Richard Siegal

Year of birth, place
1968, Laurenburg, North Carolina, United States
Role at the ZKM
Guest Artist
Institute / Department
Institute for Visual Media

The work of dancer and choreographer Richard Siegal [USA/F] focuses on the interdisciplinary exploration of new forms of contemporary dance. Prior to 1997, Siegal danced in the companies of Doug Elkins, Zvi Gotheiner, Janis Brenner, Robin Staff, Muna Tseng, Sin Cha Hong, and Mark Dendy, and from 1997-2004, he danced with William Forsythe's Ballett Frankfurt. In 2002, he founded »The Bakery«, an organization dedicated to the exploration and production of contemporary performance. In 2004, Siegal started working with rules and models used in computer sciences to structure choreographies resp. the interaction of dancers on stage. This resulted in the development of a special choreographic system, the »If/Then« methodology, which has met with great international interest: For choreographies, certain actions and rules are defined, which form the so-called »games«. These units are interconnected at predefined points so as to allow the actors to move from one game to another. For the design, visualization and notation of these decision-making processes, tree structures are used.

Siegal’s works are selected for renowned festivals and developed and presented at international theaters and cultural institutions, such the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [J], the PACT Zollverein, Essen [D], the Dance Space Project, New York [USA] or the Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt/ M. [D].

Residencies and Awards (selected)
2004Honorary memeber of the Bolshoi Ballett’s Benois de la Danse
Fellowship of the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire [USA]
2006»SACD Prize«, Monaco Dance Forum [for If/Then Open Source]
Residency at PACT Zollverein, Essen [D]
20076th MousonAward 2007/2008, Künstlerhaus Mouson Turm, Frankfurt/ M. [D]
2008Artist-in-residence, ZKM | Institute for Visual Media
 New York Dance and Performance Awards, category Visual Design [with Antoine Seigneur-Guerrini, Philip Bußmann, and Norbert Pape for »As If Stranger«]

Works/Choreographies (selected)

  • »Op. ∞«, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media [YCAM], Yamaguchi [J], 2008
  • »As If Stranger«, Danspace Project, New York [USA], 2008
  • »If/Then Septet«, Tampere [FIN], 2007
  • »If/Then Open Source« [with Hillary Goidell and Florent Berenger], 2006 - Web based project
  • »Stranger/Stranger Report«, Théatre National de Chaillot, Paris [F], 2006
  • »Kleine Episode«, Klapstuk #12, Leuven [B], 2005
  • »If/Then«, Dancespace Project, New York [USA], 2005
  • »Double Story«, 2004 - with Crystal Pite
  • »The How Episode«, Hebbel Theater, Berlin [D], 2004 - a production of the choreographers’s collective »Episode«, founded by Prue Lang, Nicole Peisl, and Richard Siegal
  • »Stranger«, TAT - Theater am Turm, Frankfurt/ M. [D], 2004
  • »Spec.Tator Solo«, Holland Dance Festival-FIND, The Hague [NL], 2003
  • »f[r]«, London, Transitions Dance Company, Laban Centre, London [UK], 2003
  • »The Bouncy Woman Piece«, Dance Theater Workshop, New York [USA], 2002
  • »x[Albee]«, Proxima, Athen [GR]/ Kalamata International Dance Festival, Kalamata [GR], 2002
  • »Solo for Janis«, Danspace Project, New York [USA], 1997