A frame through bodies move

for soprano, live electronics, dancers, and video projection

15 minutes (2022)

Commissioned by Din of Shadows and in collaboration with choreographer Angela Blumberg. Composed for Stacie Dunlop with videography by Sue Howard, text by Alice B. Fogel.

World Premiere

Din of Shadows VI: Mortal Chorus
June 18, 2022 | The Music Gallery, Toronto

Performed by Stacie Dunlop (soprano), Julia Mermelstein (electronics), Sarah Di Iorio (dancer), Taylor Collis (dancer)

Program Notes

"A frame through bodies move" explores connections between the mind and the physical, where moments shift between the subconscious and conscious. Through multi-sensory forms, the work seeks to answer poet Alice B. Fogel's question, "What if it's like this, only without the body?" Landscapes of an existential world weave together fragmented text with fleeting dream-like moments, emphasizing self-reflection and a shared human experience. There is a continual play between floating, surreal qualities with a grounding connection to the body and the physical experience. From a choreographer’s perspective, Fogel’s question "What if it's like this, only without the body?" poses an impossibility. To solve this puzzle, depictions of the human body that sought to transcend it such as religious figures, including Madonnas and Saints, became a point of departure. The consideration of the body as a piece of architecture, too, was an important stepping stone in the choreographic process. What if the body was stripped of its more fleeting qualities such as emotions, age and politics? Perhaps there would be a space, massive like a church or cathedral, that we’d enter in order to marvel and receive. Text excerpts from: the Tao Te Ching from chapter 14 | “Continuities” by Walt Whitman | "Variation 17: Like Waking" from Interval by Alice B. Fogel. Copyright © 2015 by Alice B Fogel. Interval (Schaffner Press, 2015); with permission.

Photo by Kendra Epik • Dancers Taylor Collis, Sarah Di Iorio.
Photo by Kendra Epik • Electronics, Julia Mermelstein.