The Tempest Replica
280 minutes, no intermission
Created by Crystal Pite
Premiered on October 20, 2011 at Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Germany
Performers: Bryan Arias, Eric Beauchesne, Peter Chu, Sandra Marín Garcia, Yannick Matthon, Jiří Pokorný, Cindy Salgado, Jermaine Maurice Spivey
Composer: Owen Belton
Sound Designers: Alessandro Juliani, Meg Roe
Costume Designer: Nancy Bryant
Lighting Designer: Robert Sondergaard
Set Designer: Jay Gower Taylor
Projection Designer: Jamie Nesbitt
In her new dance piece, based on motifs from Shakespeareʼs The Tempest, Crystal Pite stages a game of revenge and forgiveness, reality and imagination. Pite explores these motifs in two contexts: a maquette of Shakespeareʼs island as a metaphor for isolation, captivity and desire, and a nostalgic cityscape that evokes longing. Chalk-white replicas deliver the essential plot points of the story, but the emotion and tension of the narrative are fleshed out by real characters. To explore and demonstrate this duplication of character and copy, the story and the body, requires something incomparably precious: the mastery and articulation of the dancer.
Notes from Crystal Pite
The Tempest Replica presents Shakespeareʼs play in two parallel worlds. Firstly, the play is represented as an on-stage storyboard, with the plot points of the narrative delivered minimally, through the gestures, postures, and configurations of the faceless body inside a maquette-like space. Secondly, the play is explored through a series of portraits – the characters and relationships from The Tempest are manifested through fierce physical language and emotion.
My hope for the viewer is that, armed with the plot points of a narrative, he or she is more deeply invested in the performance: the choreography becomes more than just a dance between two people – rather, it is imbued with a story we have all shared.
The themes of Shakespeareʼs The Tempest are resonant and beautiful. A magician bent on revenge, ultimately decides to choose virtue over vengeance, relinquishing his power and ambition in order to find his humanity. Prosperoʼs relationship to his muse, Ariel, and his monster, Caliban, is the relationship of any creator to his work, passion, obsession. The relationships between the civilized and the wild echo the tension between the conscious and the unconscious, the instinct and the intellect. The Island, like the mind, is a place of mystery, spirit and ego.
“A work of astonishing beauty and thoughtfulness.” – The New Yorker
“Pite’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” is so brilliantly conceived and so wonderfully executed by her company, Kidd Pivot, that it seems some magic must be at work.” – New Jersey Star-Ledger
“Text, sound, light and movement intertwine as magically and swiftly as in a fever dream. Shadows and illusions abound. And her dancers have never been so precise – or so brilliantly abandoned.” – Seattle Times
“Piteʼs work integrates original music, text, rich visual design, and a keen sense of wit and invention. Her distinct style fuses classical elements with the complexity and freedom of structured improvisation and a strong theatrical sensibility. Pite connects to her subject through her fascination and expertise with the dancing body, and with ʻher uncanny ability to take abstract intellectual ideas and give them vivid physical form.ʼ ” – The Georgia Straight
The Tempest Replica is a co-production of Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt), Gemeinnütziger Kulturfonds Frankfurt Rhein Main, Monaco Dance Forum (Monaco), Sadlerʼs Wells (London), National Arts Centre (Ottawa), DanceHouse (Vancouver), LʼAgora de la danse (Montreal), and SFU Woodwardʼs (Vancouver).
Kidd Pivot gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council, and the City of Vancouver.
Photo by Jörg Baumann.
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