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Arthur Stashak: Hollow

In From her wooden sleep…, an installation by Ydessa Hendeles, manikins from centuries past sit like a lifeless congregation in a gallery lit dramatically, evoking a house of worship or other sacred space.

A manikin is a shorthand form of the human figure. It sits or stands like you do, but it is stiff and static. It watches you as you watch it, but its eyes are wooden. It performs, being on display all day, every day; yet it lacks an individualizing identity. But what if the manikin came to life and performed? What would this wooden creature feel? Would it be accepted by human society-or not?

Award-winning dancer Arthur Stashak, who wowed the audience with his Summer 2016 performance titled License to Disturb, returns with new choreography inspired by Hendeles-and in keeping with the Golem from Jewish folklore, Olympia from Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman"; Pinocchio from the Italian writing-and-illustrating team of Collodi and Mazzanti; and, even the android Data from Star Trek.

Stashak was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, where at 6-years-old he began training in ballet. As a result of competing in the international ballet competition, Youth American Grand Prix, he was offered a spot to train at Canada's National Ballet School, where he stayed for 4 years. He continued his training in Hamburg, Germany, received his first professional contract with Teatr Wielki (Lodz, Poland), and currently dances with Dusseldorf's Ballet am Rhein.