Danceworks Inc.
Press Release

Danceworks Performance MKE and APERI ANIMAM Team Up for Third and Final Show of the Season

 

By - Apr 19th, 2024 11:25 am

April 19, 2024, Milwaukee, WI — In their inaugural collaboration, DanceworksAPERI ANIMAM unite to embark on a rhythmic exploration featuring George Frideric Handel‘s stirring interpretation of Dixit Dominus. Featuring new choreography by Danceworks Artistic Director Christal Wagner and Maria Gillespie, this production entitled, Dixit Dominus and Cantos, is scheduled to debut at Calvary Presbyterian Church from Friday, May 17, 2024, through Sunday, May 19, 2024, marking the finale of Danceworks Performance MKE’s 2023-24 season.

Handel completed and premiered Dixit Dominus in 1707 at the age of 22 while he was living in Italy. The piece is a nine-movement setting of Psalm 110 scored for orchestra, choir, and soloists. The piece is highly dramatic, exploring the relationship between righteousness and evil, and the wrath of God directed toward those who do evil. At this time in his life, Handel was highly passionate about Opera, but due to Papal policy, found himself in Rome at a time when Opera was banned. He therefore channeled his dramatic enthusiasm into sacred music. The movements are musically depictive of the drama of the text, including a wide variety of contrasting tempi, voicings, and articulations.

APERI ANIMAM, under the direction of Paul Thompson and Jackie Willis, will be joined by a baroque chamber orchestra to create this powerful and evocative music. From the Latin “open your soul,” APERI ANIMAM is a professional Milwaukee-based choral ensemble dedicated to the creation and performance of uniquely atmospheric musical experiences that have an impact on lives and learning throughout the Midwest. Soloists for Dixit Dominus and Cantos will include Elise Brevik, Shea Brown, Jeremiah Cawley, Camille Crossot, Tim Koehler, Rebecca Myers, Sam Mullooly, Jackie Willis, and Jay Zamora.

Pairing modern dance with APERI ANIMAM’S performance of Handel’s Dixit Dominus opens a door to romanticism in a new way. The rich baroque style of the music lends itself to contemporary modern dance in a grander fashion than the average dance concert. Within this production, a single character takes center stage, embarking on a poignant journey through the myriad facets of humanity. Each vignette unfolds like a tapestry of emotions — from the exultation of joy to the depths of despair and everything in between. It’s a romantic ode to the essence of humanity, where the mundane routines of everyday life give way to the profound richness of human experience. In the highs and lows, in joy and pain, lies the heartbeat of existence, reminding us of the beauty inherent in our shared journey.

Choreographer Christal Wagner uses modern dance stylings that give respectful attention to history’s most well known choreographers, Taylor, Limón, Graham, and Cunningham. Danceworks Performance MKE firmly infuses these classical modern techniques in this contemporary adaptation.

In juxtaposition to Handel’s baroque style, this concert also features a world premiere by choreographer Maria Gillespie, that carefully pairs sophisticated repertoire with her authentically raw movement aesthetic, highlighting secular works in the polyphonic style. Cantos celebrates the embodied voice by exploring subtle connections between music and movement. The dance embraces duality of play and reverence, between the current of breath that supports and pushes our bodies, and the voice’s song which soothes and animates our bodies. Cantos is a contemplation of the breath, tone, and texture of the kinesthetic voice. Dancers revel in the delight and grit as well as in sustained tenderness expressed in medieval and modern polyphonic vocals sung by APERI ANIMAM.

Tickets for Dixit Dominus and Cantos can be purchased by visiting Danceworks’ website, calling the Danceworks Box Office at 414-277-8480, or visiting Danceworks, located at 1661 N. Water Street in Milwaukee.

Dixit Dominus and Cantos

Image from Danceworks.

Image from Danceworks.

Description:
Joining forces, Danceworks Performance MKE and APERI ANIMAM set out on a rhythmic journey with George Frideric Handel’s passionate rendition of ‘Dixit Dominus’. Composed by the prodigious 22-year-old Handel in 1707 during his time in Italy, this earlier work presents a flamboyant tapestry of intricate vocal lines woven with a prominent rhythmic gusto. With its dynamic interplay between soloists and choir, ‘Dixit Dominus’ exudes a sense of dramatic fervor that reflects Handel’s profound ability to evoke both grandeur and intimacy while amplifying the sentiments of the war between heaven and hell. In juxtaposition to Handel’s baroque style, this concert features a world premiere by choreographer Maria Gillespie that carefully pairs sophisticated repertoire with her authentically raw movement aesthetic, highlighting secular works in the polyphonic style.

When:

Fr 5/17 7:30pm Show 1

Sa 5/18 2:30pm Show 2

Sa 5/18 7:30pm Show 3

Su 5/19 2:30pm Show 4

Location:

Calvary Presbyterian Church

935 W. Wisconsin Avenue

Milwaukee, WI 53233

Tickets: Advanced ticket sales preferred. Door sales will be open for patrons but not guaranteed.

$35* | Premiere Seating

$28* | Adult

$22* | Student/Senior (62+)/Artist/Military

$18* | Obstructed View Seating

*$0.75 ticket fee is applied to each ticket

Tickets can be purchased by visiting Danceworks’ website, calling the Danceworks Box Office at 414-277-8480, or visiting Danceworks, located at 1661 N. Water Street in Milwaukee.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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