in the New York Premiere of ‘MUNU MUNU’
FULL-LENGTH BALLET TO LIVE VOCAL MUSIC FROM MEDIEVAL TO CONTEMPORARY
Performed by New Chamber Ballet and Variant 6 Vocal Ensemble
Friday & Saturday, February 11 & 12 at 7:30 PM
Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn
Reservations must be purchased in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/munu-munu-tickets-251996968717
Dancers: Anabel Alpert, Megan Foley, Nicole McGinnis, Amber Neff, Rachele Perla
Singers: Variant 6 Vocal Ensemble: Jessica Beebe, soprano; Rebecca Myers, soprano; Elisa Sutherland, mezzo; Steven Bradshaw, tenor; James Reese, tenor; Elijah Blaisdell, baritone; Daniel Schwartz, bass
Costumes: Sarah Thea Craig
Miro Magloire is proud to present his New Chamber Ballet, joined by Philadelphia-based Variant 6 Vocal Ensemble, in the New York premiere of “Munu Munu,” a full-length ballet to both medieval and contemporary vocal music. Performed by an ensemble of five dancers and seven vocalists, “Munu Munu” received its premiere in March 2020 at The Performance Garage in Philadelphia, Pa.
What does munu munu mean?? – it is taken from one of the newer music works, which consists of nonsense syllables sung by the vocalists. Contemporary music for the ballet is a series of a-cappella songs showing a wide range of influences, composed by Toby Twining. The medieval music is by vocal composers from the 1300’s: Jacopo Da Bologna, Grimace, and Solage.
Miro remarked: “When creating Munu Munu, i was interested in the relationship of dancing and singing: two sister arts that are intimately connected to the human body and our desire to express feelings with it. These ideas are the root of the work – dancers and singers performing with and for each other, surrounded by the audience. The music spans seven centuries and fools our historic expectations – some of the contemporary songs have an ancient, ritual quality while the works from the 1300’s sound almost modern with their multiple layered rhythms.”
TOBY TWINING (b.1958) :
Raised in Texas, with family roots in country-swing and gospel, Toby Twining has traveled musically from playing for rock and jazz bands to composing and performing experimental music for voices with a fresh approach to harmony. He moved to New York in 1987, initially writing for modern dance choreographers who wanted the sounds of a new choral music. In 1991 he started Toby Twining Music, which performed in music halls and festivals across the United States and Europe. His recordings include Shaman (SONY, 1994), The Little Match Girl and Emily Dickinson’s Birthday Pizza on A Prairie Home Companion 20th Anniversary Album (Highbridge, 1996), Chrysalid Requiem and Eurydice (Cantaloupe Music 2002 and 2011). Twining’s instrumental music has been recorded by pianist Margaret Leng Tan and cellist Matt Haimovitz. He was a 2003 Pew Fellow, a co-founder of Arts on the Edge Wolfeboro, a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow, and a recipient of a 2013 Grants to Artists Award by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Variant 6 is a virtuosic vocal sextet that explores and advances the art of chamber music in the twenty-first century. The ensemble’s work includes radically reimagining concert experiences, commissioning substantial new works, collaborating closely with other ensembles, and educating a new generation of singers. In addition to eight world-premieres this season, Variant 6 premieres a new ballet, To Reach the Light with Dimensions Dance Theater of Miami, performs a new concert-length work by Wally Gunn, and releases two commercial albums.
Variant 6’s artists have performed with internationally recognized ensembles, including The Crossing, Roomful of Teeth, Bang on a Can, American Composers Orchestra, Seraphic Fire, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Bach Project, Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, and more.
The next New Chamber Ballet performances in New York will take place April 8 & 9. Included will be a revival of The Night, from 2019, as a tribute to composer Wolfgang Rihm, who turns 70 in March.