Dance is one of Graham’s favorite mediums to collaborate in. Over the years his primary partners have been Ballet Austin, Ariel Dance Theater and more recently Forklift Danceworks. Much of this music is available on albums from the “Cult of Color” soundtrack to “Why the Sea is Salt” which features several tracks from Ariel shows.
Led by artistic director and choreographer Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin is Austin’s most adventurous and nationally-recognized classical performing arts institution. 2008’s “Cult of Color”, a three way collaboration between Mills, visual artist Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Reynolds, remains one of Graham’s all-time favorite projects. A year and a half later Graham worked with Stephen again, this time deconstructing and reconstructing Bach for a piece called “Bounce”. The next part of that series premieres this fall with variations on Mozart scored for amplified and effected cello and violin.
20 dancing trash trucks on the old airport tarmac, 200 two-steppers in front of the state capital and a traffic cop’s daily motions carved into an intimate solo piece. These are some of Graham’s collaborations with Forklift Danceworks and Allison Orr – choreographer and artistic director. Turning everyday movements into art is Orr’s specialty and she’s become a favorite collaborator of Graham’s. Look for pieces with Austin Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Bay as well as electrical line-men from Austin Energy in the future.
Ariel Dance Theater
Graham learned to compose for dance through his work with Ariel Dance Theater and choreographer Andrea Ariel. For more than a decade their work together has developed, often in collaboration with fellow composer Peter Stopschinski. One early highlight was taking an old car dealership and transforming it into a performance space, with the offices being visual art galleries and the main showroom become the stage and seating.
With Ballet Austin
2011 “Though the Earth Gives Way”
2010 “Truth and Beauty”
2008 “Cult of Color: Call to Color”
With Forklift Danceworks
2013 “PowerUP”. In Progress.
2012 “Solo Symphony”
2010 “T is For: Two Hundred Two-Steppers on the Steps of the Texas State Capital”
2010 “Traffic Maven”
2009 “The Trash Project”
With Ballet Idaho
With Sharir-Bustamente Danceworks
2004 “Silence Erupted”
2003 “Absent Body”
With Ariel Dance Theater
2012 “The Geometry of Proximity”
2007 “Gyre” with Peter Stopschinski
2005 “Detour” with Peter Stopschinski
2003 “Shoulder to Shoulder,” with Peter Stopschinski
2002 “Boxheads” with Peter Stopschinski
2001 “Pexo” (as improviser under Walter Thompson)
2001 “The Silent Circle” with Peter Stopschinski
2000 “Seven Rooms to the Soul”
With Spank Dance Company
2000 “In Concert”
1999 “ Not Just Shock”
1998 “2 Times 2 is 1”
With Undertow Dance Company
1999 “Not Just Shock”
1997 “In Concert”
My Park, My Pool, My City
Graham Reynolds and Forklift Danceworks collaborate on another civic project — My Park, My Pool, My City.
Centered around one of Austin’s greatest treasures — our public pools — this project will feature the dedicated Aquatics lifeguards and staff who keep Austin swimming. Austin is facing an infrastructure crisis with our city pool system, as many of our pools are leaking and desperately need upgrading. Knowing this, My Park, My Pool, My City has been designed to build appreciation for the folks who steward our Aquatics system and create deeper understanding and connection between city staff, neighborhood residents and citizens from all around Austin who now must address one of the most complex issues facing our city—how to solve our city pool crisis.
Each year for three years, Forklift will be focusing on one East Austin neighborhood and bringing residents and city employees together to tell the story of these vital community gathering places. 3 years, 3 pools, 3 dances. They are beginning this year at Bartholomew Pool, premiering the first of the three dances July 21-22 & 28-29 of 2017.
The dances are accompanied by original music composed and directed by Graham Reynolds, and production and lighting design by Stephen Pruitt.
“My Park, My Pool, My City presents an extraordinary opportunity for residents, artists, and civic and community leaders to work together to explore and address equity and access issues facing Austin’s Eastern Crescent.” —Austin Mayor Steve Adler
For more information, please visit this page.
Seven Daughters of Eve – An NYC Collaboration
The fourth production of the 7 Daughters of Eve Thtr. & Perf. Co. will be staged in 2017, at New York Live Arts and Abrons Arts Center, jointly. It is a two-pronged project, consisting of an experimental play with songs entitled THE SECURELY CONFERRED, VOUCHSAFED KEEPSAKES OF MAERY S., and a series of performance rituals called SASQUATCH RITUALS. Both are written and directed by Sibyl Kempson. The play will premiere in Fall 2017 at New York Live Arts and the RITUALS will take place from Fall 2016 starting at Mt. Tremper Arts in Ulster County to Winter 2017 in non-traditional spaces at Abrons, as well as at the Whitney Museum, Gibney Dance, and at other site-specific locations outside of NYC, for large and small audiences. The two pieces are co-created – two different manifestations of the same project.
THE SECURELY CONFERRED, VOUCHSAFED KEEPSAKES OF MAERY S. combines literary and dramatic narrative with eye-witness accounts of Sasquatch encounters from the internet. It spans several time periods and geographies.
Songs by Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds, after Johannes Brahms and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, with lyrics by Kempson, under the musical direction of the legendary Chris Giarmo, who will also perform. Alexandra Dewez will design set and costumes, Eva von Schweinitz will design video.
MAERY S. was originally created by ‘frankensteining’ together the excesses of writing and research from Kempson’s recent collaborations FONDLY, COLLETTE RICHLAND (with Elevator Repair Service) with that of FROM THE PIG PILE: THE REQUISITE GESTURE(S) OF NARROW APPROACH in Austin, TX (with Mr. Reynolds, Rude Mechs and Salvage Vanguard Theater). It was developed further at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis for a 2013-14 McKnight National Residency and Commission and in the PlayTime laboratory residency at New Dramatists this November 2015.
The SASQUATCH RITUALS will accompany the theatrical production of MAERY S. – a separate but connected cycle of site-specific, live ritual performance installations that expand on the themes, research, and questions raised in MAERY S. The RITUALS are performed by a rotation of six women with movement choreographed by Linda Mancini and songs by Julie LaMendola formerly of Nature Theater of Oklahoma.
Cult of Color
The groundbreaking dance collaboration with visual artist Trenton Doyle Hancock and Ballet Austin artistic director Stephen Mills was one of the most acclaimed productions of 2008, resulting in one of Graham’s most far ranging and richly imagined works.
Belle Redux RemounTX
A 3M Innovation Commission
Following its critically acclaimed debut to sell-out audiences in 2015, Stephen Mills brought this contemporary ballet back in time for Valentine’s Day 2017. A dark and sexy retelling of the centuries-old tale, Beauty & the Beast, this innovative work draws inspiration from film noir and haute couture. The characters you remember search for love and acceptance while performing against a visually stunning digital backdrop created by Set and Costume Designer Michael Raiford. Austin composer Graham Reynolds contributes a powerfully romantic score, blending classical instruments with industrial sounds. Indulge in this exquisite dance work… and the chance to explore the real beauty and beast within.
CHOREOGRAPHY: Stephen Mills | MUSIC: Graham Reynolds
*Original score by Graham Reynolds commissioned by Ballet Austin and funded by the Texas Commission on the Arts.
Production Sponsors: 3M, National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, Boulette, Golden & Marin LLP, Texas Commission on the Arts
Individual Production Sponsors: Linda Ball & Forrest Preece, Alex & Heather Ladage, Tom & Sally Welch