Development of Blue Name was supported by a Gibney Dance-in-Process residency and
Carnegie Mellon University’s Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. Additional support provided Princeton University, the Mertz Gilmore Foundation Late Stage Production Stipend, and the Jerome Foundation.
Silas Riener graduated from Princeton University in 2006 with a degree in Comparative Literature and certificates in Creative Writing and Dance, with a focus on linguistics. As a dancer he has worked with Chantal Yzermans, Takehiro Ueyama, Christopher Williams, Joanna Kotze, Jonah Bokaer, and Rebecca Lazier; and is currently dancing in projects for Tere O’Connor, Wally Cardona, and Kota Yamazaki. He was a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company from November 2007 until its closure at the end of 2011, and received a 2012 New York Dance and Performance Award (Bessie) for his solo performance in Cunningham’s Split Sides. While performing with MCDC, Riener completed his MFA in Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (2008). Since 2010 he has collaborated with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell on site-specific dances and immersive theatrical experiences. Riener was the movement designer for the architecture and design firm Harrison Atelier in 2012/2013 and choreographed the site-specific performance/installations Pharmacophore: Architectural Placebo at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, andVEAL at the Invisible Dog Art Center. His work has also been curated at Architecture OMI, CATCH, as part of LMCC’s River to River Festival, at Danspace Project, and at the BFI Gallery in Miami. His work with Rashaun Mitchell appeared in Carla Fernández exhibition The Barefoot Designer at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2014. Riener has taught workshops on performance and technique at Concord Academy SummerStages in Boston, throughout Turkey at several universities, in the Dance Program of Princeton University and Barnard College, and at the Merce Cunningham Trust. In 2013 along with with Rashaun Mitchell he was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”, and was invited to participate as an inaugural member of LMCC’s Extended Life Dance Development Program. He was a 2014 New York City Center Choreographic Fellow and a Mellon Artist-in-Residence at The Newhouse Center for the Humanities at Wellesley College, and a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at Gina Gibney Dance Center Dance-in-Process, and at the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Jesse Stiles (b. 1978, Boston, MA) is an electronic composer, performer, installation artist, and software designer. Stiles’ work has been featured at internationally recognized institutions including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Park Avenue Armory. Stiles has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall, performing as a soloist with electronic instruments.
In his music and artwork, Stiles creates immersive sonic and visual environments that encourage new methods of listening and looking. His musical output ranges from highly experimental, using texture and spatialization to create abstract clouds of sound, to borderline danceable, exploring the sounds of electronic dance and rock music to create avant-garde performances and recordings. Stiles’ installation artwork makes use of generative algorithms to control sound, video, light, and robotics – combining these mediums to create synaesthetic compositions that transform museums and galleries into evolving audiovisual environments.
Stiles has collaborated with many leading figures in experimental music including Pauline Oliveros, Meredith Monk, David Behrman, and Morton Subotnick. He has been featured as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony, performing with electronic instruments. Stiles’ recordings have been published by Conrex Records, Specific Recordings, Gagarin Records, and Araca Recs. Stiles has worked as a sound designer and composer on a wide variety of award-winning films, museum exhibitions, and video games.
Starting in 2010, Stiles served as the Music Supervisor for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Working with the company during their precedent-setting “Legacy Tour,” he produced and performed in more than 200 concerts featuring compositions by groundbreaking composers including John Cage, David Tudor, Brian Eno, Radiohead, Sigur Ros, and John Paul Jones. Stiles’ compositions were featured in many of the company’s site-specific “Event” performances.
Stiles is currently a Professor in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University, where he leads courses on emerging music technologies.