General Mischief September 27 & 28 Aaron Davis Hall




Friday, September 27, 2019 at 7:30pm 
Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 7:30pm

Adults: $15-25

Children: $10 (kids 10 and under)

To purchase, CLICK HERE  or call the Aaron Davis Hall box office at (212) 650-6900.

*Discounted tickets are available for students, seniors, faculty, groups, and veterans.


The performance is composed of four wide-ranging collaborative works between General Mischief Dance Theatre, under the leadership of Head Troublemaker Emily Smyth Vartanian , and a diverse group of creative partners. These artists include choreographer Karen Gayle , composer Donna Viscuso , physical theatre artist Ethan Nienaber , and the 41Street Ensemble in their East Coast Debut as they provide live accompaniment at these performances! All works are either Mischief premieres or newly enhanced repertory works, so there is something new to see in every dance. Don’t miss it!

The program includes the premiere of General Mischief’s newest suite of dances entitled Back/Story , the culmination of two years’ collaboration between choreographer Emily Smyth Vartanian and the 41Street Ensemble . The Ensemble’s live performance of their gorgeous, dynamic works brings both playfulness and intimacy to the evening. Back/Story highlights the strength of General Mischief’s diverse ensemble, both with highly technical dancing and complex character work throughout all six dances in the suite. The character portrayals have been guided by collaborative contributions from physical theatre artist and director Ethan Nienaber . The suite depicts the aftermath of a pivotal event, then moves backwards, culminating in the event itself – an explosive moment in which the audience gleefully participates. At a workshop performance at Dixon Place, this interactive element was especially praised: “I was charmed by the clever inclusion of the audience…by giving the audience a role the performance was transformed from something to be looked upon to something to be a part of.” – Claire Kentner, Livein Style Magazine

The evening also includes the acclaimed Walk Softly , a playful group work choreographed by Emily Smyth Vartanian and set to music by Donna Viscuso and others, in collaboration with the VNote Ensemble and 41Street Ensemble . This piece is inspired by traditional bamboo stamping tubes called Quitiplas, each generating a different note, that are played by a musical ensemble to create a driving, multi-layered tune. This distinctive sound led Ms. Vartanian to create a work about the evolving definitions of teamwork and activism, expressed in her distinctively joyful and dynamic style woven harmoniously with the movement and storytelling embodied in General Mischief’s work. The company is also proud to present choreographer Karen Gayle’s seminal work, The Waiting Room.  This intense, deeply theatrical work fuses Ms. Gayle’s sculptural, pedestrian, athletic, and fluid style with the technical abilities and theatricality of General Mischief’s dancers. The work originally debuted in 2008 on Ms. Gayle’s own company, xodus dance collective, but has not been performed for over five years. The choreographer herself has set the piece on the company, providing a unique opportunity to experience this remarkable slice of life work on the 10th anniversary of its creation.  The final work is The Shell Game, an essential piece from the General Mischief canon, revised in honor of its 10th year in the company’s repertory. The dance begins as a playful trio and expands to an ensemble work over time, set to flirtatious swing music by Paul Tillotson and The Love Trio . The movement is rooted in classic jazz vocabulary, peppered with choreographer Emily Smyth Vartanian’s signature quirky moments. This work also provides a chance for audience members to connect with the work in real time, as a red-lined hat is passed from dancer to dancer and a communal guessing game ensues.

General Mischief Dance Theatre is a New York-based contemporary dance theatre company dedicated to reinforcing the power that joy and laughter have in communicating ideas. The company creates theatrical dance adventures that are playful, accessible, and often interactive. Under the artistic leadership of choreographer Emily Smyth Vartanian , Mischief cultivates multidisciplinary
collaboration and inspires collective innovation. Mischief’s goal to combine powerful storytelling with high-quality movement reminds audiences that dance is both visceral and visual. The company has previously presented interactive events in New York at New York City College, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, The Connelly Theater, Theater for the New City, New York City Center Studios, and The Zipper Theater, amongst other venues. They have appeared at numerous festivals and special events at Radio City Music Hall, Proctors, the Kumble Theater, the Higher Ground Festival, FAB Fest and many others in New York, as well as INTERSECTIONS in Washington, D.C. and the Liberty Hall Dance Festival in New Jersey. 

Clever choreography….let yourself revel in live entertainment guaranteed to brighten your mood as the colorful mobile materializes before your very eyes and the professional dancers move with grace and precision.” – Center on the Aisle

Exudes such talent and passion…instills a mix of emotions from the audience. Delightful and a charming experience.” – 

INTERPLAY also features performances by Jane Abbott, Brianna Anderson, Maiko Harada, Ellen Henry, Anthony Jenkins, Wendy Lechuga, Saki Masuda, Allyson Ross, Richard Sayama, Kierstyn Sharrow, Peter Troji?, and JP Viernes.

General Mischief’s Fall Season is made possible in part with public funds from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation, administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.  Also by The Nancy Quinn Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York). Ongoing vital support provided by Mischief’s Members on Patreon!