreographers, danced in their pieces and was influenced by them - he has even been called Pite's muse. Extant, his first creation for our company, is a dialogue between dance and music explored from the perspective of African-American culture. 'The questions I keep asking,' says Spivey, 'are those towards community, individuality, belonging and diversity. What does individuality look like, sound like, feel like in a communal space? How do you show a willingness to belong without completely sacrificing the parts of you that make you feel like yourself? In the interests of diversity, a certain amount of discomfort is essential. But how much is too much?'
Jermaine Maurice Spivey studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts and The Juilliard School (NYC). He danced in several companies in Europe between 2002 and 2017, including the Ballet Gulbenkian, the Cullberg Ballet, the Hofesh Shechter Company and The Forsythe Company. Since 2008, Spivey has been a member of Crystal Pites Kidd Pivot. He has also assisted and staged her work for companies such as Cedar Lake Ballet, Carte Blanche, Nederlands Dans Theater and Le Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris. As a choreographer, Spivey created for SALT Contemporary Dance, Rambert 2, LA Dance Project, Christina Aguilera Live at The Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil and most recently Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Spivey has also created and performed two full-length works with his partner and collaborator Spenser Theberge: Rather This Then and Position 3.
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