Composer Sxip Shirey and choreographer Coco Karol lead the audience through an immersive choral experience.

The Gauntlet is an intimate experience bathing audiences in waves of harmony, poetry, and gesture, as they are led through musical corridors of sonic architecture created by the human voice.

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Each performance of The Gauntlet is unique, reflecting the site, community and performers it is created with. The Gauntlet is inspired by the theme Connection (also the theme of The Arts Center’s 5th Anniversary Season), with text formed from ‘Movement Interviews’ with change-makers, cultural figures, and artists, performed by a locally-developed choir. ‘Movement Interviews’ are a form of embodied inquiry that use movement, language, and impulse to mine personal stories, poetry, and gestures.

The Gauntlet was performed at National Sawdust in FERUS Festival 2018 and has since been performed at New York’s High Line and Rockefeller Center, Cleveland Art Museum, and Sydney Opera House’s Antidote Festival.


Sxip Shirey is a composer/producer and performer based in New York City. He most recently toured internationally with the theater/circus arts production LIMBO which was developed between Strut N Fret productions in Australia and Underbelly in London with South Bank Center as a co-­producer. Shirey teaches at the Norwegian Theater Academy in Fredrikstad Norway, which Shirey considers “The Black Mountain College of NOW”. Shirey has been a featured performer at TED. He wrote the music for the short film “Statuesque” written and directed by Neil Gaiman and starring Bill Nighy and most recently lead the band at Madonna’s birthday party in the Hamptons. Shirey is a 2011 United States Artist Fellow. His most recent album, entitled Goodnight Little Machines is expected to be released in 2019.

Coco Karol is a New York based dancer, teacher, and artist. She began her career as a classical dancer with The Boston Ballet, and now makes cross-disciplinary performance works that draw inspiration from many dance and visual art forms including, ballet and butoh. She holds a BFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA from Hollins University.

As a dancer, Karol has had the privilege of performing for Misnomer Dance Theater, Cherylyn Lavagnino Dance Company, and Christopher Williams, as well as being a part of projects by Bill Young, Jose Navas, and Steven Petronio. Karol has created work with musicians including Bjork, Ryan Lott (Son Lux), Koh Ohtera, Sean Ali, Lacy Rose, Alaina Ferris, Daniel Carter, MAGIK*MAGIK, Amanda Palmer, and her husband Sxip Shirey.

Karol’s collaborations with visual artists include, photographer – Steven Sebring, sculptor- Eve Bailey, architect- Marcos Zotes, stereoscopic artist- Gerald Marks, videographer- Azmi Mert Erdem, designer- Louda Larrain, and multi-disciplinary artist, Benjamin Heller.
Her work has been shown internationally as well as across New York at Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, BAX, Ibeam, Spectrum, D.U.M.B.O Under the Bridge Arts Festival, New York Studio Gallery, Galapagos, Death By Audio, curated by AUNTS, and National Sawdust.
Karol often uses local communities in her choreography which she creates in community-inclusive performance workshops which she calls Movement Before Dialog workshops. These have taken place in San Francisco, CA to musicians of the Magik*Magik Orchestra; in Istanbul, Turkey, concerned with movement/ social movement, in Roanoke, VA and New York, NY, investigating non-verbal communication and gestures of care with hospice workers/ caregivers.

In the latest iteration of community- inclusive works, Karol is using dance to interview people in a process she developed called “Movement Interviews.” She has done over 100 “Movement Interviews” of local community members, students, and choir members for the upcoming works (Winter/Spring/ Fall 2018) by Sxip Shirey and Choral Chameleon.

Karol is a dedicated maker and teacher. Her creations are informed by her work in hospice, her studies in improvisation, butoh, authentic movement, meditation, and her belief that we move to move, and to be moved.
Karol started Red Sole Productions, LLC, a small production company for dance-based media, in 2011. In 2016 she was fiscally sponsored through New York Live Arts.