Passion is a dance-opera that explores the emotional crisis of two lovers, one living and the other whose life has been cruelly snatched away. It explores their sense of desire and loss and the passions evoked by their separation.
The story is extremely simple, presented in a non-linear way in broken episodes and abstracted movement.
There are two characters: Him and Her. She has died and He intends to retrieve Her or at least re-connect with Her. They both recall the moment of Her death in different ways and at different times, repeatedly. He has to come to terms with Her disappearance, whilst She has to recognise Her new state of being – in death.
Some people might recognise this as the story of Orpheus and Euridice, but here it changes. In the ancient myth, Orpheus persuades the gods to let him bring his beloved back to life on one condition – that he should not look back at her. He fails of course, and spends the rest of his days singing about the pain of his loss. In the traditional telling of the story, everything happens to Orpheus – her death, his successful negotiation and then her second loss because of his actions. The impact of death on Euridice is never considered, and she has no choice in the attempted rescue. Passion takes her perspective and restores her voice.
In Passion, the lovers meet, but realising her new state of being, She understands that she cannot or will not return. She will never see the sunlight again and He is left alone. He strums the Oud in lamentation.
As a dance-opera, PASSION is performed by two singers and an ensemble of dancers. The movement of the dancers becomes an extension of the feelings and desires of the characters portrayed by the singers, and the singers express the emotions of the characters through their physicality and interaction with the dancers as much as they do through their voice. We are aiming to achieve a poetic unity between voice and body, movement and sound, music and emotion, where words alone can never be enough.
As Debussy said “music exists to express the inexpressible” and so too does dance, perhaps the most musical of performing arts and the physical embodiment of sound.