Wally Cardona

Wally Cardona has been recognized nationally and internationally for creating vast yet intimate works that use scale, setting and materals as integral partners in the creation of movement. Hailed as “one of the most adventurous choreographers of his generation, a master of passionate abstract dances” by Brooklyn Magazine, he is the recipient of a 2006 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in choreography and a 2006 New York Dance and Performance (“Bessie”) Award for the creation of Everywhere. He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Brought up in California and New Mexico, Cardona was a competitive gymnast and clarinetist before moving to New York City in 1986 to study dance at The Juilliard School (B.F.A.). The following summer, invited by Benjamin Harkarvy, he attended the Ballet Project at Jacob’s Pillow, met Ralph Lemon and subsequently danced with his company until 1995.

Cardona’s first work premiered in 1992 at the Festival International de Danse de Cannes; his next work, Made In Voyage (1995), was performed in seven countries; and his first large-scale project took place in 1996 when French choreographer Hervé Robbe/Le Marietta Secret invited him to create a double purpose/a double emploi for a cast of four French and four American dancers. The following year, Wally Cardona Quartet was founded and WCV, Inc., an artistic umbrella organization for Cardona’s projects, was formed.

Cardona’s work has been commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s TBA Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Symphony Space, Helena Presents/The Myrna Loy Center, Sushi Performance, Group Motion/Peregrine Art’s Hidden City, Ricochet Dance Company, Company OFF/Trafó, Kansas University, and Paradigm. International engagements have included festivals in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.

Visiting Artist | March 28 - April 11, 2009


About REALLY REAL, Cardona writes, "In a balancing act of nuance and scale, this performance for movers and singers is simultaneously abstract and about nearly everything, including youth, beauty, love, death, sex, and power". 

Cardona and his collaborators worked on many aspects of REALLY REAL while in residence. Scores were further developed and ideas put in place with groups of students to integrate the movement chorus into the work. The artists worked in the Black Box and the Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theater. Deena Hurst, Adjunct Instructor for the FSU Department of Philosophy, participated in the work-in-progress showings during a live interview about Kierkegaard. 

REALLY REAL premiered at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, CT, June 19-21, 2009, and in New York as a part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival, November 17, 19-21, 2009.

Collaborators in Residence: Rick Murray [lighting designer], Julian Barnett, Kana Kimura, Joanna Kotze, Omagbitse Omagbemi, Stuart Singer and Francis Stansky [dancers]

Featured Artist

Faye Driscoll

February 22 - 24
Carolina Performing
Arts, UNC Chapel Hill


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