Profile: Stephen Petronio was born in Newark, New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where he began dancing in 1974. Initially influenced by the works of Steve Paxton and Rudolf Nureyev, Petronio went on to become the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Company, where he danced from 1979 to 1986. He founded Stephen Petronio Company in 1984. He has received international acclaim for his ground-breaking choreography and the company has toured extensively across the United States and in Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Australia, Korea and Russia.
The Early Years: Initially influenced by the works of Steve Paxton and Rudolf Nureyev, Petronio went on to become the first male dancer of the Trisha Brown Company, where he danced from 1979 to 1986.
Other Work: He has been commissioned to create new works for companies including William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet (1987), Sydney Dance Company (2003), Tulsa Opera (1990), Deutsche Oper Berlin (1992), Lyon Opera Ballet (1994), the Maggio Danza Florence (1996), Rotterdam Dansgroep (1988), Ricochet Dance Company of London (1998, 2001, 2005), Axis Dance Company (2002), A-Quo Danza Contemporanea in Mexico (2002), CanDoCo in London (2003), Norrdans in Sweden (2005).
His Company works have been set on Scottish Ballet (2003), Charleroi Danses (1993), Norrdans (2004), London Contemporary Dance Company (2001), Chamber Dance Company (2001), X Factor Dance Company (2005), and Tasdance (1994, 1983) among others.
Collaborations: Petronio has collaborated with visual artists Cindy Sherman, Anish Kapoor, Donald Baechler, Stephen Hannock, Justin Terzi, Charles Atlas, Tal Yarden and Trisha Fox; composers Rufus Wainwright, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Michael Nyman, James Lavelle, Wire, Diamanda Galás, Sheila Chandra, Lenny Pickett, and on numerous works with David Linton; fashion designers Rachel Roy, Tara Subkoff/Imitation of Christ, Leigh Bowery, Manolo, Paul Compitus and Tanya Sarne/Ghost; and long time collaborator and Resident Lighting Designer Ken Tabachnick.
Awards: Petronio has been awarded choreography fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts from 1985 to 1988, and company grants from the NEA and the New York State Council on the Arts since 1988. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts award, the first American Choreographer Award in 1987, and a New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) in 1986.