Back to Posts

RPO is Breaking Boundaries with PUSH Physical Theatre

For Immediate Release: March 8, 2018

Media Contact: Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795,


PUSH info:,,,



RPO is Breaking Boundaries with PUSH Physical Theatre

Collaboration is an “exciting experiment and a new direction”


Rochester, NY – This April, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) breaks boundaries with the RPO debut of Rochester’s award-winning PUSH Physical Theatre in a unique collaboration with the Orchestra and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. Breaking Boundaries with PUSH Physical Theatre on Friday and Saturday, April 13 & 14 at 8 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre will feature PUSH’s interpretations of Tyzik compositions including his New York Cityscapes and “Blue Funk,” as well as works by other composers, in an evening that will “push” audiences’ preconceptions of a symphonic concert.


“From the moment I first saw PUSH perform, I was intrigued by their unique and interesting way of telling a story by using body movements in an unconventional way. I was immediately interested to see what PUSH and the RPO might be able to create together that would be completely different from anything we have ever done before,” explains Tyzik. “This collaboration is an exciting experiment and a new direction in thinking about how a concert can be presented.”


PUSH is well known locally, nationally, and internationally for its physical illusions, acrobatic storytelling, and gravity-defying motion theatre. Founded in Rochester in 2000 by husband-and-wife team Darren and Heather Stevenson, PUSH has received the Performing Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester, the Community of Color/Anton Germano Dance Award, and the University of Rochester’s Lillian Fairchild Award. They were finalists on truTV’s Fake Off, during which judge/Glee star Harry Shum, Jr. said: “You guys are superhuman!” Full-length works include Jekyll & Hyde, Dracula, Arc of Ages, as well as 2013’s choreography for composer Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated opera, Comala. In 2016, Zohn-Muldoon, fellow Eastman School of Music faculty and composer Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, PUSH, and many other Mexican and U.S. artists collaborated on the award-winning, multi-media opera called Don’t Blame Anyone (No Se Culpe). Many shorter works include “Red Ball,” a study of interplay between the real and virtual worlds using iPad technology, created in collaboration with RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.


“PUSH is absolutely honored to work with Jeff and the RPO,” adds PUSH Co-Artistic Director/Founder Darren Stevenson. “This whole process feels new and original, even though its actually very primal. We humans have been gathering together to tell stories through movement and sound even before we figured out how to use language. This project is just a continuation of that legacy.”


In addition to the Stevensons, the current company also features veteran PUSHer Jonathan Lowery, former Cirque du Soleil performer Avi Pryntz-Nadworny, and Fulbright scholar and dancer Katherine Marino. Although a busy touring schedule takes them all over the U.S. and the world, PUSH is very involved with arts-in-education programs and runs its own PUSH Pins Summer Camp, Teen Training, and Summer Intensive for adult students from all over the world in Rochester.


Tickets for Breaking Boundaries with PUSH Physical Theatre start at $24 and are available online at, by phone at (585) 454-2100, or in person at the RPO’s Patron Services Center (108 East Ave., Rochester) and at all Wegmans That’s T.H.E. Ticket! locations.

The RPO’s 2017/18 Season is presented by Rochester Regional Health and the Dawn and Jacques Lipson Cancer Institute. The Philharmonics Series is sponsored by M&T Bank; the RPO Pops Series is sponsored by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust and Wegmans. RPO performances are also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Additional support is provided by Monroe County and the City of Rochester.


The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people – 34,000 of them youngsters – through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 24-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair) – the first endowed position of its kind in the country – the RPO reaches almost 17,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


Media please note: High-resolution images of 2017/18 concerts are available here and upon request, and interviews and photo/footage opportunities can be arranged. High-res photos of PUSH are also available at