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Sentient

1 month ago

Sentient

30 May 2024 - 01 Jun 2024

Everyman Theatre

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Made in collaboration with saxophonist Nick Roth and ondes Martenot player Nathalie Forget, featuring a cast of exceptional dancers, with the voice of actor Adrian Dunbar.

A major new full-length work for six dancers, saxophone and ondes Martenot, the piece responds to an innocuous-seeming passage in Samuel Beckett’s Molloy where the author explores his wonder, and ‘unknowing’, for the bees – “I often thought of my bees…and I thought above all of their dance, for my bees danced…in a different way.” (Les Éditions de Minuit, 1951) 

Fascinated by German-Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch’s Nobel-prize winning description of the precise way in which bees communicate orientational information through movement, Beckett was one of the first writers to include this groundbreaking discovery into a work of fiction. Angela Moorjani in ‘Beckett and Animals’ (Cambridge, 2013) notes that “the decoding of the honeybee genome in 2006, the year of the Beckett centenary, continues to leave neurobiologists awed by the unexplained cognitive abilities of these highly social hymenopterans. The rapture has not subsided.” 

In a space somewhere between social urgency and urgent sociality, Sentient offers a new interpretation of what it is as a human being to be only one part of our natural world in its vast communicative complexities. The dance travels through different atmospheres; exploring vibration, language, and group communication, with the performers collectively in adaptation to these changing environments.

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