Excerpt WNET Documentary on Fenestrations 1987
EGG the Arts Show (PBS) short documentary on Fenestrations2 - 1999
1987 Grand Central Dances/Two Short News Clips
Fenestrations2 on CNN
Fenestrations and Fenestrations2
Directed and Choreographed by Stephan Koplowitz
Lighting Design by Tony Giovannetti
Musical Score by Jack Freudenheim and Stephan Koplowitz
Rehearsal/Assistant Directors: Alexandra Beller and Jessie Miles (1999)
36 Performers in 1987: Karen Armatrading, Ceres Artico, Sara Bragdon, Maureen Breeze, Diahann Brown, Diana Domoracki, Carrie Emerson, Jackqueline Freeman, Tina Goldstein, Arlene Greenberg, Jolinda Hulse, Mimi Kenig, Kim Grier, Caroyn Johansson, May Kesler, Jenny Klion, Carol Kuchler, Cathy Lombardo, Jill Marotta, Allison McElwain, Corrine Monnard, Madu Niasse, Nancy Payea, Don Prosch, Stephanie Scheuber, Katherine Stoessel, Ann Sullivan, Kathryn Tufano, Jim Bonner, Jennifer Spiegler, Vivian Courbat, Laura Bartolomei, Stacey Temple, Karen Graubart, Rita Spadola and Susanne Geiser
72 Performers in 1999: Sarah Adams, Rebecca Alson-Milkman, Natasha Aretha, Malin Bostrom, Alex Boucher, Erica Bowen, Kimberly Cadden, Nuttakom Chamyen, Isabel Chen, Christine Conklin, Donna Costello, Julie Crosby, Francisco Rider Da Silva, Kleber De Freitas, Dereka Deleveaux, Amy De Long, Stephanie Dixon, Jennifer Edwards, Lenore, Eggleston, David Fletcher, Yuu Fujita, Kathaleen Gibson, Leslie Guth, Hristoula Haraka, Essence Harris, Kyra Himmelbaum, Daniela Hoff, Jessica Howe, Sara Joel, Andrea Johnston, Heidi Kinney, Mandy Kirschner, Vicky Kolovou, Gabriele Kroos, Susan Lamberth, Andrea Lieske, Naomi Luppescu, Solomon Matea, Harry Mavromichalis, Brendan McCall, Sally-Anne McConnell, Wakana Meguro, Carolin Micklitz, David Miller, Michaela Miller, Saeko Miyake, Hiroshi Miyamoto, Claudia Munhoz, Noriko Nagamoto, Johan Parlagutan, Jennifer Perfilio, Jule Jo Ramirez, Romy Reading, Jennifer Risch, Rebecca Robinson, Mata Sakka Rikaki, Amanda Schneider, Kathy Shamoun, Eva Silverstein, Amber Smith, Sasha Soreff, Jennie Sussman, Dean Sweeney, Yasko Takeno, Akito Takimoto, Makeda Thomas, Jennifer Torriero, Danielle Tinsley, Jennifer Uzzi, Hugo Vilardell, Jennifer Walker, Lisa Wright.
For the windows of Grand Central Terminal, NYC
ORIGINALLY COMMISSIONED BY DANCING IN THE STREETS
In 1987: Produced and commissioned by: Elise Bernhardt, Dancing in the Streets, as part of
Grand Central Dances
October 9, 10, 1987 TWO PERFORMANCES
In 1999: Presented by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in association with Jones LaSalle, as part of Grand Central in Motion
October 14, 15, 16, 17, 1999 TWELVE PERFORMANCES
Some origin stories...
This was my first large-scale site-specific work and I learned many lessons about making such work during this experience.
1987: The decision to dance inside the windows of Grand Central Terminal was the brainchild of Elise Bernhardt who at the time was the founder and director of Dancing in the Streets. She had originally asked Lucinda Childs if she would create something for that space. Lucinda declined and Elise decided to commission me instead. At the time, I had only been in NYC for five years and was just starting my choreographic career but Elise had seen my 1986 solo photo exhibition at Dance Theater Workshop which featured my composite photographs of photobooth, Xerox and video art and the work reminded her of the windows. She connected my photos and choreography as a key to being able to conceive of a work for the windows of Grand Central. At the time, she knew more about my abilities than I. Elise had already signed Merce Cunningham, Philippe Petite and Lucinda Childs and so in some respects, I believe she felt she had “enough” big names to attract an audience and could take a risk on me, a young and an unknown artist.
“Grand Central Dances” was a huge success for Dancing in the Streets and was seen by over 16,000 people during the two nights of performances.
1999: Ever since Fenestrations was performed, I had a dream of bringing the work back to the windows and it wasn’t until the advent of the entire renovation of the Terminal that the possibility became reality. This time, it was a vision shared by Sarah Horowitz who at the time was working at Jones Lange, LaSalle who were the managing agents of the public and retail spaces in the Terminal. This time, Fenestrations would be performed not only to celebrate the architecture of the space but also to bring an audience who would stay and eat and shop. To make the encore presentation even more special, I asked that we stage Fenestrations simultaneously on both sides of the terminal, something not possible in 1987 due to the placement of a very large and ugly Kodak sign that graced the Terminal hall for several years and blocked the view from the Lexington Avenue side of the windows. Thus, we had a “double front” and 36 x 2 dancers were needed. The work was performed three times each evening at 7, 8 and 9pm. It was seen, when you include both rehearsals and performances, by over 65, 000 people.
The PBS show Egg (see video above), which produced a short documentary on the making of the work as part of their segment on “Working Dancers” was nominated for an Emmy. The episode was broadcast repeatedly from 2000 until 2005 both on PBS and cable channels. The television segment was produced by Alex Rappoport and Executive Produced by Jeff Folmsbee.
“Mr. Koplowitz’s ‘Fenestrations’ got off to a spectacular start as 36 dancers (in trios) appeared at different times in the four story windows facing Vanderbilt Avenue....The effect was witty and highly pictorial, suggesting stained-glass windows.”
--Anna Kisselgoff, NYT, 10/11/87
“‘Fenestrations’ evoked a tremendous sense of community; for once, Grand Central seemed a place where people could enjoy being crowded together.”
--Janice Berman, NY Newsday, 10/12/87
“Stephan Koplowitz’s 15-minute Fenestrations, performed by three dozen dancers inside the glorious four-story arched windows on the Vanderbilt Avenue side, was exhilarating, with groups of dancers appearing, vanishing, rushing across one window to- apparently- continue their flight across the next on another level. The dance was a thrilling example of site-specific work.... The audience went appropriately ape.”
--The Village Voice, 10/27/87
“The movement’s total clarity made ‘Fenestrations’ visually impressive.”
--Jack Anderson, NYT, 6/4/89