Commissioned by GroundWorks DanceTheater and the Aeolus Quartet.
This project is a collaboration between the Aeolus Quartet, GroundWorks DanceTheater and composer Steven Snowden. New music by Snowden and choreography by GroundWorks’ artistic director David Shimotakahara will explore themes of the Civil War to commemorate its sesquicentennial in 2014 and 2015. The piece will be set in scenes inspired by letters and photographs illustrating the upheaval of domestic life during the Civil War. The artistic concept will avoid traditional tropes depicting epic battle and glory, choosing rather to focus on individual experience and stories, although a linear narrative is not the goal of this piece. The display of these individual portraits will leave the interpretation to the audience and encourage audiences to re-examine the far-reaching impact of the Civil War on our present day society. The historical concept will be to deepen understanding of the Civil War by focusing on the experiences of the people in it and the nature of their choices, ideally giving a vehicle for modern-day audiences to relate to them on a personal level. The Civil War, although terrible in its unprecedented destruction of lives and material, was also a catalyst for enormous social change and progress that propelled Americans into a new century.