Premiere: October 2014
Choreography: Julianna Slager
Music: Haydn’s Stabat Mater
Length: 30 Minutes
Sigao Ekklesia presents a challenging shift in perspective, technically, artistically, intellectually and emotionally from the company’s largely neoclassical repertoire. The beauty of the thing is that Sigao challenges our perspective with captivating results.
Sigao begins with a musical setting, Haydn’s Stabat Mater, that most of us would associate with church, or religion, after hearing just a few notes. The beautiful, at times haunting score evokes thoughts of the regal and magnificent – stained glass windows, expansive cathedrals and the like. The ballet’s challenging juxtaposition, however, becomes apparent as soon as the dancers begin moving. Sigao‘s movements are hardly classical, nor exclusively balletic, employing a raw expression of emotion and contrast through any kind of movement that communicates.
And, communicate, it does.
Sigao’s abstract storyline serves as something of a commentary and reflection on today’s Christian church. The work illustrates questions that many of us within – and maybe outside of- church circles have today about church. We may each resonate with different questions reflected in the work, based on our own experiences. However, the end of the story has something to do with the redemptive narrative that originally brought us, in the church, together in the first place.