Faye Driscoll

Doris Duke Artist Award, 2016

New York, NY

Faye Driscoll is a BESSIE Award-winning choreographer and director called a "startlingly original talent" by The New York Times. The first of her three-part series, Thank You For Coming: Attendance, premiered at Danspace Project in 2014. Attendance is intimately staged to craft a heightened reality of observation, invitation, and interdependence. As audience and performers increasingly find themselves becoming one, a shared identity emerges, culminating in a dynamic ritual of action and transformation. She has collaborated with theatre artists including Young Jean Lee, Cynthia Hopkins, and Taylor Mac, and has received commissions from Walker Arts Center, ICA/Boston, and The Kitchen, among others. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award and has been funded by National Dance Project, Creative Capital, The Jerome Foundation, and LMCC, among others. She is currently working on the second installment of the series, Thank You For Coming: Play, which will premiere at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2016.

  • Photo Credit: Sally Cohn
    Faye Driscoll
  • Faye Driscoll- Thank You For Coming (2014): http://vimeo.com/95213760
    Thank You For Coming (2014)
  • Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
    Thank You For Coming (2014)
  • Photo Credit: Steven Schreiber
    You're Me (2011)
  • Photo Credit: Yi-Chun Wu
    There is so much mad in me (2010)

Artistically, what do you do and why do you do it?

I make dances that are mistaken for plays and load-in like installations. Sets are designed to break apart, musical scores are made from performers’ stomps and voices, props are worn, used, and reused for fantasy, excess, and loss. Performers sing, fight, frolic, and make love in bursts, like rapid fire flip-books of human emotion. Awkward virtuosic bodies teeter on the edge of high art and slapstick. A viewer feels a roller coaster of joy, outrage, arousal, and discomfort while performers hold a frank gaze that says, “You are me and I am you.” Embarrassment and exhilaration live side by side. I aim for an immersive world of sensorial complexity and perceptual disorientation. Through performers’ powerful exposure, heightened proximity, and at times physical connection with the audience, viewers feel their own culpability as co-creators of the performance. My work is a rigorously crafted group experience that comes off as improvised, chaotic, and spontaneous.