The Buzz about Vesalii Icones
Many of you will remember Opera Cabal's partial staging of Peter Maxwell Davies' Vesalii Icones which I directed last summer in a workshop version at High Concept Laboratories. Please join me for a single, preview showing of the full version Saturday, May 22 in Fulton Hall on the University of Chicago campus. The performance is part of a conference, "Praxes of Theory," organized by David J. Levin and sponsored by the Franke Institute.
Directed by Majel Connery, with choreography by Adrian Jevicki (Movementpants Dance, NYC). Sam Goodman & John Rich, dancers. The show runs 45 minutes and is followed by a discussion with the audience moderated by David J. Levin.
Saturday, May 22
4:30p - 6p
4th fl., Goodspeed Hall
Dept of Music
University of Chicago
5845 S. Ellis Ave
Details on the show & the conference.
Map the venue.
About Vesalii Icones:
Conceived at the height of his career in experimental stage music, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Vesalii Icones (1969) is based on the unlikely superimposition of 16th-century anatomical diagrams (Andreas Vesalius's *De fabrica corporis humani* or *On the fabric of the human body*) with the fourteen Stations of the Cross. As one of Davies’ only choreographed works, Vesalii Icones permitted experimentation on a new level with two of the composer’s perennial preoccupations: excessive embodiment, and the slippery division between sacred and profane.
It is the task of the current production intelligibly to engage two systems of representation very much at odds with one another: art (religious iconography) and science (the medicalized representation of bodies in decay). As part of a conference that explores the intersection of practice & theory, the production foregrounds the interpretive and intellectual work that precedes the creation of a stage work, and the ways in which stage works can in turn reflect or reject intellectual craft.
Photo by Lara Kastner.