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composite image of synthesizer and ballerina

James Cohan is pleased to present SYNTH BALLET, an improvised collaboration marrying analog synthesizer with classical ballet. In this unique performance, the musician follows the dancer just as much the dancer is following the music.

SYNTH BALLET is presented in conjunction with TIGHTROPE: አረንጔዴ ነው (IT IS GREEN), a solo exhibition by Elias Sime, who uses analog technology–like circuit boards, computer keys and telecommunications wires–to explore and push the boundaries of abstraction. Sime transforms commonplace items into lyrical compositions that suggest topography, figuration, and color fields. Sime's practice provides an apt context for SYNTH BALLET's reframing of a traditional art form for a technological age.


Preview the Performance
Videographer: Danny Garfield

Artist Bios
Kengchakaj Kengkarnka is a Bangkok-born, Ridgewood-based improviser and composer. By juxtaposing different materials and concepts such as Thai tuning, the Blues, layered rhythms, electronics, soundscapes, textures, and emotions, Kengchakaj composes and improvises sounds that unify seemingly opposite ideas and make room for new directions. He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, and a winner of the Gold Award Lumen Prize with Nitcha Tothong. 

Kaylin Maggard is a 2021 graduate from The Juilliard School, where she received a BFA in Dance and was the recipient of the Joseph W. Polisi Artist as Citizen award. Well versed in both traditional and contemporary styles, Kaylin has performed works by choreographers such as José Limón, Paul Taylor, and Bill T Jones and premiered new work by Ohad Naharin, Jonathan Bond, Matthew Neenan, Andrea Miller, and Bryan Arias. Kaylin is currently a dancer for Peridance Contemporary Dance Company. 

Colin Heininger is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher based in New York City. He graduated in 2016 as an Honors Scholar with a BFA in Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he was named the Valedictorian of the School of Dance. He is currently a dancer and the company coordinator for Peridance Contemporary. He has performed works by Sharon Eyal, Netta Yerushalmy, Andrea Miller, Helen Simoneau, Beth Gill, Sidra Bell, Norbert de la Cruz III, Adam Barruch, Yin Yue, Yoshito Sakuraba, Alice Klock, Jae Man Joo, and Igal Perry. 

Maxwell Neely-Cohen is a writer, coder, and dancer based in New York City. His experiments with technology, video games, and performance have been acclaimed by The New York Times Magazine, Electric Literature, and The Financial Times. He is the author of the novel Echo of the Boom. His nonfiction and essays have been featured in places like The New Republic, Ssense, and BOMB Magazine. He was most recently an artist-in-residence at Pioneer Works and CultureHub. 

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