ABOUT THE COMPANY
Honored with the American Dance Guild Award for Artistic Excellence, Buglisi Dance Theatre is acclaimed for multi-cultural dances on the human condition that promote awareness of social and environmental injustices and reveal the heroic spirit, strengths and vulnerabilities of humanity. Founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi, Terese Capucilli, Christine Dakin and Donlin Foreman, former principal dancers of the Martha Graham Dance Company, BDT performs NYC seasons at Chelsea Factory, New York Live Arts, Ailey Citigroup Theater, and The Joyce Theater, where it premiered over 25 new works since 1996. World-class production values and theatrical appeal have won BDT invitations worldwide to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; Vail International Dance Festival; Sosnoff Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard College; The Kravis Center, West Palm Beach; SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center; Westhampton Performing Arts Center; Evening Stars Festival; Society of Performing Arts, Houston; Baryshnikov Arts Center; Lincoln Center; Dance St. Louis’s Spring to Dance Festival; Yale Center for British Art; and abroad to Melbourne Festival, Australia; Prague International Dance Festival; Czech Republic; Mexico; Israel; and Italy. BDT serves the community through site-specific performances at such venues as the steps of Federal Hall and New York Stock Exchange for the LMCC/River to River Festival; Battery Dance Festival; Bryant Park Presents Modern Dance; The Whitney Museum, Utica College football field for the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony; and in support of social causes, most recently for the Fire Island Dance Festival, Dancers Responding to AIDS; Dancers for Ukraine; Zen Center for Contemplative Care; Career Transition for Dancers; and the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. The company’s repertoire is seen in the companies of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Richmond Ballet, Charlotte Ballet, and Ice Theatre of New York, to name a few.
In 2011, Ms. Buglisi conceived and choreographed the Table of Silence Project 9/11, a public performance ritual and Call to Action for Peace to commemorate the loss of life and honor the bravery of all individuals affected by acts of terror, war and oppression of freedom. Since the inaugural performance, the ritual is performed every year on the early morning of September 11th on the Josie Robertson Plaza, Lincoln Center by over 150 “peace warrior” dancers, musicians and chorus representing NYC’s diverse artist community, hailing from cities across the U.S. and abroad. Presented in partnership by BDT and Lincoln Center as A Project of Arnhold Dance Innovation Fund, the ritual is streamed live around the world reaching international viewership to date by over 4.4 million people and growing in all 50 states and globally in 238 countries/territories. The archival livestream is available for viewing at no cost at tableofsilence.org and youtube.com/buglisidance. Declared a UNESCO Siti by the Mayor of Assisi, Italy, the Table of Silence Project received Proclamations in 2014 from Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio for uniting the global community through dance, and, in 2020, a Bessie Award Special Citation to Jacqulyn Buglisi. Subsequent Table of Silence commemorations were held at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Pan Am 103 Remembrance Wall at Syracuse University; in NYC for the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women; the Piazza San Rufino, Assisi, Italy on the Day of Forgiveness. Screenings of the livestream were presented at the Global Summit, London, and the Museo dell’Ara Pacis, Rome. In 2023, renowned photographer Paul B. Goode released a book featuring his photos and artists’ essays on The Table of Silence Project.
Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi believes that movement is a basic element of human expression and that joy and inspiration flow from its wellspring. “Using images, literature, poetry, heroic archetypes and a consuming physicality, I craft dances that explore human relationships revealing the bold visceral strengths, humor and exquisite vulnerabilities of the individual. My dances such as Requiem, Letters of Love on Ripped Paper, Wild Mannequins & Wing Walkers; Rain, Sand, Acapelorus, Frida, Suspended Women, Moss Anthology, and The Threads Project: Universal Dialogues represent my dream to embrace the integration of art forms through the collaborative process, multimedia technologies and my passion to inspire, engage, and attract the next generation of artists and diverse audiences into the realm of theatrical dance theatre.
Committed to connecting the global community, BDT has a long history of multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural collaborations with artists of the highest caliber including innovative composers Daniel Bernard Roumain, Jeff Beal, Paola Prestini, Libby Larsen, Tan Dun, Jennifer Higdon, Glen Velez, Daniel Brewbaker, Andy Teirstein, Alex Weiser; flautist John Ragusa, cellist Maya Beiser; percussionist Paula Jeanine Bennett, Cassatt String Quartet, New York Choral Society, and the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra and Singers; spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph; visual artist Rossella Vasta; mannequin maker Ralph Pucci; projection designers Wendall K. Harrington, Yana Biryükova, Joey Moro and Jan Hartley; lighting designers Clifton Taylor, Jack Mehler; costume designers A. Christina Giannini, Elena Comendador, Lauren Starobin; livestream producer/filmmaker Nel Shelby, Nel Shelby Productions.
In recognition of BDT’s contribution to the American dance field, the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center films the company repertoire, including over 100 BDT works for public viewing in its Audio and Moving Image Archive. Recently, the Dance Division recorded a series of interviews of Jacqulyn Buglisi by Diane Grumet for the Oral History Project, due for release in 2024.
Fundamental to the Company’s mission are its interactive educational residencies, workshops, and outreach programs which allow the company to share its creative process with educational institutions, and community’s across America while also building self-esteem through dance. These include University of California/Santa Barbara; DayTop Village Women’s Program; New York Women’s Agenda; Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees; Marymount Manhattan College; California State University/Long Beach; George Mason University; University of Richmond; Jacques d’Amboise’s National Dance Institute, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, NYC; Frank Sinatra School of the Arts; Long Island Children’s Museum, BOCES Long Island; IB Program at Locust Valley High School; SUNY Purchase, The Joyce Theater Educational Residency, Stamford Center for the Performing Arts, Western Washington University, Cornish College, Seattle, Dance Masters Wesleyan University; Miami New World School of the Arts, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts; American College Dance Festivals; Florida State University, Contemporary Traditions at Jacob’s Pillow, Contemporary Voices and Visions at Hamilton College, New Dances at the Juilliard School Lincoln Center, Ailey/Fordham BFA program; Hospital Audiences; Michele Obama’s First Lady Let’s Move Initiative; Chautauqua Institution; Aspen Dance Festival; NYSCA long-term residencies at Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute and Syracuse University; and more.
BDT is deeply honored to receive public funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts, and important grants from The Arnhold Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, O’Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Heinz Family Foundation, NewMusicUSA, and the Harkness Foundation for Dance. Awards and Honors to Artistic Director Jacqulyn Buglisi include the 2024 Martha Hill Award, 2022 Juilliard President’s Medal from President Damian Woetzel for her “leadership as a model of citizen artistry”; 2020 Bessies Award Special Citation for the Table of Silence Project; 2016 Fini Dance Festival’s Italian International Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014 Kaatsbaan Playing Field Award, “New Yorker for Dance” by Dance/NYC, Altria’s 2007 Women Choreographer Award for her body of work, Fiorello LaGuardia Award for Excellence; Gertrude Shurr Award for Dance, and NEA choreographer fellowships.
Through all of its programs and performances, BDT continues to build the legacy of American culture, striving to nurture within the community a personal commitment to dance as a lifelong process of discovery.
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Buglisi…works in images that seduce the eye as much as the imagination, with shapes, luminous textures, and stilled moments in time that offer an adventure in perception. Buglisi is a rarity in today’s world, a woman who delights in the many splendid forms of female being. Probably no woman, other than Graham, has plumbed such emotional depths choreographically. – Dance Magazine
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