The world premiere of Joffrey Rehearsal Director Nicolas Blanc’s latest work, Under the Trees’ Voices, will be on April 30, 2021 and will be available to the public to stream for free.
Featuring fifteen dancers, Under the Trees’ Voices channels the power of community in the age of social distancing reflecting Blanc’s feelings and observations last year when he began to see people’s moods change as the weather improved and restrictions lightened.
He felt inspired to create the piece during a walk around Lake Michigan in Chicago while listening to Italian composer Ezio Bosso’s Symphony No. 2.
“It was so nice to reconnect with nature, which is such a powerful component in our lives as it helps us regain more profoundly our inner-self,” said Blanc. “The piece is definitely meant to be hopeful. It’s about understanding that we have not lost our sense of humanity. Being vulnerable and reflecting on what we think is essential in our lives helps us retrieve the true meaning of connecting with each other. I think the piece is about re-discovering a strong community bond. Let us not forget that we are better together than alone.”
There are four distinct sections in which Blanc imagines a future of hope and unity.
The first section exudes a spiritual, melancholic quality, juxtaposed by the second section, a dynamic and positive celebration of female strength. The third section, a metaphor for loss and absence, highlights individuals during this lyrical movement of Bosso’s score while the final section is a mad rush forward, embedded with urgency and fluctuation.
“The pandemic reminds us that life is precious, that our shared sense of community and the ability to engage with one another face-to-face is one of humanity’s great joys. Nic’s piece speaks to the idea that human interaction and socialization is essential and that we should never take it for granted.”
Ashley Wheater MBE
Artistic Directory of The Joffrey Ballet
Under the Trees' Voices Rehearsal
Under the Trees’ Voices is part of the company’s Joffrey Studio Series, a comprehensive roster of free, virtual programming – from streamed performances and rehearsals to pre-recorded conversations – curated by Joffrey artists during the COVID-19 era.