Choreographing Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time”

Posted on: June 15, 2017

“Los Angeles artist Susan Silton can’t quite remember when she first stumbled onto Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time,” writes Carolina A. Miranda in Wednesday’s (6/14) Los Angeles Times. “Her reaction to the work’s dissonant piano chords and siren clarinet notes was immediate. ‘It created this visceral response,’ she says…. ‘Then I researched it and I find out its incredible history [of being composed in a German concentration camp].’ She was so moved, that she is now staging ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ for an experimental production on Friday and Saturday in downtown Los Angeles…. Actor Cristina Frias will read a text inspired by the writings of Hannah Arendt. A dance component has been developed by independent choreographer Flora Wiegmann…. Silton’s collaborator Vicki Ray, a Grammy-nominated pianist … is leading the musical team,” which comprises Shalini Vijayan, violin; Michiko Ogawa, clarinet; Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, cello; and Vicki Ray, piano. “The presentation will take place … in a bare industrial warehouse—one whose functional brick-and-concrete architecture better evokes the chilliness of Stalag VIIIA, where Messiaen was held…. The production will consist entirely of women. ‘I wanted it to be in stark contrast to what the original context was,’ says Silton.”

Posted June 15, 2017