Pavel Zuštiak Pavel Zuštiak


Pavel Zuštiak

Princess Grace Award:
Choreography - Modern, 2007

Additional Grants:
• 2014 Special Project Award
• 2009 Works in Progress Residency Award
• 2018 Works in Progress Residency Award

Pavel Zuštiak is a Slovak-American choreographer, director and designer. Finding an ideal vehicle for questions around perception, presence, physical and unseen, in live performance and the corporeal body, he aims to destabilize audiences’ assumptions, stir a discourse and prompt to transformation. Described by critics as humane and searing, his interdisciplinary works are visually evocative and emotionally piercing.

The 2015 Bessie Juried Award winner for his "poetic layering of movement and visual imagery, conceiving the stage as a decentralized world in which the corporeal body is the focus and canvas for a wide range of human expression," Zuštiak also received Princeton Arts Fellowship, LMCC President's Award, NEFA/NDP Grant, Guggenheim, MANCC and Bogliasco Fellowships, and multiple Princess Grace Awards.

He has been presented in the US and Europe in venues such as the Cal Performances at UC Berkeley, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, American Dance Institute, New York Live Arts, PS122, COIL Festival, Abrons Arts Center, Baryshnikov Arts Center, La MaMa, Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Response Festival, Legion Arts, Archa Theatre, Bratislava in Movement, KIOSK Festival, Slovak National Theatre and State Theatre Kosice.

His work was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, The Jerome Foundation, Trust for Mutual Understanding, National Performance Network (NPN), Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and New Music USA.

He has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, Princeton Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim Foundation, MANCC, and awards from Princeton Grace Foundation-USA and LMCC President’s Award. He has been an artist in residence at Bogliasco Foundation, American Dance Institute, Gibney, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts, Cowles Center, Vermont Performance Lab, LMCC, Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, MANCC, Abrons Arts Center, Czech Center NY and Grotowski Institute.

Zuštiak is the director and founder of Palissimo Company.



Zuštiak creates no movement that looks like dancing for its own sake. It becomes a statement of identity, a task to be completed, an urge to be satisfied.

Deborah Jowitt, ARTSJOURNAL


A vivid, often anguished imagination shines through in Zuštiak’s work.

Brian Seibert, THE NEW YORKER



The integration between the action, the imaginatively harsh lighting (by Joe Levasseur) and the ominous soundscape (by Christian Frederickson and Bobby McElver) is exceptionally tight.


…in an age where many creators make cookie-cutting an art, this company deserves kudos for boldly (and refreshingly) reinventing its approach with each new piece. I look forward to seeing what they will cook up next.

Ivan Talijan?ic, BACHTRACK


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