Sufjan Stevens is currently considered one of the more inventive singer-songwriters (and multi-instrumentalists), and his album Illinois as one of, if not the best he has come up with so far.
Now, this album has been adapted into a theatrical dance performance, which will have its world premiere this summer at the Fisher Center at Bard College. It’s a collaboration between Stevens, choreographer Justin Peck, and writer Jackie Sibblies Drury. The Illinois dance theater piece will run from June 23 to July 2 — ticket details here.
As Stereogum notes, Peck won a Tony Award for his work on the 2018 revival of Carousel on Broadway, and he also choreographed Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story. Stevens has collaborated with Peck numerous times in the past for scores used at the New York City Ballet. Drury won the Pulitzer Prize For Drama in 2019 for the play Fairview.
The official description for the performance calls it “an ecstatic pageant of storytelling, theater, dance, and live music” where Peck “transforms the album into a full-length theatrical performance with a cast of virtuosic dancers, singers, and musicians in a narrative crafted with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury.” It will feature “new arrangements of the entire album for a live band and three voices.”
CULTURE (counter, pop, and otherwise) and the people who shape it.