Courtney Henry & Jeffrey Van Sciver will be performing a pas de duex from Alonzo King's work "Biophony" which premiered at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in April 2015. This work was a collaboration with natural soundscape artist Bernie Krause and composer Richard Blackford, who worked with King to compose a ballet score from several rare habitats around the globe, both marine and terrestrial. The duet being performed this evening is titled "Mare Nostrum" and is the third movement of eight. Beginning with a surface geophony of ocean waves, the aquatic sonic journey slowly draws use below the surface where we hear the combined vocalizations of humpback whales interleaved with numerous species of fish. Costume Design by Robert Rosenwasser.
The dance performance is presented in concert with The Sea is History (work in progress), made in the Dominican Republic and Haiti – a free adaptation of the poem by Derek Walcott. The film is a materialist and animist critique of the monumentalisation of European colonial history, reading the past instead as something intimately entangled within the present - as a living and mutational thing made up of the living and the dead. It is in this sense that the film suggests a way beyond the boundary évent that could be called the Plantationocene (brought on with the onset of modernity and the system of globalised capitalism that started with the colonisation of the Americas in 1492, with Columbus arriving in Ayiti; latter day Dominican Republic) - and towards a possible "Chthulucenic" future of créolised assemblages as a politics of re-narrativising death within life.
Made in Santo Domingo - the first capital of the New World, and on Lago Enriquillo - a hyper-salinated lake, once part of the Caribbean sea, that is flooding the border with Haiti due to the drastic rise in sea temperatures that are currently deeply affecting the global ocean.