Following a year living through a global event which both weaponised and victimised our bodies, many of us were forced into a state of grief, and stasis, reminding us of our own temporality and individual existence in the wider scheme of things, as the world slowed down. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to reconnect with ourselves as we transformed and adapted to the ‘new normal’.
Embodying Glass is a creative response to this existential crisis, exploring the concept of time and space in some of Phillip Glass’ musical scores, particularly the four movements of‘Company’ (1983), originally composed for one of Samuel Beckett’s dramatised prose poem of the same name.
Blending techniques of Viewpoints and dance-theatre, Embodying Glass sees world-renowned string quartet, Contempo Quartet, play the four-movement score alongside a dancer who is quite literally embodying the score. The choreography is designed so that the space/theatre in which the performance will be presented is transformed into the musical stave found on the written score, and where the body of the dance becomes the various notes, thrown around in exhausting, yet beautiful repetitions.
Through each movement, the stave moves into the space, and occasionally into the dancer’s body, with individual parts, limbs and joints becoming those notes being played. Embodying Glass is not only a conversation between musicians and a dancer, but also a conversation between music and our bodies.
This project, through almost Beckettian aesthetic and fashion, is particularly interested in seeing what kind of ‘story’ emerges out of the embodiment of a musical score, while highlighting the original themes of existentialism and temporality that already exist within the piece.