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Title The Hans Project
Year 2006
Length 18 minutes
Number of Performers 8
Choreography Anne-Marie Mulgrew
Music Keith Calmes composed and performed live
Performed by The Company featuring Gabrielle Revlock and Elizabeth Reid with Elrey Belmonti, Joseph Cicala, Erin Foreman-Murray, Anne-Marie Mulgrew, Jennifer Prydybasz, Charles Tyson
VIDEO Stan Sadowski in collaboration with Anne-Marie Mulgrew
LIVE VIDEO FEED Elrey C. Belmonti
Premiere Philadelphia Cathedral, June 2, 3, 2006
Hans was inspired by the woodcuts "Dances of Death" by Renaissance artist Hans Holbein the Younger. These works, depicting unsuspecting and unlikely people accompanied by a seductive grim reaper, have held me in morbid fascination for several years. Inspiration for the music of Hans was as diverse as the characters in Holbein's woodcuts: youth, antiquity, longing, the sea, skeletons, contemporary society and music, exoticism, and the passing of friends and family. Collaborating with Anne-Marie Mulgrew and Dancers Company on this project is a dream come true. Anne-Marie interprets my pieces so well that I remain convinced that she hears more in them than I do. -Keith Calmes Keith approached me with a project using as a springboard Hans Holbein’s captivating and grotesque imagery on death. Having just lost my mother, I found Keith’s music consoling yet somewhat challenging as there did appear to be hints of narratives. A lover of dance history, I was enchanted by the Dances of Death spurred by the plague that raged through Europe. Dance (movement) is the opposite of the physical death of the body. I was seeking a connection between Hans and the music and how it might inform movement. The constant was… death is inevitable. Birth/death is a cycle. In researching the theme in various cultures such as The Mexican Day of the Dead, I enjoyed discovering different perspectives of how one approaches the issue. Death can mock, chide, seduce, scold, destroy, trick. Death can slip in and away leaving both its victims and survivors wondering why.