Pavel Zuštiak choreographs and directs a trilogy of live performances titled The Painted Bird. Loosely inspired by Jerzy Kosinski's novel set in war-time Eastern Europe in which a brilliantly painted bird is violently killed by its own flock for seeming an imposter, Zuštiak's project excavates the tale's themes of otherness, displacement, migration and transformation in three separate performance events in New York City.
Zuštiak's signature approach of integrating multiple mediums with dance to create richly-layered, experiential artworks extends itself with The Painted Bird to a multinational creative process through creative residencies in Eastern Europe and the U.S., addressing the personal complexity yet universal emotional resonance of migration stories which reflect Kosinski's tale. All three works remain true to Zuštiak's history of creating works that juxtapose and inundate the senses with multiple production elements framing choreography that extends beyond the limits of the body, exploring the contradiction of individual will versus images of bodies moved around as by a larger force of fate. The project will eventually conclude with an online and published multimedia "diary" inspired by the performances, and will be available for touring in parts and as a whole: The Painted Bird Trilogy.
A vivid, often anguished, imagination shines through in Zuštiak’s work, as does a welcome directness. NEW YORKER
Bastard earns it emotional extremity - with tenderness and quiet... FINANCIAL TIMES
Essentially, Zuštiak has created a roomful of outsiders. That sensation of being on the outside looking in…along with the live score, gives jolts of spooky energy. There is the sense that, with The Painted Bird, he has found his material, and will be mining it for a long time to come. THE NEW YORK TIMES