“Hassabi is a master of slowness and stillness – her pieces are like art installations brought to life by dancers.” – Deborah Jowitt, Arts Journal
Maria Hassabi is a director, choreographer and performance artist. She is a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, 2009 Grants to Artists Award. In 2012, she received The President’s Award for Performing Arts from the LMCC. Over the past decade she has created eight evening length performances including SHOW (2011), Robert and Maria (2010), SoloShow (2009), Solo (2009), GLORIA (2007), Still Smoking (2006), Dead is Dead (2004) and LIGHTS (2001), several short-form pieces, art installations including CHANDELIERS (2012), and recently her first short film, The Ladies (2012). Throughout her career she’s had numerous ongoing collaborations with artists from various disciplines. Her works are presented internationally in theaters, museums, galleries, public-spaces and on film. She lives and works in New York.
Hassabi’s latest work, PREMIERE, brings together a team of eight artists: five performers, Andros-Zin Brown, Hristoula Harakas, Paige Martin, Robert Steijn, and Hassabi, sound-designer Alex Waterman, visual artist/dramaturg Scott Lyall, and lighting designer, Lauren Brown. The work marks the transition every work undergoes in order to be validated as a completed art product, moving from a private to a public event. In its evolution from process into product, a premiere represents the first moment all the elements of live performance come together. Inevitably, this moment of breakthrough brings about strong feelings of anticipation as a new element is added: the audience, as viewer and critic. This anticipation, which is at once exciting and unnerving, is only negotiated through the materialization of the public event.