Sufjan Stevens's 'Illinois' Is Being Turned into a Theatrical Dance Performance with New Arrangements

It'll have its world premiere this summer at Bard College's Fisher Center

Photo: Evans Richardson

BY Kaelen BellPublished Mar 9, 2023

Come on! Feel the Illinoise! Sufjan Stevens' 2005 baroque folk classic Illinois has been adapted into a theatrical dance performance featuring new arrangements, and it'll have its world premiere this summer at Bard College's Fisher Center. 

The entire album will be reimagined "for a live band and three voices," with the show being described as "an ecstatic pageant of storytelling, theatre, dance, and live music" where choreographer Justin 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." 

The performance is a collaboration between Stevens, Peck and Sibblies Drury. Peck choreographed Steven Spielberg's 2021 remake of West Side Story and previously won a Tony Award for his work on the 2018 revival of Carousel on Broadway. Stevens has collaborated with Peck numerous times before, creating scores used at the New York City Ballet. Drury won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2019 for the play Fairview.

The Illinois performance piece will run from June 23 to July 2 — you can find details on tickets here

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