Cemeteries are gardens. Someone dies, something grows. Or, as it is observed in this polyphonic performance, GRAVEYARDS AND GARDENS, “Everything returns to the Earth.” Canadian dancer and choreographer Vanessa Goodman created the performance together with New York musician and composer Caroline Shaw. It premiered in January 2021 (online due to the pandemic). Vanessa Goodman takes a solo role in a space defined by a round of antique lamps, like heirlooms, side by side with green plants in earthen pots and technical equipment, old and new. Cables. Connectedness. The sounds have a life of their own. Are they placeless? Sea, song, organ, piano, violin, clacking and snapping, speech. They point to their sources, where they were recorded. In listeners’ brains, something switches on. Bach, Chopin. Return. Other sounds are also made on stage, feeding the traces floating in the air. The dance hears the grass grow and becomes more violent, as if nudged by gusts. Faint echoes or mechanical switching, click, click: this is how remembering works.
Pulitzer Prize winner CAROLINE SHAW works with films, musical ensembles, dance companies and opera houses, and releases her own CDs.
GRAVEYARDS AND GARDENS is a collaborative performance installation conceived, created and performed by composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Vanessa Goodman, with lighting design by James Proudfoot and audio design by Eric Chad and Kate De Lorme. Co-produced by Shaw and Goodman, this new work examines memory as a process of reconstruction rather than an exact recall of fixed events, embracing the various elaborations, distortions and omissions.
Choreography: Vanessa Goodman
Composition: Caroline Shaw
Audio designer: Kate De Lorme, Eric Chad
Technical director: James Proudfoot