Experimental dance company Emio Greco | PC scheduled to perform Friday

After reflecting on five decades of dance through Cunningham, Lively Arts offers cutting edge

Emio Greco

The award-winning Emio Greco | PC dance company is set to perform April 22 in Memorial Auditorium.

In March, a weeklong residency by the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham and his company gave the campus community the chance to reflect on five decades of artistic innovation. Now, with the West Coast debut of the award-winning Emio Greco | PC dance company scheduled for Friday evening at Memorial Auditorium, Stanford Lively Arts is looking toward the cutting edge. "Much like Cunningham challenged his audiences years ago and is now widely accepted, so Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten are taking dance to a new frontier," said Lois Wagner, executive director of Lively Arts.

Emio Greco | PC is the result of collaboration begun in 1995 between Scholten, a Dutch theatrical designer, and Greco, a dancer and choreographer who was born in southern Italy. Like Cunningham, who rejected the idea that dance should be driven by an external story, Greco and Scholten construct works based on exploring physical movement itself, what Greco has called "my language."

Noted for an emotional physicality, the duo began work together with a series of conversations about the future of dance and improvised movement. Their first work was founded on a written manifesto describing "Seven Necessities" ("I must tell you that my body is curious about everything" is the first) that continue to inform their work. They characterize their style as "extremalism," a term coined from the words "extreme" and "minimalism."

The team begins new works not with a concept but with a "quality of movement," Greco said in an interview with Lively Arts public relations manager Barbara Bickerman. In Rimasto Orfano (Abandoned Orphan), which six members of the company, including Greco, will perform Friday, "we had several phenomena we wanted to achieve—withdrawing, being left behind, deciding to step out of a situation, regrouping, reshuffling, passing the torch," he said. "The more and more we talked, the less it was about dancing. It was about linking humankind with aloneness and being rejected."

Company dancer Barbara Meneses Gutiérrez will teach improvisation and dance technique to students in two Dance Division classes this week. A post-performance discussion is free and open to the public.

Ticket prices for Friday's 8 p.m. performance are $26 to $40 for adults; half-price tickets are available for youths aged 15 and under, and discounts are available for students. For tickets and more information, contact the Stanford Ticket Office at Tresidder Union at 725-2787 or http://livelyarts.stanford.edu.