Pharrell Williams, Daniel Arsham & Jonah Bokaer
How a Grammy-winning musician, a top choreographer and an esteemed scenic designer are making the ultimate power play in collaborating on ‘Rules Of The Game,’ a groundbreaking production that will debut at Dallas’ SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival in May. It’s a Saturday in late winter, and Bokaer, a celebrated modern dancer and choreographer, is seated at a nondescript table in an airy workspace in Long Island City, Queens.
This was once a gallery home for dealer Jeffrey Deitch—artist Matthew Barney apparently does Matthew Barney things next door—and now it’s the studio of visual artist and scenic designer Daniel Arsham, Bokaer’s friend and frequent collaborator. Late-afternoon sun pours through a string of skylights. A small documentary crew huddles over a shot. And at another table, taking a break and eating a quick fast-food lunch, sits Bokaer’s and Arsham’s co-conspirator: Pharrell Williams.
At first glance, they seem an unlikely team: Bokaer, the eccentric dance visionary with Guggenheim and Ford Foundation grants; Arsham, the imaginative Miami-raised artist stretching boundaries of sculpture and design; and Williams, the Grammy-winning producer and singer perhaps best known for his ebullient anthem “Happy” and his role as a talent judge on NBC’s music reality show The Voice. But Williams, 43, and Arsham, 36, have known each other for a decade—not long ago, for an exhibition, Arsham made an astonishing replica of Williams’ childhood Casio keyboard from volcanic ash—and Arsham and Bokaer, 34, have been friends for nearly the same amount of time, having met as wunderkinds in the company of modern dance legend Merce Cunningham.
By Jerry Portwood. Pharrell is collaborating with artist Daniel Arsham and choreographer Jonah Bokaer for a multidisciplinary production titled ‘Rules Of The Game‘. Williams and Arsham have teamed up once again for a new project that also includes a third creative talent, choreographer Jonah Bokaer, to craft a multidisciplinary performance, Rules Of The Game, that will incorporate dance, art and music.
The piece, which will have its world premiere May 17th at the second annual SOLUNA International Music & Arts Festival, includes an original score by Williams that will be performed live by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and conducted by composer David Campbell, who has worked on over 450 gold and platinum albums, with artists including Adele, Beck, Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson.
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