movement artist, researcher, collaborater
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Vicky Virgin has been creating dance theater performances for over 20 years. Her work has evolved from solo dance with accordion to large-scale productions and has been produced in venues such as Baryshnikov Art Center, FringeNYC, HERE Art Center, Dixon Place and Art in Odd Places. Site specific work has taken place on the 14th Street corridor, in an empty swimming pool, a storefront window, and an installation in a dressing room of an abandoned downtown department store. Most recently she has conceptualized, choreographed and produced dance videos under the auspices of the artistic collective, BFAMFAPhD of which she is a core member.
She has worked as a demographic analyst and researcher in poverty and immigration for over 30 years and is currently employed in the the NYC Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity.
DC City Ballet, 1980-1987
St. Louis Ballet, 1987
Ballet de Montreal, 1988
New York Theatre Ballet, 1989-1994
Impossible Theater, 1982-1984, experimental theater, performer and choreographer
Cannon Company, 1998-2000, experimental theater, performer and choreographer
Freelance work in modern dance, musical theater, opera, folk dance, and film.
Core member of BFAMFAPhD, an artist collective working in the intersection of art, technology, and political economy, 2014-present
Excellence in International Migration Scholarship Award, 2019 presented by Center for Migration Studies, 2019
NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial
Museum of Arts and Design/NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial
Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY (curated by Glenn Adamson),(catalogue).
January 1, 2014
Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond
Brooklyn Museum, NY, (curated by Eugenie Tsai and Rujeko Hockley), (catalogue).
January 1, 2015
Emergency Index: An Annual Document of Performance Practice, Vol. 3, 2013
AiOP 2013: NUMBER lookback: Demographer and performer Vicky Virgin tells Radhika Subramaniam about taking a number and her place on 14th Street. (Blogpost for AiOP, 2013)
Artists Report Back, A National Study in the Lives of Art Graduates and Working Artists, 2014
An Economic Profile of Immigrants in NYC, 2019
Fine Print: A Series of Lecture Demonstrations on Student Debt, 2016-2019
Sound: metronome, spoken text (loan term definitions)
25 dancers, one instructor, charts, Sharpie
A dance video in three parts which probes the absurdity of student loan agreements through choreography, location and linguistics. The videos were filmed on location in NYC in a gym, a public high school art room, and on the streets of the financial district.
Created for the artist collective, BFAMFAPhD
Take a Number, 2013
Sound: ambient street noise, conversation
Nine performers, the NYC populace, magnetic computer tape, video camera, and the demographics of NYC depicted in numbers, maps, and bar charts
A live statistical-literacy adventure across 14th Street in which roaming performers engage with the public, discussing the data and numbers that make New York City a diverse and dynamic metropolis.
Produced by Art in Odd Places
Salt Lake, a Ballet in 3 Acts, 2005-2009
Sound: Recorded music (Jello Slave), live music (Jason Crigler on bass guitar, Michelle Kinney on cello), spoken text (Shakespeare sonnet)
One actor, four ballerinas, a film by Trent Harris, salt (fleur de sel, rock salt, kosher salt, Morton Salt, and a salt lick)
A story ballet/performance art mashup in which salt becomes a metaphor for desire and passion. Fleur de Sel stars as a salt obsessive visited by salt nymphs as she negotiates the fallout of bliss, desire and despair.
Costumes by Fritz Matsen
Sound: John Lad live on viola playing Elegy for Solo Viola, Stravinsky
Solo dancer and viola player
An elegiac duet in memory of a replaced hip, in imitation of Stravinsky’s iconic elegy for a man, an era, an ouvre.
Police Log, 2002
Sound: barking dog, spoken text (Idaho Falls police log)
Solo performer, slide projector and 1950s screen, small fence, air freshener, billy club, boy scout costume, Mormon bandolier, oversized police shoes
Snippets from the Idaho Falls police log create the foundation for this work, exposing the underbelly of an idyllic Mormon town.
…and the flower thereof is fallen, 2001-2003
Sound: Michelle Kinney live (in bear mask) on cello, spoken text
Solo performer in badger mask and furry pointe shoes, plastic flowers, flower pots, blood-red play dough, curtain, wardrobe rack.
A danced exploration of the pain of loss and the fear of death, inspired by the 1984 children’s book, Badger’s Parting Gifts by Susan Varley, as well as by Walt Whitman, Brahms’s A German Requiem, Jimi Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner, and more.
The Day the Cowboy Died, 2002-2003
Sound: Howard Heller live on bagpipes; spoken text written and performed by Bill Brosh; The Cowboy’s Lament (traditional), 1930 Ken Maynard recording;
Four dancers, one actor, play dough, astro turf, grass basket, angel wings, baby blue tulle, safety goggles, quilt batting, lemons, and the choreographer’s unrelenting grief over the deaths of multiple friends in a short period of time
A dying cowboy is greeted by a chorus of spirits who guide him to the other side, accompanied by a bagpiper, but where does he go? Who is there to meet him? What will his new job be?
The Challenge of Reaching High C, 2003
Sound: Florence Foster Jenkins recorded live at Carnegie Hall, 1944, singing Queen of the Night from Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Solo dancer with tutu, accordion, ladders, and a mountain of old pointe shoes.
A ruthless demonstration of what it takes for one to reach one's own personal high note.
Winners and Losers in the News of the Day, 1999-2000, in collaboration with Theresa Reeves
Sound: Kevin Jones, voiceover recording; John Philip Sousa recorded march.
A collaborative movement piece that sheds light on stories of alpha-male violence, intolerance and ignorance in America in the late 90s.
Polka Folka Zolka, 2000
Sound: live accordion
Solo performer, 10 toy accordions, window blinds, banana
This visually stimulating montage melds live polka and Led Zeppelin, as audience members chime in on toy accordions and the performer slowly deconstructs her own instrument.
Urban Delight, 1997, In collaboration with Lucienne Vidah
Sound: amplified wire; live toy piano and violin
Five dancers, two actors, man with a megaphone, violinist, two human statues, homemade musical instruments
A dance/theater performance wherein nymphs and aliens meet in an East Village community garden.
Sound: recording of seagulls at a beach
Solo performer with accordion and hula hoop
Commissioned by Karen Bernard
This is the Place Intersection #16, 1998
Sound: live accordion
A poignant and whimsical excursion to the frontier and back in search of “the place.” “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” —T.S. Eliot
Costumes by Ron Altman
Surrender Me, 1995
Sound: recorded music
Nine months pregnant, joints wide open and in a state of physical and emotional surrender, a performer explores the physical force of wielding 40 newly acquired pounds.
A Day in the Life of a Pioneer, 1995
Sound: Istvan Marta recording
An homage to the choreographer’s Mormon heritage—to the connection with the earth which informs and strengthens the pioneer along the journey, and to the beauty found in harshness.
Irreconcilable Differences, 1994-1995
Sound: traditional Swedish walking tunes played live on accordion
Solo ballerina en pointe with accordion
An autobiographical piece about dichotomies of the soul, through the journey of an Idaho girl who starts out playing accordion and ends up becoming a ballet dancer.