Swede Hollow Ghost Sonata | 2019

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

An outdoor, immersive performance experience using theater, dance, movement, and original music to explore the continuing histories of immigration to St. Paul’s Swede Hollow neighborhood.

Join renowned and award-winning performance companies Sod House Theater and Black Label Movement this September in St. Paul for their latest imaginative collaboration. Audiences will set off on an outdoor, guided, theatrical promenade through the park, stopping along the way to experience moving vignettes within a recreated world that evoke the early history of Swedish immigration to the area in the 1850s. Using Swedish Playwright August Strindberg’s play The Ghost Sonata as a starting point of inspiration, this stellar cast of local, multidisciplinary performers will bring to life the community that once lived in the park, sharing tales that resonate with the ongoing, current day stories and experiences within St. Paul’s East Side. Working closely with local businesses and organizations, this project also includes additional community events designed to spark conversations about the rich history of this incredible neighborhood.


COMMUNITY PARTNERS

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This activity is made possible in part by the Knight Foundation, the David and Leni Moore Family Foundation, the City of Saint Paul Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization, and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Morituri te Salutant | 2019

“Morituri te Salutant” translates in roman to “those who are about to die, salute you” and was a phrase that the ancient gladiators would proclaim in the colosseum. This work has layering commentary about how violence functions in our world. What’s glorified by the masses? What’s not? The imagery in this work pulls from many eras & violences: The title (ancient Rome), the dog masks (twentieth century USA “dogs of war”), stripped workout attire (1936 Olympics in German), the projection across the back wall (literal guns & knives), choreographic fight scenes, etc.

I Spy A Folk Song | 2016

This piece was commission as part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert series (“The Color of Sound”) in which young students around the state field tripped to Orchestra Hall to gain exposure to the arts in a new way, and to possibly spark an unknown fire within a young person’s soul'.

The Music: Inspired by Johannes Brahms and his Hungarian Dances, Antonin Dvorak decided to write a series of 16 dances called Slavonic Dances. Originally written for piano, Dvorak later orchestrated the dances for the full symphony orchestra. Unlike Brahms who used actual folk melodies in his music, Dvorak used dance rhythms found in traditional Slavic music and then composed his own original melodies.

During the concert, you’ll hear Slavonic Dance, Op.46, No. 8 in G Minor. This dance is called a “furiant.” A furiant is just like it sounds—fast and furious—and often has accents (strong, emphasized sounds) in unexpected places. It will definitely keep you on your toes!

Mambo | 2015

BLM was commission as part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert series (“The Color of Sound”) in which young students around the state field tripped to Orchestra Hall to gain exposure to the arts in a new way, and to possibly spark an unknown fire within a young person’s soul'

Lets Talk About Sex | 2012

In March 2012, BLM and John Bohannon presented a new TED talk at the TED-Ed: Full Spectrum Conference in Long Beach, CA entitled ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’. The presentation considers how clear scientific information can be useful in helping young people wrestle with the awakening of their sexuality.

“What would you tell your younger self about sex if you could? (Starting with the big question: Why does it exist in the first place?) Mixing talk and dance, John Bohannon and Black Label Movement explore why sex exists — and implore adults to talk honestly to the kids in their lives about the confusion and joy of human sexuality.” -TED-Ed

AWARDED one of the Best TED Images of 2012


Canary | 2012

‘Canary’, a dance for nine, is an examination of the superficial formalities that attempt to contain more primal urges in the landscape of a surrealistic ballroom/prom night. Original soundscape by Greg Brosofske. Canary was underwritten the American Composers Forum’s Live Music for Dance Minnesota program in partnership with New Music USA.

Dance vs. Powerpoint: A Modest Proposal | 2011

‘Dance vs. Powerpoint: A Modest Proposal’ examines the utility of collaborations between scientists and dance artists as well as raising the question of whether powerpoint presentations are overused in today’s global culture. First presented at the 2011 TEDx Brussels with Science Magazine correspondent John Bohannon, their TED talk has gone on to be an internet hit on TED’s website and YouTube with over 800,000 collective views.

Oceania | 2011

A full choreographic commission by the Minnesota Orchestra, ‘Oceania’ is a pure movement response to Claude Debussy’s classical masterpiece La Mer. The work by Debussy is itself an exploration of the motions and moods of the ocean. ‘Oceania’ finds a movement synthesis with the sonic landscape painted by Debussy’s composition. ‘Oceania’ premiered in March 2011 at Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra.