The Principles of Uncertainty

John Heginbotham and Maira Kalman

Choreographer  and Director:
John Heginbotham

Illustrator and Set/Costume Design: 
Maira Kalman

Assistant Director:
Daniel Pettrow

Music Director:
Colin Jacobsen

Lighting Designer:
Nicole Pearce

Projection Designer:
Todd Bryant

Associate Costume Designer:
Maile Okamura

Production Stage Manager: 
Valerie Oliveiro

Maira Kalman, 7 dancers, 1 actor, 4 musicians

Run Time:
Approx. 70 minutes

Photos by Adrienne Bryant



The Principles of Uncertainty is a new evening-length dance theater work created by collaborators John Heginbotham (Choreographer) and Maira Kalman (Visual Artist/Designer).  The work draws inspiration from the highly detailed, intimate worlds created in Maira’s paintings and illustrations, particularly from her book, The Principles of Uncertainty (2009).  The piece is based on John and Maira’s shared interest in the passage of time and its relation to the seemingly mundane objects and experiences that make up our daily lives.  A central theme of the work is a human’s experience as a temporary participant in an ever-changing world.  These ideas and themes are explored through a series of vignettes that are woven through with John’s rich choreography and Maira’s design elements.  An array of eclectic vocabularies - dance, text, music, and projected images - work in concert to tell the story.  The intention is that Principles of Uncertainty behaves as a welcoming, non-linear, occasionally absurd travelogue.

Composer and musician Colin Jacobsen will compose, arrange, and curate music for the work and the cast will feature the seven dancers of Dance Heginbotham, the actor Daniel Pettrow, a quartet of musicians, and Maira herself.

The Principles of Uncertainty will receive its World Premiere at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in August 2017.

Read about the creation of The Principles of Uncertainty during our residency at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts' Intensive Development Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 

The Principles of Uncertainty was co-commissioned by Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was created during residencies at The Banff Centre, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the NYU Center for Ballet and the Arts. 

Additional support for the creation and touring of The Principles of Uncertainty provided by the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.