After training at Juilliard, Austin McCormick realized he wanted to stretch the boundaries of dance. The result? Company XIV, now celebrating its new dedicated performance space Théâtre XIV in Brooklyn.
“I wanted to create a beautiful world where classically trained artists could both honor their training and depart from it,” McCormick says. “My background is in French Baroque court dance and classical ballet [but] XIV’s choreographic style has evolved over the years to encompass many genres of performance. Our performers have become more multi-talented as the company has evolved. We have incredible classically trained performers, opera-singing aerialists, twin tap dancers, figure skating dancers. and so much more. Our shows truly fuse opera, dance, burlesque, circus, and live music.”
Part of what makes Company XIV’s works so memorable—in addition to a pronounced sensuality that McCormick and company bring to even the most well-known of fairy tales—are the eye-popping costumes of resident designer Zane Pihlstrom. “We combine elements of Carnivale and burlesque,” he says. “Austin loves to incorporate images that are both sensual and grotesque, like sideshow horror with high-end glamour.”
As McCormick himself says, “I like the challenge of taking somewhat familiar stories and music and twisting it into something new. I love that our productions know no limitations or artistic restrictions—it allows me to truly incorporate everything I love under one glittering roof.”
With beloved works such as Nutcracker Rouge, Snow White, and the company’s upcoming Cinderella (beginning March 8), McCormick makes good on that challenge. And now fans of the company’s work will be able to experience it in their permanent home, one that comes complete with two bars, specialty cocktails, and bar snacks for the patrons.
“Having a home theatre means more opportunity to be creative and risky, more parties and lavish spectacles, and a whole lot of Champagne!” McCormick enthuses. “Zane has become even more over the top as the years have gone on—our costumes are particularly stunning this season.” More importantly, a permanent home means “we can focus on what we do best—creating fabulous baroque burlesque productions in an immersive and sexy environment!”
Even before CInderella begins in March, audiences will have the chance to experience everything Company XIV has to offer with its XIVariété, an evening of striptease, magic, song, and dance featuring a rotating cast of acclaimed guest artists, running through February 24. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit companyxiv.com.